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How to Coach an Under-Performing Salesperson

Is it a lack of ability or a lack of opportunity?

Key learning outcomes:

  • Recognise the signs of under-performance such as low closing rate and low lead generation.
  • Distinguish between lack of ability and lack of opportunity when analysing under-performance.
  • Develop tools to lift an under-performer’s results.
  • Understand the benefits of training and regular reviews to boost sales output.


One of the most important roles for a business leader is to help those around them to perform to their best. It can be frustrating and disappointing for both the salesperson and the business’s management when the salesperson is under-performing. In most situations this will mean that the salesperson is not meeting their targets and goals. As a leader it is important to find out why they are under-performing and develop ways to get them back on the road to success.

You may have a “gut feeling” of what the problem is; however, it is important that you work with the salesperson to really hone in on the specific areas that need improvement. Before beginning any discussion, be mindful that the salesperson may be feeling sensitive or defensive. They know that they under-performing. Therefore, try to take the emotion out of the situation and begin by explaining that you are there to help them and that you want them to succeed as much as they want to succeed.

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