Chances are you’re here because you’re worried about your (team’s) sales performance. If you’re the former, you’ve probably heard of the dreaded sales performance improvement plan as a bad omen. Yet, it doesn’t deserve this reputation. While it’s true that some sales PIPs often prelude termination in extreme cases, it’s not the purpose. Rather a way to track issues that management has with performance and the improvements reps must make. Help reps start taking personal responsibility with a proven sales performance improvement plan below that will help them stay motivated, focused and accountable.
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Taking personal responsibility for sales performance
Are you taking personal responsibility for your sales results? Or are you blaming selling in an economic downturn for a decrease in business leads? Here at SOCO/ we’re eternal optimists and believe the future is something we can control despite challenging times. Although we cannot control what goes on outside our business, we can (and must!) control what goes on inside them.
Yet, it takes much more than talent, passion or charm to be a successful salesperson. Instead, to possess the traits of a good salesperson you must be accountable for yourself and your results. However, self-responsibility isn’t something a person can learn, much like a craft or a skill. Rather personal responsibility begins with a decision to be better. To be responsible for your actions and character.
Prefer to watch rather than read? Learn the importance of taking personal responsibility, right here in this video.
3 ways to start taking personal responsibility
With the above in mind, below are 3 of the the best ways to start improving your ability to take responsibility for your sales performance:
1. Focus on what you can control
Don’t spend time beating yourself up over shortcomings. Instead, the next time a prospect turns down your proposal or a current client leaves you for a competitor, try looking at the situation objectively and seeing the opportunity for growth. What lessons could you learn? What improvements can you make to your sales approach to benefit customers in the future?
For example, when you feel overwhelmed by your list of things to do, look at each task and determine which category it belongs. Then ask yourself:
“What three things do I need to accomplish today, for today to be a real success?”
By focusing on today’s three most important things, you will become more efficient and effective than you ever thought possible.
2. Track your standard of performance
Like they say, “be your toughest critic” because setting performance standards for yourself will help you take intentional responsibility for your success. To do so, either list the standard of performance you expect for yourself and do not settle for any less. Or, one of the tools you could use is a Weekly Sales Activity Worksheet. The worksheet lists your revenue and volume goals (number of customers) and breaks those goals down into the following daily activities:
- Hours spent calling
- Prospecting calls
- Presentations scheduled
- Presentations delivered
- Revenue target achieved
- Volume target achieved
- Hours spent call/ revenue achieved
3. Hold yourself accountable
Now you must hold yourself accountable, but it requires a lot more than being “responsible” for something. Rather it’s the ability to be answerable for your action and work performance. It implies a sense of ownership regardless of whether the outcome is good or bad. As well as how well you can overcome obstacles. Like your ability to recognise skill or knowledge gaps and asking for help. To achieve this you can use a sales improvement performance plan.
What Is a Sales Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?
A sales performance improvement plan (also known as a performance improvement plan or sales PIP) is a thorough strategy that details the steps underperforming sales reps need to take to regain, maintain and even exceed performance levels.
Overall, the PIP will outline all the issues you or your management has with your performance and how you must improve, usually by a deadline.
For example, your sales performance improvement plan might say that you must make 50 sales calls by the end of the week.
“Does a sales pip mean I’m fired?”
The short answer is no. While some sales leaders and employees see performance improvement as the first step in the termination process, it’s often the opposite. Instead, it’s an opportunity for underperforming sales reps to turn things around and perform at the level you expect by equipping them with a roadmap.
What should be in a sales performance improvement plan?
Sales Performance Improvement Plan Example: Weekly Sales Activity Worksheet
This free downloadable sales performance improvement plan below will help you to stay motivated, focused and accountable.