Read this article to learn about Sales Force Management, Evaluation of Sales Performance by the Management and six areas for managerial decisions regarding the sales force- (1) Recruitment and selection of Sales force (2) Training of Sales force (3) Remuneration and expenses of Sales force (4) Supervision and direction (5) Motivation of Salesmen (6) Control and evaluation or assessment of sales performance. Let us review, in brief, important activities of sales management.

Sales Force Management and Evaluation of Sales Performance

Sales Force Management # 1. Recruitment and Selection of Sales force:

Recruitment involves searching for prospective candidates and encouraging them to apply for the job. Vacancies are finalised, advertised and applications are collected from interested candidates. Selection is concerned with choosing most suitable candidates out of many available or interested. Available candidates are scrutinised, tests and interviews are conducted to find out most suitable candidates.

Salesman is the important corner-stone upon which sales organisation is built. Success or failure of the firm depends upon the type of salesman selected. Therefore, selection must be made carefully. It is the duty of the Sales Manager to select salesmen.

But, selecting a proper salesman is a major challenge due to a number of reasons:


(a) Selling jobs becoming more difficult to perform because of the greater complexity of the products and services, the multiplicity of channels of distribution, etc.

(b) Markets today are highly competitive.

(c) Selling as a career or profession has not been fully accepted and hence, there is only limited number of salesmen who would qualify.

(d) There is a noted absence of institutions where salesmanship is taught.


Recruitment of salesmen involves the following processes:

1. Deciding the quantity of salesforce.

2. Determination of the characteristics and qualities to be possessed by the salesman.

3. Tapping the various sources of recruitment.


4. Careful selection of the candidates and finalising the employment.

Process # 1. Deciding the Quantity of Sales force:

Before the selection is undertaken, the Sales Manager should assess the need for sales force in quantitative terms, e.g., how many sales men are required, based on expansion of business and attrition due to retirement and resignation.

Process # 2. Determination of Characteristics and Qualities to Be Possessed By the Salesforce:


Job Description/Analysis:

It is concerned with the determination of nature of duties and responsibilities involved in performing effectively a particular job. Job description is concerned with a job and not the individuals. It gives details of the job to be performed and the qualities and qualifications required.

The man specification indicates the exact requirements needed for a particular job. On the basis of nature of duties, the requirements also may change. While planning man specification, emphasis should be given to the basic considerations-

(i) Can he do the job?


(ii) Will he do the job?

Generally speaking, the following qualities are required of a salesman:

i. General Qualities- Good personality, sound health, intelligence, honesty and integrity of character, sociability, consistency, and power of observation.

ii. Particular Qualities- Educational qualifications, past experience, knowledge of the product, customers and market, languages known.


iii. Technical Knowledge- Knowledge about the chemical or mechanical aspects of the product to be sold, knowledge of legal implications involved in the sales activities, etc.

Process # 3. Source of Recruitment of Salesforce:

After job analysis and man-specification, every possible source should be tapped to select the most efficient salesman.

The various sources are as follows:


(a) Company’s own staff (promotion)

(b) Competing firms (not ethical — higher salary)

(c) Employment exchanges

(d) Educational institutions

(e) Situation Wanted’ columns of newspapers

(f) ‘Situation Vacant’ advertisements


(g) Casual applicants

(h) Recommended candidates.

(i) Placement agencies.

Process # 4. Selection of Salesforce:

From these sources, applications are received and screening of the applications is made. Applications which satisfy the job descriptions and man-specifications are only considered for selection. The selected applicants are called for psychological test. If they fare well in the above two they will be referred from the referees mentioned by the applicants.

If a good report is given by the references, the candidates will be called from medical examination. If the candidates are physically fit, they will be called for final interview and appointment order is issued. The appointment order should be clear, at least in the following aspects: designation, salary and allowances and mode of appointment, i.e., temporary or permanent.

