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What Is Performance Management?

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And is it right for my team?

There are many types of management styles out there – so how do you know which one is right for your team? It all comes down to what you do, how you do it, and who exactly is doing it. As there is no set way to define a management type by role or department, it very much has to align with the values and processes that your team already has in place.

That said – a performance management system can often work very well in sales teams. Without painting you all with the same brush, salespeople are competitive, driven individuals who strive for success. In this environment, performance management is often a very compatible management system to follow.

How to build a performance management plan.

The structure for performance management focuses on the ongoing review of performance in the attempt to encourage consistent development of skills and promote professional progression. Basically speaking, continuous updates on how an employee is progressing can greatly improve their development, as there is always a next step to work towards. But how is this structure implemented?

Generally, there are 3 steps that can be followed.

  • Plan
  • Observe
  • Evaluate


To implement an effective performance management system, it’s important to identify specific goals for everyone within your team. These can be constructed together, based on what you want them to achieve, as well as the areas that they want to develop personally. Though there may be some crossover or general goals that you want your entire team to achieve, generally these will be personal to each employee. Once you have agreed on what you want your salespeople to achieve, it’s also important to make sure there are clear objectives as to how they’re going to do so, and within what time frame.


The next step of performance management is to ‘sit back and watch’. Simply observe your team’s performance… though that may be easier said than done dependent on the size of your team, and how well they perform. The best way to do this strategically is to set yourself triggers or identifiers that let you know whether they are successfully achieving their targets. Whether implementing something as simple as numerical identifiers, or something more subjective – you can then make decisions based on whether or not particular objectives are being met by certain deadlines.


The review process is the final and most important step in a performance management system. Analysing performance, and subsequently praising or being critical where necessary, is essential to its effectiveness. Being strategic in the delivery feedback is also crucial, and can help to form adapted goals for your employees to continue to work towards. Don’t just tell them where they excelled, explain why. Don’t just tell them where improvements were needed, explain what they can do to improve. Identifying where they faced challenges and providing them with the necessary help to overcome this is the best way to not only manage performance, but actively improve it.

Sales management types can vary from team to team, company to company. A performance management plan is often well suited for sales teams due to their natural drive. Continuous review and development not only helps them to progress, but should lead to a better functioning team, with increased sales.

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