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CHAPTER 16
EVALUATION OF SALESPEOPLE’S PERFORMANCE

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Performance appraisals are excellent methods for building a strong and effective sales program. This chapter should help you understand:  What a performance appraisal involves.  The uses of performance appraisals.  Who does the evaluation and how often salespeople should be evaluated.  How performance criteria are developed.  The accuracy of performance appraisals and what can influence that accuracy.  The importance of evaluating the evaluation system.
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PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS – WHAT ARE THEY?
THE PURPOSE AND IMPORTANCE OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

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Numerous specific reasons for performance appraisals exist:
• Compensation • Development • Feedback • Goals • Legal compliance • Motivation • Penalties • Personnel • Planning • Promotion • Training

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TABLE 16.1 COMPARISON OF EVALUATIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL ASPECTS OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL

COMPARISON FACTORS
Time Objective

EVALUATIVE ROLE
Past sales performance Improve performance by rewarding based on performance Use of evaluation forms

DEVELOPMENTAL ROLE
Future performance Improve performance through self-learning, e.g., taking selling courses Management by objective (MBO) approach to goal setting, career planning Encourage and help salesperson Active involvement in developing future career and performance plans

Method

Manager’s role Salesperson’s role

Evaluate performance Explain past performance; react to evaluation

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FIGURE 16.1 THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL’S INFLUENCE ON SALES PERSONNEL MOTIVATION, BEHAVIOR, AND PERFORMANCE

P er f o r m a n ce A p p r a isa l M otiva tion to W ork E ffo r t P er f o r m a n c e L ev el R ew a r d s E q u ity D e t er m i n a t i o n

S a t i s f a ct i o n

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The performance level a salesperson attains results from a combination of the individual’s effort and ability. Ability, in turn, reflects the individual’s skills, training, information, and talents.

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After determining the equity of – and satisfaction from – the rewards resulting from the appraisal, the individual again asks these four questions:
1. What is the probability of success? 2. Will I be rewarded for success? 3. Are the rewards worth it? 4. Are the rewards fair?

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FIGURE 16.2 THE SALESPERSON PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM WITH ITS NUMEROUS PARTS, PROCESSES, AND PROCEDURES
Purpose of Performance Evaluation
Job D e s c r i p ti o n J o b A n a ly s is D im e n sio n s Job R e q u i r e m e n ts Job S p e c i f i c a ti o n s P e rfo r m a n c e C rite ria
P la n n i n g I m p le m e n ti n g E va lu a tin g

Evaluative • Compensation • Legal • Penalties • Personnel • Promotion Developmental • Development • Feedback • Goals • Motivation • Planning • Training

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Planning, implementing, and evaluating the performance appraisal system involves:
1. Who should evaluate salespeople? 3. Are the criteria appropriate? 4. What forms should be used for gathering information? 5. What may influence the appraisal’s accuracy? 6. How should the appraisal be conducted? 7. How can the appraisal process be evaluated?
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2. When should salespeople be evaluated?

WHO SHOULD EVALUATE SALESPEOPLE?
The primary evaluator should be the salesperson’s immediate supervisor because this person has direct knowledge, having actually worked with the salesperson.

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WHEN SHOULD SALESPEOPLE BE EVALUATED?
Salespeople should be evaluated at the end of each performance cycle. A performance cycle is a period related to specific product goals or job activities.

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FIGURE 16.3 POSSIBLE MANAGEMENT INPUT INTO THE SALESPERSON’S PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

Regional Manager

D is tri c t M an ag er

D is tri c t M an ag er

H o m e O ffic e P e rso n n e l S p e c ia list

S a l e s p e r s o n ’s I m m e d i a t e D i s tric t M a n a g e r

D is tri c t M an ag er

D is tri c t M an ag er

S a le s p e r s o n

D ir e c t in p u t p e r fo r m a n c e e v a lu a tio n I n d ir e c t in p u t p e r fo r m a n c e e v a lu a tio n

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ARE THE PERFORMANCE CRITERIA APPROPRIATE?
A criterion is a standard on which a judgment or decision may be based.

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Guidelines for Performance Criteria
• Measurable • Practical • Relevant • Discriminating • Stable

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Quantitative Performance Criteria
1. Sales volume a. Percentage of increase b. Market share c. Quotas obtained 2. Average sales calls per day 3. New customers obtained 4. Gross profit by product, customer, and order size 5. Ratio of selling costs to sales 6. Sales orders a. Daily number of orders 1) Total 2) By size, customer classification, and product b. Order to sales-call ratio
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Qualitative Performance Criteria
1. Sales Skills a. Finding selling points b. Product knowledge c. Listening skills d. Obtaining participation e. Overcoming objections f. Closing the sale 2. Territorial management a. Planning b. Utilization c. Records d. Customer service e. Collections f. Follow-up 1. Personal traits a. Attitude b. Empathy c. Human relations d. Team spirit e. Appearance f. Motivation g. Care of car h. Self-improvement

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PERFORMANCE EVALUATION FORMS FOR GATHERING INFORMATION
• Graphic appraisal scales

• Descriptive statements • Management by objectives • Behaviorally anchored rating scales • 360 degree feedback

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INFLUENCES ON A PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL’S ACCURACY
• New Sales Managers • False Performance Results • Personalities Enter In • Central Tendency Errors
Managers may tend to rate all salespeople average on all performance criteria.

