Do some organizations still apply the usual sales formula that it takes 10 to 20 cold calls for each sale? If that was the case, a lot of reps who were low performing could just double the amount of calls the next month and success, right? Not so fast, if only if it were that easy. Yes, increased activity is important when considering low performing sales reps, however what if that activity only served to increase anxiety, stress and lack of performance. It's evident that most sales reps hate the prospect of cold-calling, yet many start their day with cold-calling. Their mind is already perceiving it as something they don't want to do, they are in a sales slump already and guess what, they are starting their entire day off with their least favorite activity. So let's examine, a sales rep short on confidence in general, starts his day off with what he doesn't like and of course more often than not continues to underperform, costing himself and the company even more money.

In the sports world, an athlete needs to have a short memory, in the football sense, a cornerback after been beaten for a touchdown will be noticeably disappointed. Even deflated he must quickly eliminate it from his memory and get his confidence back for the next opportunity. Some may go on to have a great comeback game and make several key plays, others may just lose confidence and find themselves subbed out of the game completely. A sales rep constantly takes rejection on a daily basis, if he's doing his job right anyhow so they must develop a thick skin as well as a short memory. However that is easier said than done, in the job interviews, of course the sales reps assured you about all their experience yet when they encounter a slump, some seem to just wilt under the pressure.

It's essential to evaluate the underperformer's strengths especially at a time of slowdown. The solution in some cases is not as easy as just doing more prospecting calls. You could train them to make better prospecting calls, but it's assumed that would have been one of the first areas you focused on. You could switch the area of focus, perhaps find out if they have some kind of passion or affinity for a certain industry. Could they pursue a different target market perhaps? Find a specific area they can use their already existing energy and enthusiasm. The sales manager must also identify if the reps understand the monetary value of each activity as it relates to their performance revenue. The reps need to be bought in on performing the correct activities that yield them the best financial rewards and of course benefits the organization.

Author's Bio: 

Henry Okwo is the Founder and CEO of SalesGymUSA, a Targeted Sales Training company. Henry is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley where he was a 2-time National Champion. He has over 15 years sales and management experience and has developed a specialized sales training program based on sports performance development to boost sales. Find out more targeted sales strategies to increase your sales results at Henry also conducts a daily mental workout on his blog,