Addressing individual underperformance
Sales managers have a responsibility to identify, understand and address the root causes of individual underperformance in their teams. Here are a few of the key considerations:
- Is this a short-term or a long-term issue? If the individual has historically been a performer, look for any changes in circumstance that may have caused a blip, and sympathetically coach them through it. If the individual has never performed to a satisfactory level, assess whether the issue is related to their attitude, their behaviours, or the competencies/skills.
- If the issue is related to competencies or skills, arrange for the necessary training – and continue to coach the individual in how to apply their new-found skills until their performance improves.
- If the issue is related to attitude or behaviour, does the individual acknowledge the issue, and want to do something about it? If so, implement a combination of coaching and personal development.
- If the individual is in denial. If – despite your efforts – the individual remains in denial about either the issue or its causes, you have to question whether they have a future in your organisation.
- Don’t ignore the issue (or hope it will go away). Performance issues rarely go away by themselves. You have a responsibility to confront the problem in a constructive way, even if that makes for uncomfortable conversations.