What Do You Do With a Non-Compliant Salesperson?

Why can’t some salespeople just do what you ask them to do? Is it really so hard!? Seriously, just document the information as we showed you, turn your reports in on time, show up to the sales meetings like you are supposed to and everything will be just fine. This is worse than herding cats. This is like making 10 ticklish monkeys stand in a straight line in a room filled with bananas and feathers. Are these salespeople absent-minded, purposely defiant, or just plain dim? Whatever the reason, this is driving you crazy and you are getting nowhere. 

We like to believe that some salespeople, although they cannot or will not follow a process, still have good intentions and can be good performers that get results. You know you must pick and choose your battles, but it gets to the point where you have allowed certain behaviors to exist for too long. A policy isn’t much of a policy if it doesn’t apply to everyone. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, non-compliant salespeople does not follow a process and won’t do what is asked of them. They struggle to follow through on what needs to be done, resist accountability, and (worst of all) set a very bad example for everyone else. You don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and you feel like you have to pick and choose your battles, but enough is enough. Here are 5 ways to help a non-compliant salesperson course correct to be a team player.

  1. Listen – Don’t assume you know someone’s reasoning until they have told it to you. Perhaps there is something bigger happening that the salesperson just needs help with and was too ashamed to mention it. Learn all the facts first.
  2. Discuss the performance, not the person – Nothing will make a person more defensive and unwilling to change if you make your concerns about someone’s character instead of their performance. Avoid any feedback that starts with ‘You are’ and focus more on ‘Your actions’ and let them know what impact those actions are having. 
  3. Define success – It could be that the salesperson doesn’t understand the importance of what you are asking them to do. Show them how the task makes both them and the company successful while making a great customer experience.
  4. Set expectations – Some salespeople like to pretend that policies are nothing more than unenforceable suggestions and until you show them otherwise, they will maintain this belief. Clearly identify the expectations and, if necessary, express the consequence for non-compliance.
  5. Use good management follow through – It is important to sustain any course correction by managing the process, structure, communication, environment, and goals of the salesperson. There is a reason why things fell through the cracks, and it is up to you to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

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