7 years ago
February 21, 2017

5 Common Problems Sales Managers See in Their Sales Teams

The following are 5 common problems sales managers see in their sales teams.

Rhys Metler

Although you may feel like you’re the only one dealing with problems in your sales team, you’re certainly not alone. In fact,  there are some very common problems that afflict sales teams everywhere. Just because they’re common, however, doesn’t mean you can’t overcome them. Once you learn how to deal with these common issues, you’ll feel much more comfortable in your role as a sales manager, and you’ll propel your sales teams to greater success.

Little or No Training

One of the most common problems sales managers have to deal with is working with sales reps who have little or no training. Usually, by the time a new sales rep is hired, there’s no time for training. You’ve just got to get that rep working! So you figure he’ll learn on the job, similar to apprenticeship situations. The trouble is that sales reps with little or no training are frustrated, they don’t know what they’re doing, and their costly mistakes could be counterproductive.

The sink-or-swim approach to training sales teams has one major flaw: it’s too risky. If some of your sales reps sink, you have to go back to the drawing board with new hires, and this is costly in both time and resources. Instead of watching them sink or swim, throw your sales reps a life vest: training. By spending just a little time training your new sales reps up front, you’ll find that they get up to speed much quicker. They’ll also be more satisfied with their jobs, which means you’re more satisfied with your entire team’s performance.

Not Enough Motivation

If your sales reps seem more interested in their social media accounts than their clients and sales, you’ve got a motivation problem. 

What motivates sales reps to work harder and meet their goals? That’s an important question for you to ask, and the answer may be different for different sales reps. For instance, one sales rep might be extremely motivated by public praise. Another might be motivated by a day off. Yet another might be very motivated by tickets to a game or a cash bonus.

Isn’t it unfair to use different rewards to motivate people? Not at all. In fact, wise sales managers find out what makes each sales rep tick, and they use that knowledge to help their reps to meet their personal goals, which leads us to the next problem.

No Goals

Your company may impose quotas, but quotas are not the same as goals. Goals are essential for personal success and satisfaction, so help your sales reps to set personal goals that will help them in their individual careers as well as help your company to be successful.

Remember that goals don’t do any good if you don’t follow up with your sales reps and keep track of whether or not they’re making progress toward those goals. It’s a good idea to meet with your sales reps on a regular basis to help them see how they’re doing with their goals and allow them to ask questions about what they can do better.

Poor Sales Meetings

Do boring sales meetings plague your sales team? The objective of any sales meeting should be to boost sales. If you’re having sales meetings just for the sake of having meetings, you’re wasting your time as well as the valuable time of all your sales reps. 

The best way to ensure that your sales meetings are worthwhile is to develop a statement of strategic intent that is measurable. Your statement should specifically define what needs to be accomplished before the next sales meeting, at which time your sales reps will report back with their results.


Keep your team spirit alive by avoiding favoritism at all costs. Make everyone feel like a valued, important member of your sales team, and you’ll find that everyone is willing to work hard to reach team goals.

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.