Is your sales team struggling to meet their quotas?
While even the best sales pros experience one or two bad months per year, witnessing deteriorating performance month after month should be a cause for concern.
Not only is your sales team responsible for selling a brand’s products or services, but it also serves as a connection between the brand and its audience. By building a relationship with customers, the sales team directly impacts audience engagement and retention.
Moreover, it can ultimately make or break a company’s identity, growth, sales, and profits.
If you’ve been struggling to have your team achieve the numbers they need to hit goals, it may be time to opt for stronger strategies.
ISC’s team of sales recruiters have rounded up five ways to help your team meet and exceed your sales objectives.
1. Focus on Success Metrics
Ensuring that your sales team is aware of key performance metrics is critical to keeping them on track without increasing stress levels.
We all know that sales is ultimately a numerically predictable endeavor. Understanding precisely what numbers need to be met at each critical stage of making a sales takes all the guess work out of it. Studying your team’s numbers will also provide valuable information to help understand precisely where in the pipeline they are falling short.
We recommend starting off each meeting by discussing primary metrics—including sales KPIs and activity metrics.
Track each individual’s performance as reflected through the metrics. Focus on each person’s conversion rate and total value of sales per month. Ultimately, you’ll help them determine their standing, thereby adding subtle pressure that motivates them to do better.
Pearson’s law states that, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” Having everyone share their individual numbers in sales meetings is an extremely powerful way to hold everyone accountable and applying pressure to succeed.
2. Increase the Frequency of Personalized Coaching
One of the best ways to increase production is by holding frequent personalized coaching sessions with each member of the sales department.
While we encourage holding team meetings and seminars as well, one-on-one sessions will ensure engagement with each individual, thereby allowing stronger absorption of feedback.
In addition, after reviewing team and individual metrics, seasoned sales managers can determine which areas each employee is lacking in. This will ensure tailored feedback that focuses on individual weaknesses.
3. Address Poor Performance
While many managers feel reluctant to address poor performance, it’s essential to hold team members accountable for their performance. As they say, you must inspect what you expect.
Research consistently shows that what causes employees the most anxiety is not being clear on what is expected of them. Having clear guidelines and goals actually lowers employees stress levels.
Instead of subjecting the respective team member to a ten-minute harangue, however, we recommend addressing subpar performance in a polite yet direct manner. Discuss metrics and clearly identify areas of improvement. This will help weak members of the team polish their skills and improve performance.
Remember, praise in public, correct in private.
4. Don’t Forget to Provide Positive Feedback
Positive feedback goes a long way in helping employees to identify their strengths and feel motivated. We recommend holding collective team meetings and addressing excellent performance at the beginning.
Study after study shows that for many employees, they would rather have public praise as opposed to a $100 bonus. Many managers fail to realize how much value is given to public praise, and fail to give it as frequently and lavishly as possible.
5. Embody the Vision of the Company
Whether you’re a seasoned sales manager or an executive, it’s essential that you embody the vision of the company at every possible opportunity. Demonstrate all the values your company upholds—including creativity, integrity, confidence, commitment to customers, ownership, innovation, and accountability, among others.
As your sales team witnesses the embodiment of core ethics and values, they’ll strive to measure up to your mission statement. As one of the most effective ways of encouraging your employees to go above and beyond, this strategy will strengthen your sales team and company culture.
While implementing these strategies should theoretically increase production, there’s only so much you can do. As one of my all-time favorite trainers, Steve Finkel likes to say, “you cannot pour a gallons worth of knowledge into a quart container”.
Once you have addressed a lack of performance and offered individualized coaching to help your employee hit their numbers, if the numbers do not improve, it is time to top grade your team. Many managers hesitate to cut someone loose and the repercussions for allowing a low performer to stay on the team are substantial. Track your teams numbers, both as a team and on an individual basis, and once it becomes apparent that you have someone that is not able or willing to put in the extra effort to produce, it is important to make that change as soon as possible
International Search Consultants has been a leading executive recruiting firm in the U.S. since 1999. ISCs team of Sales Recruiters is able to strategically identify and deliver top performers from clients direct competitors.
Contact us today to get a terrific candidate flow started for your critical fill hiring needs!
Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of ISC and can be reached via direct dial at 888-866-7276 or e-mail at
Carolyn McClendon is ISCs Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, and can be reached directly at 888-974-0086 or email at