7 years ago
February 21, 2017

How to Differentiate from a Sales Dud to a Sales Stud

Try the following tips to improve the performance of your under-performing sales reps.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

You know the one: the sales person on your team who rarely meets quotas, always has excuses, and consistently shows up late. This person can be a real downer for the team. Instead of contributing enthusiasm and ideas, the sales dud on your team brings everybody down.

The good news is that you can turn that sales dud into a sales stud. With some concentrated effort and consistent coaching and follow-up, that dud could soon be leading your team in sales and enthusiasm. Try the following tips to improve the performance of your under-performing sales reps.

Teach Goal Setting

If the only goals your sales reps have are the goals you’re imposing on them, they’re less likely to be motivated to succeed. Sales reps need to be taught how to set personal goals that will help them not only to succeed in the short-term but also to thrive in their long-term careers.

Even your least successful sales reps can begin by setting a goal for themselves right away. This goal doesn’t need to be as ambitious as the goals set by your most ambitious reps, but it should be challenging for them. When they reach their first personal goal, they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, which will propel them on to greater and greater success.

Find a Mentor

Sometimes the best way to learn new skills is to watch a master in action. Try pairing your dud with one of your more successful reps. Explain to the mentor some of the specific skills you’d like your dud to learn, and then step back and allow the teaching to begin.

Encouragement and example from a trusted mentor can make a world of difference to someone struggling with selling your products and services. Selling can be very demanding, and some positive feedback and specific skills and strategies can be exactly what are needed.

Offer Incentives

Showing up at your day job can be a real drag if you’re feeling unmotivated. Find out what motivates your dud and then use it to your advantage. Some people are motivated by public recognition, others by days off. Some people love gifts like movie or sports tickets. When you effectively attach incentives to specific, quantifiable goals, your reps will work harder and find more satisfaction in their jobs.

Teach Good Listening Skills

One of the most important skills sales reps can learn is how to listen well to prospects and customers. When they know how to listen, they become problem solvers who can tailor solutions to your customers’ problems.

You can teach listening skills in your team meetings and give your reps opportunities to practice with each other. You can also teach your reps how to ask good questions that will give clients and chance to really explain their needs and challenges. 

Coach Your Duds

Pay close attention to your sales reps who are struggling. With a little attention, you’ll soon be able to identify where they’re having troubles. Coach them on specific skills and strategies to help them turn their weaknesses into strengths, and follow up with them religiously to make sure they’re meeting their smaller goals that will eventually lead them to major success.

As you put these ideas into action, your sales duds will become sales studs. Instead of bringing your team down, they’ll be out in front, leading the way and encouraging the rest. In fact, it may not be long before you’re asking them to mentor your newest dud. 

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.