5 Ways to Help a Salesperson Bounce Back After Missed Targets

missed target

If you are a salesperson or a sales manager, I am sure you are aware of the anxiety that sets in due to missing targets.

And, of course, the discouragement and dullness that follows.

You start feeling helpless and defeated and doubt your own capabilities.

But, here’s the truth about sales: Sometimes, you can do everything right and still fail to close a deal. A report published by Bridge Group, a sales strategy firm in Hudson revealed that only 67% of salespeople hit their quota.

This means, almost a third of your team is missing targets… or will be missing targets.

With this number, if you make failure a taboo and bouncing back a myth, the emotional toll on the team is going to multiply and ultimately destroy them. So, instead, learn to spot the warning signs early and offer them the motivation they need to get back on track.

Saying the conventional “try harder next time” or dismissal threats will not work. Taking practical measures and giving practical advice can save your team member from falling to his doom.

sales target

But before we talk about the bouncing back strategies, it is important to know –

Why do you miss Sales Target?

Hitting the target is the absolute priority of any Sales Manager. If your sales team or a salesperson is missing to hit the targets, it can be stressful for you. The reasons to fail targets can be many, including:

●   Not being specific about the Long term and Short-term targets.

●   Poor lead generation and placing the deal in front of the wrong audience.

●   Raising the targets too often. It discourages the team members because as soon as they achieve a certain target, they have to work overtime to hit the next high target.

●   Missing or no record of the current metrics and poor tracking system. Without this, you will not be able to know the areas that need improvement or the campaigns that went viral.

●   Not stepping back and analyzing the shortcoming of the Sales Team.

●   Disengagement in the team.

●   Falling short on follow-up and giving up in the first few interactions. It is important to remember that almost 80% of the sales are made on fifth to twelfth contact.  

●   Not educating your leads about your service in each and every point of contact.

How to rebound after missed targets?

1. Identify the shortcoming and the reason for the failure

Identify the shortcoming

When a salesperson is struggling, comforting them with a cliched motivational quote will not work.

Take a close look at the work environment you’ve created for your team before questioning the apparently striving salesperson of their struggle. Introspect if the salesperson has attained the required training for their position and if the sales process is clear.

Once that is done, check their sales pipeline and find the reason behind the failure they are facing.

Pinpoint the problems suggest real and legitimate solutions. This will create an empathetic bond between you and the salesperson which will not only make them more loyal towards you but also make them accountable for the team.

Alongside this, your team will know you are not just focused on the results but are also available to go to the roots and help them out.

Apart from suggesting solutions, you can also try other alternatives. Extend a few days of leave or shift their focus to some other tasks. This will help ease the pressure and give them the desired break to restart in full force.

2. Be empathetic and supportive of your sales team

be empathetic

A salesperson knows where things are going out of their hands but tries to hide it due to the fear of losing their jobs. They keep reminding themselves that things are still under their hands long past the train has left the station.

Create an environment where a salesperson can come directly to you seeking help when they realize their work is going downhill.

A supportive environment is essential in these cases especially when the target is demanding and the salesperson is struggling.

Due to the competitive nature of Sales Offices, a struggling salesperson can be avoided and isolated.

Warn them to see and acknowledge the signs of trouble before they become irremediable.

Make sure your workplace is team-friendly so that they can come to you in times of distress instead of avoiding looking in the eye.

Fear can act as a catalyst in the first few stages but in the long run, it serves no purpose, and often the salesperson starts self-sabotaging himself and his abilities.

3. Use Sales forecasting and take preventive actions

Sales forecasting

Sales Forecasting is the secret recipe for successful high-value deals. It helps you analyze the monthly pipeline and generates a strategic and precise report.  

It facilitates strategic planning and suggests the right time to implement your plans.

Irregular monthly checkups will not work for a struggling salesperson. You have to do regular check-ins to be properly aware of the track.

Also, the pipeline should not be solely based on late-stage prospects unless you wish to run dry of hot leads.

4. Get back to the grind with fresh targets

fresh targets

Revisit your sales target to review what has been working and what’s not helping the sales.

Making certain changes with passing time will assure that you are up to date with the demands of the market. It also gives a new breath of freshness to your team, and,

Change always gathers excitement and motivation.

Make fresh realistic targets. The targets should not be just long-term. Apart from taking the Big picture goals into consideration, appoint short-term​ goals that gradually lead to the bigger ones. Including short-term targets and goals will benefit the reward system of your salespeople.

Break the big picture goals into yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

A targeted review at the end of each week is advised to let your sales team analyze what they have achieved so far and what changes they should make to reach the appointed goals. You can also use this time to provide suggestions and recommendations to your team members.

5. Consider a third-person perspective or coaching

Consider a third-person perspective or coaching

A third-person perspective can be extremely helpful when it comes to sales. Missed targets can be frustrating for both the salespeople and the team manager and this third person can help you both see what you have been missing all this while.

A coach who can guide you through a sales drought, until you have found your footing back has also proven to be successful.

If you are confused and unaware of the reasons for missing targets, again and again, a professional coach can hear you over the phone and go through your emails to find the issue and give constructive advice to help repair the damage.

Professional coaching will not only give you ideas to improve your business, it also helps with team management, work performance, and business management as well as looks after the psychological state of your team.

Remember, your team is your strength!


Punishments, doubled targets, and playing the blame game does not work. You have to be empathetic with your team members, look at their struggle as your own and collectively find a way through every distress.  

Missing targets can severely hamper a salesperson’s motivation. You may find your team member lose the drive to cold call or email and the productive chart will go dwindling down.

It’s your job to remind them that it’s only temporary and failure is a part of the process. We as the leading B2B marketing and sales consulting firms certainly have our own set of failures, but we make sure to bounce back even harder the following month because we have always believed:

When you don’t give up, you cannot fail.

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