My Team Isn’t Producing. What Do I Do?

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Oct 29, 2014

Dear Barb:

I’m frustrated by the results this year. I know my sales team could produce more. How do you light a fire under people without having them walk out the door? They are never on the phone and seem to think sending emails and texting is just as effective. They also spend way too much time on social media sites, job boards, and searching our database rather than calling possible candidates to place.

I’m at my wits ends and really don’t know how to motivate my current team. There are times when I think I should fire everyone because I could make more money just producing by myself. How do you motivate your team?

Walter M.
Detroit, MI

Dear Walter:

You can’t motivate someone who does not want to be motivated. Of course your team could produce more, everyone could. The question is not can they, it’s will they? The members of your sales team will only produce more for their own reasons not yours.

Your team should write 10 non-negotiable goals followed by five dated action items. These goals should be posted by their phones where they can see them as they work. They should check off the action items as they are achieved. Once the five dated action items are completed, they should have attained their goal.

Most people are on automatic pilot and work within their comfort zone. If you want your sales team to implement changes, they must understand what’s in it for them. It sounds like your team is not planning 100% of their outgoing calls before they leave work. That one change will be a game changer for your team.

Staffing and recruiting has been, is, and always will be a relationship building business. Even people who date online eventually have to talk to each other. Your team must understand the benefit of being high tech and high touch.

It’s also important for you to implement minimum standards and accountability. If you erased goals not attained, your team does not believe they are real. Add the difference between goals set and goals attained to the remaining months of the year. Explain that you don’t want them to give up on their goals even so late in the year as this.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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