There is a widely-cited piece of research from SiriusDecsions that says 54% of sales reps do not hit their quota. Great salespeople are entitled to a bad month every now and again, but when the same reps are consistently bringing up the rear or when the entire team struggles to hit their goals, management needs to step up and take action before the pattern becomes the norm.
Test Their Approach
Your company probably invests a great deal of time training and developing sales reps, and managers likely spend time coaching the team on best practices. But just where is all of that training and coaching going? Reps that struggle to hit quotas should be worked with one-on-one in role play scenarios to ensure they have a firm grasp of techniques. Sales managers should also listen in on prospecting calls and attend meetings and presentations with reps regularly to ensure they are putting those strategies into practice.
Be Sure Every Rep is Prospecting Every Day
Jamming a week’s worth of cold calls into one afternoon isn’t an effective way to generate quality appointments. Help create a sense of discipline by setting aside one hour for cold call sprints each day. Daily contests can help motivate the group, but help the main goal should be developing the “muscles” for ongoing prospecting.
Take A Good Look In the Mirror
If the group as whole seems to be struggling with quotas, the problem might not be the reps. Put out an anonymous survey to the team, asking what they think is going wrong and what it is they need from leadership in order to get their jobs done. You may learn that pricing is off, something is wrong with the product or service offering, or you may learn they need more efficient CRM systems or better marketing materials. If you see the same answers over and over again, take that pattern as a sign and work with upper management to get the team what they need to succeed.
Dig Into The Data
CRM platforms are a treasure trove of information. Sift through the data to determine where people are dropping off in the sales funnel. For example, you may notice that the highest number of lost leads occur in the closing stage. This might mean that you need to reinforce strong closing practices, or it could mean there is a pricing misalignment. Once you determine where most reps are hitting roadblocks, you can develop strategies to help them improve.
Make Tough Decisions
Great reps have bad months every now and again. However, if there are people on your team that are consistently bringing down the team average, you’ll have to make some tough decisions. Businesses cannot survive without revenue, and settling for underperforming salespeople is a recipe for financial destruction.
The most effective way to avoid firing an underperforming rep is to hire candidates with the best chance of success. If you are looking for new ways to attract and retain top salespeople for your organization, the expert recruiters at CSS can help. Contact us today to learn more about the ways in which we can help grow, build and expand your team with professionals who can help you meet and exceed quotas.