These measures exist in two groups
One group is a set of input measures which are essentially diagnostic in nature – they help to provide indications of why performance is below standard. Key output measures relate to sales and profit performance. Most companies use a combination of input (behavioural) and output measures to evaluate their salesforces. Specific output measures for individual salespeople include the following:
- sales revenue achieved
- profits generated
- percentage gross profit margin achieved
- sales per potential account
- sales per active account
- sales revenue as a percentage of sales potential
- number of orders
- sales to new customers
- number of new customers.
The second group of measures relates to input and includes:
- number of calls made
- calls per potential account
- calls per active account
- number of quotations (in part, an output measure also)
- Number of calls on prospects.
Assessing using qualitative lines is more subjective and takes place in the main during field visits. This may be through;
Sales skills – They can be rated using a number of sub-factors
- Handling the opening and developing rapport (connection)
- Identification of customer needs, questioning ability
- Quality of sales presentation
- Use of visual aids
- Ability to overcome objections
- Ability to close the sale
- How well received is the salesperson?
- Are customers well satisfied with the service, advice, reliability of the salesperson, or are there frequent grumbles and complaints?
Self-organisation – How well does the salesperson carry out the following?
- Prepare calls.
- Organise routing to minimise unproductive travelling.
- Keep customer records up to date.
- Provide market information to headquarters.
- Conduct self-analysis of performance in order to improve weaknesses.
Product knowledge – How well informed is the salesperson regarding the following?
- Their own products and their customer benefits and applications.
- Competitive products and their benefits and applications.
- Relative strengths and weaknesses between their own and competitive offerings.
Co-operation and attitudes – To what extent will the salesperson do the following?
- Respond to the objectives determined by management in order to improve performance, e.g. increase prospecting rate
- Co-operate with suggestions made during field training for improved sales technique
- Use their own initiative
What are their attitudes towards the following?
- The company and its products
- Hard work
NB: A number of companies measure their salespeople on the basis of the achievement of customer satisfaction.
Sales management response to the results of carrying out salesforce evaluation can be through
- Good quantitative/good qualitative evaluation – The appropriate response would be praise and monetary reward. For suitable candidates promotion would follow.
- Good quantitative/poor qualitative evaluation – The good quantitative results suggest that performance in front of customers is good, but certain aspects of qualitative evaluation, e.g. attitudes, report writing and market feedback, may warrant advice and education regarding company standards and requirements.
- Poor quantitative/good qualitative evaluation – Good qualitative input is failing to be reflected in quantitative success. The specific causes need to be identified and training and guidance provided. Lack of persistence, poor closing technique or too many/too few calls might be possible causes of poor sales results.
- Poor quantitative/poor qualitative evaluation – Critical discussion is required to agree problem areas. Training is required to improve standards. In other situations, punishment may be required or even dismissal.