03 Jun Plan To Win: What Is Sales Performance Management? Part 2
As the second quarter of 2021 enters its final month, you are probably thinking about your business goals as you head toward the second half of the year. Success starts with each and every individual on your team working to be their best and conquer big goals. Sales performance management is an integrated approach that helps insurance team leaders oversee, guide and identify areas where they have the opportunity to improve. A key objective of many sales performance processes is the ability to educate and motivate team members to optimize performance and ultimately increase sales. Whether you lead a team of two or 20, it is likely that you will find insurance businesses are most successful when they continue to focus on improving sales productivity. In part one of this series, we defined sales performance management and identified the main components. In part two, we will provide you with an overview of what metrics sales performance management processes often track and review the steps for implementing an effective sales performance management process.
3 Main Components Of Sales Performance Management
Nearly all sales performance management processes are made up of three main components. Those components are field planning, defining of commission structures and metrics tracking.
Field planning literally refers to how an organization’s teams or agents will act in a particular market or field. During the field planning stage, existing market conditions and needs are evaluated to ensure the sales team is a proper fit. An essential step of the field planning stage is identifying strategies to maximize every region, every account and the talents of all sales team members. It is common that during this stage, a team or organization leader will establish quotas, assign sales representatives to various areas and determine how to organize accounts.
Proper field planning can reduce agent to agent competition so representatives from the same company have little to no overlap in the territories they represent, which can in turn lower feelings of frustration connected to oversaturation.
Success in sales is often linked to motivation. A strong compensation model can be a powerful motivating factor for insurance sales representatives and agents. During the next stage of sales performance management, an organization’s leaders often determine compensation and commission structures. Commission structures when created and sustained appropriately can not only support an insurance business’ bottom line, but it can also enhance and optimize the opportunity for agents to drive sales and achieve individual goals.
What Metrics Should A Sales Performance Management Process Track?
The third and most important component of sales performance management is metrics tracking. A business cannot fully understand how effective or ineffective its strategies and methods are without quantitative measurement. Pipeline management, sales forecasts and pricing evaluations are all types of metrics that should be tracked. It is also common to use individual results tracking such as time sheets, deals closed or average revenue earned to weigh a team member’s performance.
How To Implement An Effective Sales Performance Management Process
Implementing a sales performance management process is an opportunity to ensure organizational growth by turning relevant data into insightful, purposeful strategies. The best way to implement an effective sales performance management process is to start by establishing clear objectives tied to specific sales goals. Each objective should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Quotas and key benchmarks should align with each SMART objective. Your objectives might include items such as retention goals, sales productivity, quota attainments or conversion rates. Once your goals are set and your objectives are confirmed, you can move on to the next step.
After setting your objectives, you will need to develop your team’s skills. You cannot expect your team to deliver winning results if they have not been set up for success. Consider various training, best practices, guides, scripts and other resources that could help your team perform at their best. Many top insurance team leaders regularly host or offer professional development or related training opportunities to consistently provide agents and team members the chance to hone their skills.
Finally, you will want to establish a procedure to offer feedback and constructive criticism regularly. Consider setting up a schedule where you check in with your insurance sales agents and team members once per quarter. You may also want to offer team members the chance to provide you with a written review of themselves where they self-identify strengths and areas of opportunity or potential improvement. There are a variety of tools available that can also help a team member better understand and visualize the areas where they can become more efficient or effective.
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