Everyone wants to get better at what they do, right?
That’s why companies have quarterly business reviews. As the name suggests, a quarterly business review assesses a rep’s performance from the previous quarter. It also gives management a chance to sit down with a rep and determine how they can improve their sales representative skills so that they can continue excelling in their role.
But let’s be real. Quarterly business reviews probably aren’t the most exciting part of a manager’s job. Plus, managers are notoriously busy.
Still, these reviews are essential! After all, you want to see your reps thrive. So we are going to make it easy for you to prepare. You can start by:
- Organizing the reporting
- Creating visuals of productivity metrics
- Readjusting quotas (if necessary)
- Collecting peer feedback
A successful conversation begins with a solid plan for discussion topics and action items. Here are some tips for conducting a stellar quarterly business review.
Collect the Relevant Sales Reports
Think of your part in the review process as a storyteller. What did the sales rep accomplish this quarter? In which areas can they improve? However, your story can’t just come out of thin air. It needs to be based on rep performance data.
To conduct a thorough and accurate review, ensure you have your facts and figures down in front of you. You can do this by using sales reports from your CRM (customer relationship management) software. These reports might include quarter-over-quarter growth by close rates, sales revenue, or the deals closed compared to the rep’s goals.
The main thing to remember is that your review should be data-driven, so find the right information based on sales reports and productivity metrics.
Unfortunately, in some cases, the performance data might tell you a story that doesn’t have a happy ending. Prepare for tough conversations that result in performance improvement plans or resignations.
Based on the reports you pulled, you can do two things:
- Compare the rep’s current performance with their past performance.
- Forecast where the rep is going based on their current performance.
This can identify crucial areas for the rep to focus on as they move into the next quarter. This also creates the opportunity to collaborate with the rep and determine how to sustain positive behaviors and adjust others for better results.
Make It Visually Engaging
There is plenty of research on the benefits of visualizing data. According to a Toptal article on the history and psychology of data visualization, “presenting data visually accelerates our perception and helps to reduce cognitive load.” Humans aren’t robots, so a list of numbers is tough to compute.
Instead, make it easy and consumable for the rep by providing charts and graphs to help them see where they need to progress in the following quarter.
Articulate the Big Picture
Sales reps need to meet their goals, but it’s just as essential that they know why they either hit those goals or fell short.
As part of the quarterly business review, identify specific productivity metrics that directly impacted a goal. This is a great opportunity to coach, especially related to the quality of a productivity metric. For example, maybe a rep’s talk ratio is way off. What percent increase or decrease would you like to see in their talk ratio by the end of the next quarter?
Keep It Concise
The session doesn’t need to be quick, but it should be concise. Try not to overwhelm the rep with data or areas for improvement. Instead, focus on these questions:
- In which areas did they excel?
- Why did they do particularly well in those areas?
- How can they exceed their goals next quarter?
Do the same thing for areas of improvement. Which goals did they miss and why? How can they improve in those areas next quarter? Be specific, clear, and concise. The last thing you want is to make a rep feel clueless about their next steps!
Be Open to Feedback
Remember that not all conversations will be the same. Some reps will engage in dialogue and ask for areas of improvement, whereas others may have trouble receiving constructive criticism.
Use each quarterly business review as an opportunity to develop your coaching skills. Be receptive to feedback concerning how you can improve as a manager. Recent research suggests that future-focused feedback has more positive outcomes than past performance feedback. To get started, ask your rep how you can improve in future quarterly business reviews.
Nail Quarterly Business Reviews with a Data-Driven Sales Management Platform
How are you going to track all that data and display it in easy-to-digest visuals? Consider demoing a data-driven sales management platform, such as Atrium. Atrium provides endless data on rep performance, indicating where they are meeting goals, missing others, and more.
Also, use this template to gather and present key business drivers for quarterly business reviews.