My Sales Team Constantly Under performs; What Should I Do?

This is a lament that is heard from sales managers world-over – they want to know what they are doing wrong and how they can make it so their sales teams can meet their targets. The truth is that there is no magic recipe for making sales teams more enthusiastic about their work. It all depends on what is making them do poorly. There is no way to fix the problem unless you know what it is and the only way to do that is to have an honest conversation with each member of the team.

When you talk to them let them understand that it is not a punitive conversation but a conversation about helping each member of the team do better. Ask them what obstacles they face and then what they think should be done to make things better. Sometimes a simple conversation can provide solutions to problems that looked insurmountable. Also, when people feel that you value their opinions and contributions they are more likely to feel motivated. One mistake that managers make is collecting their employees’ opinions and then doing nothing with them. This will only demotivate your sales team further. You obviously cannot implement every idea but you should take the good ones and put them in action.

Your sales team was not hired to do paperwork – they are there to sell your products and services. If you ask many people who work in sales they will tell you that they would feel much better about their job if they didn’t have to fill in forms and key in data. Your team will do better if you hire someone to deal with the daily mundane stuff and leave them to do what they do best.

Some “experts” suggest rewarding sales people helps them feel more motivated. While this may be true, how do you what kind of reward someone will respond to? You obviously cannot throw money at them since you don’t have it to throw. In fact, research suggests that beyond a certain point of remuneration people don’t care how much you pay them anymore. This means that you have to find what motivates each of your sales employees and the only way to do this is to get to know them. Some people, for example, respond to kindness. If they feel that you are a sympathetic boss they want to work even harder.  It may look like a tough job to find out what everyone responds to but if you want a better sales team you just have to do it.