In the final discussion of “Tales from a Sales Leader”, I focused the remainder of our interview on what the Sales Executive’s company does to drive desired program behaviors. He said it is pretty simple; ”just include the requirements for the delivery of customer reviews in each sales persons annual performance review.” He was quick to point out that it is not just the sales force that is measured on the delivery of customer reviews; Sales Leadership also has a customer review requirement in their performance objectives. Everyone in sales has a vested interest in the Annual Customer Review program.
Objectives are set each year for the number of reviews required for a sales person to achieve their quota, and to be qualified for the annual sales recognition trip. The current objective for each sales person is ten (10) customer reviews for the year, while the leadership team is ranked on the number of customer reviews attended. The overall program goal is to deliver one (1) review to a customer every two (2) years.
The performance requirements for all associates responsible for delivering a review should start small during the program launch and grow over time as the program matures. The objective set by our Sales Executive’s company during the program launch was the delivery of two reviews for the year, but has grown to 10 reviews after three (3) years. The benefits of starting small and ramping to a larger number of deliveries per year include:
1. Allowing the Program Office time to incorporate feedback from customers and field resources
2. Assessing the demands on internal teams for document creation
3. Improving the overall customer review document content
4. Gaining the acceptance of the program by the sales force
Incorporating performance requirements into the Annual Customer Review program plan is an important element in creating a successful program. If you don’t inspect what you expect, the program will struggle to get off the ground. The Sales Executive wanted to stress that the attainment of the sales performance objectives by the sales force was not difficult. In fact, every Annual Customer Review delivery has netted at least one solid opportunity for every sales person. If the expectations are set correctly up front, while building each component of the Annual Customer Review program, all of those involved will find success.