A sales manager’s job is full of challenges as he has to carefully perform a sales assessment on each salesperson. The goal of sales evaluations and assessments is to figure out the abilities of a person to meet the desired expectations. Not all employees have what it takes to become good salespeople; some may churn quickly. Therefore, such assessments help in determining their capabilities and how they can be improved to get optimal results.
An effective sales team is all that you need to meet the company’s expectations.
Why sales evaluation?
Evaluating candidates is an essential process for hiring the best applicants for the current sales team. Also, it helps in determining the efficiency of the team. If a company does not focus on evaluation, there is a risk that the team does not manage to reach sales targets and other commercial goals and objectives.
In addition to this, taking on a wrong employee can be very costly for the employer. Not only do they sell less, but they also have to spend on rectruitment and training all over again.
Importance of assessment
An effective recruitment process can help reduce the risk of later finding that your sales team is not as good as you had hoped. Without it, hiring is difficult and is more like a guessing game where you cannot evaluate the performance of the employees.
Good sales people have a certain set of characteristics. During the recruitment process, it is important to identify those traits (not just one or two of them).
So, what makes a good salesman or saleswoman? What are the most imporant characteristics you, as an employer, should be looking out for? Let’s have a look at some of them.
People with drive make good salespeople. Drive is what gives an individual ambition and does not allow them to sit on the sidelines. If a solution needs to be found, the salesperson with drive will try hard to fine one, rather than waiting and hoping for the best.
A salesperson with a lot of drive usually takes the initiative. They also make sure they know as much as possible about the product or service they are selling, as well as the customer they are dealing with.
If you are competitive, optimistic, and have a strong need for achievment, you are blessed with a lot of drive. If you are not selling already, it is a profession you should seriously consider because you would probably be really good at it.
2. A good storyteller
All the world’s best salespeople are great storytellers; it goes with the territory. Knowing how to tell an interesting and engaging story helps customers, prospects, and other consumers understand your product, service, and brand. A prospect is a consumer who you think could well become a paying customer.
The best stories are those in which the customer is the superhero. If you can tie in the product or service as the superhero’s companion or mentor, the customer is more likely to feel an emotional attachment to whatever you are trying to sell them.
3. Active listening skills
If you want to persuade somebody to buy from you, you first need to find out what they want and need. The only way to do that is by listening to them. The more they speak, the more data you will have when you make your presentation.
Listening carefully also builds a relationship with the customers. Nothing pleases somebody who is talking more than a good listener who understands what they are trying to say.
Let’s imagine, for example, that you are selling a house, and you hear that your prospect loves big trees and hates small bedrooms. If the house you present has large trees and small bedrooms, your presentation will focus on the trees.
Had you not been a good listener and focused on the bedrooms instead, your chances of making a sale would have been much smaller. Many of us imagine that top salespeople talk a lot. This is not necessarily true – some do while others don’t. However, they are all good listeners.
4. Creative thinking
It is a crucial yet difficult skill to assess while recruiting job applicants. Being creative, in this context, does not refer to a person’s ability to tell stories, but rather how good they are at solving problems.
Many people debate over whether creativity is inherited or learned, but it’s actually both. Very few of us are born with this gift, but creative thinking skills can also be learned and improved with the right sales training.
Every salesperson will face obstacles during their presentation or conversation with a customer. Perhaps the product is the wrong color, its too big, or does or only satisfies some of the customer’s needs.
In order to overcome those obstacles, a good salesperson needs to come up with solutions. This requires creativity. It is crucial doing the recruitment process to try to find out how creative a job applicant is.
Everybody, including customers, like to feel not only that you understand them, but are also on their side. If you have the ability to understand and share other people’s feelings, you have empathy. In the word of selling, empathy is worth gold.
If you can show your customer or prospect that you are able to imagine what it is like to be in their shoes, you are probably half-way towards completing a sale.
People with empathy have emptional intelligence. If you are aware of your emotions and know how to control and express them, and can manage interpersonal relationships empathically and judiciously, you have good emotional intelligence.
Sales assessment helps in evaluating a candidate with such crucial skills as a sales rep for your company.
Assessing people’s sales abilities should not just be limited to the recruitment process. It is an ongoing process – you should constantly monitor your sales team. Only then will you know how good it is and what measures need to be taken to make its members more effective.
A sales assessment evaluates each employee using the same criteria – everyone is on the same level. When you identify a salesperson’s strengths and weaknesses, they need to know. You should also explain to them how you hope to exploit their strengths and improve their weaknesses.
Sales training is an integral part of any thriving business. Make sure your company is no different. Training is good for sales, motivation, and employee loyalty – which are all good for business.
Time and money
When trying to reduce your shortlist of job applicants to two or three, it makes more sense to assess them all on the same day. Group activities can provide lots of useful data, and can save time and money.
When candidates are in a group, it is easier to compare them.
Real sales situations
When assessing your candidates, expose them to as many real life sales scenarios as possible. A good salesperson should be flexible enough to adapt to different situations. Having lots of sales experience only tells you how good a person is in one or two types of sales situations, i.e., how they functioned in their previous job.
Their job functions, if you take them on, will not be identical to their current ones. You need to be sure that they have the ability to adapt.
Sales assessments are a crucial part of making sure your company succeeds in the marketplace. It is vital for sales, your employees, customer loyalty, and staff morale.