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It’s time to retire outdated performance reviews so sales teams can spend less time writing essays about one another and more time doing what they do best: selling.

Sales reps face daunting challenges today. With ever-increasing demands to meet quota and drive revenue, reps are seeking new ways to be successful even as they take on larger territories and higher targets.But sales managers — the group charged with giving reps the support they need — often aren’t able to provide the performance feedback and coaching reps need to be successful in this new world. What reps get instead is a time-consuming, backward-looking process that doesn’t help them improve, and in many cases takes them away from selling at the most crucial time of the year: the end of the fourth quarter.That’s why we’re excited today to unveil a seamless experience between Salesforce Sales Cloud and Work.com that will mark a completely new approach to sales performance management from salesforce.com.

Work.com Sales Performance

 

Instead of forcing sales teams to hit the pause button and take time off from selling to write essays, now sales reps and their managers will be able to get the high-quality feedback and coaching proven to drive sales performance to achieve greater success.Through this integration, available today in pilot and currently scheduled to be generally available to all salesforce.com customers in the first half of 2013, organizations can drive the alignment, motivation, and performance of their sales teams directly inside the Salesforce applications where they already work every day.

Sales teams will be able to see one another’s goals inside Salesforce Chatter or recognize great work right from within a Sales Cloud opportunity record. Work.com employee social profiles will reflect a rep’s expertise, goals, and performance right inside Chatter, helping her build her reputation.

As Linda Crawford, EVP of the Sales Cloud at salesforce.com has said, you can always tell when a sales organization is performing well because they are the only ones who can afford to actually take their reps out of the field for two weeks to do performance reviews.  The ability for reps to access Work.com inside Sales Cloud means they will now be able to get the ongoing feedback, coaching, and recognition they need to improve performance without having to slam on the breaks and stop selling.

New Research Shows the Impact of Regular Sales Coaching on Performance
A new study from the Sales Executive Council points to the transformative impact of sales managers on their teams. The study found that reps who received just three hours of coaching per month outperformed those who received fewer than two hours by 17 percent. Meanwhile, top managers drove an average of $20 million more from a sales team than low-performing managers, and grew revenue at a rate more than quadruple that of poor managers. “We have found no other driver that can so significantly raise the engagement and bottom-line results of reps [than their managers]… Unfortunately, a majority of managers are ill-equipped to lead solution-selling efforts because they lack the most important driver of manager effectiveness—being a great sales rep coach.”

Work.com Sales Coaching

In the sports world, coaches like John Wooden, Vince Lombardi, and Butch Harmon are iconic figures — better known even than many of the players they led to championships. Whether it’s calling plays on the sidelines or making adjustments in a golf-swing, receiving real-time ongoing insights from an experienced coach is the best way for players to develop and succeed.

When it comes to sales organizations, however, what reps often get instead of a coach is a “manager” — someone who pops by occasionally to tell them what they did wrong last quarter. Instead of feeling like they have a mentor, reps end up dreading the next run-in with the boss, who in turn feels like he is trying to turn a ship after it’s already hit the iceberg.

The result is that reps end up feeling unsure about their goals, unmotivated to deliver on them, and incapable of achieving them.

“We believe real-time feedback, coaching, and recognition are essential to improving the performance of our sales reps and the continued growth of our business,” says Mark Roberge, the SVP Sales and Services at Hubspot. “Work.com helps our sales managers and reps identify areas of improvement and work toward turning them into strengths.”

Align Sales Teams to Your Company Mission with Work.com


A recent study conducted by Bain and Company found that only 40 percent of employees had any idea about the strategy and key objectives of their company. Work.com social goals enable sales teams to stay aligned with each other — and with their colleagues in marketing, product, legal, and other areas of the company critical to their success. Goals will be visible in Chatter, ensuring transparency and accountability across the company. And individual and team sales goals can be directly connected to the company mission.According to the Bain study, sales managers who spend time regularly coaching their teams exceeded their goals by seven percent, boosted revenue by 25 percent, and increased close rates by 70 percent.Motivate Your Reps and Drive Better Results with Work.com

According to Market Tools, 76 percent of sales professionals are unsatisfied with the amount of recognition they receive at work, while 77 percent would work harder if their efforts were better recognized. With Work.com “Thanks in Chatter,” sales reps and managers will be able to inspire great work with real-time recognition, right from within Sales Cloud. Custom badges will promote key sales skills and company values, and motivate reps to feel like they’re winning Club every day. Thanks posts and badges will automatically appear in the Chatter feed, building the social reputation of sales team members and encouraging winning behaviors by sharing success stories across the broader team.More Information About Work.com:

About

Nick Stein is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Salesforce Work.com. A former staff writer at FORTUNE and current affairs producer at CBC News, Stein's work has received three Business Journalist of the Year awards, a CAJ award, and has been anthologized in the Best Business Stories of the Year. He holds a BA from McGill University and a masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.