Sales Force Management # 2. Training of Sales force:


There is an old belief that “Salesmen are born and not made.” Once in a while, we may come across a salesman who is capable of selling a refrigerator to an Eskimo, but this is rare. The salesman has to educate the customers about products, sell the same with benefit to the customer and profit for the company. Therefore, he should have excellent knowledge about products, competition, market dynamics, buying motives, and selling skills.

The Need for Training of Salesforce:

The need of training salesman arises from the fact that a newly appointed salesman does not have the knowledge about the product he has to sell. He may not have knowledge about customers and buying motives. He may not know how to sell the product or how to present them to the prospective buyers.

Even old salesman need training to acquaint them with the new products of the firm or those of the competitors, to explain to them the improved sales technique or simply as a refresher course.

The extent of training will depend upon following:

1. How difficult and complicated is the selling job concern?


2. The level of education and previous training the salesman possesses.

3. Previous selling experience of the salesmen.

4. The type of buyer to be approached. In case of an expert buyer, more knowledge of the product to be sold is the absolute necessity.

In general, a good training scheme would include the following:

Training Scheme # (1) Basic Principle of Salesmanship:

Salesmen, to be effective in their sales efforts, should know fully the buying motives of customers and the selling points of the products. They should be well-versed with the methods of approaching the customers. They should know the effective way of arousing the interest in the product and the art of creating desire for it.


They should be able to meet the objections raised by the customers. The training programme should stress on the AIDA formula to explain and build the sales presentation.

A – Attention – How to get it?

I – Interest – How to arouse it?

D – Desire – How to develop it?

A – Action – How to bring about decision to buy?

Training Scheme # (2) Knowledge of the Firm:


The salesman should be well informed about the company i.e., history of the company, its organisational set up, the name it has earned, achievement records, sales policies, distribution policies, customer’s service provided by the company, selling outlets, (channels) and so on. Knowledge about the firm’s goodwill and its selling policies goes a long way to inject a sense of pride in the salesmen and enable them to do their job as per the firm’s policy.

Training Scheme # (3) Knowledge of the Product:

To be successful in increasing the sales volume of a product, salesmen should possess the requisite knowledge of the product. Good physical appearance alone will not help him to sell the product. Therefore, a salesman must have a detailed knowledge regarding- nature of the product, methods of production, materials used, method of packing, uses of the product, etc. This knowledge could be gained only out of properly organised training by the company.

Training Scheme # (4) Knowledge about the Customers:

A salesman must have a perfect knowledge of customers to whom the products are to be sold. Furthermore, consumers are human beings and their behaviour would be different from one another. Their buying motives would be different from one another. Each customer would be different as to the nature and type.

Their modes may change and often their temperaments too. Some of the types of customers are: silent and talkative customers, and ill-mannered, suspicious, nervous, hesitant, argumentative and ill-tempered customers.

Buying motives include considerations of health, comfort and convenience, such as sense of fear, fashion, recreation, affection, hobbies, and habits.

All these necessitate the salesman to acquire the knowledge of ‘customer psychology.’ The training is required to study at least three factors- What motivates the buyer to buy? What is the nature and requirement of the customer? How to deal with different types of customers?

Training Scheme # (5) Knowledge of Competitors:

Apart from the knowledge regarding the firm represented by the salesman and its products, they must possess the knowledge relating to their products and policies of the competing firm.

Training Scheme # (6) Matters Pertaining to the Day to Day Work:

Salesman should also be given training to know the following:

(a) To draft periodical reports to the firm

(b) Receipt of and replying letters

(c) Preparation of orders and bills

(d) Maintenance of accounts

(e) Arrangements of display and demonstration of products.

(7) Knowledge of self- This is partly a personal quality and partly to be developed by constant self-training. Every individual has certain strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. In order to become an effective salesperson, one should seek knowledge in all relevant subjects and apply the same in day-to-day work.

This can be achieved by developing regular reading habits, upgrade technical knowledge, managerial and selling skills. He has to improve skills in communication, public-speaking and presentations.

