two colleagues meeting in an office


Sales  |  3 min read

How to Deliver Effective Feedback to all Your Sales Reps

Created with Sketch.

Rachel Clapp Miller

Knowing where a sales rep is coming up short is one thing. Effectively conveying how the rep needs to improve is another, and can often be a challenge for sales managers.

Consider the following several strategies and techniques as you prepare to offer effective feedback.

Balance the good with the bad

If the only feedback you share in meetings with your reps is negative, you train your team members to view such encounters with a pessimistic outlook. Instead, make it a point to balance positive reinforcement with coaching directives.

One approach we use is to start first by asking the recipient two things he/she did well and two things he/she could improve upon. Feedback should be a positive experience. When it is, your team members will seek out constructive criticism. If you as a leader aren’t being asked to give feedback, you likely need to improve the way you give it.

Make the feedback specific

You want to make sure your feedback is specific. Instead of saying, “I really need you to buckle down, work harder and boost your productivity this quarter,” identify particular stages or steps in the rep’s selling process that require growth. As Brian Walsh says, “Provide the How.” Don’t just tell the rep to sell larger deals. Enable the rep with the ability to demonstrate the value of a larger solution with discovery guides and a value framework.

Be consistent and realistic

Having a consistent management operating rhythm and coaching review process helps drive a constructive feedback process. You can also stick to objective criteria to evaluate each rep on the same metrics for each selling stage. When communicating expectations, sales reps need to feel that all objectives are realistic and within their capability, or motivation will suffer. Expectations should tie in well with an individual’s typical work style.

Stay concise and forward-looking

The goal of feedback is to guide better action steps moving forward. Keep the message forward-looking, address the gap between current performance and the target. Timeliness plays a key role in helping to motivate and keep sales professionals on track. Just like the expectation itself, deadlines need to be feasible and clearly stated. If there will be milestones to reach or progress checks along the way, these should also be spelled out. 

This article was written by Rachel Clapp Miller from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Was this post helpful?

Subscribe to our newsletter

Fresh small business insights and ideas delivered weekly to your inbox, gratis.

Loading spinner Loading spinner

You may also like

{{ record.displayCategory | smartCapitalize }} | min read

Before you go...

Get fresh small business insights and ideas delivered weekly to your inbox.

Loading spinner Loading spinner
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter!
Loading spinner Loading spinner

What you'll get from it:

As a thank you for subscribing, we'll send you a copy of our 2018 Small Business Marketing Trends Report with insights from over 1,000 surveyed business owners. The gifts just keep on coming.

4 Reasons to Subscribe:
  • Weekly tips to dominate sales and marketing

  • Expert small business resources that cost you zero dollars

  • We're focused 100 percent on small business success

  • Righteous GIFs

    GIF of Ferris Bueler principal's assistant

P.S. We'll never give out your information. We'll only use it to send you awesome content and resources, if you're cool with that.

Infusionsoft is now Keap. That’s weird to write, but it’s also exciting.

In 2001, trying to get Infusionsoft off the ground, there were many times when I wanted to quit. I’ll never forget my wife, after two years of struggling to survive, hugging me and saying, “Keep going.”

Over the last two years, we’ve talked with thousands of small business owners to get a deeper understanding of their unique challenges in today’s market. We learned that it’s harder than ever to succeed in small business. Customers expect more. On-demand is the rule. There’s no shortage of platforms on which to complain. A failed job or two can be damaging to your business.

Keap is our signal to the world—and to ourselves—that it’s time to make it easier to succeed. We’re on a mission to simplify growth for millions of small businesses. Our new name is a nod to the tenacity of the small business owner and encompasses everything we know to be true when it comes to success: keep going, keep serving, keep growing.

Along with a new name, we’ve expanded to two products. Keap, our newest product, is smart client management software that helps service businesses progress leads to satisfied clients. Infusionsoft by Keap is powerful CRM and sales and marketing automation software for advanced business needs.

Both are designed to make it easier than ever for more small businesses to get organized so they can deliver great service and close more business.

Clate Mask signature

To your success,
Clate Mask
CEO + Co-Founder