How do you identify what could be restricting the performance of individuals within your sales team?

Many sales coaches don’t have a clear process they follow when attempting to identify the cause of under-performance, which means they don’t know where to begin and what to focus on.

This sometimes leads to the sales coach trying to fix:

  1. Something – while not knowing if it will work. Which can prove very risky.
  2. Everything, which is inefficient
  3. Or, worst of all, nothing. Which means nothing improves.

Imagine a surgeon, who was informed; “I believe this person needs surgery” and either:

  1. Decided to do a random organ transplant of their choice.
  2. Decided to replace all of the organs.  
  3. Decided not to operate.

Wouldn’t you want your surgeon to operate with informed precision? Similarly, you should want your sales coaching to operate with the same efficiency, effectiveness and precision.

So how does a surgeon figure out what to operate on?

They use a range of high-tech scanning systems to pin-point where the issue is; X-Rays, CT Scans, MRI machines, etc.

These systems and techniques allow the surgeon to look below the surface and identify the real and underlying issues, not just the symptoms.

Similarly, the sales coach should be using a more thorough process of analysing the potential causes of under-performance, prior to offering a remedy (hopefully not surgery!).

For the individual being ‘assessed’, anticipate that they may be apprehensive about getting tested for their sales effectiveness, just as they may if they were being assessed for a health concern.

Help them understand and accept that the insight and feedback they will gain is well worth it.

As a sales coach, consider the advantage of adopting an enquiring mind when attempting to identify the cause of any issues. Dedicate time and thought toward diagnosis, prior to prescribing any remedies.

Thanks to Paul O’ Donohue of Sales Stars NZ for his great insight.


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