The Performance Improvement of a Sales Manager

free essayThe purpose can be reached through the critical analysis of the work system in the company and the assessment of the accomplishments of the sales managers. The rationale of the paper is the consideration whether the existing performance appraisal system meets the industry standards. Also, the project evaluates the correspondence of the method to the framework of the knowledge background of established experts in the field. The considerations determine the necessity of changing the existing organizational system. The successful performance of the steps will assure that the company is hiring the right people for the right places, who perform their work in the best possible way. The great variety of expert scholarly literature on performance appraisal was thoroughly analyzed in the current work. The literature review methodology helps to develop relevant and attainable approach of becoming the employee of choice. The balance between the theoretical knowledge and the realistic framework is organized through the comprehensive and critical assessment of the theories presented by experts, and their applicability to the real life conditions.

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Description of the Position

Sales manager is the employee who implements the sales plans. The performance gaps of the position are related to the lack of the proper communication with the clients, insufficient sales, and loosing of customers. The major responsibility required for the position is meeting sales targets through the realization of thoroughly developed sales plans. Sales managers should devise strategies and develop techniques directed on the achievement of sales targets through attracting potential customers, communicating with the existing and possible clients, developing advertising, and promoting brands. Also, the job implies analysis of the existing sales, determination of gaps and introducing timely solutions to the issues (Management Study Guide, 2016).

Performance Appraisal and Performance Management Systems

Performance appraisal system of sales managers is directed on making an emphasis on the employee’s attitudes towards current and possible clients. It also includes evaluation of communication and stress management skills the ability to reach organizational goals of selling the particular amount of production. The performance appraisal system of sales managers emphasizes setting goals by managers and supervisors in the form of results and behaviors. Results are the amount of sold production, while the behaviors refer to manager’s communication with clients (politeness, tolerance, patience). Unlike performance management, performance appraisal of employees defines the time frame, for example, one year (Aguinis et al, 2011). The evaluation is performed several times a year by the supervisor. The person determines the strong and weak sides of sales managers.

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The organization’s approach to performance management is reflected in the continuous measurement of the work of sales managers. It assesses clients’ satisfaction and amount of sold products, compares the current and previous results, analyzes sales data, and determines actions to improve the work of sales managers. The performance appraisal system is “directly related to the organizational performance and have a direct impact on it” (Naukri Hub, n.d., p.1). The idea is based on the understanding that the time of the sales goal achievement (i.e. selling of certain amount of products) depends on quality of employees’ work (communication with clients and the ability to sell). Assessment of work of sales managers is realized via the questionnaires distributed to the clients. Determination of different levels of performance is made by using the customer satisfaction survey and the comparison of sales plan. The first involves supervisors collecting clients’ reviews concerning their cooperation with sales managers and analyzing the feedback. The second compares the amount of sold products to the stated plan. Then, the feedbacks on the sales managers’ work is given by using strength-based approach that focuses on strong sides of workers instead of their weaknesses. After the completion of the evaluation, employee are rewarded or punished according to the terms of the special contract. The supervisor makes the appraisal decision on the outcomes of analysis of the sales managers’ work.

Theoretical Framework

The performance appraisal and the performance management systems presented in the current work are based on the information from the following scholarly literature by Aguinis, Joo, and Gottfredson (2011, 2012), Cascio (1982) and Kondrasuk (2012).

The evaluation of the employee’s work with performance appraisal system contains the two components: analysis of the performance and determination of strong and weak sides. The two major purposes of the system is developmental and administrative (Kondrasuk, 2012). The first purpose is the identification of the quality through the identification of strong and weak sides. Also, it aims at helping the person to improve. Administrative function is reflected in making “administrative decisions such as if and how much to award in pay increases, what training is necessary or helpful to improve employee performance” (Kondrasuk, 2012, p.63).

