Posted by Bethany Handy ● January 2, 2014

360-Degree Feedback for Your Sales Team

Thinkhndy Marketing sales coaching

Feedback is a critical piece to job performance. You should try to make performance feedback a constructive opportunity for growth. Giving your salespeople both positive and negative feedback will help them be successful in the long run. The 360-Degree feedback approach looks to encompass multiple sources of information in order to get a better picture of an individual's performance.

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360-Degree Feedback Basics

Many times feedback sessions fail to accurately express true performance because they only the opinion of the supervisor has been taken into consideration. 360-Degree feedback sessions strive to get input from many.

360-Degree Feedback includes feedback from:

  • Supervisors
  • Self
  • Peers
  • Followers
  • Customers

Using the 360-Degree Feedback method provides a more robust view and can better help your salespeople hone in on areas that they can improve.

360-Degree Feedback Session Guidelines

To run an effective feedback session for your sales team members you must have guidelines in place for providing feedback.

  1. Be Specific - Specificity will enhance comprehension of your feedback.
  2. Focus on Changeable Behaviors - Do not focus on personality-based characteristics.
  3. Plan Ahead - Schedule all feedback sessions in advance so that all parties are prepared.
  4. Be Mindful- Clear away all distractions before beginning a feedback session. You should be giving your salesperson your undivided attention during their feedback session.

Have a Plan

All feedback sessions should be accompanied with a plan of action on ways to increase performance. Feedback sessions will heighten your sales team's self awareness and provides a great opportunity for you to coach them on better sales performance practices.

Performance Management Pitfalls

360-Degree Feedback sessions are a great way to give your sales team regular feedback but there are some performance management pitfalls that you should be aware of before you enter into a feedback session.

1. Lack of Defined Expectations

Every member of your team should know what is expected of them. You should clearly define how your salespeople are to do their work.

2. Lack of Defined Performance Measurement Standard

You need to have a defined system for measuring performance that is the same across the board for your entire sales team. Maybe your system looks at amount of sales, or maybe yours looks at customer satisfaction or retention. It might be best to create a hybrid measurement standard that looks at many aspects of the sales person's performance. The main thing to keep in mind is that the way you measure your salespeople should not change based on the individual it should be fair and consistent.

Taking a holistic approach to your sales team feedback sessions will help your sales team perform better. Using the 360-Degree Feedback approach will give you and your team members a comprehensive look at strengths and weaknesses within your organization. Having a coaching plan in place will help you help your sales people become the best that they can be.

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