180 and 360 Degree Assessments on the Sales Force

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jun 03, 2009 @ 22:06 PM

There are not a lot of companies that undertake 180 degree or 360 degree assessments of the sales force and that's a good thing because there are so many limitations.

The 180 - The salesperson or sales manager does a self-rating on the predetermined competencies and attributes and the individual's boss conducts the same ratings.

The 360 - The sales manager does a self-rating on the predetermined competencies and attributes and both the sales manager's boss and the salespeople that report to the sales manager conduct the same ratings.

So the 180 and the 360 are nearly the same except for the number of people and the vertical depth.

What are the limitations?

  • The assessment is only as strong as the competencies and attributes that have been identified.  Most of these assessments miss more competencies than they include;
  • The assessment is only as good as the scorer's ability to completely understand each competency and attribute;
  • The assessment is only as good as the scorer's ability to know the difference between good and bad in each competency and attribute;
  • The assessment is only as good as the scorer's ability to observe the individual's use of these competencies and attributes in the field;
  • The assessment is only as good as the scorer's ability to honestly score the individual;
  • The assessment is only as good as the scorer's use of the entire range of potential scores.  In other words, if the assessment uses a 1-5 scale, and the scorer uses the entire range of 1-5, there is reason to believe the scores are useful.  On the other hand, if the scorer uses only 4's as the lowest score and 5's as the highest score, it yields little, if any, usefulness.

So even the most thoughtful and comprehensive 180's and 360's are very subjective and have major limitations.  At best, they identify very strong and very weak performers.  At worst, they are a waste of time.

My question is, why would a company bother to go through this time consuming, inaccurate process when there is a very accurate, very predictive, sales specific, time-tested, proven, validated sales force evaluation that can be implemented, analyzed and reviewed, quickly and easily for far less money?

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Salesforce, Sales Force, Personality Tests, sales evaluations, sales tests, sales assessments

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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