The organization’s approach to performance management represents “a continuous process of identifying, measuring, and developing the performance of individuals and teams and aligning performance with the strategic goals of the organization” (Aguinis et al, 2011, p.504). The method is based on continuous assessment of the quality of employees’ work through the measuring of performance. It includes the assessment of their communication with clients and analysis of sales results by head managers and supervisors. The step is necessary for establishment of timely and effective methods to improve the work of employees and lead to achievement of the organizational goals. Measurement of results and behaviors is completed with the background of the past and current data. Supervisors should thoroughly analyze the results and create personal development plans for the employees. The plans aim to capitalize on the strong features and “provide a course of action to improve weakness” (Aguinis et al, 2011, p.505).

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The current work contains the analysis of the work of employees. It is completed by special supervisor, who establishes  SMART organizational goals (Cascio, 1982). The employee and employer should develop jointly the performance standards to avoid any misunderstanding in the future. The benchmarks clearly identify acceptable and unacceptable employee behavior and form the background of the performance appraisal system. Assessment of performance should be done by the person, who has sufficient skills, knowledge, and working experience. The additional emphasis should allocate to the elimination of biased attitude of both the qualified appraiser and worker. Supervisors have to pay attention not only to the final results, but also to the working conditions of the ratee. The evaluator also bears the responsibility for the rewards and punishments.

After the evaluation of the sales managers’ work, supervisors should give the reliable and relevant performance feedbacks. They will help “to enhance employee engagement, motivation and job satisfaction” (Aguinis et al, 2012, p.105). The considerable benefit of the action lies in the fact that the feedbacks improve employee’s performance on the ongoing basis. Moreover, personal engagement into the working process and job satisfaction increases. Consequently, organizational goals will be achieved faster. Supervisors should make feedbacks on the information concerning employee’s past and current performance (Aguinis et al, 2012). Supervisors should select strength-based methodology instead of weakness-centered one. The factor is necessary for eliminating “employee dissatisfaction, defensive reaction, a decreased desire to improve individual performance, and less actual improvement in the same” (Aguinis et al, 2012, p.106). Strength-based approach to giving feedbacks enhances personal well-being and engagement into the working process, creates the perception of fairness, and improves motivation. The process takes several steps: identification of strong sides of employees, providing positive feedbacks for exhibiting desirable behavior, and “asking employees to maintain or improve their behaviors or results by making continued or more intensive use of their strengths” (Aguinis et al, 2012, p.108).

After the assessment of work, supervisors will determine whether the employee should be punished or rewarded according to the terms of the special contract. Previously negotiated remuneration helps to focus attention of employees on the work instead of obtaining financial reward. Also, they attempt constant professional improvement and self-development (Cascio, 1982).

Application and Analysis

The major principles of performance appraisal system described above are the basis for performance evaluation of sales managers. The rater is to have appropriate knowledge, skills, and past experience of work as a sales manager in the organization. Clear understanding of the role and responsibilities of a sales manager forms the background of the proper performance assessment and relevant feedbacks. The major responsibility of a sales manager is selling the product through implementation of the sales plans. The successful communication with clients and establishment of reliable and trustful relationships with them are the key components to the results attainment. Therefore, the work of sales manager will be analyzed according to the two parameters: interaction with the clients and achievement the targeted amount of sold products.

How It Works

Special supervisor assesses the level of customer satisfaction from communication with the sales representative by employing specially developed questionnaires. The person also determines the amount of sold goods by each sales manager. The methodologies assure that evaluation accounts for various aspects: communication skills, withstanding stressful situations, and the ability to reach the organizational goals. Supervisor identifies strong and weak sides in the work of employee from the assessment. The raters should pay attention to the previous and current indicators. The feedbacks to managers will be delivered on a strength-based approach. The rater is to make the emphasis on the professional achievements of ratee, i.e. the responses of satisfied clients and sold production. The actions will be described in special personal development plans created by supervisors and approved by sales managers. The grounded and relevant feedback has the aim to increase managers’ involvement into the organizational performance, increase personal motivation and job satisfaction.

