The reality of talent and human resource management is that employee performance evaluation can be extremely difficult to carry out, especially in the area of sales. Traditionally, businesses have always mandated sales people to perform in terms of achieving a particular sales target or quota.
One danger that many HR professionals know about this system is that sellers are often motivated for short-term gains only while many other factors are compromised. For instance, salespeople may end up bagging a lot of contracts, but these agreements may be of little value to both client and the enterprise.
Such contracts may not really have been thought out carefully to genuinely meet the needs or requirements of clients, while at the same time, the financial margins may not be substantial enough for the business owner.
Long-Term Customer Relationships
That is why these days, the trend toward talent management of salespeople is focusing on customer satisfaction. CRM (customer relationship management) is becoming a key metric in employee performance evaluation methods, and such qualitative measures are easier to determine and analyze with the help of automated solutions and software.
Many businesses these days are discovering the beauty of performance management solutions because they enable enterprises not only to track quantitative data, but qualitative data as well. As you may very well know, such data are able to provide a clearer picture of overall employee performance and excellence on the job.
When sellers are given the task of achieving complete and consistent customer satisfaction, they move away from immediate gains of quick sales and are re-trained to look at the long-term goal of retaining and delighting customers.
Performance Management That Works
Aside from keen focus on customer satisfaction, there are also a lot of other things that management should keep in mind in order to make the performance management experience of sellers and employees a rewarding and positive experience.
- Keep Systems Simple. Managers may think that if they bombard sellers with incentives, bonuses, and rewards for performance that they will be motivated to perform better. On the contrary, the reality is that salespeople are also turned off by complex compensation and rewards systems that make it difficult for them to understand what they need to do and how they achieve the goals. Sometimes, keeping things simple is better and more impactful on employees.
- Accentuate the Positive. Performance evaluations always tend to tackle areas of weaknesses or improvement, but do not dwell on them or overemphasize them too much. The behavioral strategy of negative reinforcement is not sustainable and advisable in the long run. It does not elicit the desired kind of behaviour; rather, it may set up the employee for failure in the future. Given the shift toward qualitative feedback, give less emphasis on quantitative measures such as sales quotas, targets and figures, and reward behavioral achievements instead.
- Keep Evolving. Performance evaluation is undertaken for the goal of recalibrating company goals every so often. Be careful not to get stuck on certain targets and to keep pushing employees toward certain tasks. With performance management software, data is mined real-time and reports can be generated just as quickly. This is important in providing management insight into what is being done right that needs to be continued, and what is detrimental to the organization that needs to be changed right away. Planning should be a collaborative and consultative effort so that strategies can be arrived at as a team.
Investing in Human Resources
Developing and instituting the right performance evaluation and performance management systems can be costly at the outset, but it is a good investment in the most valuable asset of any company, which is its people.
Training and leading employees into the right direction on their career path is not only beneficial for their personal and professional growth, but for the growth of the enterprise as well.