Selling is hard.
Managing sales is sometimes even harder.
Even under ideal circumstances, a salesperson’s day comes with an above-average dose of rejection. Determination, drive, and the ability to overcome adversity are essential characteristics for success in sales.
That’s why knowing how to handle tough sales situations is essential for any sales manager.
Failure is bound to happen.
Not only are these tricky situations inevitable, but they can potentially decimate morale and slash revenues when mishandled.
But the best managers plan for failure to minimize the losses and rebound as fast as possible.
Pipedrive’s team of experts have been through just about every tricky scenario during their sales careers. To help you learn from their own successes and failures, we put together a six-chapter series of helpful guides designed to see you through the toughest of sales situations.
1. Manage Missed Targets by Setting Better Goals
Missing your targets once or twice in a row can happen.
Remember, you can't control outcomes - you can only control your input.
If you consistently take the right actions at the right times as dictated by a consistent sales process, you should eventually find the peaks to make up for these short-term troughs.
However, consistent dips in results can be both disastrous for your revenue and team morale.
You should consider missed targets as an opportunity to improve your entire sales process. Rather than being a sign of poor performance, missed targets can often mean that you’re setting the wrong goals.
And then there’s the human side of things.
Your team is likely to be diverse, both in terms of their personality and individual skills. Their monthly targets should reflect their unique capabilities, which is why tracking and evaluating your team’s performance is critical. Managers must set individual goals that motivate them to do their best.
The following guide to goal setting focuses both on the metrics and human aspect of nailing sales targets. Together these insights will result in challenging yet achievable milestones for each unique member of your sales force.
2. Recharge Morale When Objectives Aren’t Reached
Sometimes hard work in sales is not enough, and that can be a tough pill to swallow.
Missed targets translate into failure.
The big “f” word is a taboo topic in sales, and yet it is an inevitable part of any salesperson’s career.
Doing everything right and not being able to close a deal is demotivating, even if due to forces beyond your control.
That’s why managing failure is one of the toughest challenges any sales manager will face.
The following guide is dedicated to helping you lift your team’s spirits after a tough month of missed targets - and teaching you how to make sure you make up for your losses as soon as you possibly can.
3. Bounce Back After a Slump with These Morale Boosting Tactics
The emotional impact of failure is immense, and even the tough skin of a seasoned salesperson will wear down over a long period of repeated underperformance.
Like a tornado, bad vibes amongst a sales team can feed on themselves and whip things up into a more damaging panic. If left unchecked, these negative emotions can irreparably affect your team’s culture. The taboo nature of failure in sales also makes it unlikely that anyone will come to a manager directly and ask for help.
That’s why spotting dips are one of the toughest jobs for sales managers, and getting your team out of a slump can be even harder.
The following guide to boosting morale will give you 9 actionable tactics for overcoming slumps and encouraging your team to fight back fast.
4. Dismiss Team Members without the Collateral Damage
Believe it or not, you can dismiss an employee without trauma for you, the salesperson, and your team.
You don't expect to have to fire a team member. But sooner or later every growing company will have to deal with this situation.
You should have a clear, objective, and professional plan in place for this tricky situation.
Of course, firing people is never enjoyable, at least not for a good sales manager. But the following guide will help you develop a process that will make this task as painless as possible.
Once you nail the procedure, just get in there and get the job done. It may not feel great, but if you manage it well, both the dismissed employee and your team will recover in no time.
5. Deal with Staff Resignations the Right Way
Losing a great salesperson is the ultimate morale crusher for any sales team. This is especially painful for sales managers, who invest a lot of time and effort into each individual that makes up their selling unit.
As unpleasant as this situation is, it is just as unavoidable as failure. Employees will leave, and instead of casting blame, sales managers need to focus on the future. Managing your reaction to resignations is the first step to seeing your team through this tough experience.
Luckily that’s entirely under your control.
This guide will help you understand the key considerations for managing the loss of stellar sales reps. The proactive plan covered will ease your team towards recovery, and give them the support they need to bounce back after what is likely to be a devastating loss.
6. Handle Crises with Confidence… and a Plan
When tough times come, your team will thrive or crumble depending on the way you lead them through it. That's all the more reason why you need to prepare for the worst as well as plan for the best.
Only 49% of board members have proactive plans for probable crisis scenarios. Considering that there are so many possible scenarios where environmental, legal, political or market factors can instantly threaten your growth - you should have a playbook to turn to in a time of unexpected crisis. Leaving the planning to later is a recipe for disaster.
Our guide to crisis management in sales will not only walk you through the most common disasters for sales teams, but it will give you the planning tools you need to minimize the damage.
All the Tools You Need to Support Your Team and Ease Their Burden
Sales is tough even at the best of times.
Salespeople have a draining and challenging job. A sales team relies on their manager to shoulder the burden of crisis. If you plan for the moments that will put your ability to lead to the test - you'll be able to manage with composure and direction amidst the chaos. These guides were designed to prepare you for the worst situations a sales manager will likely face in their career.
Empowering sales teams is what Pipedrive stands for. Our sales management software is designed to give you the insights you need to spot crises, set goals, and keep your finger on the pulse of team performance and morale.
Find out why over 75,000 sales teams rely on Pipedrive during the good and bad times now with your own 14-day free trial.