It is, therefore, apt to say that “salesmen are not born, nor made, but they are born and made.” There must be definitely certain in-born qualities and these qualities should be strengthened with proper amount of training. Salesmanship is not a matter of personality alone, but a systematic utilisation of one’s personality. It is realised that no product could be sold unless ‘the presentation’ is made in an efficient and convincing manner.

Advantages of Training the Salesforce:

A firm having well-designed training schemes gains the following advantages:

Advantage # 1. Greater Sales Volume:

A scientifically designed training programme helps to increase the sales volume.

Advantage # 2. Reduces Cost of Production:

Increased selling helps to reduce cost of production.

Advantage # 3. Early Selling Maturity:

Training reduces the time to be spent by the salesman with each customer in convincing him about the product.

Advantage # 4. Lowers Supervision Cost:

In the case of untrained salesmen, sales manager and the other supervisory staff have to pay more visits than those needed in the case of trained salesmen to keep a check on their work.

Advantage # 5. Lowers Turnover of Salesforce:

Proper training makes the salesman well-prepared for the field work. This results in reduced number of salesmen leaving their job. This lower rate of turnover gives the advantage of reduced costs of recruitment, selection and training of salesmen.

Advantage # 6. Better Customer Relations:

A scientifically trained salesman knows how to deal with a particular sales situation. He does not oversell, e.g., he does not sell the wrong quality or type of goods. The salesman advises the customers in business also. Therefore, a cordial pleasant personal relationship with the customer is established. This makes frequent visits to book repeat orders possible.

Other Advantages:

(a) Items leaving higher margin of profit can be more easily sold.

(b) Reduced losses due to bad debts.

(c) Reduces selling cost.

(d) Greater sales volume per call of the salesman.

(e) Reduced number of complaints from customers.

(f) Reduced number of calls per order.

(g) Better demonstration and sales presentation.

(h) Sale of complete line of products is possible.

(i) The number of salesforce could be kept at the minimum.

(j) Buyer’s demand for a better knowledge of the product could be satisfied only by a trained salesman.

Methods of Training:

Method # A. Individual Methods:

(1) Initial or Break-In Training:

The trainee is asked to work in different departments and study for himself. He may be guided but often left free. After a specific period, he would be asked to work in his field.

(2) Special Assignments:

Slightly easier assignments are given and his capacity in handling problems is watched. Shortcomings, if any, are brought to his notice for future guidance e.g., senior and junior lawyers.

(3) Field Coaching:

The newly recruited salesman is asked to work along with an experienced salesman in the field. This method creates self-confidence, enthusiasm in the newly recruited salesman.

(4) Sales Manuals:

These are tailored books where a number of problems are stated together with suggested answers. This is prepared out of company’s past experience and might contain valuable information. These are given to salesman for self-study.

Method # B. Group Methods:

(1) Lecture Method:

This is the easiest and quickest method of imparting information to the trainees. Most of the training methods are based on this principle, simply because of its assured success. It is theoretically-oriented and the practical aspects are ignored. In spite of these defects, lecture method forms the cornerstone of various training methods.

(2) Audio-Visual Methods:

It is a ‘telling and showing’ method. This method is often used as a supplementary to the lecture method. The visual aids such as filmstrips, slides, charts, posters, etc., are capable of providing more exposition to the lectures and making it more interesting. Demonstration is possible under this method.

(3) Conference Method:

Sales conference and seminars are usual nowadays with most organisations. Such methods are useful in sharing the experiences of the experienced people. However, it is not a good method of training for the newly recruited salesmen.

(4) Discussion and Case Method:

For those who have basic knowledge on the subject this method is quite good. A particular problem is given to various groups and each group is asked to discuss it and put forward its suggestions. Later on, all these suggestions are analysed by all the groups together. This enables to have a correct idea of the problem, and a better solution.

