The 6 Ways A Sales Manager Can Help A Struggling Rep - - Relationship Intelligence for Sales

The 6 Ways A Sales Manager Can Help A Struggling Rep

By Jaxson Khan in Sales

This is a guest post by Adam Honig, Co-Founder and CEO of  Spiro

According to the Harvard Business Review, the estimated turnover for salespeople is about 27%! That means 1 out of every 4 of your reps will probably be gone next year.

Turnover in sales is almost double of what it is in other industries.

But, I’m not completely surprised. As any rep knows, sales is a tough job! Salespeople, no matter how good they are, are bound to go through some bad quarters.  

As a manager, it’s your job to help your reps during these times when their quota is nowhere in sight.

First, diagnose the problem. Then work together to come up with some concrete ways to get your reps back into the sales game.

Here are 6 ways you can help a struggling sales rep:

  1. Drill into Important Metrics

Reps can sometimes get overwhelmed by the numbers. Don’t make matters worse for a struggling rep by over-analyzing every data point. Instead have them focus on just three important things: average deal size, win rate, and opportunities created per week.

Show them how if they increase their win rate by just a little bit, then the outlook isn’t so dim. Work with them on developing laser focus to move the needle just a bit on one of these important metrics. Strategize together on how to improve where they are falling short. Small adjustments in these numbers can positively turn around a struggling rep’s pipeline.

  1. Make it a Team Effort

As a sales manager, you have to have a team mentality. Show your reps that if they are struggling, you’re going to struggle along with them and all work together to pick them back up.

But talk is cheap. Don’t just say you care about the team, instead exemplify this by leading by example. Don’t cut out early on a Friday when you know some of your reps aren’t making quota. Be the one to motivate and lead – sit down and jump on some calls with them. The struggling rep may just need to feel like they are supported and part of a greater whole.

  1. Ask Them Open Ended Questions

One sales tactic we always teach reps is to ask their prospects open ended questions. This allows communication to flow, and gives the salesperson better insight as to where they can help solve their customer’s problems.

If you have a rep that is struggling, try to take this advice to heart and ask them open ended question. Sit down with them and get the conversation started by asking, “why do you think you lost that deal?” or “why didn’t that prospect get back to you?”. You can only truly help a struggling account exec if you both understand where they need help and how you can assist in solving their slump.

  1. Be Willing to Change

Even though your company has a set sales process, it doesn’t mean every sales rep will approach deals in the same way. Luckily, humans put a personal touch into each opportunity they are working. It’s why people like buying from people. But this also means that perhaps your rep is struggling because your current process just isn’t working for them.

Don’t say, “well, this is the way we’ve always done it”. Sales is an ever changing world, and you need to be willing to listen to a rep’s new ideas, or embrace the latest technology that can help them excel like Spiro’s AI-Powered CRM. Showing a struggling rep that you are all ears to other ways of doing things can mean a lot to getting them mentally back on track.


  1. Help Them Get Organized

I’m sure everyone has benefitted in their personal life from doing a bit of Spring cleaning. After a long, dark winter, it feels good to throw out some old stuff, reorganize your closets, and let in a fresh burst of Spring air.

So why not do the same for your sales life? Sit down with a rep that may be struggling and clean out their pipeline, close opportunities that are stale, and reorganizing their priorities for them. Sometimes all you need to get your rep out of a slump is a good spring cleaning.

One of the best ways to do this is using relationship intelligence, so you can help access new accounts, identify which deals might slip, and enable easy access where they work.

  1. Point Out the Harsh Truths of Sales

When a rep starts to struggling, it can be a slippery slope into a full blown sales slump. Your job as a manager is point out the harsh truths of sales, but also coach them on how changing things up a bit can really help.

They say it takes on average 8 times for a salesperson to reach a prospect, so share stats like this with your struggling rep, in hopes of reminding them that the struggle in sales is there for everyone. And then afterwards, work with them to vary their method if their prospecting efforts aren’t working. If a prospect isn’t answering the phone, then maybe they should send a text. If they are being shut down by a gatekeeper, then suggest they search out a different key player at that prospective company. Help bring creative solutions to their sales problem.

Summing it Up

As a manager, you hold your position for a reason. You have clearly proven your success in achieving your sales goals. Pull from all of your past experience and put your sales knowledge to use in helping a rep on your team that may be struggling.  

Jaxson Khan
Sr. Marketing Manager
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