What are the biggest reasons for "up and down" performance from your teams?

Curious for your opinions... What are the biggest reasons for "up and down" performance from your teams? If you could wave your magic wand what would you change?

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    • Profile picture of Kyle Floro
      ( 0 POINTS )
      1 month, 2 weeks ago

      Hey Shawn,

      From my experience one of the biggest factors I’ve seen is training reps to continue to prioritize prospecting and follow ups at least for a portion of their day even when they are busy with a lot of opportunities to keep their pipeline full.

      I see this pattern for a lot in reps: they do a great job prospecting > book a lot of meetings > full pipeline so they stop prospecting > close some deals and have a good quarter. They then all of a sudden have a stale pipeline and need to start the process over again. Their good quarter is now followed by a mediocre one.

      This leads to a ton of inconsistency from quarter to quarter and a lot of “up and down” trends.

      Just my two cents.


    • Profile picture of Liam Johnstone
      ( 890 POINTS )
      1 month, 2 weeks ago

      This will be the age old head scratcher for Sales Managers all over the world. How do you stop the roller coaster effect, and I must admit I fell into this trap early in my career too. The common trait that sales professionals often overlook is what made them successful in a month / qtr / year etc? what strategies did they deploy in order to achieve the result?

      I think @shawn-buxton if you can answer this 100% then do what Michael Scott did on The Office – write a book.. 🙂


    • Profile picture of Shubham Sood
      ( 1.3k POINTS )
      1 month, 1 week ago

      Ups :- Research & Strategy, Persistence and Not Giving Up
      Downs :- No research and just random outreach, giving up easily and not listening to feedback
      What do you think? @shawn-buxton

    • Profile picture of Shawn Buxton
      ( 180 POINTS )
      1 month, 1 week ago

      @kyle_floro totally with you! I’ve seen that as well! So what works for you to get ahead of this?

    • Profile picture of Shawn Buxton
      ( 180 POINTS )
      1 month, 1 week ago

      @liamjohnstone Ha! Well I just might be doing that….but was interested in hearing from everyone else!

    • Profile picture of Shawn Buxton
      ( 180 POINTS )
      1 month, 1 week ago

      @shubhamsood97 Agreed. I would have to concur with others here and say that as with most sales afflictions, an inconsistent (sometimes full, sometimes empty) pipeline is to blame. Unfortunately an inconsistent pipeline is the manager’s fault just as much as the rep.

      The sales leader should be asking for their team’s accountability and holding to the standard and destination as outlined in their Vision/Mission/Values statements.

      My 2 cents.

    • Profile picture of Triveni Rabindraraj
      ( 0 POINTS )
      1 month, 1 week ago

      Biggest is the ‘want’ to crush the quota
      Pipeline, consistent one
      Weekly rhythm, may not apply for high value sale.

      Lack of a healthy pipeline
      OK with mediocrity, 80% is good enough kinda mindset
      Lack of control on opportunities
      Lack of interest to prospect

    • Profile picture of Colin Campbell
      ( 2.3k POINTS )
      1 month, 1 week ago

      In my experience, lack of consistency is a sign of a rep that needs skill development.

      Anybody can succeed when they have some luck (up quarters), but if they can’t do it when they don’t have luck, they need skill development. A down quarter every now and then is to be expected. But if a rep is consistently being inconsistent (sorry), then it’s a sign they need some training and coaching.

    • Profile picture of Shawn Buxton
      ( 180 POINTS )
      1 month, 1 week ago

      I guess it depends on what you’re measuring…. results or activity?

      Results: I would say that if the close rate or deal velocity is less than desired it’s probably a skill issue.

      But if it’s prospecting or activity related (dials, talk time, etc.) it could be a matter of skill OR will…maybe they just don’t want to because they don’t have to? This happens when there is little consequence from their manager for poor performance. They know if their numbers are down in these areas that they will just continue to get “coached” for months on end so it’s easier to have a coaching session 1x a month with my manager than have to grind it out everyday on the phones.

      I’ve seen that many times in tech especially.

    • Profile picture of Cory Peterson
      ( 0 POINTS )
      1 week, 3 days ago

      Lately, I’ve seen a really significant emotional rollercoaster for some of our sales people. One of my top performers went from quoting nearly 30 deals a week to almost 0 a few weeks back. He had fallen into a really deep loneliness/depression due to not being able to see his family and being holed up. It was really a shock because his performance had continued to be holding strong. Thankfully we track KPIs so after flagging and a few long discussions we got back on track.

      What I’ve noticed from this instance and others is that you cannot expect your sales people to come to you to let you know they are struggling (be it personally, with their goal, with prospecting, etc). Use your more granular KPIs to prompt targeted check ins when something doesn’t look right. Could be a red herring – but if not, you’ll be glad you identified the issue sooner than later. In my case, my sales person mentioned above was able to quickly refocus and is on top of the leaderboard for June 2020.

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