(5) Role-Playing:

Under this method, each participant is asked to play a role. A situation is suggested and each one will have to act just like what he is expected to do in real-life situation. This method is a lively one and uses confidence in taking independent decisions. Later on the role played by the participants is analysed and the shortcomings are pointed out.

Method # C. On-the-Job Methods:

This method stresses practice-oriented training.

(1) Field Training:

The new representative works in the field meeting various categories of customers.

(2) Job Rotation:

The salesman is trained in all departments and he would be asked to work in all sections of each department. This would give him a clear idea of inter-departmental relationship, which would give him an idea about the company. Further, he may also be asked to work in the factory to know how products are processed. All these would give him enough tools to overcome the resistance of the customers in the sales field.

Method # D. Off-the-Job Method:

Many associations generally issue journals, bulletins and other publications to enable their members to perform their duties more promptly and efficiently. The salesperson can become a member of such associations to upgrade his knowledge and skills.

Method # E. Follow-Up Training:

Training is not temporary but should be continuous. Even the trained salesmen require periodic training termed as ‘refresher training’ or ‘follow-up training.’ Periodic training is essential as frequent changes are always encountered in the marketing scene. Change in consumer preferences, changes in Government policy, change in product, etc. in order to make the salesman abreast of all these developments, constant training is essential.

Sales Force Management # 3. Remuneration of Sales force:

Man is a wanting animal. An employee is never contended with what is given to him. He always wants more remuneration. Therefore, remuneration is an evergreen challenge to any business or service. It is more so to a sales organisation. Success of a firm using salesmen to increase sales volume at minimum selling cost depends upon a contended, efficient and loyal salesforce and are closely related to the method by which sales efforts of the salesmen are compensated for.

Why pay well? The importance of paying well cannot be over-estimated. There are certain basic reasons as to why the salesforce is to be paid well.

Reason # (1) To Attract Best Salesmen:

Gifted and talented salesmen can be attracted only when a firm is prepared to reward amply the services rendered. There is no harm in paying a little more than others, as it pays in terms of improved level of performance.

Reason # (2) To Keep Salesforce Contended:

There is a direct link between payment made to them and the satisfaction. Man performs his duties, looks after well and then he is happy and contended or satisfied. A satisfied employee puts heart and soul together to maximise the work performance.

Reason # (3) To Build Up Loyalty:

The aim of sound sales organisation is to build not only competent salesforce but to have people who are prepared to serve for a long time. Loyal staff makes the organisation rich. Good pay-masters have this advantage “pay well and keep the employee” is the watch-word. A loyal staff avoids problems of recruitment, selection, and training and, therefore, the dilemmas of labour turnover.

Reason # (4) To Guarantee Sound Employer-Employee Relation:

Misunderstandings normally arise due to many matters and disparity in treatment. Salesforce of one selling house compares the pay with that of others in the sales line. If there is disparity, the morale of salesmen is affected. Handsomely paid, well-treated salesmen have no scope for grudges or grumbling and as such relations would be sound, with the utmost harmonised effort.

Elements of a Good Remuneration Plan:

A good remuneration plan should fulfil the following requirements. Fulfilment of these requirements will make it a sound plan, which will help in developing a loyal salesforce. Loyalty will ensure long service with the firm. Thus, salesmen turnover will be reduced.

Element # (1) Should provide adequate income to maintain a decent standard of living compared to that enjoyed by others in the same line.

Element # (2) Simplicity:

It should be easily understood by salesmen of average intelligence without any training in accountancy or statistics. Salesmen are suspicious of any plan that they do not understand completely and, as such, it weakens the confidence and lowers the morale.

Element # (3) Flexibility:

The plan so designed must be capable of being adapted to various selling conditions. For instance, the firm introducing a new product, commission schemes will work out more profitable. On the contrary, in the case of a regular product, salary system can be relied upon. Thus, the variable makes it flexible to ensure satisfactory results.

