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What is low sales performance and how to end it once and for all! – Socioherald
September 28, 2021


Best Business Blog

What is low sales performance and how to end it once and for all!

low sales

There are many differences between a high and low-performance seller. According to McKinsey in a survey of more than 15 thousand professionals, they stand out in some skills, such as:

  • Relationship and networking;
  • Planning;
  • Prospecting ;
  • Management and internal relationship;
  • Sales funnel management;
  • Understanding of customer needs;
  • Knowledge of what is sold;
  • Presentation of the value proposition;
  • Negotiation and closing.

While the high-performance seller of the sales team of nova city has all these points well developed, the low-performer is stagnant or with little evolution in relation to its performance.

More than individual results, the particular low performance affects the entire sales force, which in this circumstance, certainly, tends to feel in a bad work environment and without room for personal growth.

Of course, in addition to interfering in the company, low performance also influences the results of the entire team, because if there is a salesperson who reduces the average of the company’s fruits, how will it be possible to reach the collective goal?

So, see everything you need to know about low performance as well as how to identify it and how to stop what may be the cause of goal failure.

What is low performance?

Low performance refers to the low performance of a salesperson or employee in a given activity. Every professional can go through this situation at some point. However, it must be seen as a challenge to be overcome. 

Several factors impact an employee’s performance, such as lack of ability to perform the task, motivation, engagement or willingness to evolve.

How to identify the underperforming employee

Now that you have understood what this problem is, you can ask yourself: “how to identify it?” Well then! Let’s start at the root of this evil.

In the first months of work

Once hired, the employee still needs to be evaluated and, of course, the initial months are crucial to identify whether the person will present low performance or not.

Look for performance indicators such as:

  • Does the employee make an effort to learn about Capital Smart City?
  • Does he seek to improve himself every day and deliver the best possible result?
  • Does he show himself to be someone willing to learn and resolve doubts with other people on the team?

If the answers to these questions are “yes”, it is likely to be high-performing. However, if they are negative, well, you already know, right?!

Other low-performance indicators for new employees are:

  • Do not listen to other teammates or customers;
  • Mismanagement of working time;
  • Not having the initiative in the face of problems;
  • Talking a lot and not knowing when to stop;
  • Focus more on selling than on customer relationships.

In veterans

More experienced employees, even if they have been performing well for a long time, in certain situations, may assume the profile of low-performing employees. 

Having good results is not something that lasts when the work is discontinuous and that’s where the problem lies. Imagine the following situation, a salesperson closes more sales than the goal set for four months, but in the next three months, he doesn’t reach the goal. Why does it happen?

There are people who, after some achievements, settle down. In these cases, they cannot be considered as high-performance personalities, but as someone who had a progressive moment, but with some accomplishments, stopped feeling the need to evolve.

However, there may be some other reasons for these low-performance moments. We list them below! 

How to identify low performance in salespeople

Raul Candeloro, a partner at the Institute of Specialization in Sales and one of the greatest sales specialists in Brazil, reports some of the most common characteristics of underperforming salespeople, based on research and personal experience.

From this data, it is possible to identify the low performance in someone and know how to overcome it. The errors listed are:

  • Not learning to overcome the fear of rejection: Many salespeople get stuck when selling something with a higher value or fail to develop the conversation when it comes to prospecting. Certainly, this prevents them from achieving results.
  • Lack of investment in personal improvement: it is necessary to set aside time to study, to seek improvement and evolution.
  • Project your own preconceptions and beliefs in the customer’s buying process: an example of this is the price of what is sold, you can consider that it has a high value and, therefore, give a discount even without being asked.
  • More emphasize the sale of the relationship in the long run: think at the moment of sale is to think small because more value is a customer who does not buy at first, but, with nutrition, learn more about the brand and then turn customer faithful, than someone who consumes something punctually and never returns.
  • Lack of motivation: it is necessary to be optimistic, but realistic. Understand what part of the process, the challenges is and where it will arrive. From there, face the path in the best way possible.
  • Not having clear and defined objectives in writing: the lack of organization of what needs to be done makes it difficult to prioritize essential activities.
  • Talking too much and not knowing how to listen: many salespeople can talk too much and not give the customer space to talk, or not really listen to what the customer has to say.
  • Not managing time with unproductive activities: especially with the extensive use of social networks, many get lost in the middle of tasks and, because they do not focus on the activity, cannot complete any activity, even with a full schedule.
  • Waiting for someone to tell you what to do: lack of initiative or need for approval to start any activity is also a problem of low performance.
  • Talking about the features and not the benefits: one of the sales techniques is to show the consumer what will be the benefits he will achieve with the purchase, as focusing only on the features does not reveal the solution to his problem.
  • Not properly qualifying the prospect: treating all customers the same is a waste of time! It is necessary to identify who the ideal customers are and focus on them.
  • Thinking that the objection is an obstacle: it is a sales opportunity, as it shows that the potential consumer is interested in the product or service and allows the seller to talk more about what they offer.
  • Not doing post-sales and post-non-sales: not considering the relationship with the customer, but only the current sale, is a mistake, as the important thing is to always keep them loyal or make them join your customer base.

