Frustrated at your sales team’s current performance?

Written by: James White

When we talk to customers that have sales teams there is often a sense of frustration that the team is not performing at the levels that you as a sales leader want them to.

Often the frustrations are down to a lack of drive, a lack of reporting, a lack of action and a lack of accountability. This puts additional pressure on you as a sales leader. It’s not healthy for you or for the business for this pressure to continue indefinitely.

When you are facing this type of challenge you have 2 options:

Option 1 is to go on the attack and be oppressive in your approach. Whilst this can have some short-term impacts, the long-term impacts of this strategy often create bigger problems.

Option 2 is to use our MIST approach as an alternative solution to these issues.


Good sales managers and good CEOs are able to motivate people. They’re able to encourage and give their team support and self-belief to achieve what they need to. Most salespeople are comfortable with what they are doing, but having extra motivation and inspiration from the people they work with is critical.

You could:

  • meet with them on a regular basis;
  • if they hit a target by a certain time, get them some wine or a voucher; or
  • just spend some time with them – share a story on how you have overcome a difficult time. It might be relatable to them and how they might be feeling right now.


Motivation is one of those things we have to get into the habit of doing regularly. If you can fulfil this critical factor, you’ll be doing a brilliant job as a sales leader.


Meet with your sales team and tell them what’s actually going on in the business.

Ask them what they’re seeing in the marketplace with the prospects they’re talking to.

Salespeople are the spear of the arrow – they’re out there, talking to potential clients, talking to customers and talking to people in the industry. The information that they have is gold!

You have a resource that has first-hand access and the ability to see what trends are happening. If you don’t meet your team regularly and get this feed of information back, you’re missing out and potentially wasting a huge amount of time and energy.

Informing your team also enables you to share with your team about what new services are coming down the line, or what other things have happened in different areas that could be useful for them to know about.

Two-way communication is critical. How do you communicate with your team about what’s happening and the latest news? Are they empowered when they have conversations with prospects?

Use your regular meetings to feed information and inform them of everything that’s happening. This will help them stay motivated and keep everyone on the same hymn sheet.


Currently, there is a shortage of high-quality salespeople.

I’m seeing roles change on a regular basis because the management is failing to give the salespeople the support they need.

The type of support they need is going to be different depending on the people in your team:

  • they may need personal support: they may be going through a tough time; or
  • they may need operational support with tasks they may be struggling with.


Their job is to be at the front of the company, taking your message out to people. How can they do that if you’re not giving them the support they need?

If you think support isn’t needed in sales, you’ve forgotten that everyone on your team is a human being, and everyone needs some support to grow, develop and feel good about what you are doing.

When someone feels supported (and they know the company has their back), they can go out there and make a real impact! Focus on having those meetings so you can support your sales team.

A simple question I always used to ask of my teams was, “What are the things that are getting in your way to achieving [goal], and how can I help you?”.

Focus on supporting your team, and the rest will fall into place.


At 87 years old, Michelangelo said he was still learning.

Sales meetings are a perfect opportunity to train your team on new ideas and different techniques. You may even want to bring in a sales trainer to support the team.

Whomever you bring in, or whether you train in-house, use those meetings to upskill your team.

Maybe there is a new outbound prospecting technique you want to talk to them about?

Could you use your meeting to role-play different scenarios to practice objection handling?

Meeting regularly enables you to put aside time for training. What can you do to help them and add value to what they’re doing, and learn new skills that can help them win business? All these learnings will reflect well on you and everyone will be happy.

Digging the business out of a sales hole will take great leadership from you and the full commitment from everyone in the team.

Driving change is hard enough when people are with you, let alone when they are doing things in spite of you, so using MIST as a method to get harmony back within your team, salespeople back listening to you and get results back on track. It may take a little bit longer than the oppressive approach but it is sure to be a better long-term solution for managing your sales team.