Evaluating salespeople is an important part of any sales organization.
It helps you to identify your top performers, develop your weaker performers, and make sure that your team is aligned with your company’s goals.
One of the queries I often get is, how do we evaluate salespeople, whether in the hiring stage, performance management, or even potential management.
Here’s a framework that I normally use with clients that they find valuable.
This 2×2 matrix divides salespeople into four quadrants. You might want to draw a big plus sign (+) and then fill out the axes below
Let’s get started.
1.The Tactical Salesperson on the left (X-axis)
They are those who are motivated by short-term rewards and are not interested in developing long-term relationships with customers.
To put it crudely, these are the product peddlers.
They are typically not very good at diagnosing customer needs or building trust.
2. The Strategic Salesperson on the right (X-axis)
Strategic consultants are those who are motivated by helping customers solve their problems.
These are people who are able to lead with insights, diagnose and reframe.
However, they may not be as good at closing deals.
3. The Theoreticians at the bottom (Y-Axis)
On the vertical axis, we have what I call the theoreticians at the bottom. These are people who talk theory.
Theoreticians are knowledgeable about sales but are not very good at applying their knowledge in the real world or tailor their approach to the customer’s industry and role.
4. The Practitioners at the top of the matrix (Y-Axis)
Practitioners are those who are good at both applying their knowledge and closing deals with panache.
These people carry a direct quota and enjoy a balanced variable compensation model that rewards risk and performance
They are typically the top performers in any sales organization.
Now that you understand the four axes, think about where exactly your team members fit within this matrix. More importantly, think about the ideal profile for the future of your organization.
When you define your ideal profile of a salesperson, take additional care to define your ABCs – Attitude, Behaviors, and Competencies.
In addition to placing your team members within this two-by-two matrix, you can also evaluate salespeople based on their measurable results.
This includes metrics such as revenue, pipeline, and activities.
By evaluating salespeople using both qualitative and quantitative measures, you can get a more complete picture of their performance.
When you plot your sales team on this matrix, draw an arrow towards where exactly your people are heading towards, and how convergent/ divergent it is to the ideal profile for your organization.
By following this framework, you can ensure that your sales evaluations are fair and accurate and you gain a visual overview of the changes that are required for you to design your sales organization of the future. I realize that this framework may require a re-read to absorb its full potential and I am sanguine that you would make that investment. Good luck!!
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