Today’s post is by Diane Polnow, owner and founder of Elite Sales Leaders.
When leading a sales team, it’s inevitable that some of your team members will be lower performers than others. However, just because someone starts out as a low sales performer doesn’t mean they have to stay that way. Here are some tips on how to effectively coach them up.
Tip #1 – Ask, “Do they even want to be a top performer?”: Not everyone does. You may want it more than they do – and that won’t work. You have to work with people who want it for themselves.
Tip #2 – Manage the sales metrics: Activity is everything in sales. Low activity generally leads to low performance. It’s your job and responsibility to make sure you’re reviewing the reported activity and helping them move deals along in the sales funnel. Managing sales metrics will tell you a lot.
I noticed one of my reps had a very high number of appointments but wasn’t closing. He had been focusing so much on getting new appointments that he wasn’t following up. I coached him to follow up with every client with whom he had recently met and he ended up closing five new deals that month. So,monitor your sales metrics – whether you like to do this or not.
Tip #3 – Know how good they are in front of the customer: Are they personable or cheesy? Are they selling benefits and asking relevant questions or just product dumping? Have they done proper research?
I’ll never forget an appointment I went on with one of my reps. She started the meeting by product dumping. The client listened silently with his arms crossed. When she was done with her spiel, the client said, “Do you even know what we do? Do you know anything about our company?” She didn’t – because she hadn’t done the research. Embarrassing. Make sure this doesn’t happen with your team by getting in the field together and listening to them in front of clients.
Tip #4 – Are they closing?: I’m shocked at the number of times I’ve been on appointments and the sales rep doesn’t even ask for the sale or a next appointment. Make sure your team is asking for the sale. Watch them in live sales meetings and, during your one-on-ones, find out if they asked for the sale.
Tip #5 – Have a heart: Remember throughout all of this to have a heart with low performers. They don’t feel good being at the bottom, so stay positive – encourage, support, and empower them while closely monitoring activity.
If you’ve done everything possible to help them and that still doesn’t work…unfortunately, you may need to manage them out and replace them with a top performer. They may be a great person, very talented, but just not the right fit for the job