The outcomes of the analysis will also form the background for the personal development plans directed on the rectification of gaps in the sales managers’ work. The framework can contain the special communication trainings, stress management courses, or the practice of selling skills. The major purpose of the plans should correspond to the goals of organization. The development of learning plans is important factor for the prosperity of the company, because it grants the improvement of the work of sales managers. The appraisals lead to the quality of improvement, increase of sales and satisfaction of clients.

The final stage of the performance appraisal process of sales managers is allocation of punishment or reward to ratee. Supervisor makes the remuneration decision derived from the outcomes of assessment of the work of employee. The preliminarily negotiated with the ratees should note the special contract. Consequently, the assessed sales manager is informed concerning the financial awards in the case of performance of high quality work. The motivation results constant improvement of professional skills and knowledge.

The above information shows that the described organizational performance appraisal system meets the test of relevance and reliability. Firstly, the assessment of employees is performed by the knowledgeable, skillful, and experienced person. The obtained results are reflected in the fulfillment of sales plan determined by the organization. Secondly, the assessment of sales managers’ work is completed by supervisor and clients. The method decreases the possibility of biased attitude towards the worker. Thirdly, the sales manager is acknowledged about possible financial bonuses because they are mentioned in the separate contract. The person clearly understands that in case of good results, he will obtain financial benefits or vice versa.

The developed performance appraisal system is relevant because the backgrounds of assessment, the methods of analysis and final actions can be changed. The feasibility of the developed system is granted by the fact that any organization can realize the available means. They include supervision, funds, and money on the assessment. The performance appraisal does not pose any threat to the further work of employees and the company. It does not break the legal framework and social rules, or prejudice the rights or interests of employees. Thus, the described performance appraisal system is considered acceptable, appropriate, and legal.

The theoretical knowledge formed the background for every stage of the organization’s performance appraisal. The scholarly literature helps to determine the best way of sales workers’ assessment, the method of feedbacks presentation of that does not harm the relationships between employer and employee. The researchers show the necessity of creating the personal development plans for avoiding the gaps in manager’s work. Moreover, the methods of financial rewards and punishments should be preliminarily discussed and mentioned in the separate contract.

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Conclusions, Recommendations, and Reflections

The coursework presented the description of the performance appraisal system of sales managers. The system was developed on the background of the relevant scholarly sources, which help to determine the best approach for the performance assessment in the sales department. The scholars provided the variety of recommendations and the pros and cons of appraisal. The information was collaborated to derive the relevant suggestions. It determined the most effective, relevant, and practicable system. The recommendation is to conduct the analysis of sales managers’ work by employing special supervisors. Thus, it considers the most relevant factors for the successful work of sales manager. The aspects include sales figures and satisfaction of customers and supervisors. Moreover, actions of sales managers should be congruent with the goals of the organization.

Supervisor should analyze the aforementioned factors, provide feedbacks emphasizing the strengths of ratees, create personal development plans, and determine the financial reward or punishment. The supervisors should also consider the quality of employees’ work before the commencement of performance appraisal. The actions are directed on improving the work of sales managers, and increasing their motivation and job satisfaction. However, the organization can improve the described performance appraisal system by making additional research concerning the methods of evaluation. The employees involved in sales activities and communication with clients have to cope with various stressful situations. Moreover, the method of selecting the supervisor is crucial, as well as hiring him/her to inside the company or as an external expert. The aspect is relevant because it can influence on the final outcomes of the performance appraisal system of sales managers. On the one hand, supervisor, who works in the organization, can have biased attitude towards sales managers. On the other hand, supervisor hired from may not understand all aspects of sales managers’ work in the described company.

The overall reflection from the research conducted improves the relevance of personal skills and knowledge. The work of each employees and the entire organization can be improved by the thoroughly developed and effective performance appraisal system. Thus, research base is crucial in contributing to the success of the organization and sales managers.