Element # (4) Incentive Oriented:

Monetary reward for extra effort is really a nice and wise stimulus to many of the salesmen who exceed the normal performance level. Such additional amount results in increased volume of sales. It may be in the form of bonus or commission. It is to give an impression that the salesmen are compensated for extra ordinary performance.

Element # (5) Low Administration Cost:

The cost of administration of the plan, i.e., the need of help from accountants and clerks, etc. for computing salesmen’s earnings should be as low as possible.

Element # (6) Fairness:

It must be fair to both the firm and salesmen. Also, there should not be any room for discrimination against or favour for any individual salesman.

Element # (7) It Is Prompt in Payment:

It is already said that the remuneration should be incentive- oriented. The incentives that are added must be given to the workers earlier, to have deep- rooted effects upon the minds of the workers. Many times, bonus earnings are declared but are held up to a quarter, semi-annual and year end.

This delay in paying weakens the desire on the part of employees. By the time he receives the payment, he might have lost his interest and enthusiasm. At times, delayed payments of such incentives will induce labour turnover. Therefore, as soon as entitled and earned, they must be paid.

Element # (8) Promotion:

Provisions should be made for increase in salary when a person promotes and also reward employees for a long service.

Sales Force Management # 4. Supervision:

Supervision means overseeing employees at work. Overseeing of performance is done at all levels of management. High degree of overseeing is required in the case of salesforce who are constantly on the move. Supervision involves both the direction (motivation) and control of salesmen and the continuous development of their abilities.

Sales Manager as a supervisor and leader must know his men, their needs, attitudes, aspirations, and perceptions. Supervision must be tailored to the needs of the individual salesman.

Thus, supervision consists of the following:

(a) Observing, monitoring and reporting the performance of the salesforce,

(b) Counselling and coaching salespeople to remove the defects and weaknesses in their performances.

(c) Giving them adequate information regarding company plans and policies and changes in those policies.

(d) Receiving feedback and solving their business and personal problems.

(e) Motivating the salespeople through appropriate non-financial incentives in order to satisfy egoistic demands of salespeople.

Sales supervision is directly concerned with the basic need of motivating salesmen by satisfying their needs for security, opportunity, self-expression, respect and good conditions of work. In addition, it involves training and re-training, evaluation of performance, providing two-way flow of communication for best understanding, and improving the personal effectiveness of salesmen.

Sales Force Management # 5. Motivation of Salesmen:

Ability or capacity to work is different from the will to work. You can buy a man’s time; his physical presence at a given place; his muscular motions per hour or day. But you cannot buy his willingness to work, his enthusiasm or his loyalty.

Motivation is the act of stimulating someone or oneself to get a desired course of action, to push the right button to get a desired action, a compliment, a pay-rise, a smile, a promise of promotion, praise, public recognition of merits and so on. Motivation ignites the will to work. It moves people to take a desired action. Motivation can be either financial or non-financial. Sales contests, conventions and conferences are examples of motivating salesforce.

Sales Force Management # 6. Control of Sales force:

Control is the act of checking or verifying whether everything occurs in conformity with one charted in the plans. Supervision and control of salesmen is essential for a sales organisation to achieve maximum success.

However scientific the selection and training of salesmen may be, it is the duty of the Sales Manager to evolve effective and purposive method of supervising, directing and controlling the activities of the salesmen, so as to secure the most effective and economical performance from them.

Apart from the fact that salesmen are after all human beings, the need of supervision and control arises basically out of the following factors:

Need # (1) To Enhance the Efficiency of Salesforce:

The actual sales effected at each branch of each territory are brought to the notice of sales executives from time to time. This actually can be compared to the targets and deviation or discrepancies can be curbed by taking corrective actions. By means of constant supervision and control the salesmen are indirectly forced to be active, not to lag behind.

Need # (2) To Ensure Co-Ordination in the Efforts:

Salesman works independently, often at a long distance from the Sales Manager. Therefore, co-ordination and co-regulation of salesman’s efforts become necessary.

