By Libby Rothschild, CEO of Dietitian Boss; follow on LinkedIn.
Owning your own business is an exciting endeavor, albeit a daunting one. Being a business owner takes determination and drive if you expect to reach success. When the success begins to roll in, it is time to start planning to scale. When you scale your business, you are perfecting your company’s unique sales process, one which your entire team can repeat. However, what do you do if a sales associate is not hitting their targets?
A business scale is only as good as the team utilizing it. Your sales team has direct channels to your revenue, and if a member of the team is consistently underperforming, it may be time to let that individual go.
Clear Expectations And Targets
Keeping an open line of communication with your employees is an integral part of beginning your business scaling process. Readying your business for anticipated growth means unifying your team’s strengths and goals. The rubric you create for your sales model must be precise and repeatable for your sales associates. From this straightforward sales process, you will be able to set well-defined expectations for your sales team to follow.
These expectations will better help you identify when an individual is underperforming. If a member of the team is underperforming, it can affect the entire sales team by ensuring that they are required to pick up someone else’s slack. A successful sales team formula for a scale is one in which each person works on their clearly specified tasks while everyone works toward the same sales process.
Creating chains of communication with your team will assist you in giving positive feedback or constructive criticism. It also can assist with giving warnings to underperforming staff members. You will be able to cite which targets are not being met and clearly explain why the person is being reprimanded. Measurable outcomes via your sales process can be a tool often utilized when identifying straggling team members.
Onboarding And Measurable Job Performances
When you make a new addition to your sales team, job expectations must be thoroughly understood—precisely lay out targets, due dates and other measurable metrics that pertain to your sales process. When new employees understand exactly what is expected of them, they are more likely to work toward meeting the team’s goals.
Periodically check in with your employees, especially the newcomers. It is customary to hold a 30-, 60- and 90-day review for new team members. During these meetings, you can discuss the details of their performances so far. If a new employee is continually underperforming for their reviews, a 90-day trial may be the time to let this person go.
The employee who is let go at their 90-day review has likely been notified of their lackluster performance twice already, leaving their termination unsurprising and therefore making the firing process easier to deliver.
Training And Empowering Your Team
Updating your team on new training and sales tactics will be valuable in empowering them. An empowered sales team is more motivated to work together, work hard and aspire to surpass their measurable goals. It is typical of most team leaders to hold a weekly meeting and to sit down with the sales team and discuss the progress they are all making.
After these meetings, take the time to pull individual team members aside and, one on one, listen to a few sales calls. While listening to the team members’ calls, take note of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Having the employees review their own calls with you will make delivering constructive criticism or positive feedback easier.
Firing a team member is never easy. However, sometimes it is necessary if you want to see a successful scaling process. As a business owner, you will need to prioritize the other team members’ hard work by not forcing them to pick up someone else’s slack. When letting an employee go, it is best to leave emotion at the door. It is ideal for everyone involved if you remain matter-of-fact and professional.
The process will be made easier by your documented clear expectations and the metrics to prove that the employee is not meeting them. After a warning is given and the measurable metrics remain lackluster, address the termination immediately. Waiting around to fire someone means that your sales team will be underperforming for longer, so be sure to act accordingly.
Your sales team is the key to your business scale’s success. Each team member plays a crucial role in meeting your company’s targets, and if an employee is underperforming, they are holding the rest of the team down.
Top-tier sales associates should be a crucial part of your business model, so monitoring your team’s measurable outcomes is vital. Your team’s success is your success.