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Sales Assessment – How To Evaluate Your Team

Most assessments are used to gather relevant information about a person or candidate to find the best match for the role and organization and tend to measure interests, personality, and aptitude. Those measurements are great for hiring, but not great at determining the health of your sales team. A sales assessment analyzes and evaluates your teams' skills based on your organization's needs and wants. Here is what you need to know about sales assessments.

Typical Sales Assessment

Typically, most sales leaders will only look at how much revenue their sales team produced to gauge their health. If the team makes their goal, they are good, but they are bad if they missed their goal. That might not always be the case.

To really know how your sales team is doing, you will want to dig deeper. Ask yourself and your team these questions:

  • How many accounts has your team landed? Has it gone up or down?
  • How many accounts grew? By how much?
  • What is the condition of your accounts? How many stopped ordering? Did you lose any?
  • How is your close rate? Up or down? Does your team know the average close rate? How does it compare to last year's team goal?
  • What is your average deal size? Getting better or getting worse? Is the average deal size going down every year?

After you've gathered more information, you will have a better idea of how your team is doing and how they arrived at the revenue number.

Your Best Salesperson May Not be Your Best Seller

The health of your team needs to be looked at from several angles. After looking at your team as a whole, break it down to the individual level with independent sales assessments. When asked, "who is your best salesperson" chances are someone instantly pops into your head. But when asked "why," the most common response is "they made the most sales." This can be misleading.

According to HubSpot, only "51% of sales leaders rely on data to measure sales rep performance." While looking at your "top performer," examine their territory. You could have a salesperson in an excellent dense territory, which makes their sales look great. Or you could have a salesperson in an underdeveloped territory who grew it from very little. Who is better in that instance?

Sales leaders need to consider other factors like territory, deal size, and close rate when determining the "best salesperson."

Analyze at the Individual Level

Every company is different and has different needs. For example, if you are more of an established company, you may need salespeople who can build and retain accounts. Or, if you're a newer company, you may need salespeople who will generate new leads and obtain new customers.

Either way, you need to establish what works for your salespeople with an individual sales assessment and looking at The Big Three.

Opportunities

Start with looking at the number of opportunities each salesperson generates.

Analyzing events or milestones in your sales process that you know typically lead to sales, such as discovery calls or meetings, new "qualified" opportunities, demonstrations (demos) of your product or service, or site visits are your opportunities. Knowing them helps to understand what works for your salesperson and company.

Close rate

Next, what percentage of your leading indicators should convert into a closed deal? That is your close rate.

Do your salespeople know who the correct decision-makers are? Are they talking with them? Is your team doing decent discovery? Are they differentiating well?

Deal size

Average deal size can depend on your type of company; some companies look at average sales, deals, or project sizes.

Even if your salespeople find many opportunities and they close them, it is hard to hit their numbers if all of those deals are small. If this is the case, are your salespeople discounting? Are they going after the right-size clients? Are they chasing anything and everything?

Now that you know the three numbers, you can start to see the areas that each salesperson may need to improve.

Evaluate Your Salesperson's skills

Now that you know your Big Three, it is time to evaluate how each of your salespeople are doing by rating them in other key areas. Choose the most critical categories based on role and what the company needs. Categories can include but are not limited to:

  • Prospecting and networking
  • Presentation skills
  • Negotiation and closing
  • Communication abilities
  • Forecasting skills

For example, maybe one of your salespeople is great at prospecting and scaring up all kinds of deals, but they aren't great at follow-through. They send the quote and then fall off the face of the earth. They would probably rank relatively low in communication ability.

Or perhaps you have a salesperson who is excellent at retaining customers and follow through but is deadly afraid of picking up the phone. They would probably rank low in the prospecting and networking category.

Once you've evaluated your salespeople, be honest with them and let them know where they stand. Work with them to create a development plan and continue to encourage and search for solutions to actively improve. A sales assessment is just one tool to help with that.

In The End

A sales assessment analyzes your sales team's skills overall and on an individual level. Performing a sales assessment lets you know how your company is doing and your salespeople's areas of strength or weakness. When was the last time you completed a sales assessment?

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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