Do You Know The Best Way to Motivate A Struggling Rep?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Is one of your reps struggling to make their numbers? Have they dropped the ball on the project you gave them? If this rep is usually a key performer, it’s time to take managerial action, especially along the lines of motivation.

The last thing you want is for your rep to lose confidence in themselves. All managers understand this problem, because they have personally experienced slow times. They remember well when a key prospect put them off for months. And, most managers will never forget the times they fell short of finishing a big project.

Change the Focus

Managers should also remember how they got through these rough patches and coach their rep accordingly. C. Lee Smith, founder and CEO of SalesFuel, urges managers to understand all of the factors that motivate a rep. If your rep is a natural networker but you’ve got them in situations that require closing skills, make a change. Send them out to a few networking events. After they connect with new prospects, they’ll feel more confident and energized. They may even be able to close the account that's been so difficult.

Break Up The Task

Reps might also run into problems when you ask them to take on a new kind of task. Despite your efforts to expand their horizons and engage in professional development, they aren’t producing. Colleen Francis, at EngageSelling, describes the rough conditions during a 10K race she ran and how she motivated herself to continue. Simply put, she focused on one small milestone after another until she finished.

When your rep is having trouble putting together an RFP, help them break the task into smaller pieces. They’ll need to write an introduction. Once that’s done, encourage them to put together the financial charts. After that, they can write-​up the selling points to accompany the package.

Similarly, if your rep can’t manage working with a team on a sales project, chunk out the work. Suggest they start by meeting with one person on one part of the project. Coach them to gradually increase the number of people in their meetings. And work with them on the importance of developing an agenda and sending out post-​meeting assignments to keep the project on track.

When managers pay attention to the challenges their reps mention and coach them on how to succeed, motivation improves. Reps will be more engaged and positively impact the team’s performance and the organization’s bottom line.