Sales teams can make or break your business’s future. Their knowledge, skills, and efforts are the key to a successful strategy and outstanding results. But if they fail to bring the best outcomes, you’ll have a massive problem on your hands. So, do you know any proven recipes for coaching, motivating, and managing underperforming sales reps? No worries, we have you covered.
Educating and engaging every rep is crucial. And since studies show that 8 in 10 prospects prefer talking to salespeople over texting or receiving an email, make sure that each salesperson on your squad is ripe & ready. So pay close attention to our guide and boost your team’s strengths.
Why is a sales team important?
People in charge of sales have a pivotal role. Their primary aim is to bridge the gap between the customers’ needs and your product or service. And each step they take can have a tremendous impact on your company’s future. Here are some of their key duties and business elements their jobs influence:
- Taking charge of countless interactions with customers, building up your credibility, and creating strong, lasting relationships.
- Generating new leads and conversions, which can skyrocket your profits when everything’s done right,
- Securing brand loyalty and influencing business growth due to their vast company and industry experience and appropriate actions,
- Increasing customer retention,
- Cutting down on costs related to attracting new buyers.
So, their masteries are a powerful thing. Nothing can truly replace a pleasant and effective human interaction. So you better gear up and make sure always to have an extra moment or two to have a closer look at your salespeople and their performance.
What makes a successful sales team?
A legend says that a successful salesperson can close the deal and nail all targets in a snap. But in reality, it’s a bit different. The truth is, if no one is there to encourage teamwork and make sure the communication among teammates is clear and smooth, the ultimate results will be far from stellar. So, true partnership and joint efforts are the key.
Also, efficient teams must train hard to amplify their knowledge and renew their sets of essential skills regularly. And because the market is getting more and more cutthroat, and the odds of bumping into uncomfortable situations and difficult customers are on the rise, this is imperative. Finally, the whole crew must be flexible and resourceful. According to surveys, most salespeople sell remotely. In fact, this number has grown up to 89% compared to 2013 stats. So, using new tools, automating processes, and following hot sales trends like social selling is inescapable to reach goals.
How to deal with underperforming sales staff?
Motivating an underperforming sales team can feel a bit backbreaking. And since each company and its reps face unique challenges and struggle with different issues, there’s no single formula that will just galvanize each and every salesperson. Still, there are a few key steps you must take to coach, empower, and prompt your team to achieve greatness.
So, here are a few basic guidelines:
- Instead of taking a hasty leap straight into the core problem, make an extra effort to notice, assess, and strengthen your team’s strengths,
- Rather than setting each milestone yourself (although it is quite tempting to do so), include them in planning, decision making, and establishing some targets and aims,
- Know if there is a “problem behind the problem” and do your best to understand the big picture.
These essential actions and points require a two-phase approach. First, be absolutely sure that you have asked and listened to your staff. Then, take charge of actualizing what was discussed.
Now, here are three key stages you must focus on to engage and teach your underperforming sales reps.
Set realistic goals & clarify your expectations
So, the first actionable step is to make sure the expectations are perfectly clear. In simple terms, each of your salespeople must know what you want them to do. And that includes all sorts of behaviors and expected results, including the way they deal with customer complaints, how they communicate your brand and values, and more.
Start by improving the way you communicate your intentions and objectives. Then, make sure to monitor their attitude and conduct, watch the impacts carefully, and speak your mind throughout the entire process. Offer them support and give them a roadmap to follow.
Provide objective feedback to every successful & underperforming sales person
Regardless of whether you’re managing underperforming sales reps or dealing with super successful teams, feedback is invaluable. So, tracking performance gains and gaps must be done consistently. In an ideal scenario, a manager provides regular feedback, and it represents a mixture of formal and informal thoughts and suggestions. The precise ratio should be decided according to the circumstances as well as your team culture and preferences.
The key is to review performance and comment on it regularly. And avoid the most common mistake – forgetting to reward the good work.
Focus on the gains & address gaps
Concentrating on performance improvements is a fantastic way to encourage and inspire reps. To do it right, you should make it as specific as possible. And that means that you must avoid generic responses that don’t clearly point out what the salesperson is doing well. Analyze the results, rely on the data, and be precise to help your crew understand the benefits of their good work. So, spice up your reviews and add details like – exceeding quota, closing more deals than expected, etc.
The same rule applies to addressing performance gaps. No behavior or outcome will improve on its own. And that’s why it’s crucial to be accurate and keep it on target. And before you state an issue, ensure the expectations are clear. Then, find out whether the problem is spread across the whole team or is isolated to a single salesperson. Finally, a supportive discussion is the best remedy for all individual struggles and underperforming sales teams.
Bonus tips for sales reps [dos & don’ts]
Persistence is a key skill for every aspiring salesperson. According to stats, each rep should average 60 calls per day. Also, leaving voice messages will take up to 15% of the time. So, the aim is to arm oneself with lots of patience and resilience.
Now, get ready to learn about no-good practices and tested tips to work your way around them:
- Most salespeople have a hard time targeting the right people. So make sure to do a trough and trough research before going for it. If the customer lacks genuine interest or an actual need to buy the product you’re selling, you’re wasting precious time and heading toward some potential backlash.
- Many reps fail big time due to the massive amounts of information they start pouring. As a result, the potential customer doesn’t receive the inputs they truly seek (or they do – but there’s no time to process the info). Avoid making this mistake by letting a prospect speak, ask questions, and state their actual issues.
- A proven formula on how to lose a customer’s interest is to brag a lot. So your product is first-rate, and not buying it will just unleash Armageddon. Right? No, that kind of an approach will annoy the purchaser and have them hopping over to your competitor in no time.
These are just some of the most common sales mistakes that can cost you a lot. Keep this in mind – more than one-half of prospects want to see how your products work during the very first interaction. So skip the drama, cut the nonsense, and learn to adapt to their needs and preferences. And be sure to explore other common slips that can cause a potential buyer to decline your offer.
Motivating & coaching underperforming sales reps can bring you astonishing results
Knowing just what to do when your sales team is not performing is essential. And because their roles have a massive impact on your company’s overall performance and reputation, you have to take every step needed to boost their skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm. Engaging and coaching reps and helping them build up their expertise and crush all issues is paramount. And doable! So just follow this simple guide and start enhancing your results ASAP.
And if you need a reliable associate who will take charge of improved processes and outcomes, talk to our team.