You thought you hired great salespeople, but lately numbers have been less than stellar. Sales team morale is decreasing as sales figures drop. Your business is suddenly on the line if you don’t fix what’s broken. If the source of this stumble isn’t clear, it’s time to reevaluate your team’s performance. It’s possible you’ve got one or more dreaded average sales performers pulling the team down. If you don’t know how to recognize an average sales performer quickly, here are some tips for finding the culprits.

What makes a good salesperson

  • They’re Too Comfortable – Top sales performers are highly motivated and always excited by the challenge of reaching beyond their goals. Average sales performers can get comfy and complacent. They do just enough to keep their jobs and rarely try hard to exceed expectations. The top sales performer drinks an expensive latte for the energy boost. The average sales performer drinks an expensive latte for the ten minute break and the whip cream on top.


  • They Don’t Climb Mountains – When you’re searching for top salespeople to hire, go rent a helicopter. You’ll find them planting flags at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro or Pike’s Peak. Average salespeople, however, have a deep distaste for high altitudes. You’ll recognize an average sales performer on your team if they don’t ever seem to strive for the best sales in your department. Average salespeople are typically happy with average sales. They’ll climb hill after hill for you, but that’s as far up as they want to go. Which means that’s as far up as they’ll ever take your company, too.


  • They Love Their Job, But Not Their Work – A top sales performer gets bored and antsy if their work doesn’t provide enough challenge and incentive. When that happens, they leave their jobs to find work that pushes them harder and rewards them more handsomely for it. The average sales performer isn’t as excited about the work as they are excited to just have a job at all. They might even consistently complain about the work they have to do in order to keep the job they love. Because they don’t love their work, their work suffers. Because they don’t thrive as much on the thrill of sales pursuit like their top performer colleagues, they can bring the morale of the entire sales team down.


  • They Faithfully Follow the Rules – Ah, here’s a surprising tell-tale sign of an average sales performer you might not have considered otherwise. They follow every rule by the book. Wait, is that a bad thing? Consider this. Top sales performers are known for thinking creatively and fast on their feet. They should be honest and have integrity, but they should also be willing to think outside the box in order to get the sale. Rules are important, but flexibility and creativity can respectfully bend a boundary in sales-increasing ways. Average sales performers might recognize that, but they aren’t doing anything about it. They live in “This is How It’s Always Been” land and refuse to budge out of their comfort zones. That could very well be holding your company back.


Once you pinpoint the average salespeople in your sales team, what do you do? If trainings, warnings and probation periods don’t help (which will cost your company more money, by the way), it’s time to replace them with top sales performers. Once you master the art of recognizing the average sales performer, you’ll stop hiring them for good.