<img src="https://ws.zoominfo.com/pixel/4z2e82sWyhmveGlCzuJa" width="1" height="1" style="display: none;">
Untitled presentation (1)

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Rep Coaching-Performance Reviews

Authored by Ric Ratkowski on November 21, 2020

This is a continuation of the previous two blogs on sales rep coaching.  This blog focuses on reviewing the sales rep’s overall performance in a one-on-one.  In a series of weekly one-on-one meetings this topic typically comes up once every four weeks.  

Just to recap, the first blog reviewed how sales rep coaching fits within the sales management process and outlined best practices related to “call coaching”, one aspect of sales rep coaching.  The next blog focused on sales manager/sales rep coaching best practices related to sales pipeline reviews and detailed opportunity reviews.  This blog along with content from the blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Proactive Follow Up & Content Delivery” finishes up the Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Rep/Sales Manager One-on-Ones.

Summary Best Practices for B2B Sales - Performance Reviews

Reviewing Sales Rep Performance

Although the sales number is often the most attention-getting metric for sales review meetings, there are a lot of other elements that go into creating the final sales number and managing sales rep performance.  Measuring and monitoring those other elements can provide insight into development areas to focus on for each sales rep.

There are five questions to answer when reviewing sales rep performance:

  1. How is the sales rep doing
  2. How healthy is their sales pipeline
  3. How are they trending
  4. How do they compare to their peers
  5. What are the developmental areas they need to focus on.

These questions can be answered by reviewing both the current sales metrics in context to historic sales metrics.

While the top number to monitor is the sales number.  Directly below the sales number is four metrics Forrester|SiriusDecisions calls “foundational” in the sales measurement process:

  • Volume - how much does the sales rep have in each stage of the sales cycle
  • Deal Size - What is the average size of a won opportunity
  • Conversion Rate - How efficiently are deals converting through the sales process
  • How fast are opportunities moving through the sales cycle

Below these foundational numbers there are supporting metrics.

Volume isn’t only about how much is in the sales pipeline but how does the sales pipeline break down by stage and how long have the opportunities been in each stage.  Volume in many cases has two variations, volume in terms of dollar volume and volume in terms of opportunity count.  The difference between the two is average deal size.  

Average deal size is a key metric but it has many variations.  Average deal size of won deals is the obvious one to measure, but comparing it to the overall deal size of all deals helps to understand if the sales process, the sales rep or the solution is more acceptable to certain size companies than all companies.  Looking at average deal size by industry, company size or ideal customer profile also provides insights into where the solution fits best.

Conversion rates go beyond just the close-won conversion rate and can be applied from stage to stage, across not only close-won, but also close-lost by reason.  When viewing conversion rates it is important to look at them for all deals and for those deals the sales rep committed to closing.  The former is a good comparison across sales reps to understand how efficient the sales rep is when converting leads to closed deals.  The latter helps better calculate the sales forecast by understanding applying that percentage to the current sales rep commit.

How fast deals move through the sales cycle helps the sales team become more predictive.  

In addition to drilling down into the information supporting the foundational metrics, bench marking is a powerful way to move the needle in sales rep performance.  That is, comparing a sales rep’s metrics to other sales reps in their team or across the entire sales organizations.  Bench marking provides a baseline of data specific to your organization.  It helps dispel arguments that “all” sales reps are having this problem and it is the solution or the system, not the rep.  It helps separate high from low performers and it helps hone in on behavior patterns that help improve sales rep performance..

Pulling it all together.

More data and metrics and better data quality leads to better questions, insights and decisions.  However, sales managers are not hired for their analytic prowess, they are hired or promoted because they were successful sales reps.  Rather than forcing sales managers to understand analytics the system should provide insights based on multiple data points and point them to areas they may not have thought of or identified.  

