In a perfect world, your team would come to work every day amped about their jobs, ready to sell to the best of their ability, and leave feeling accomplished and satisfied.
Sometimes, that world is a reality. What’s far more likely, though, is facing the challenge of motivating an underperforming sales professional or even an entire sales team.
Some abide by the “get on board or get out” policy, and there are certainly circumstances where firing an employee is an appropriate response, but it should never be the first line of defense when the main challenge is a lack of motivation.
Instead, try these tips and techniques for lighting a fire under your lagging teammates and hopefully witness a transformation.
Don’t push off the problem.
If you notice signs that your employee or team is feeling less than motivated, don’t ignore the problem in the hopes it will resolve itself organically. Situations like this can often catch and spread like a virus, infiltrating other areas of your team. That’s a much bigger problem than just one unmotivated team member. Talking to the team member who seems down in the dumps is an important first step, and one you should take at the first sign of an issue.
Make sure you’re looking at the situation objectively.
We’re only human, and as such, it’s easy to let unconscious bias color our behavior and treatment of our team members. In looking at the situation objectively, from a 10,000-foot view, you will be able to do the next step, which is:
Find the core issue.
It may be that this employee is simply a bad fit. That’s an unfortunate outcome, and ultimately one that’s on you, because you hired them. But it also could be that they don’t feel they have the necessary tools or training to do their job effectively, and feel demoralized and unmotivated as a result. That’s another thing that’s on you, but it’s a situation you can fix with the right approach.
Make it a collaborative effort to improve.
If your underperforming sales team member says, “Sorry, this is who I am,” you have a decision on your hands. Hopefully, though, they are amenable to your desire to help them improve, and will work with you to come up with a solution, whether that means mentorship, more frequent check-ins, new tools or training, or any combination thereof.
Make a plan and check in regularly.
Once you have their cooperation and feel they are on board with making a change, lay out a roadmap for improvement and stick to it. By having clear objectives and a clear timeline, you accomplish two things: you empower your employee to improve, and you show that you are serious about the need for change.
No one’s perfect all the time, nor should they be expected to be. When your team members are in a slump, use these steps to identify the problem and create an achievable plan for success.