Rescuing Reps from the Ditch

Some say there is no such thing as a slump. Perhaps it depends on how you define the thing. A dip in performance can show its ugly self in so many ways throughout a sales career. Maybe your team can’t uncover new opportunities no matter how hard they try. Maybe they can’t expand existing accounts no matter how much value they show clients. Maybe some of them are shy of their quota but have no idea how to drum up enough revenue to reach goal. Maybe they’re just plain tired.

No matter what it is or how it’s impacting you and the team, take a deep breath, pour yourself another cup of coffee and use these four tactics.

Rally the Troops

A career in sales is nonstop. And for many of us, even when our “workday” is over, our heads are filled with agendas, budgets, and deadlines. That’s hard enough for a sales rep but for sales managers, it’s exponential!

Have some fun with your team – particularly anyone that is struggling. Have some coffee, take them to lunch. And then don’t talk about work. Connect with them. Get to know them, let them into your life so they know you are a real person with a real family and a real schedule…outside the office. Set the agenda aside.

Review Their Why

We spend so much time as sales professionals trying to uncover the why with our customers and prospects, but our teams have them, too. And it’s time to revisit what drives them. Maybe even make some changes and updates.

Review their goals – not your company goals, but the personal goals of your direct reports. Ask them where they want to be next year, in five years, even in ten years. Break it down into three categories: personal, financial, and tangible (think toys, cars, new clothes, etc.).

Allow them to dream about all that for a few minutes. Better yet, tell them how to self-actualize all of it.

Focus on Fundamentals

All your guys/gals are probably stretched so thin each and every day, feeling like they will never get everything accomplished. There are more and more fires to put out every time they think they have their day managed. Take some time to review the “simple” parts of the job and coach them to make these a priority.

Make x calls per week. Schedule x meetings per week. Do x demos per week. None of that happens without initiative from your people. Help them to take it one piece at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time. Small wins with the basics will propel the team toward the other side of the doldrums.

When these simple tasks become a habit (either again or for the first time), you as a manager can rest easier knowing that the pipeline is always being filled. Sales slumps will become fewer and farther between.

Reintroduce the Phone

Yup, the phone is so heavy to reps who are slumping. But likely, it’s the only way out. Try this suggestion on for size: have your team call someone else. If they feel like they are calling the same people over and over again from call lists, from the CRM, etc. and they are tired of hearing that same prospects voice – it’s time to call someone else!

Coach them to research contacts from within the same companies on which they’ve been calling. Maybe they have a similar title. Maybe they are lower or higher on the food chain. But let them know it’s good get into a dialogue with someone! Encourage them to learn all they can about a target.

Advise them to research brand new companies. Have them branch out with their calling campaign and engage their brains while they do it. Expand searches to include competitors of target accounts, other companies that touch the industry you sell into. Help them get creative and shake things up a bit. Slumps sometimes come with simply being bored.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

Remind your team what gets them up in the morning, encourage them to stick to daily habits, and coach them to pick up the phone. It won’t be as heavy for much longer.

Venator Sales Group is a Sales Consulting, Optimization, & Training firm with a laser-focus on improving every aspect of a client’s sales culture and sales performance. Founded over a decade ago by high-performing, professional sales practitioners, Venator combines a strategic sales management approach with real-world understanding of the factors necessary for success in today’s selling environment. Venator helps companies turn around inconsistent or lackluster sales performance by infusing a sales culture based on accountability, compliance, and critical thinking.

Contact Venator to learn how you can build a more successful, scalable sales team.

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