Make meaningful insights out of sales performance data

Managers need to be able to communicate where salespeople can improve

By Brian Thompson,

When it comes to communicating about employee performance, some sales managers may fall short, even if it's about praising their workers' accomplishments. As a crucial soft skill in the workplace, managers need to be able to communicate the good and the bad oncerning performance. One of the reasons why managers may be struggling with providing necessary feedback is lack of insights and knowledge on how staff are working on a daily basis. Often, these organizations may not measure employee performance through sales effective metrics or other methods that will show hard data. Another mistake is that employers do not have experience in analyzing this data to get the most out of their sales performance solutions. 

A recent survey of HR professionals by Oxford Economics and SAP found 50 percent said they used metrics and benchmarking to develop their workforce, TLNT reported. Without metrics, companies may not be able to determine whether their employees are meeting performance standards and if they are progressing in their current sales and marketing campaigns. In setting benchmarks, companies need to account for their existing resources and determine their workers' current level of performance. 

The Oxford Economics poll found 47 percent of HR departments said they were knowledgeable about how to make meaning of the data collected. With less than half of HR professionals indicating they were able to effectively use this information to incite action among their workforce, it's clear that employers need to work on bridging the gap between gathering information and actually leveraging it to improve their employee management. 

Look at productivity data and provide matching rewards
To get the most of their data, companies should consider whether they are gathering enough information about worker performance and if they have the right tools to extract meaningful insights. Through using sales performance management solutions, companies can record information on meeting sales quotas, customer interactions and more. This data is extremely valuable in talking with workers about areas for improvement and accomplishments worth praising. 

A good way for companies to use their data to see results is by performing a what-if analysis that allows them to see how their level of performance translates into earning rewards. Companies with incentive compensation programs in place could use the prospect of rewards to increase employee motivation and engagement. Firms could measure data, look at current productivity levels and offer rewards based on their performance. 

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Brian Thompson