How to avoid low performance?

Now that you’ve seen how to identify this problem, see how to avoid it in order to optimize time and improve results for the entire team!

Choose your employees correctly

Recruitment and selection are some of the most important steps in business processes. Because, by not choosing good employees with a growth mentality and that it is always possible to evolve, delivering your best, you will encounter problems.

As Raul Candeloro says, “don’t hire the least bad!” Admit trained professionals, people who are suitable for the position and who can add to the team.

In other words, always look for the ideal and don’t agree with less than that. When you look for people who really stand out, you are more likely to get good results.

Therefore, it’s no use choosing a person just because they “serve”, as this will make you expect exceptional results from someone not qualified to offer them.

Look for the reason for the low performance

There are cases where the employee has high performance but is going through a period of decline. It is your role to seek to understand why the situation is and how to resolve it.

The first step in this is to remember that no one is the same at all times in life. After all, as Raul Seixas said, “we are walking metamorphoses”, which means that we are constantly changing, but in some moments it is common to experience casualties.

By understanding this, the idea becomes clearer that the other does not have exceptional results one hundred percent of the time. Now, see how to act in each situation:

Low performance due to personal problems

Certainly, someone’s personal life directly interferes with work and professional life directly interferes with personal life. It’s a difficult relationship to separate.

Some people can distinguish each of them well, but there are times when doing this is tricky, and of course it can cause momentary low performance.

The ties between the manager, HR and teammates need to be strengthened so that at these times the support of third parties, either as listeners or as agents more active in solving problems, can happen.

Many times, those who go through some difficulty that interferes with their work cannot find a solution on their own, not because of lack of capacity, but because they are stuck in a situation that limits the field of vision for a possible solution. 

Low performance due to stagnation 

Do you know that moment when a person has already completed the courses he wanted, developed himself with great vehemence and applied what he learned? So, after this shower of good results, high productivity and performance, the question arises, “what now?”

This point is already an indicator to differentiate high and low performance in someone because anyone with a growth mindset understands that at no time does evolution stops and it is necessary to continue looking for knowledge.

But even these people can go through low moments because they feel stagnant. This is where you come in as an agent that encourages and instigates her improvement, helping her to see what her goals are from now on and what paths she tends to follow to reach them.

Problems with low performance at work or in your personal life?

Okay. You understand about low performance, from how to diagnose it to how to understand if it is something specific or is characteristic of the person’s mentality. But, there is another point to be discussed: is negative performance only at work or does it extend to personal life?

Capturing this characteristic also helps to identify the root of the problem, making it easier to look for a solution.

When low productivity is only at work, it is worth reflecting:

  • Is the person in the most suitable role for them?
  • Is she happy with the work environment and with the team?
  • Is the compensation plan adequate?
  • Does she master the skills needed to do that activity?
  • Does she have the attitude to increase performance?

Evaluate each circumstance and external variable that can demotivate and reduce employee engagement, as it certainly enhances poor performance.

Now, it is also possible to analyze another point, such as personal life. If a salesperson performs poorly in both private and professional life, then the source of the problem may be more than their functions.

Ongoing personal problems are some of the more traditional causes:

  • Poor health;
  • Family adversities;
  • Financial difficulty;
  • Disorganized life.

In these cases, it is not enough to reposition a sector or position, but to understand exact the source of low performance throughout life and look for a solution.

What to do to combat low performance

There are no fixed rules, but practices that many people have already adopted and achieved results. However, they all lead to the idea: it is necessary to fight against the natural movement of stagnation that human beings have. 

Getting comfortable is easy, but if the goal is to go further and stand out as a salesperson, you need to constantly improve to hit the target.

Training for commercial teams, individual studies, whether personal, such as private evolution projects as a human being or for professional purposes, such as increasing knowledge of sales processes.

If you, the manager, have problems with a low-performing employee, the most direct answer that comes to mind might be “dismissal”. But that’s not the idea, quite the opposite: accompany this person in order to understand the reasons for this poor performance and thus be able to help him.