Commercial efficiency
6 min reading

What to do when you are at the bottom of the hole, and how to get back on track?

Cyprien BORIOS
March 2022
new start
"How's work?"
"It's a bit complicated at the moment..."

In fact, it's more than complicated. You haven't signed anything for weeks.

Not a damn deal, not even a test or a demo!

The objectives of the quarter no longer concern you. You're going door-to-door, as if all your prospects have been talking to each other with the sole aim of"not answering him".

It's hard. So hard that you feel it even outside of work: you are less confident, less energetic, you talk less than usual...

You even hesitated to contact those recruiters who approached you the other day on linkedin. In short, things are not going well.

If you are in the doldrums, now is the time to (re)read this article, which we hope will bring you the comfort you need to hold on through the desert.

I. Put it in perspective

First of all, this is not a matter of life and death.

It's a tough job, but we're only talking about the working world! If you take a step back, you can see that none of this is fundamentally serious.

Something serious is, for example, malaria, having appendicitis, a broken coffee machine, or a colleague who does not attend ANY afterwork: THAT is serious.

The rest is not.

II. Talk about it

We know it's not easy. Especially since you are not the type to complain. No one likes to talk about his or her failures, even less so in a meritocratic profession like sales. It takes a certain amount of courage to open up, and even more to assume that things are not going well.

=> Talk to your colleagues, your manager, and even your friends who have nothing to do with your job.

In fact, tell as many people as possible. And make it clear:

 "No, I'm not okay. I can't do it. I'm struggling with {this, this, and this}."

That's it. It feels good already. Take the weight off your shoulders that is holding you back.

III. You are not alone

And yes, there are people on the "0 € of CA" ship. Welcome on board!

On a more serious note, the reason we are writing about this article is that many of you have asked us to write about it. In every company - in every sector - in every country, there are hard-working salespeople.

Many gave up. Others changed departments within the company. Some went to raise goats in the Jura!

You don't. 

You are still here. You're still here.

Your determination commands respect.

You knew that when you signed your contract. Selling is hard. It's like getting into the ring and complaining about getting hit. Nobody likes it, but at some point it's inevitable. And that's how you get tough.

The best salespeople I have known have all experienced dark periods at one time or another. It is part of their history. And it is the difficulties of yesterday that make them strong today.

As you grow, you will have material to give to your juniors. It will inspire them, and they will thank you for it.

IV. Appreciate what you have done!

The job of a salesperson is the ultimate up and down job.

You are not hiding behind lines of code or an Excel spreadsheet. You have chosen to face the world, the risk and the adrenaline. And to have highs, there have to be lows from time to time.

You who are always looking ahead, take a second to look in the rear view mirror. Take stock, and contemplate all that you have done:

  • Those customers, now loyal, whom you have unlocked and who still thank you warmly today.
  • Those incredible encounters you made.
  • Those bonds you have created with your colleagues.
  • More generally, all those people you have helped, from near or far.

Evolution has caused our brains to give more importance to negative elements than to positive ones ("A lion is going to attack me" VS "Oh, an apple").

Fight this bias. Appreciate what you have achieved so far: It is already a lot!

V. Define a clear plan for the next step

You're being dramatic, but it's not over yet. 

You still have a pipe. 

You still have your connections.

There are always prospects who need you.

If you are on your own, it is difficult to gain perspective on your situation. The best advice we can give you is to sit down one-on-one with your manager and make a plan for the future.

Take a few minutes to think things through:

  1. What has not worked so far? Why? => Isolate these actions, and iterate on them.
  2. What has worked so far? Why? => Isolate these actions, and iterate on them.
  3. Analyse what works with top performers => duplicate it.

The sense of lightness that accompanies this action is more than welcome at this time.

Good, now define a clear plan for the next step.

  • What are the tasks I will perform?
  • When? 
  • How? 
  • Where do I start?

Focus only on what you can control. Set goals that are within your control . For example:

✅ Make 200 calls/week VS ❌ Make 10 appointments per week.

=> You control the number of calls, not the number of appointments.

The tip: Set goals that depend on you, achieving them will ultimately depend on your motivation, and the satisfaction will come.

Get into a progression mentality: One thing at a time, and you move forward. Your hard work will pay off.



Don't put pressure on yourself. The key is to put your situation into perspective as often as possible.

=> On the one hand, if things don't improve, you can always change jobs. The advantage you have is that all companies are recruiting salespeople! You won't have any difficulties, and it will be a blessing in disguise.

=> On the other hand, you are doing your best. We know you work hard, and for that alone, congratulations.

Every weekend, look back. Everything you have done. Take time to sit down and discuss it with your colleagues. Put your cards on the table.

And don't forget ...

Soon the seeds you have sown will germinate.

Prospects will call you back.

The pipes will unblock.

And soon the contracts, signed, will come back 🍀 👊 🔥


Cyprien - Sales Content Expert at Modjo.

Orelsan - Best Day


Bonus : Advice from our readers

Finally, we also wanted to know your techniques when it's your colleagues who are in the hole. Here's what our readers said in the survey: "Your colleague hasn't signed a deal for weeks. What actions do you put in place to motivate him? 💪 "

The majority response: "Open a discussion to identify the cause of the failure, and encourage the person to restart it"

  • Recall the person's past successes
  • Show her that you see her efforts and support her
  • Share your own similar experiences
  • "It always happens in the end, often sooner than expected".
  • Aim for quick-win

Recurring answers :

  • Recall the process, the method that works, repeat the basic training.
  • To be a listening ear to allow them to vent their frustration, and to look at their situation from the outside.
  • A coldcall session together - Invite him on his dates to share best practices, and prove that it can be done.
  • A pipe review to unblock any reports that may fall through + call from prospects by "Brigitte from accounting waiting for signed contracts".
  • A commission - Premium in €.

Finally, the rarer, and equally interesting, advice:

  • Ask them to list the qualities they like in others, so that they realise that these are their own qualities.
  • A good pint!
  • And the best part: Sharing Modjo articles with him ;)

If you are faced with that colleague who needs to be motivated, there are multiple solutions. Choose the one(s) that will suit him/her best, and don't forget that the smallest support often makes the difference 😉



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