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Keeping Your Reps Accountable
by Eric Slife

Do you struggle getting your sales team to prospect consistently? Do they not turn in paperwork or attend training classes? Are they content in not growing their current customer base? The reality is most sales managers can answer, “Yes” to at least one of these questions. However, when I ask, “What have you done to fix the problem?” the typical response is, “Not a whole lot we can do, we don’t want to upset them.”

The first step in holding your reps accountable is changing your attitude and perception. You should be more concerned with your reps respecting you than whether they like you. One of the most difficult aspects of leadership is to get out of your comfort zone and into someone else’s comfort zone, and make them uncomfortable. It isn’t easy assessing, critiquing, and coaching others; especially if you were once colleagues. However, take the attitude that by keeping your reps accountable to do the activities they dislike will only make them better sales people, and ultimately benefit them by making a bigger pay check. On the other hand, if they don’t succeed, not only will they lose their job, but other people in the company as well because of decreased revenues and profits.

In order to hold reps accountable, there must be a standard to hold them accountable to. You need to create a management plan that solely focuses on how your team will achieve the company’s monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. It should consist of the following:

  • Assessing each rep’s knowledge of your company’s products and services.
  • Monitoring and tracking your rep’s prospecting activity to ensure a continuous healthy sales pipeline. This would include inspecting their follow up campaign.
  • Frequently observing and assessing your reps in the field.
  • Evaluating reps time and territory management.
  • Assessing each reps sales plan. There should be a specific focus on their strategy to penetrate and close their top accounts.
  • Implementing and mandating your reps get ongoing sales training whether they are fresh out of college or have years of experience. I’m going to shamelessly plug our program at because it’s easy to use, affordable, and can be customized. However, it can be as simple as your team reading a sales book together.

This requires some work up front, but it will pay off in the long run. In addition, what gets planned gets done.

After this is in place, your job is much easier because now you have activities and standards you are coaching to and assessing. As a result, you are able to sit down with your rep and provide solid feedback based upon actual assessments and information that is measurable. For example, if you are coaching a rep whose numbers are inconsistent this may be directly related to inconsistent prospecting activity. You can then address this specific issue with the rep, and monitor it more closely.

When addressing the issue with your rep, it is important that they take ownership. In keeping with the above example, during a performance review you show your rep their prospecting reports. You should ask questions such as:

  • Do you agree that your prospecting has been inconsistent?
  • How many daily prospecting calls do you think you need to make for consistent numbers?
  • How would you like me to help you achieve this?

Reiterate to them, you want to help them be successful, and then together agree to a plan to help them achieve their goals. This same technique works great for your top performers as well. “You’re doing awesome. However, if you had to pick 3 areas to improve, what would they be?” After their response, just ask how you can help them do better in those areas.

Finally, if you do have a rep that you have to let go by keeping performance logs, you are more objective and have concrete evidence of an individual’s lack of performance. This can prove to be worth its weight in gold if someone files a wrongful termination lawsuit against you and your company.

Keeping reps accountable shouldn’t be a task you avoid or dread. There are times when it’s not pleasant; however, focus on how you are helping others succeed.

About The Author: Eric Slife is president of Slife Sales Training, Inc. Through their website they help those companies who don’t have large sales training budgets receive ongoing access to premier sales training that can be adapted to their specific need. Sign up for their free newsletter, and receive their audio program Top 10 Voicemail Blunders.


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Motivating the Prospect to Buy
presented by Mark Christie

You may not be able to get a prospect to change his timetable for a purchase but, if you understand his reasons for buying, you can motivate him to make a decision. In order to motivate the prospect, you must:

Create Desire!

In order to understand how to do this, you need to have an understanding of why people buy, what motivates them, and how they make buying decisions.

You’ll discover:

  • Why people buy, and how they justify their decisions
  • The six dominant buying motives
  • The ten strongest persuaders/influencers
  • Why painting a mental picture is one of your strongest tools
  • How to help the prospect see ownership

We’ll also spend time looking at answering the big question on most salespeople’s minds is:  “How do I know when to close the sale?”  We’ll investigate:

  • Buying signals and how to spot both verbal and non-verbal buying signals
  • The importance of body language
  • Using trial closes
  • Taking the prospect’s temperature
  • Bridging to the close step

Click here for details or to order.

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