3 Doggone Simple Steps to Improve a Struggling Sales Team

You already know that coaching and mentoring your salespeople are the best ways to ramp up their sales.

Even if your goal is to be a coach or mentor who is proactive, with all the other duties you have to handle, it's easy to let coaching become reactive. To let it be something you let slide until a serious problem breaks out and you realize your team just isn't delivering the numbers you are responsible for.

Once you decide you have a less than top performing salesperson, it can be hard to discover what is causing the problem and try to make changes. Without knowing WHAT to do, you may let a team member keep struggling and hope they turn themselves around. Worse yet, you may decide to let a low-performing team member go and hire the next salesperson that you like, in the blind hope they'll be better at self-management.

Being a sales manager isn't easy. In fact, the word "multitasking" might have been invented to describe it. When you're not forecasting sales for senior management, developing strategies to compete with your competition, and handling administrative issues, you're attending management meetings and working to meet the needs of your team.  Your reputation and personal success depends on how well others produce.

Step One: Do a complete assessment of your entire sales team. 

It’s important to know your team and what they do well and not so well. Effective sales managers who know this meet the needs of everyone on their sales team. Your sales team is made up of different individuals, so a one-size-fits all management approach may not produce the results you want and need.

Armed with an assessment of each member of your current team, you’ll better understand how to train them, when and why their personality might be a sales strength or weakness and why they like or dislike certain aspects of the job.  Consider it an “owner’s manual” to manage and motivate them to higher sales performance.

Step Two: Compare Top Performers to those Under-performing. 

Using the measured assessment results of the top performers on your team creates a baseline of what makes a top performer for your company and your management style.   Comparing under performers to your top performers, you can easily see what's holding back the team members that aren't keeping up.

Imagine knowing whether high energy and fast pace makes a solid performer, or someone who doesn’t spend enough time with the prospect or customer.  Should they be aggressive when they close, or does your sales process require a style that is less forceful?  Being outgoing and people-oriented sounds like a great sales trait … or does it create a salesperson who is a great visitor but not a great producer.

Consider your personal management style. Do you prefer salespeople who don’t need you for every decision and either you like to or have to allow them to be more self-reliant?  Or does your business and management style prefer a more collaborative approach where more things have to be approved by you?  A talented salesperson in the wrong environment and management style can fail to produce the results they are capable of.

Step Three: Provide training and coaching appropriate to each individual. 

Knowing the traits of top performers helps you better manage those who are not.  And it makes how you train and what training you offer easier to decide.  I’ll help you customize individual training plans so you get better bang for your training buck.  Making top performers stronger, and moving less than top performers to higher results makes your team stronger. This means increased sales for your company and more personal success for you.

Three doggone simple steps.

If you're tired of feeling like you're chasing your own tail, then it's time for you sit, stay, and watch the short video below describing three doggone easy steps to improve a struggling sales team.

I'm Jennifer Leake, a Certified Management Consultant and authority in helping businesses of every size hire, develop and retain productive, engaged employees. My goal is simple: to help you build a culture that attracts and retains engaged employees who will build long term success. To learn more about my proven "People System", give me a call at 866-373-0300 or contact me.