As a commercial team manager I can say that sales team supervision is one of the most complicated and important responsibilities. In fact, all employees’ wages and benefits depend on your team and you as direct contributors to the company’s revenues and profits. In this context, the evaluation of sales agents’ activity is a vital process that must be addressed beyond any routine.
The organizational and commercial development in Veteco involved also the implementation of a new evaluation system for the sales team, a process that naturally came into my area of responsibility.
Beyond any form, document or way through which sales agents are evaluated from in my opinion this process should:
– be transparent and open
– be periodically sustained but also constantly over time
– be based on clear, measurable and accessible assessment criteria, adapted to the responsibilities and attributions described in the employment contract and in accord with the particularities related to the territories and client portfolios allocated to agents
– include the evaluation of main responsibilities and objectives (intermediate notes) as well as the general activity evaluation (final note)
– involve both self-evaluation of the agent and manager evaluation of the agent
– highlight the performances and deficiencies of the agent’s activity
– include decisions related to bonuses, imputations both agreed by manager and agent
– underline a plan of actions, activities, expectations, professionalization process with terms, goals assumed by the agent and manager
All the above-mentioned considerations contributed to the development of the below document, which I now name “Sales agents evaluation beyond routine”, a document that was adopted in the company and used in the evaluation of sales agents.
Although this document seems very complex, it is highly flexible and adaptable because it allows the evaluation of a wide range of responsibilities and attributions both short term (1-2 months) and in accord with the usual procedural deadlines used by companies (quarterly or yearly).
It includes in a single page the tools a sales agent work with and based on which he is evaluated (volume, value, margin, number of customer visits, number of new clients) as well as important related areas that are usually less approached in the evaluation. I refer here to customer management, market and competition information, attitude, professionalism, presentation quality, promotion and sales of company products, sales quality (SKU per invoice, payment deadlines, number of offers sold).
And most importantly, it provides the basis for drawing conclusions and determining future actions, activities and targets.
A strong point of this evaluation document is that it mirrors the agent’s self-evaluation and manager’s evaluation. Not once I have been surprised to see how big is the discrepancy between the manager’s ratings and agent self-evaluations, the discrepancy in both the positive (high score from manager vs. low mark from agent) and the negative (poor ratings given by manager vs. super optimism in self-rating agent).
I invite you managers to reflect on this document and decide whether you objectively, constructively and openly evaluate your sales agents.
I recommend you sales agents to request self-evaluation as a formal part of the evaluation process. It will help you be much better prepared in the evaluation process and you will find out how far or how near you are positioned versus your manager’s assessment. And the most important: to ask yourself why?
Notification: MYPRODUCT reflects my real professional experience and expertise as well as my subjectivity. I do have a profound respect for all the companies I collaborated to and for all the people I worked with. It is not my intention to approach any sensitive, confidential or offending information related to companies, projects or people.If you the reader deduct or recognize companies, projects or people in my examples, I kindly ask you to respect MYPRODUCT and my professional and ethic approach and to not share any detail, information, situation, name, company.