All companies and departments set performance goals for their employees, but the Sales Department’s goals are perhaps the easiest to measure. Still, sales-heavy companies often fail to employ performance standards and measurement in some of their most powerful functions – as sales force recruitment and retention tools.
That’s because companies don’t fully understand that goal-achievement and mentoring, training, and coaching are two sides of the same coin. Organizations that devote sufficient resources to these support activities show their sales leaders that they are valued and the organization wants them to succeed. Key salespeople and managers who are entrusted to make decisions they believe will help achieve unit-level and organizational goals will exhibit greater job satisfaction, loyalty, accountability, and “ownership” of the process.
For organizations to be comfortable granting this kind of autonomy, they must be assured their sales managers and executives are familiar with the company’s overall strategy and the Sales Department’s role in fulfilling it, and can guide their reps to accomplishing it. That means developing a comprehensive, continuous training regimen. Typical training courses,
however, do not address the greatest needs from the employees’ point of view. The organization must identify the skills salespeople need to possess or develop, assess any deficiencies, and address those gaps. Sales supervisors and representatives themselves, however, should be considered partners in defining their own training requirements and identifying the training activities that will help them match their skills to the organization’s goals.
Sales-dependent organizations know that supporting employees’ interests also translates to institutional goals and is the key to maintaining workers’ enthusiasm for training, contentment in their jobs, and retention of key leaders.