The last characteristic to consider when putting it all together is drill down to the lowest level of detail, the opportunity.  Nothing disrupts a meeting more when someone questions the accuracy of the data.  “I don’t think that is right, I closed more deals than that, and they were worth more.”  That objection is easly resolved if the sales manager can drill in on the number of closed deals, list them and ask which ones are missing or which ones didn’t close for the amount shown.

Best Practices, Baseline, Good, Better, Best

At the baseline level, managers do not prepare for their meetings, they just “wing it.” They learn how the sales rep is performing in their meeting, by gut feel after talking to the sales reps about their sales pipeline and different sales situations.  Sales rep performance coaching frequency is inconsistent and the process is very informal.  The sales manager comments and observations are also very inconsistent across the company.  This also serves to under utilize sales enablement efforts.  In summary, the baseline level is more of a best effort with minimal support to the sales manager and does not support a strategically managed sales team.

At the good level, the sales manager invests the time and effort to gather information about the sales reps they manage from multiple CRM reports, brings it in excel and create the necessary information to analyze sales rep performance.  In many cases, there are information gaps in the information they collect and it is very time consuming process for the sales manager.  Since sales managers create this analysis on their own, there is also a lack of consistent coaching across the organization, but it is a step in the right direction.  At an enterprise level this solution does not scale and even with the best intentions is inconsistently delivered.

At the better level the system provides a sales rep coaching report that includes all the necessary analysis to measure sales rep performance.  Sales managers are still left to draw their own conclusions.  Sales rep coaching is more consistent because the preparation work is minimized.  The coaching report provides the necessary information including:

To understand the health of the sales pipeline the profile report shows a summary of the sales pipeline by pipeline stage.  This also shows how much time is spent in each stage compared to close-won deals to understand how this person compares to the rest of the company and how old opportunities are in the sales pipeline for this rep/manager.  

Extending volume calculations beyond just number of opportunities and sales pipeline amount to break it down by stage and compare it to close won deals as shown below:

Sales Rep Performance by sales stage

 

It also includes volumes and shows the trend over time for:

  • Number of “Closed Won” opportunities
  • Number of “Closed Lost” opportunities by close-loss reason.
  • New Opps added to the sales pipeline this period
  • Opps pushed out from the prior sales period to this sales period
  • Number of opps that have been pushed multiple times that are in this sales period

Sales Rep win/loss performance

 

Average deal size and trend:Sales Rep Bookings

Conversion rates take additional forms:

  • Comprehensive win rate - the win rate of all closed opportunities to total opportunities
  • Scheduled to win rate - win rate of opportunities scheduled to close in a given sales period
  • Scheduled to win opps - count of opportunities scheduled to close in a given period

An additional raw metric, there are additional metrics  normally grouped with conversion rates including:

  • Bookings, the dollar value of opportunities closed to date in the period.
  • Commit Bookings (dollar value of bookings committed by the sales rep that actually closed)
  • Commit Win Rate - the actual percentage of opportunities committed to and won vs all committed opportunities.
  • Commit $ - total value of all opportunities committed by the sales rep to close in this sales period.

Sales Rep Deal size analysis

 

Sales Cycle:

 Sales Rep Cycle Analysis

 At the best level the system provides a sales rep coaching report that includes all the necessary metrics plus the interpretation of those metrics to coach the sales rep.  The image below provides an example of those interpretations along with training links to help the sales rep learn how to create better results in the future via Brainshark.:

Sales Rep Insights

 

Sales rep performance reviews are effortless for the sales manager and they are consistent across the company.  The system is also provides benchmarking comparisons so sales reps can understand how they compare to other members of their team.

In this example below we are looking at April Hill’s profile.  April is a sales manager so these numbers are the aggregation of all her direct reports.  To do a peer to peer review of April’s direct report you can click on the icon for any metric and see how here sales reps compare as shown in the report below.

.Sales Rep Peer to Peer Analysis 

The image below provides an complete example of the Sales Rep Profile report.  It  provides a summary level of how the sales rep is performing based on their current pipeline, their forecast and how they are trending over the last five sales periods.  It includes all the content described above.  If the sales manager clicks on any of the insights on the right, the system highlights the metrics that support those insights.

