Sales Team Training & Development

6 "Do's and Don'ts" for conducting sales performance reviews

Jonathan Hubbard
Jonathan Hubbard
March 1, 2024

Finding time to review your reps’ sales performance, goals, or skill progression can be tricky with our busy workflows. Consequently, it's no wonder why annual sales performance reviews are so significant: these one-to-one sessions are the biggest opportunity to really connect with your people and influence future sales success. If you're feeling rusty going into sales performance reviews this year, don't stress! In this blog, we’re looking at 6 Dos and Don’ts when running sales performance reviews with your sales reps.

Table of Contents

> What to Do when conducting sales performance reviews

> What to Avoid when conducting sales performance reviews

> Quick takeaways and summary

6 Dos and Don’ts for conducting sales performance reviews

Do these when conducting sales performance reviews

1: Authenticity and clarity

Make sure your review is authentic, clear, and detailed. It’s no use sugar coating weaknesses - be honest about where reps need to improve and give examples. While it’s tempting to give brief ratings, explaining the what/when/where behind a behavior can help reps identify what they need to change.

3: Investigate poor performance 

If a rep is clearly performing poorly, now is the best time to discover why! Identify a rep’s top sticking point and ask when they felt things started going wrong and how the issue arose. With the full picture, you’ll be able to make objectives to rectify the situation.

4: Make SMART objectives

Don’t create a vague action plan that puts your review and rep self reviews to waste: influence sales success by making corrective action easy with SMART objectives. Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound objectives can help you create an action plan with the best chances for success while leaving no room for confusion.

Avoid these when conducting sales performance reviews!

5: Don’t run a one-way review

Reps should have space to share their own thoughts first with a self review. Sales performance reviews should be two-way conversations. Make sure you listen to what your reps share and use the information to create SMART objectives.

6: Don’t rely on your memory

To give a well informed review, you’ll need a good understanding of how your reps have been going: the good and bad. Each week leading up to the review, take note when reps win or have trouble. You can use these notes later to write comments.

7: Don’t make it personal

Don’t focus hard on reviewing traits - these are personal aspects which are difficult to measure and change. If there’s a problem with a trait, it’s likely to have been caused by a problem related to behavior or results. Focus on review behaviors and results to understand how a rep has performed and what needs changing to increase performance.

Quick takeaways and summary

When holding sales performance reviews for you team, use the time to get to know your people better. It’s a time to offer support, share knowledge, and help those who need it most. Let’s recap our 6 points:


  • Lead the conversation with authenticity and clarity.
  • Investigate poor performers right away to find the cause.
  • Make SMART objectives to ensure change happens.


  • Run reviews one-way.
  • Rely on your memory alone to evaluate reps.
  • Review behaviors and results, not personal traits.

Want more sales content? Check out our webinars here, and keep an eye out for our December event.

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