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Seven Steps to Sales Recovery

Seven Steps to Sales Recovery

By Vistage member and speaker Russ Riendeau, PhD

Is your sales strategy no longer producing the revenue results you want? Then it’s time to inspire your sales team to do more. Here are eight ways to secure new orders and get the most out of your team.

  1. Rank the sales team: Keep a transparent monthly and long-term ranking of each sales member. What if the bottom 20 percent of your team was gone in two weeks? Think of something more productive you can do with the money you save, such as hiring a sales trainer, holding a contest, or recruiting better talent.
  2. Upgrade your marketing tools: Check your sales presentation kits. Are the brochures vibrant, current and accurate? Is your company’s competitive advantage well expressed? Is your website current? Do you have a video of what you do that is professional or fun?
  3. Go in the field: As a business owner or manager, you should commit to making at least one sales call per month with each of your sales team. The consequences of failing to maintain your presence in front of current and future customers is simple: Out of sight—must be out of business. Additionally, you’ll be able to assess your sales talent pool when you make calls with them.
  4. Start a sales contest: Create a contest to stimulate quarterly sales. The prize can be an HD television, a vacation to the Caribbean, one hundred $100 bills in a glass case—make it big, visible and public. Fire up the team and see what they’ll do.
  5. Provide sales training now: Provide a sales training session that focuses on how to sell in a fear-based economy. Hire a trainer who has a current approach to jumpstart your team. The $2000-$4000 you spend on the trainer might bring back ten times the investment in new sales.
  6. Measure sales activities: Start measuring activities that generate sales. These activities can include sales visits, outbound phone calls, text messages, letters, proposals, purchase orders, emails, or attending association functions. Create simple templates to measure every activity of all salespeople to see who is effective.
  7. Set new quotas: Meet with each salesperson and re-establish sales quotas.

There are two simple, but tough truths about increasing sales. You’ve got to hold people accountable to do their job better, and measure their activities. It starts with you making the commitment and staying the course.

Russ Riendeau, PhD, is senior partner with East Wing Group, Inc., a search firm specializing in sales and management search. Russ is a Vistage speaker and co-author of The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition . He can be reached at

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