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Leading a sales team is hard–it can be difficult to strike the right balance between encouraging top performance and overwhelming sales reps with impossible goals. Your success as a sales manager hinges on your team’s ability to perform well, but it can often feel like their performance is out of your control.

While of course it’s true to a certain extent that you can’t force skill into an untalented rep, there are certain steps you can take to set your team up so that under performers are more likely to excel. Read on for three surefire ways to set your reps up for success:

Set the Right Tone for an Environment of Excellence

In my career, as both a salesperson and a manager, I’ve consistently found that people generally conform to the expectations you set for them. If you act like a task is impossible, they’ll fail to deliver. If you act like reps are destined to underperform, they will. If, on the other hand, you set high expectations from the start, it’s more likely your team will rise to the occasion and meet them.

That doesn’t mean that you need to apply intense pressure in order to see results. Studies consistently find that the most successful salespeople feel happy, supported and positively reinforced. The best approach is to establish a culture where high goals are clearly articulated and meeting them is expected. Your job from there is making your team feel they have the capacity to achieve those goals.

It can be tempting to make excuses for reps who are underperforming, but holding them accountable for meeting their quota goals is better for them too, in the long run. Instead of going easier on reps who struggle, work with them to figure out what they need to do to meet their goals and outline a plan of attack.

Be a Leader Who Inspires High Performance

Sales is definitely a field where managers need to lead by example.   Read the full version from the author’s website.

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