Why is Your Sales Team Consistently Missing the Mark?
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
100% of top-performing sales teams use a formalized sales process. Cashin Sales has created an ebook for you, to walk through the steps on how to create one.
“Why aren’t they doing better?”
This is the question we get in nearly every interaction we have with presidents and CEOs -- leaders who know their salespeople should be doing better by closing more deals but watch their sales manager’s struggle with effectively coaching their team up to the next level.
National reports confirm what we already know from this personal experience: Only about ⅓ of reps make their quotas. Take a moment to let that sink in for a second. One-third. That statistic shows that many organizations are struggling.
Of course, you have to ask yourself why this is so.
In general, we find most sales managers to be bright, talented, and experienced leaders of good and reputable companies. They were once fantastic sales reps themselves. Yet, the vast majority of them are unable to “coach up” their salespeople to hit the big numbers -- the kind of numbers they did when they were selling!
Why are such superstars of sales plagued by underperforming teams once they assume leadership roles?
In life, we’re conditioned to look for the “one reason” things are amiss. It certainly makes finding a solution easier! Find what’s wrong, fix it, and move on to better days.
In sales, we often try to do the same. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. This is one of those situations.
There is no one reason your sales team is consistently missing its mark. Likely, there are several reasons, and you’ll have to address them all to see your numbers improve.
Our experience tells us the following issues are holding your team back:
1. Hiring wrong
Your salespeople might be wonderful people who you loved in the interview, but they also might be wrong for the role they’re in or lack the skills necessary to succeed. If that’s the case, you’ll never be able to coach them up. It’s like trying to pound the proverbial round peg into the square hole. It’s just never going to fit.
This is why we so highly recommend a proper and thorough candidate assessment tool be implemented before an interview takes place.
2. Lack of proper onboarding
The lack of a comprehensive onboarding program sets salespeople up for failure. Don’t assume that an experienced rep is going to be successful in your organization simply because they were successful selling somewhere else. Your organization and products are unique, and you have to integrate a new person into that deliberately.
3. Lack of consistent messaging
Organizations that struggle reaching sales quotas typically have sales reps with very disjointed messages. They’re all saying different things about your value proposition and your brand. They all have a very different elevator pitch. Over time, this can really confuse your customers, especially if they have contact with multiple reps.
4. Lack of necessary Sales DNA
A salesperson can be many wonderful things, but if he or she lacks Sales DNA, coaching up becomes nearly impossible.
Sales DNA is the set of strengths that support successful sales outcomes. It’s mandatory for sales effectiveness.
How do you know if you have a DNA problem or just a skills gap? If you find yourself coaching reps over and over again on the same issues, you likely have a Sales DNA problem on your hands.
5. Coaching without impact
Coaching accounts for 50% of a sales leader’s job. How well are you doing it?
If your salespeople are begging for your time, if they are closing deals without you, if they are getting stronger, more confident, and meeting (and exceeding!) quotas, then you’re coaching with impact and have nothing to worry about. But, if these things aren’t happening, your coaching likely needs a lot of work.
6. Lack of process
We saved this one for last because we have a particular affinity for the sales process. A proven, predictable sales process that can be coached consistently and with impact all but guarantees success. Skip creating one, and you’ll be struggling forever.
Leading a team is hard work, but knowing where your issues lie is half the battle. If your team isn’t making quotas the way you’d like, or you’re concerned about one of the areas we’ve mentioned here, give us a call.