Larry Cipolla
February 5, 2013

The best way for an individual to learn is to be given examples of the ideal way to complete a task. Simply saying, “That’s wrong. Here, let me do it,” will not teach anything. Positive employee engagement that is integrated with performance-based feedback will have better long-lasting effects on businesses, especially when it comes to sales teams.

The New York Times blog explored one business owner’s approach to her sales team. Susan Parker owns the dress making company Bari Jay. She explained how there is one salaried sales manager who keeps tabs on her employees, ensuring that they remain diligent in working with companies.

“Ms. Parker said her sales manager knew every angle. When he saw frequent orders for eight dresses, he began asking the reps why they were not pushing for larger orders,” the article said. “Stores that sell Bari Jay dresses get volume discounts …  And the more dresses the sales reps put in a store, the more money they make. Still, they were not rising to the occasion.”

Parker added that the manager still wound up calling the stores himself and talking to the owners about a possible discount. Many admitted that they had not even been made aware of the opportunity by the actual sales representatives. 

Shaw said that the sales manager was essentially doing the job of his employees, which is not an ideal situation.

One of the best ways for company leaders to strengthen a sales team is not to follow behind them, making sure that the work was completed. Rather, when the 360 feedback process is used with employee evaluations, employees can receive constructive criticism on how they can improve. Not only can team members hear from their managers about which tactics are successful, the customers themselves can explain what sales maneuvers they respond the best to.

A sales force assessment is important for businesses to use, as it can help team members strengthen their approach to customers and become even better contributors to the company.