When business is slow, weak sales reps can be more easily exposed. But if your company is doing well presently, you may have salespeople who appear to be stronger than they really are. No matter how well your team performs as a whole, it’s important to be able to find the team’s weak links to strengthen them. A few factors to consider when looking to decipher whether or not your sales force is full of weeds:
- They rely heavily on call-in business, or leads from marketing.
- They always have full pipelines and fail to actually close any of those deals.
- They spend more time calling current accounts than they do calling on new prospects.
- They need to offer discounts to close deals.
- They need to bring someone else from the sales team in on “big opportunities” to help close the sale.
- They view coaching as criticism.
- They continue to require coaching on the same sales issues again and again.
- They do a lot of networking and have very little to show for it.
- They rarely call on accounts your competitors have locked up.
- They always have an external reason why business didn’t close, rather than taking responsibility and looking to grow from failure.
Many companies fall into the bad habit of justifying poor results from bad sales reps, rather than doing something about it. Whether it’s the sunk cost already invested in them, or not wanting to go through the hiring process again, or believing they are the only ones who could “handle” the accounts they have, a lot of businesses make the mistake of holding onto weak reps.
Think of it this way: if you took away the book of business from one of your reps and dropped him or her in a new territory with little to no marketing would they succeed? If your answer is yes, you most likely don’t have challenges with any of these 10 factors. If not, though, the challenges above will ring true. And if so, it may be time to weed your garden and plant a stronger seed with better genetics. If you do this, your harvest will be plentiful on a consistent basis.
John Glennon is an authorized licensee of Sandler TrainingSM in the Interior of British Columbia.
John is an accomplished sales person and manager with over 17 years sales and sales management experience. Beginning in sales in 1990 as a sales representative, he progressed to territory manager, sales manager, division manager and national sales and marketing manager roles throughout his career.