Sales Rep Profile Report

 

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Lists by Topic

Leverage these best practices with automation and AI driven by TopOPPS

Learn how our customers are winning with artificial intelligence in their CRM:

  • Predictive Sales Forecasting
  • Automated Pipeline Management
  • Significantly More Updates from Reps

Watch Videos

More Recent Posts:

November 21, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Rep Coaching-Performance Reviews

This is a continuation of the previous two blogs on sales rep coaching.  This blog focuses on reviewing the sales rep’s overall performance in a one-on-one.  In a series of weekly one-on-one meetings this topic typically comes up once every four weeks.   ...

sales management, AI for Sales, best practices, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

October 30, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Weekly Pipeline/Opportunity Review

This is a continuation of the previous blog on sales rep coaching.  The prior blog reviewed how sales rep coaching fits within the sales management process and outlined best practices related to “call coaching”, one aspect of sales rep coaching.  This blog focuses another aspect of sales rep coaching --  sales pipeline reviews and detail opportunity reviews.  The next blog will focus on the third aspect of sales rep coaching, sales rep performance one-on-ones.   ...

sales management, Sales Process, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, automated sales rep coaching, sales best practices, Sales coaching

October 16, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Rep Coaching and One-on-Ones

Sales rep coaching and sales manager/sales rep one-on-ones are the catalyst for sales optimization and sales growth. They are also the tool for increasing the sales rep proficiency and converting C and B quality sales reps to B and A players.  Some supporting research from CSO Insights reveals a correlation between quota attainment and coaching.  The study found the better the sales manager coaching the higher quota attainment.   ...

Sales Executives, Sales Tools, AI for Sales, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

August 26, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Management Process

The next four blog posts will focus on the sales management process.  This is the overarching sales processes between sales leadership and sales managers, sales managers and sales reps and sales operations with sales leadership, sales management and sales reps.  These processes align the different sales groups towards the same goals. This is the fourth category of blog series Best Practices for B2B Sales Pipeline and Forecast Management based on the original blog post for this best practice series started on January 21st. ...

sales management, AI for Sales, sales best practices

August 19, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Opportunity Postmortem

or a sales team, complacency is the enemy of improvement and growth.   Top sales teams continuously improve to achieve better standards, no matter what level of success they have reached in the past.  The blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline Data & Process Improvement, focused on using analytics as a basis to identify bottlenecks in the sales process and create a process for continual improvement.  That is one way.  Doing a sales postmortem is another.  It provides an operational perspective on how to enhance the sales process. ...

sales best practices, sales opportunity management, sales account management

August 11, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Always Know the Next Step

The most important step in any sales process is the NEXT step.   It is a hurdle that must be cleared to give you the right to move to the “NEXT, NEXT” step.  The next step is not granted, but earned by successful completion of the current step.  The next step has to be set up with the buyer as you finish out the current step.  ...

AI for Sales, Guided Selling, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility, sales opportunity management

August 4, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Guided Selling

Guided selling is the process of prescribing optimal sales execution steps to the sales reps to enforce a consistent and efficient sales process. The tasks and process are based on sales patterns of past close-won, and close-lost opportunities. Dynamic guided selling is the automated collection of prospect interactions and seller activities with the application of artificial intelligence and pattern matching to prescribe optimal buyer role based sales execution steps  and coaching ...

AI for Sales, Guided Selling, sales best practices, sales milestones

July 28, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Account Management

This blog may be a little controversial.  Many blogs and white papers talk about account management as a sales function.  Sales reps target accounts to sell to.  They then flush out sales opportunities within the account and work on closing those opportunities.  At TopOPPS we take a broader approach to account management.  We believe account management starts with marketing.  It includes both marketing and sales. ...

Sales Funnel, Marketing Funnel, sales best practices, sales opportunity management, sales account management