Sales Leadership Tip: The “S.A.I.D” Formula to Handle Poor Performers

Sales Leaders

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Every now and then as a Sales Leader you need to handle poor sales performance within your selling team.

An executive’s poor sales performance can show itself through a lack of sales revenue, or by the sales, executive not showing up on time for meetings, or by them delaying their submissions of sales reports, and so on.

Now one of the things we need to do is of course give people a second chance, whereby you have to have a conversation with your sales executive from a caring perspective as opposed from a place of frustration or anger.

For such situations, consider using a simple and highly effective formula called ‘S.A.I.D.’ 

S.A.I.D. stands for:

  • Situation
  • Action
  • Impact
  • Desired Action

So, let us now suppose that one of your sales executives is required to submit a sales report by a set day and time.

After the sales executive fails to meet the report’s submission deadline, as a professional sales leader, you decide to implement the S.A.I.D. methodology.

You would want to sit with the non-complying sales executive and refresh their memory of the ‘situation’ – in this case, that you did not receive a sales report from the executive by the set date and time.

Secondly, you then want to raise the ‘action’, whereby the sales executives have been failing to submit their sales report on time.

It’s possible that the sales executive might not understand the reasoning behind your need to have sales reports received from all sales executives by your stated date and time.

Therefore, you should aim to clarify with the sales executive the ‘impact’ that arises if he / she does not comply with the sales report’s submission deadline.

For example purposes, here’s a hypothetical conversation a sales leader could have with their sales executive in a similar circumstance:

“Hi [Sales Executive], remember how I had to remind you once, twice, and now three times regarding submitting your sales report by the correct date and time?

I would like to help you understand why I need these reports.

You see, the reports that you give to me are needed by our leadership team so that they in turn can accurately report to our shareholders.

If we do not share the sales reports on time, the leadership team cannot prepare their sales forecasts which creates an unprofessional reflection on the company negatively impacting our shareholder’s value.

This is not acceptable, would you agree?”

After receiving the sales executive’s confirmation that they understand the impact of their poor actions, you finally need to move to the ‘desired action’ that you would like to see from the sales executive.

In this case, the desired action would be for the sales executive to submit their sales reports on time obviously, however, rather than simply telling them what to do, ask them what they feel is the desired action instead.

Hopefully, when asked what to do, the sales executive will recite the correct action and you can conclude the conversation amicably.

However, try not to become frustrated if what you hear is NOT the correct desired action. The answer may reveal to you the true reason for their non-compliance.

See this as an opportunity to drill-down and discover the real root cause of the situation, and therefore you’ll be able to remedy the matter more effectively as a result.

So there you have it; ‘S.A.I.D’ – an effective and simple means to improve poor sales performance from members within your sales team.

If the non-complying sales executive does not adequately adjust their behavior after such a discussion, then it is completely fair for you as the Sales Leader to take corrective measures.

Until next time, sell more, sell faster, and sell profitably. 

Sales Professor Ramez Helou

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