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Managing Those Who Don’t Perform

15 Feb, 2005 By: Nick Warnock imageSource

Managing Those Who Don’t Perform

If I had the complete solution
to the dilemma of motivating underperforming salespeople, I would be wealthier
than Donald Trump, or at least the richest man in the sales training business.
I’ll give it a shot and go for it anyway. Just remember to make the check out to
Warnock Worldwide, Inc. I’m kidding. I was just reinforcing the all-important
trait that makes the masters of our craft successful—confidence!

As veterans of the business, we
are all familiar with the 80/20 rule that rings true with any division of an
organization responsible for delivering revenue. For all you neophytes, the rule
simply means that 20 percent of a sales force produces 80 percent of the
revenue. With that being said, you can see that most managers are faced with the
daunting challenge of inspiring a large portion of their team.

As a manager, you always hope to
be blessed with individuals who consistently outperform their plan and who may
only contact you to give you their outlook/forecast. Make sure to leave them
alone and just keep stroking their ego. Though there are many who will argue
against this theory, I firmly believe that if something is not broken, don’t fix

The challenge is successfully
getting people who hover around their plan to consistently achieve it, and to
get those who are underperforming to improve. Rome was not built in a day. I
believe that improvement and consistency over the long haul is much more
important then a rep with a tracking chart resembling a roller coaster. If they
are trained and managed with sound fundamentals and an awareness of the process
that you are putting them through, you are going to have a much more pleasant
time and gratifying experience making them better.

One method that I have used is
daily tracking. Reps despise this type of method, but there is a strange
correlation between performance, when the process is strictly enforced, and when
it is loosely implemented. There are many types of software that will track the
phone calls, but it is up to the manager to closely monitor the quality of the
calls being made.

If the practice of a structured
day is enforced, it is a lot easier for the manager to sit with each rep for a
few calls to give feedback and encouragement. Group telephone prospecting also
promotes camaraderie among team members. Tele-prospecting can be a brutal blow
to one’s ego and tough to get through, but if other people are going through the
same thing, it makes the pain much more bearable.

The same is true for success.
When an appointment with a decision maker is set, everybody on the team hears
the sweet sigh of victory and recognizes the relief that after all those
rejections there was a YES! After the phone warrior sets the date and time,
everyone is pumped. The power of positive energy and winning is contagious and
it surely is a virus worth catching. 

The practice can also be applied
to cold calling, but monitoring this process is difficult. A great way to
monitor your reps’ cold calling habits is by asking them to turn in cards from
establishments they have visited. They should be visiting a set amount daily
between appointments with new offerings each time they visit. Speaking with them
about specific accounts they know you are familiar with also keeps them on their
toes.  Furthermore, travel days to your reps’ territories should be implemented
at least once a week. Hopefully, we still have that itch to get out there in the
field. The reason I got into sales was so that I did not have to sit behind a
desk. There is plenty of time for that when you are running your own business or

The review of the reps’
activities can be evaluated once a week when you have your one-on-one meeting
with them to determine what accounts will close. If they are doing what they are
supposed to be doing under your tutelage, there is no reason for them not to be
performing. And if they are not generating business, they better be prospecting

Again, what we do is not brain
surgery. Using an age-old formula based on numbers and combined with some
structure, you can transform your average performers into significant

The next time you sit down for a
review, upper management will know that you are a manager that is able to get
results from all of your salespeople, and a leader who is able to make others
perform at a level that they might not otherwise be able to, which improves your
value 100-fold!

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