How Shake Up Calls Improve Sales Performance

Almost every manager has one or more salespeople (or non-salespeople) who aren’t performing to expectations.  Those are the “C’s”.  There are usually some, “D’s” who are just plain failing.  We usually take too long to address these issues and our first attempts to correct the problems are usually too feeble to affect change

Sometimes we don’t see a real change in anyone’s behavior until we offer them an ultimatum.
Bill, we can’t tolerate this problem any longer so it’s time to decide whether you should continue to work here or leave.

Other times the behaviors change when they’re put on probation, or an exit plan.
Bill, this is what I’m seeing, this is why it’s unacceptable, this is why it can’t continue and this is what you must do if you want to keep your job here. We’ll help you fix the problem but if in 30 days you haven’t turned this around, we’ll ask you to leave.

Some don’t change until we challenge their commitment and their purpose for showing up.
Bill, I’m not sure why you even show up here every day.  What’s the point?  Why are you doing this?

Some won’t change – ever.
Bill, we’re letting you go as our Christmas gift to you.  We can’t put you through this torture any longer.

Whatever form these events take, they are all shake-up calls and it usually takes a shake-up call to get someone to change in the short term.  Beyond that, it requires strong coaching, support, praise, recognition and accountability to reinforce those changes and continue them for the long-term.

Let’s talk about your sales force.  Who needs to be shaken up?  What are you unhappy with?  When will you tell them?  Which approach will you take?  Will you address the issue sooner, or later?

Feel free to comment but don’t name the names of your salespeople!