One terrific use for online surveys is for sales team performance reviews. Sure, it is common for sales teams to do self-evaluations, but why not facilitate the processing using an online survey? Rather than send a form, a survey makes it easy for you to look at both individual and aggregate responses.
The question then becomes what questions should you have them answer in a self-evaluation survey? What feedback will help you really understand how they think they’re doing in their job, and in their interactions with customers, managers and coworkers?
Two approaches for gathering sales team feedback
One approach is to offer a series of statements that the sales professionals respond to. Examples of such statements are below.
But as you review these statements, consider that you have a couple of options. In the first, you would ask them to indicate how strongly they either agree or disagree with each statement (usually with a 5 or 7-point agreement scale, from “Strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”).
Alternatively, you could ask them to compare their own performance with that of their peers. Tweaking the wording slightly, the scale then runs from “Much worse than average”, through “Average”, to “Much better than average.” In this second example, they are comparing themselves to other sales people. It’s a subtle but important difference.
Now let’s look at some statements, organized by category.
1. Customer service
• I feel I effectively meet my customers’ needs.
• I feel I help solve customer problems.
• I have customers who make me work too hard.
• My customers find me friendly.
• My customers find me knowledgeable.
2. Co-worker relations
• I feel I help my coworkers to be successful.
• My coworkers demand a lot of my time.
• I feel a strong sense of connection to the entire sales team.
• My coworkers are very supportive.
3. Supervisor relations
• I feel I help my supervisor meet his/her goals.
• My supervisor puts too much stress on me.
• My manager gives me ample information about goals and expectations.
• When faced with a difficult situation, I appropriately consult my supervisor or coworkers.
• I am always open to feedback.
• When given suggestions, I put them into action.
4. Sales performance
• I exceed my sales targets.
• I am effective at identifying new sales opportunities.
• I am a reliable contributor to the sales team.
5. Personal image
• I consistently do my work with the highest ethical standards.
• I am in sales because I enjoy the challenge
• I am in sales because I enjoy the financial rewards.
• I am in sales because I enjoy working with clients.
The possibilities are endless
Clearly these statements cover a lot of ground, and some of them may not be relevant to your organization at all. Others may require some editing to be a fit for you. Hopefully, though, these suggestions will give you something to work with as you create an appropriate online survey for your team’s unique composition and your organization’s specific sales management strategy.
Typically this kind of online survey might be done on an annual basis, and could provide input for performance reviews or to point out overall trends across your sales force. Finding that many members of your sales force are having the same challenge or show the same strength? That may have implications for training needs, or suggest a need for new skill sets on the sales team.