Advice on dealing with underperforming reps?

I’ve recently noticed that a couple of reps on my sales team seem to be underperforming lately. They’ve been consistently struggling to reach their quotas for the past few months, and I’m worried about how this might affect my team’s performance as a whole. Any advice on what I should do? They’re relatively new reps, so I don’t want to give up on them just yet. Any training advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hey c_rutzler! I’m a sales manager too and reps not meeting expectations is frustrating, but far from hopeless! Since they’re new reps I think a good starting point would be to engage in an open supportive discussion to determine the underlying causes. Maybe they’re not fully aware of expectations or they don’t have the necessary skills in a particular area. Training can easily fix the latter. Another tip is to focus on how they can do better, rather than what they’re doing wrong when addressing issues. People are way more open to feedback than criticism. I’ve also found it helpful to role play common sales scenarios with my reps. it’s a good way to discover what they’re doing wrong and is useful for after-sales training too. Hope this was helpful and good luck!


Hi @c_rutzler. First, I want to commend you for asking this tough question. It’s not easy to admit your team is falling behind, and you’ve taken the first step to get your sales reps back on track. If this were me, I’d sit with my reps and clarify what I expect of them. Am I asking them to make more meetings per week? Per month? To spend less time in the office? You have to decide this and be as clear as possible. Next, set up some program to give your reps feedback. Focus on the positives and negatives of what each sales rep is doing. Negative feedback is not always easy to hear, so make sure you’re quantifying this in terms of their work and not “them.” Good luck and do not give up hope!


I agree with everything the 2 previous answers suggest and I would like to add more advice for you.
The both previous answers had both suggested to make sure the reps are aware of the expectations before hand. Since if they are not aware this maybe have more to do with you and setting expectations then them and their performance.
I would like to add that you should use any data or analytics that shows the numbers. I would use these hard numbers because they are facts that will help eliminate excuses. The analytics are a foundation you can base whatever coaching route you plan to go.

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I'm going to be the outlier here. If your team is not meeting their quota, or if you have individuals that are underperforming, lessons and consequences need to be put in effect. Of course, they must be reasonable and in line, and could look something like a meeting with managers or extra training. It's not a reward, and its not exactly a punishment, but there needs to be a way to keep people accountable for their actions, productivity, and lack of it. Also, managers hire, and managers fire. Think about that if you need to, but apply only if fitting