Need # (3) Nature of Salesforce Demands Controlling:

Salesmen are unique in the sales organisation. There are some people who die for the organisation and as devoted people they require no supervision or control. There are people who make the unit die in the absence of strict control and supervision. To make all people to move to the charted course, control of salesmen is a must. Thus, the nature of salesmen demands control.

Need # (4) To Have Sound Public Relations:

The aim of controlling is not only to secure raise in the profitability but to lay down solid foundations of sales by carving good public relations, i.e., control envisages the guidance and direction of the personnel, to establish good relations with the public and maintain goodwill in the market. Kotler says, “Of all the assets, customers are the most valuable one.” If a firm fails in the eyes of general public, it dies its unwanted premature death.

How Control is exercised?

The ways of controlling are: reports and records, fixing sales territory and quotas, deciding of authority, and field supervision and remuneration plans.

Way # 1. Reports and Records:

Salesmen are asked to send reports periodically. These reports may be daily, weekly or monthly. These reports portray valuable information relating to: number of calls made by him; total value and volume of sales transacted, number of new customers contacted and amount of sales turned out; number of old customers lost and the reasons for item-wise expenses; facts regarding credit-standing of customers; selection made; bad debts arising out, impact of publicity and sales-promotion activities; extent and nature of competition; compliance and adjustments from customers.

On the other hand, record is the summary prepared from the report based on the actual performance on the part of every salesman. Reports are useful in two ways- Firstly, necessary action for increasing sales can be taken by the firm on the basis of careful study of the salesmen report. Secondly, writing fairly detailed report of sales encourages salesman to develop the useful habit of self-analysis.

Way # 2. Fixing Sales Territories and Sales Quotas:

(a) Sales Quota:

Quota is the amount of business the Sales Manager fixes for every salesman. It is the target that a salesman is to attain. First the Sales Manager plans the amount of business achieved. Then he allocates quota for each territory. The quota may be fixed for a year or a month or a quarter or for six months.

The objectives of sales quota are:

(i) To provide a basis for remuneration for sales force,

(ii) The sales quota is the most feasible way of measuring the effectiveness of individual salesmen,

(iii) Quota system stimulates selling effort of salesmen because no salesman would like his sales falling below the quota.

(iv) To plan and control the selling activities and to infuse the spirit of competition amongst the salesmen.

(b) Sales Territories:

Sales territory implies a geographical area assigned to a salesman for the purpose of marketing the products of the company. Most firms divide the markets into specific geographical area or zones. Each salesman is assigned a particular zone in which he is to carry out his selling activities.

The geographical area of the zone allotted to a salesman is in his sales territory. Usually sales territories are determined on the basis of demand for the products, the extent of competition and available means of transportation, types of customers and the capacity of salesman.

Objectives of Establishing Sales Territories:

Objective # (a) To Perform Contractual Functions:

Sales territories are established to attain a thorough coverage of potential market for product. The objective of contacting prospects and old customers can hardly be achieved, unless such a sales territory is assigned to a salesman. Personnel solicitation is facilitated.

Objective # (b) To Compare the Individual Performance:

Allocation of sales territory provides an excellent opportunity to compare the performance of salesman, such a study of particular territory reveals the potentiality of the market; and the actual sales volume secured by an individual salesman is compared with his potentialities.

Objective # (c) To Fix the Responsibility:

The responsibilities of Sales Managers and their talks are clearly defined through territorial assignments. This has an effect of developing a sense of responsibility towards his job. He tries to fulfil his commitments. That is, the activities of each sales manager can be evaluated and controlled.

Objective # (d) To Minimise Sales Expenses:

Such territorial assignments are made in order to minimise the sales expenses and maximise the sales efforts. It is so because wastage of time and energy is avoided by defining the sales tasks.

Objective # (e) To Motivate Salesmen:

Fixing a sales territory allows full freedom to the Sales Manager to use his ability and skills to maximise sales turnover as there is little interference.

