Larry Cipolla
December 12, 2012

Even if a company does not have a large sales team, or it's not at the center of the business strategy, it's still crucial to ensure that the department runs as smoothly as possible.

Harvard Business Review explains that a successful company has not only a well-oiled sales team, but a strong manager leading the way. When managers understand where all team members are coming from, and how they feel the department can be improved, they will have an easier time helping all employees move forward.

When 360 feedback is used with the sales department, managers can highlight their employees' strengths and provide guidance for other areas. This process also takes in feedback from customers, so a sales force knows first-hand which tactics are working and which are not.

According to the technology and business blog Entrepreneur, when evaluating your sales force, it's important to have a clear idea of what you want the team to accomplish. For some companies, selling is mainly done through mailings over the Internet and a sales force is optional.

"For other companies, however, the salesperson is the most visible – and perhaps the only – outward manifestation of the company seen by customers," the article said. "This type of salesperson carries a heavy load. He or she has to uphold the company's image, hold the customers' hands, interface with delivery and repair departments at headquarters, and, of course, get the sale."

When managers institute the 360 degree feedback process with their sales team, they can ensure that positive sales development will occur, pushing the business forward. By using feedback from customers and team members, a manager will be able to work with the sales department to create a productive and cohesive unit.

Regardless of company size and how many sales team members there are, the 360 feedback process will be beneficial. It encourages open communication and allows for multiple voices to be heard, creating a comprehensive and well-rounded solution.