How to incorporate efficient reviews as part of the sales process
One of the key elements to improving sales effectively is being able to evaluate performance in real-time. As the third element in Goalplan's guide for more efficient sales process, reviews are integral to ensuring that you are actively evaluating results, and can then act to remedy issues or identify successes that can be replicated in the future.
It's likely that you have some type of review process in your sales organisation. But many companies struggle to implement reviews that are frequent enough while not being too time consuming. If you are only reviewing your staff's performance quarterly, or worse - annually - then it's likely you aren't able to identify issues or areas for coaching and training until your sales have been impacted for weeks, or even months.
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Where do reviews fit into your sales process?
While regular sales employee reviews may be the standard, you should actually be implementing reviews more frequently - even by making them a part of your regular sales process. When you do this, you can keep better track on results and the performance activities that contribute to those results on the individual and employee level.
While you may think this is too time consuming, or doesn't make sense for your organisation, consider this: if you are using reviews together with performance statements, you can actually spend less time by avoiding data gathering and analysing reports over an aggregated period of time. If you stay up-to-date with performance reviews weekly, you have less information you need to sift through at one time, and may actually be able to drill down into your organisation's activities more easily.
How to do reviews correctly
Just as all elements of your sales process should work together in a continuous cycle, reviews are a natural fit that come after setting the monthly targets, and employee performance statements. When you set the goals for the monthly budget, and allocate those goals amongst your sales team, you then should have clear KPIs for performance that employees will achieve. By looking at certain data points like completed sales and conversion rates, you can then evaluate whether or not your team is performing as expected.
As budgeting should dictate expectations for the performance of your employees, reviews should dictate subsequent actions. When conducting reviews you can ask yourself, and your employees, how do we improve this result? What are problems that have arisen and what can we do to avoid them in the future? Was this employee unprepared or undereducated about products, services or our brand, and how do we fix that as quickly as possible?
Reviews should be a priority
When you consider that the review stage of the sales process serves as a way to ensure better future performance, it should actually be a priority amongst management and leadership in your organisation. Reviews encourage engagement of employees, ensure that even remote leaders have a clear handle on what is going on within a sales organisation, and can give you the power to make quick decisions that can impact results immediately.
With the right data points and tools for reporting, reviews can become a natural part of your sales process. Be sure your team is meeting or even exceeding KPIs, and is equipped with the information that helps them to truly understand their performance.