7 years ago
February 21, 2017

How to Define the Weakest Link in Your Sales Team

Let’s first take a look at how to define the weakest link in your sales team.

Rhys Metler


Weak links in your sales team can derail your team’s overall success. Weak links can be destructive in many ways, including poor results, missed appointments, missed deadlines, and lost momentum. If other members of your sales team have to pick up the slack from the weaker links, they burn out from being overly stressed, and this can have a devastating toll on your team.

Defining the weakest link can help you to figure out what to do to make sure your sales team is strong and supportive. Let’s first take a look at how to define the weakest link in your sales team.

Repeated Excuses

Everyone has valid excuses every now and then. Sometimes, traffic jams and illnesses are unavoidable. But if you’re hearing an endless string of excuses from one of your team members, it’s time to take action.

Excuses are indicative of more than just laziness or poor time management skills. They also indicate a lack of respect for the rest of the team. Other team members resent team members who makes excuses because they have to repeatedly take up the slack. When mistrust sets in, you’ll have a bigger problem on your hands.

Poor Attitude

Negativity and hostility are signs of weak links in your sales team. Sales reps with poor attitudes are less likely to make sales and misrepresent your company to potential clients. They also hurt the morale of your entire sales team.

It may be interesting to look at the sales numbers of each member of your team and correlate those numbers with the kind of attitudes held by each person. Often, managers can see direct correlations between attitudes and sales results. If you see a positive attitude in a person with low sales numbers, more training may be the solution.

Sabotaging Behavior

For whatever reason, some sales reps don’t like to be members of teams. They would rather gossip, bad-mouth, or even sabotage fellow team members than work together and be supportive.

It’s easy to see how sabotage can undermine the good work you’re trying to get from your team. A sales rep who engages in these behaviors can have a very negative effect on your entire team.

Repeated excuses, a poor attitude, and sabotaging behavior can help you to identify the weak links in your sales team, but what do you do once you’ve identified them?

Address the Issue

Perhaps your weak link has a specific problem that can be addressed and overcome. For example, if your weak link was brought onto the team after everyone else and missed out on key training and development, he or she may simply need to be brought up to speed. You can accomplish this by pairing your weak link with one of the stronger members of the sales team until weaknesses have been turned into strengths.

Set Specific Goals

Another way you can address your weak link’s issues is to set specific goals. If your weak link has a bad habit of showing up late to appointments, set goals for showing up on time and being prepared. Praise improvement publicly, and show your weak link that the extra effort is paying off.

Provide Coaching

Coaching, which is different than mere training, can be a benefit to your sales team, especially to your weaker links. Coaching involves helping sales reps to develop career skills that will help them to develop into more effect sales people and professionals.

Eliminate the Weak Link

If all else fails, you may need to eliminate the weak link from your sales team in order to keep morale up and minimize repercussions. If you find that you must eliminate your weak link, invite a representative from human resources or another sales manager to witness the discussion. 

Hopefully, you can preserve your sales team without having to eliminate the weak link, but consider the overall health of your team in making this decision.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.