Smart Advice to Better Handle Low Sales Performers

Smart Advice to Better Handle Low Sales Performers
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The Dilemma of How to Handle Low Sales Performers
We know from Sales Management Training participants, that sales leaders often face the same dilemma. A salesperson is not performing up to expectations but has some potential “big deals” in the sales pipeline that sound pretty promising.

Is it better to hope they come through next quarter or to let them go now?

The “promising deals” are tempting, and it is expensive and time consuming to find and on-board new sales reps. Not to mention the disruption to your customers and the distress of letting go of someone who you work with.

What The Research Says
Sales leadership simulation assessment data tells us that top sales leaders excel at building and leading sales teams comprised of high performers. They consistently:

Smart Advice to Better Handle Low Sales Performers
If you want to build a high performing sales team, the advice is loud and clear: Say goodbye to poor sales performers quickly who do not improve with support and coaching in 90 days. Low performers lower the bar for everyone — the opposite of a high performance sales culture.

If you are in charge a sales team, follow this field-tested advice:

  1. Define Clear Sales Success Metrics
    Before you can hold sales people accountable or coach them to higher performance, you must create simple, realistic, accurate, fair, agreed to, and transparent sales success metrics for all sales reps. Then make sure that your sales compensation plan 100% aligns with your sales strategy, unique value proposition, and your success targets.
  2. Ensure Forecasting Accuracy
    While accurate sales forecasting is required for sales teams to make informed strategy, client, and people decisions, less than 25% of sales leaders trust their team’s sales forecasts. Have clear buyer-based evidence that distinguishes the true value of opportunities in your pipeline so that your sales forecasting helps drive the timing and validity of important goal setting, hiring, firing, coaching, budgeting, and prospecting decisions.
  3. Know the Business Economics
    What is each sales reps breakeven? What is their average ramp time to quota? How does this fit into your sales strategy and budget? The goal — understand the financial and strategic implications of your decisions.
  4. Provide High Support and High Accountability
    If you want to create a high performance sales culture, give lower performers a chance to improve (~90 days) with targeted training and consistent performance coaching. If they do not improve, it is better for them and you that they move on. If they do improve after some help, you have saved yourself a lot of time and heartache.

The Bottom Line
Sales reps that do not meet performance or behavior standards lower overall team expectations. performance and morale while leaving lots of deals on the table. To assemble a sales team that will perform at its peak, you need everyone reaching for higher performance and pulling their weight. Are you letting “B” and “C” sales reps to hang around too long?

To learn more about how to better handle low sales performers, download What is the Right Amount of Sales Pressure to Put On Your Sales Team?

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