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Improve Sales Performance through the Sales Navigator Multi-Rater Process

By Rick Van Natta

Do you have insights into how your customers perceive your sales process? Do you have a process to gather feedback about your salespeople? In this video, Joane Ramsey, Senior Performance Improvement Consultant, and Rick Van Natta, Senior Facilitator, discuss the benefits of using the Sales Navigator 360 multi-rater survey process for salespeople to assess a salesperson's strengths and areas for improvement.

Joane Ramsey: 00:01 Hi, I'm Joane Ramsey, Senior Performance Improvement Consultant, and today I'm joined by Rick Van Natta, Senior Performance Consultant, to discuss how a 360 multi-rater survey process for salespeople can help a sales organization achieve best-in-class status.

Rick Van Natta: 00:29 Hi Joane, it's good to be here today. In today's sales environment, where salesperson's skills are a critical factor in an organization's ability to compete, win, and prosper in complex times, I think having tools to gain as much feedback as you can from your customer's perspective positions you and your organization to stand out from the rest.

Joane Ramsey: 00:50 Yes, times have changed, and being able to measure a salesperson's skills through the eyes of their customers, managers, and peers gives them feedback that is powerful and cannot be ignored. I would like to start our conversation by defining what is a 360 multi-rater process specifically for salespeople.

Rick Van Natta: 01:10 I think that's a great idea. When we use the term 360 multi-rater process to assess salespeople, we're referring to an instrument, typically an online survey, that measures behaviors from the Consultant-Strategist model to assess strengths and areas of improvement. This feedback is acquired confidentially from customers, sales managers, peers, and self.

Joane Ramsey: 01:34 I think it is important to put things into context on how we approach this model. When we look at today's selling environment, we know that it requires more than personal effectiveness or technical effectiveness, meaning product knowledge. Salespeople need to become valued consultants for their clients' organizations; adding value throughout the sales process is critical, especially when so many organizations are already coming to us with their research done and with an idea of what the potential solution might be. At the same time, the salesperson needs to keep a strategic view to ensure that they are closing business that is profitable for their organization.

Rick Van Natta: 02:15 Yes, in an ideal world, all salespeople would be at this level. The Consultant-Strategist model measures competencies in these four dimensions of behaviors you mentioned above. To recap, the salesperson needs to become both a source of advantage for their customers and a source of advantage for their organizations, while balancing their personal and technical effectiveness.

Joane Ramsey: 02:37 Rick, this is a great way for the sales organization to clearly identify the strengths of their salespeople and how to leverage them, and invest their training dollars in a way that is targeted to improve the areas they know needs improvement. This eliminates any guesswork as part of this process, as we can run different organizational reports with compiled results while still maintaining confidentiality of individual results.

Rick Van Natta: 03:06 I'm a big believer that it's important to work with organization that understands how to set up this process to avoid potential issues such as losing credibility with your sales organization or disclosing information that should have been held confidential.

Joane Ramsey: 03:21 Yes, I had a client once who conducted a 360 feedback with their salespeople but fell short on the implementation end as well as the management support. As a result, when they decided to give this process a go again due to a merger situation, there was a lot of pushback, as people did not see the value in it and thought of it as being a waste of time.

Rick Van Natta: 03:44 That's why we look at this as an implementation. It starts way before the initial kickoff meeting with understanding our client's goals, how this will be followed through, and what support needs to be in place before we even launch the initiative.

Joane Ramsey: 03:58 The beauty of this process is that it can be configured and customized to meet our client's unique practices in their sales environment, or if the client already has a different model with competencies in place, we can adapt the platform and model to use what they have.

Rick Van Natta: 04:15 Whether we start at the configuration or the customization end, or we keep it as the standard brand, we always kick off these sessions with virtual meetings and a strong communication strategy. This helps the organization engage their sales managers in setting expectations and answering questions upfront. By setting this up properly, we ensure higher levels of engagement, and collecting feedback from participants and the raters goes a lot smoother.

Joane Ramsey: 04:43 The question often comes up, so now that the feedback has been collected, who will see it? What will happen? It is important to understand that these are confidential results. Each participant will see their own results and are encouraged to take the lead in asking for support and training.

Joane Ramsey: 05:01 We also work with management to ensure they understand how to provide the support post-assessment and how to best guide their people. Because we compile the results, the organization can determine skill gaps and plan their sales training curriculum accordingly.

Rick Van Natta: 05:17 It's important to mention that we set up development planning sessions with small groups of participants at a time. This is designed to walk them through their feedback results. We want to ensure that participants understand the important messages, help them decide on developmental priorities, answer any questions they might have, and help with ideas on how to leverage their strengths. We can also set up one-on-one coaching for individuals who might need a little more help or support.

Joane Ramsey: 05:45 One of the great benefits of conducting a 360 multi-rater for salespeople in an organization is knowing what kind of salespeople are on your team. As a sales manager, this is incredible knowledge for coaching and development. It provides the upper hand, if you will, to really leverage those strong traits and really focus on the areas that need improvement in a productive way. The cost-benefit of taking the guesswork out of the equation is incredible.

Rick Van Natta: 06:14 Not to mention the fact that when salespeople are fulfilled in their jobs, they stay, so cost of turnover might become lower in a sales organization that invests in their people and provides them with the opportunities to grow.

Joane Ramsey: 06:27 Let's not forget the fact that when this process is done correctly and followed through, a higher percentage of salespeople become higher performers. Therefore, revenues are likely to increase. Rick, thanks for being here today.

Rick Van Natta: 06:41 Thanks, Joane. Appreciate you having me here.

Joane Ramsey: 06:43 For additional information on improving your sales organization, please visit us at StrategicEnhancementGroup.com.

Published: June 19, 2024

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Rick Van Natta

Senior Performance Consultant

Rick brings over 35 years experience in training and people performance. He has a “real-world, down to earth” approach to facilitation and coaching founded on his background in retail sales, specialty chemicals, marine drilling, and nuclear power plant operations having held positions ranging from Sales Representative through Director levels across the sales and operations functions in businesses. Rick also served in the US Navy nuclear power program retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer after 25 years where he was a certified Nuclear Instructor. He holds graduate degrees and certificates in Engineering, Environmental, and Human Resources Management, Business Administration, Lean Six Sigma, and Project Management.

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