As organizations head into the last two months of the calendar year, many sales leaders have their sights locked on the year-end goals and deadlines. In the midst of closing those final deals, managing time-off requests, and balancing customer demands, there looms the inevitable task of completing your employee’s performance reviews.

In my former life as a sales manager, this is one of the least favorite parts of the year-end process. It’s not that their employees don’t deserve feedback or that leaders don’t want to provide feedback, it’s the tumultuous process of trying to recall and assess each employees performance to goal. On average, sales managers spend 3 hours per employee completing the performance review process. An SMB organization with 500 employees invests approximately $120,000.00 in the performance review process alone.

Source: DecisionWise

While that is costly enough, to make matters even more costly employees, often feel the assessment of their performance is often inaccurate. In the end, neither manager or employee enjoy the process of using outdated, annual or semi-annual excel based spreadsheets to capture employee performance or development. The time invested in the process is never truly regained. This challenge has been present for decades. Many articles have been written, many careers have been changed and many hours have been lost, yet sales managers are still required to use an outdated method to determine an employees success or failure.

While these tools have their place in business environments, employees are more than just a cell on a spreadsheet or copy and paste function in a document, or a check the box activity just to beat a corporate deadline. Employees are the life-blood of the organization and the sales manager’s role. They can propel themselves and their organization ahead of the competition when they receive training and feedback to help hone their knowledge, skill, and abilities to outperform their adversaries. Engaged employees seek opportunities to improve based on feedback provided by their manager. They want to get better, faster. Sales managers want faster results to drive the business. This requires the use and implementation of tools to allow over-tasked sales managers to provide feedback based on specific observations in less-time, with more consistency.

Make no mistake about it, providing timely feedback on performance and development are essential to success elements for business aspiring to be recognized for high performance. Forward-thinking organizations are investing in tools and resources that not only provide a user-friendly platform, offering insightful analytics and solution integration. These high-performing organizations are using technology to determine how, when and where to support their employees to be at their best, when only their best will do.

At the core of business success- across disciplines, across industries- lies a handful of truths, best practices, and strategies we must follow as business leaders to achieve the results we seek. Each week we strive to explore these truths, to take a more in-depth look into the success strategies of today’s sales leaders, and to examine the key factors that lead to thriving organizational performance.

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