First, ensure that the goals which have been set for sales managers are reasonable. Are the goals not being met because they are unrealistic? Have the current goals been achieved in the past but are no longer being met? If the sales goals have yet to be realized, it can be assumed that these need to be adjusted and the new levels fairly distributed among the staff members. Secondly, beyond money, the sales staff may need intrinsic motivation to help them better perform.
Awards or prizes granted for the top salesperson monthly, quarterly, and annually will give the staff an additional, personal goal to meet. The definition of top salesperson can range from who brought in the most new accounts to who achieved the highest sales numbers to who received the most positive feedback from customers for any given period. Whatever the criteria, the goal must be measurable and well defined, such as net sales, number of new accounts which purchased a minimum dollar amount, etc.
Achievement of these goals must be recognized on a regular basis with a clearly defined prize or bonus, which is relevant to the staff members, given in a timely manner. Third, the sales manager is encouraged to hold regular meetings, perhaps on a daily or weekly basis, as a forum to discuss new ideas, plan sales blitzes, talk about possible solutions to problems encountered by the sales staff, etc.
The sales department is a team and they must work together and feel their opinions are valuable in order to perform up to standard. Finally, the standards and goals must be clearly defined and consequences outlined for those who do not meet them. Once it has been established that set goals are realistic, there should be consequences, such as probation or written warnings, applied to the underachieving staff members.