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It’s Annual Review Time…Do You Care?

by Tad Travis  |  November 5, 2014  |  Submit a Comment

When it comes to completing the annual reviews of sales representative, obviously there is only one metric that matters– quota attainment.   Those who crush their numbers will enjoy the process, those who did not crush it won’t enjoy it.    But contrary to what my title implies, I’m not going to argue against quota attainment.  It is an important and meaningful number against which all representative performance can be objectively measured.   And of course the other components of variable compensation that are included in the comp package– such as new account acquisition rates or forecast accuracy rates– are really important to managers and representatives alike because they have such an impact on bonus attainment levels

But I will argue that there is another component of the sales review process that isn’t handled well enough.  When we only talk about attainment numbers, employees run an internal dialogue with themselves, similar to this: 

I killed myself learning the specifications of that new product line…why isn’t that acknowledged in my review?

I helped to onboard & train four new representatives this year…why am I only a Meets for Operations?

I turned around relationships with two key accounts this year and set us up for more new sales soon…why isn’t that in my my review?

My point is that there  are dozens of small events that occur during the year that never make it onto reviews.  These events are very meaningful to our employees because they are the events that often require  big investments of time and emotion.  When these investments aren’t met with a conmensurate level of understanding and acknowledgement, trust erodes, leading to outcomes that satisfy no one.   Employees too often ask themselves “Doesn’t anyone care?” 

Good managers have techniques to overcome this, of course.  But if you are someone who believes that it is important to capture these events as soon after the occurence as possible, then please consider to how to use new tools to improve your processes.  I favor capturing these events in the SFA as notes, emails, or social posts, attaching them to the relevant account and opportunity records.  Or better yet, look at the newest functionality from SFA vendors that allow you to quickly capture these events from your mobile application.  With this type of application, you will capture dozen of micro-moments that matter to our employees.

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Tags: coaching  crm  sales  sfa  spm  

Tad Travis
Research Director
1 year at Gartner
15 years IT Industry

Tad Travis is a Director in Gartner Research. He is responsible for managing the Sales Performance Management (SPM) sector of Gartner's CRM research practice. His research focuses primarily on SPM tools and capabilities to drive sales effectiveness and efficiency in all industries. Read Full Bio




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