Sales Management Training: How to re-energize senior salespeople who have become “stuck in a rut”

Step 1: Is your “Stuck-in-rut” rep also one of your “Bell Cows”?

A sales team typically consists of a few leaders and lots of followers. So does a ranch, where the herd follows along behind the one cow with a bell around its neck.

Many salespeople, especially those with less experience, emulate the example of the bell cows on your sales team. If one of your bell cows is a senior sales rep stuck in a rut, you must act to improve the situation! Otherwise, everyone else will follow the bell cow’s meandering pace.

Step 2: Get into each salesperson’s head.

Don’t use a “one-size-fits-all” strategy, because every salesperson is different, with different needs, commitments, motivators, etc. You must build a relationship with each individual.

Step 3: Develop a motivation improvement plan for each individual salesperson.

Salespeople who have “lost the fire” are salespeople who have lost sight of their goals, so you must help them see their future more clearly. To create your plan, ask good questions, and really listen. Ask: Why are you selling for a living? What is it that you want, that you don’t currently have? Where do you want to be in 24-36 months? What motivates you? For example, one salesperson may want to buy a house, another wants to join a golf/country club, a third wants your job. Three very different goals, but all could be achieved faster by exceeding quota.

Step 4: Remove obstacles

Are there any barriers to performance that our organization has created for you? If so, how can we remove them (the obstacles)?

Step 5: Improve your energy and desire to excel. Remember, the speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack.

A few more successful strategies include:

  • Pay more attention to them. Ask your boss to talk to him/her, 1 on 1.
  • Sometimes you can appeal to their competitive instincts by creating a contest against another division of the company, and give the salesperson a stretch goal to shoot for.
  • You can recognize their achievements more frequently.
  • Delegate the delivery of a few sales meetings on a subject such as prospecting (which they, in all likelihood, need a refresher on).
  • Explain to them how their role as a senior tenured salesperson fits in to the big picture and why it’s so important to team results.
  • And, lastly, challenge your senior salespeople to “step-up.” Let them know that you expect much more from them, and are counting on them to increase sales.
Kevin Davis

Kevin F. Davis is the author of The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness”, which was named the 2018 Axiom Business Book Award Winner, Silver Medal. Kevin is also the author of Slow Down, Sell Faster!”.