Have you ever been physically ill? Had car troubles or been in an accident? Experienced leaky pipes or electrical issues in your home? If so, did you just sit back and hope these issues would disappear on their own, or did you call in the doctor, car mechanic, plumber or electrician to find the problem and fix it?
Of course, you made the call to bring in the professionals because serious issues do not fix themselves.
Yet, despite knowing this, thousands of executives believe that their issues with sales are somehow exempt and that these problems will resolve themselves and improve.
Most companies all deal with the exact same issues with their sales organizations: Flat or lethargic sales growth, the bulk of the revenue coming from a small percentage of the salespeople, not enough new business, difficulty selling against low priced competition, longer sales cycles, and the list goes on.
Problems most sales companies face
However, while most companies have similar issues, the causes are usually different. There can be any number of problems that contribute to the observable issues, but these are the ones we see most often:
- Recruiting – ineffective process and/or inconsistent sales selection
- On Boarding – is neglected, shortcuts are taken, or it is done poorly
- Coaching – sales managers do not coach enough and do not do it effectively
- Accountability – there is not any so it is quite easy for salespeople to fall behind
- Messaging – you would not believe how bad – how inconsistent – the messaging is at most companies
- Sales Process – there usually is not one and when there is it is either useless or nobody follows it
- Training – it is usually either do it yourself bad or it is not provided at all
- Gaps – skill gaps that prevent salespeople from being able to take a consultative approach or sell value
- Sales DNA Gaps – the strengths required to support tactics, strategies, process, and methodology are missing
- Pipeline – usually a mess – filled with unqualified opportunities that will never close
Yet it is not enough to simply acknowledge these problems. After properly identifying what best describes the gaps in your organization, the next phase is getting it fixed by a professional! The solution is not one size fits all. It could be that the Sales Leadership and professionals must be adequately trained and coached. Maybe your playbooks and scripts must be developed or the entire sales culture needs a complete overhaul. The caveat with improving sales performance is that the more you know, the more questions there will be, thus , the more focused your efforts need to be. And that is why it is so insane when so many executives ignore the problem, pretend they know what to do about it, and don’t call for help call until the revenue issue reaches such a state that there isn’t enough time or money to fix it.
It is so easy to blame the sales force for all shortfalls, but do not. They did not recruit themselves; they did not train themselves, they did not set unreasonable expectations, and they didn’t make themselves suck. The blame gets placed higher up – where a false sense of hope and optimism live.
The key is in evaluating your sales team and getting to the root of the problem once and for all – knowledge is power!
Duane Lue-Fung is an award-winning entrepreneur and is the Founder & Chairman of the Caribbean’s #1 Sales Development Company, Think Grow Lead. For more insights on sales training, sales recruiting and sales outsourcing please visit TGL’s website. www.tgltrainers.com/ www.tglsalesschool.com or email me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org