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How to Motivate Underperformers?

What is the best way to motivate underperformers? Hard to put them on a PIP or tell them they are going to go on a PIP soon without killing their motivation. Does anyone have a good way to motivate them?

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7
poweredbycaffeine
Politicker
+7
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Here's my take on PIPs: It's a complete last resort. It's not something to throw around to show sales leadership that you're ready to chop heads.

With underperformers, there's likely a psychological element that is blocking them from getting back into a positive headspace. You're not a shrink, but you can make the space to get them to voice their personal FUD. Try this first and see if there are elements of their daily work life that you can help eliminate so they can feel unburdened.

Second, a radical approach is a "retrain". Essentially re-onboard the rep from a product training and sales process perspective. This may feel AWFUL to both you and the rep, but it's saved more reps from PIPs and firings than anything else I've tried in the past. It's the prelude to a PIP, but it may turn demotivated reps around faster.
BlueJays2591
Politicker
+6
Business Development Manager
Sadly I believe I might be at the retraining point before the PIP. I don't like PIPs as they absolutely kill motivation and it's basically the time that sales reps start applying for jobs and check out of their current one and just wait to get fired. I rarely see people make it off a PIP.
LordBusiness
Politicker
+7
Chief Revenue Officer
It really depends on what's causing the underperformance? If they are doing all the right things, bought into your teams strategy and processes for consistent winning, and just running into some poor timing, the best motivation you can give them is to let them know that you are are going to have their back, through the long haul - show them you believe in them, and people will perform for you.ย  If the person is a poor performer because they are "doing it their way", then my personal motivation is "I give you 100% freedom to things your way, but if your performance doesn't pick up soon - we'll have to move on and fill your spot - some folks can only perform with their backs against the wall, that's the reality of it.ย ย 
BlueJays2591
Politicker
+6
Business Development Manager
I like the idea of giving them the freedom to do things their way instead of dictating every move until they quit or get fired after the PIP.ย 
BlueJays2591
Politicker
+6
Business Development Manager
But the one thing I will say is that we have to use a very specific PIP if we are looking to fire a rep for underperformance.ย 
NarcoticsAnonymous
Influencer
+3
Executive Sales Rep
They donโ€™t know their why! Have to have a specific and very personal vision for their future that gets them to do the hard shit on a daily basis that we all have to do.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v1vzMMvAeSI
Incognito
Arsonist
+9
Master of Disaster
Talk to them? Have an honest conversation about what theyโ€™re struggling with, and see how that can be remedied.ย 


ย If they just have a shit attitude, well.......next.ย 
MMMGood
Celebrated Contributor
+10
Senior Account Executive
Are they ICs you think should be performing better? Or this is as good as they can do?ย 
BlueJays2591
Politicker
+6
Business Development Manager
the ICs definitely can perform better, just not sure what the actual cause is. blew quota out of the water for a while and now can barely hit 20%.ย 
MMMGood
Celebrated Contributor
+10
Senior Account Executive
Yea, definitely an up front conversation. They might be dealing with some heavy, personal stuff you're not aware of. Death? Depression? etc. In that case, better to offer them some in the FMLA wheelhouse (time off, counseling) and maybe get them back, as a high performer.ย 

But good communication and honesty will go a long way.ย 
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