As an inside sales manager, you may have to manage a lot of performance reviews. Performance reviews are one of the most valuable tools in changing a sales rep’s behavior. One of the toughest reviews to write involves giving someone a poor ranking among several of your sales team members, but if you can get through that meeting and convince them that your company’s budget will provide the resources they’ll need for “the next” opportunity or sale, and that with the watchful eye of your boss you’ll continue to support them to do so and then you’ll become the master of the review and your boss will consider you one of their key-even-favored sales management team.
We’ll use commissions as a case study in this post. In truth, you can adjust the way you handle any case by change the order of the key criteria or ingredients. There would be a lot of adjustments required between a case of rep x and another case of rep y. In this case, which case will be determined by the Rollovers of your key accounts’ account relationships or the Increase in the Average Sale?
If your company rolled over a custom modular office: either in activities-the number of visits, a M/F location, or either in customer frequency, will be the most important numbers and words that will influence your case. If that case is set in higher activity and customer frequency, then simply consider it a case of giving that client a better chance at a spot on the map in your key account’s mind. Now you’ll have to deal with an increase in average sale of that client’s customer sizes over the period of one year or more.
Those described statistics and questions will cause these key accounts to want to act.
We’re not just talking problems. The conversation around these key accounts could be a positive one. Instead of criticism, it could be an opportunity to strategize, to formulate strategies, much like a professional salesperson. The unfortunate case at hand is that it very possibly could be a challenge and politically nightmare for your manager to make a fair and balanced assessment of your team member. The result is likely to be a friendly opening discussion about what the potential increase in activity (or decrease in activity) could cost with your solution. This is where your challenge and added value as a sales manager is paramount.
Let’s revisit your activities. Your review can be a question and answer session since you’ll always have the advantage of moving things around. Because you are likely to be able to listen to the conversation you can make recommendations in the best interests of key accounts and help them to get to take advantage of other opportunities. You’ll have conversations with your team and you’ll have no opportunity to disagree with the sales manager of an account when they have the audacity to argue with you that a review is not needed.
Some key account relationships will see you as the person who is trying to steal business. But instead of that scenario, you find yourself being the person they see as an asset in their sales process. Or, they’ll see you as a professional who wants to help them. Your meetings may be tense and intense, but the results are usually positive. You’ll have new insight and invaluable materials of knowledge from which to build your sales presentation.
The key thing to remember when you review your team is to take the opportunity to make sure that you can demonstrate your level of interest in your colleagues. You should always say your piece before you say something else. If a key account is unhappy, you can share your concerns and then move on to those other opportunities.
Leveraging your space and time is an art. You’re going to want to engage in the best effort possible in the time you’ve spent together. But you’re not in the room to create a bad impression. Aim for cordiality and an opportunity to be positive because that’s what you’re trying to accomplish and what’s ultimately wanted. The result is that not only will people want to be in front of you, you’ll be helping take the art outside of your office door as well.