• Different Evaluation Standards • The Halo Effect
A positive or negative “aura” may be associated with an individual.
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INFLUENCES ON A PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL’S ACCURACY continued
•The Manager’s Attitudes • Salespeople’s Expectations

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RULES FOR PERFOMANCE APPRAISALS
• Be Objective • Set Goals and Standards • Be Honest • Be Consistent • Use Proper Documentation • Follow Company Policy
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CONDUCTING THE APPRAISAL SESSION
Possibly the most challenging part of a manager’s job is effectively conducting the performance appraisal session. 1. Both manager and salesperson should be prepared for the interview. 2. Be positive. 3. Actually review performance.
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Possibly the most challenging part of a manager’s job is effectively conducting the performance appraisal session. continued 1. Finalize the performance evaluation. 2. Summarize the total performance evaluation. 3. Develop mutually agreed upon objectives. 4. Formalize the evaluation and objectives.

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The following are important when reviewing performance:
• An open discussion of each performance criterion. • The salesperson’s discussion of performance. • The salesperson’s evaluation of his or her own performance. • The manager’s view of performance. • Mutual agreement on the performance level that must be established. • If disagreement occurs, the manager’s careful explanation of why a low evaluation was given.
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TABLE 16.5 DO’S AND DON’TS ON TERMINATION

DO’S
• Put everything in writing. Leave a paper trail. Use a witness to the discussions on unacceptable performance. • Sit down one-on-one with the individual in a private office. • Complete a termination session within 15 minutes. • Provide a written explanation of severance benefits. • Provide outplacement services away from company headquarters. • Be sure the employee hears about his or her termination from a manager, not a colleague. • Express appreciation for what the employee has contributed, if appropriate.

DON’TS
• Don’t leave room for confusion about the firing. Tell the individual in the first sentence that he or she is terminated. • Don’t allow time for debate during the termination session. • Don’t make personal comments when firing someone; keep the conversation professional. • Don’t rush a fired employee offsite unless security is an issue. • Don’t fire people on significant dates, like the 25th anniversary of their employment or the day their mother died. • Don’t fire employees when they are on vacation or have just returned.

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EVALUATE THE EVALUATION SYSTEM
The specific evaluation of a sales force’s appraisal system requires the examination of several aspects of the entire system.

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The following questions can provide an assessment of the specific components:
1. What does the sales force want its performance appraisal system to do? Does the firm have goals and objectives for the system? 2. Do procedures exist for gathering data to measure how well the goals and objectives are being met? 3. Do the appraisal forms really elicit the information to serve these goals and objectives? 4. Are the appraisal interviews done effectively?
Copyright © 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

FIGURE 16.6 THE RELATIONSHIP OF MARKETING TO SALES FORCE MANAGEMENT

M a r k e tin g M a n a g e m e n t
D e v e lo p M a r k e t in g - M ix S t r a t e g ie s D e f in e M a r k e t S eg m en ts an d T arg et M ark e ts C u sto m er s E n v ir o n m e n ta l A n a ly s is C o r p o rate M is s io n an d O b je c tiv e M a r k e t in g O b je c t iv e s E stim a te M a r k e t P o te n tia l a n d F o re c a s t S a le s P ro d u ct M ark et E n tr y

P r ic e

P la c e a n d D istr ib u tio n

P r o m o tio n

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FIGURE 16.6 THE RELATIONSHIP OF MARKETING TO SALES FORCE MANAGEMENT continued

S ale s F o r c e M a n a g e m e n t
F eed b ack

D e f in e R o le s a n d M ark e ts o f S a le s F o r c e
P lan S a le s F o rce O b je c t iv e s, S tr a te g ie s, T a c tic s

S taf f in g M a r k e tin g M ix E v a lu a t io n • P ro d u ct • P ro m o tio n • P ric e • C h a n n e ls

T ra in in g

S ale s F o r c e P erfo rm an ce A n a ly s is a n d E v a lu a tio n

C o r p o rate P erfo rm an ce •RO A • S ale s • M arket • S h are

E s ta b lis h O r g a n iz a tio n a l D e sig n an d S tr u c tu re

D ir e c t in g

F eed b ack

F eed b ack F eed b ack

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C u sto m e r s

THE BOTTOM LINE
Effective job performance is essential for organizations to stay in business and for salespeople to keep their jobs. Managers must be aware of the legal repercussions of performance appraisals. Companies must develop, relevant, discriminating, and stable criteria. Performance evaluations serve to reward effective performers and penalize ineffective salespeople. Many difficulties can be corrected if performance evaluations are effectively conducted.
Copyright © 2001 by Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.

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