Benefits of Sales Territory:

(a) Activities of each sales manager can be more effectively controlled and evaluated,

(b) Market potentialities of each territory can be more fully tapped,

(c) Sales efforts can be more easily planned and duplication and overlapping of efforts of sales managers are avoided,

(d) It provides incentive to sales manager to increase more sales in his territory.

Way # 3. Deciding the Authority of Sales Manager:

Often sales managers are the only persons who have contact with customers and sales­persons in whose contact customers of the firm come. For customers they are the firm. Therefore, sales managers and their authority must be well defined and clearly stated. Usually, catalogues and price lists put limit on the authority of Sales Manager.

But, company may allow certain measure of authority to sales managers on matters such as granting of credit to customers, discount rates, special concessions, pre-sale and after-sale services, settlements of clients, etc. However, sales manager has to see that the salesman acts according to instructions. If a salesman goes out of limits he can be taken to task and explanations can be called for.

Way # 4. Field Supervision:

Control does not pose any problem so long as business is smaller and is confined to a limited area of operation, where salesmen are working under the very nose of the sales manager. In case of business houses with widespread business over a vast area, supervision is a must. Example- In large Pharma companies, thousands of medical representatives are employed.

Supervision, direction and control involve- (a) Observing, monitoring and reporting the performance of the salesforce, (b) Counselling and coaching salespeople to remove the defects and weaknesses in their performance, (c) Giving them adequate information regarding company plans and policies and change in those policies, (d) Receiving feedback and solving their business and personal problems, (e) Motivating the salespeople through appropriate non-financial incentives in order to satisfy egoistic demands of salespeople.

Sales supervision is directly concerned with the basic need of motivating salesmen by satisfying their needs for security, opportunity, self-expression, respect and good conditions of work. In addition, it involves training and re-training, evaluation of performance, providing two-way flow of communication for best understanding, and improving the personal effectiveness of salesmen. Human relations are of first importance in the sales department.

Under democratic managerial style, we have consultative direction involving continuous communication and co-operation between the sales manager and his salesmen. Personal communication is most effective. Communication by means of correspondence should be supplementary.

The sales manager is responsible to develop and maintain the morale of the salesforce. Morale is the mental readiness of the salesforce to co-operate with the management in the accomplishment of objectives. If morale is high, output is also high.

Sales Force Management # 7. Evaluation of Sales Performance:

Human beings do have unlimited potential for growth and development, provided there is right work-environment and the right direction, guidance and help is given by management. The performance appraisal or evaluation is based on this firm belief in human resource development. Sound evaluation assures superior performance.

There are three reasons to evaluate or appraise the performance of salespeople- (i) To measure performance against planned sales and marketing objectives, (ii) To distribute rewards for performance, and (iii) To guide the development of sales force.

Targets for sales performance are set and they act as criteria for comparison with actual accomplishment. Sales quotas, expense control, personal development objectives are the usual targets for the purpose of evaluation. It is essential that all evaluation should be forward- looking and aim at future and improved performance.

Sales manager should not give emphasis on finding faults and placing blames on salespeople for past performance. The salespeople should be given thorough understanding of the reasons for their poor performance as revealed by evaluation. Humanistic touch is necessary at every stage in supervision, evaluation and control.

Then only management of salespeople will give rich dividends. Performance evaluation should be done periodically and promotion, pay rise, rewards should be offered to the deserving salespeople. Forward-looking and positive evaluation and control enable salesmen to secure self-advancement or development. Management by Objectives (MBO) can be used in the management of salespeople as far as possible.

Effective Sales Performance Measures:

Salesman’s performance can be measured by a number of factors, such as ability to sell a satisfactory volume, ability to sell at a profit, ability to sell at a low cost, ability to plan and organise his time and efforts, knowledge of products, policies, customers and competition, ability to attract and hold customers, etc. The salesmen’s reports and records are used in evaluating performance. Sales quotas also enable in evaluating performance.