Performance planning and assessment should be done on a regular basis. When done right, this is a communication tool that is a key part of sales enablement. Elements of a written planning and assessment template should include the following:

  • Role mandate, based on business objectives and priorities
  • Key accountabilities and accomplishments
  • Performance objectives and accomplishments
  • Personal effectiveness delivering results and working collaboratively
  • Development objectives to improve skills and knowledge
  • Overall summary of contributions
  • Performance rating (exceptional, successful, below expectations)

So what do you do if the contribution is below expectations? Use a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) when you have identified employee performance problems. The PIP plays an integral role in correcting performance discrepancies. It is a tool to monitor and measure unacceptable performance against the scorecard. In constructing a PIP, follow the guidelines below:

Define the problem using deficiency statements and always tie it back to the published scorecard. These clearly define the problems that exist with the performance and/or behavior of the employee. Each deficiency should be identified in a separate statement and should be directly related. For example: “Employee fails to complete assignments in a timely manner.” Such statements should be supported by appropriate documentation.

  • Determine if the problem is an accountabilities problem (employee has not beenable to get the job done) or a competencies problem (employee does not performthe job the right way).
  • Define the accountabilities where improvement is required and indicate what aspects of performance are required to successfully perform these accountabilities.
  • Define the competencies where improvement is required and indicate what aspects of performance are required to successfully perform these competencies.

Establish the priorities of the duties.

  • What are the possible consequences of errors associated with these duties?
  • How frequently are these duties performed?
  • How do they relate when compared with other duties?

Establish goals and timetables for accomplishing change in performance/behavior.

Develop an action plan.

  • What will the manager do to help the employee accomplish the goals?
  • What will the employee do to facilitate improvement of the product or process?
  • Are the items reasonable?
  • Can the items be accomplished?
  • Are the items flexible?

Define measurement cadence.

  • Establish periodic review dates (weekly to monthly)
  • Measure actual performance against the standards

Establish a Performance Improvement Plan file for the employee. Check the wording to see that you:

  • Use plain and simple language
  • Cite specific references to identify areas of deficiency

Last step. Sign it along with the employee.

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