- How many sales people in your sales team are hitting target?
- How many are hitting targets consistently?
- How many will hit their quarter target?
- Do you know why your sales team’s performance is the way it is?
Over the past four years, various sources, including CSO Insights, have reported that 36 to 46 percent of sales reps do not achieve quota*
ES Research Group, Inc. estimates that 20 to 33 percent of salespeople do not have the capabilities to be successful at their jobs.*
*(Read more great info on sales performance at http://blogs.richardson.com/2013/07/26/sales-transformation-no-guts-no-glory/)
The question I want to ask you today is: why do you tolerate poor sales performance?
Here are some of the insights I have gained over recent years:
Poor sales performance is tolerated because:
- My middle managers can’t translate the board room created sales strategy to the sales floor – is it fair that I penalise the sales team for that?
- Yes, we have performance management/people development programs and processes in our organisation, but we never really use them, anyway it takes time and people need to be selling…we could be wasting precious selling time….
- The problem is just too big…we would end up with the whole sales team on performance measures…do you really want me to fire everyone?
- The market for us is not good now – it’s tough out there (this is my favourite as it is usually uttered by a Sales Manager who hasn’t seen a customer in the last six months and is happy to believe the sales team as this gives him a story too!!)
- Yes – our performance is not what it should be…but we don’t pay the same salaries that our competitors do…we don’t get the best people…
Yes – you can believe it, all of the above are true and valid reasons I have heard for poor sales performance…
What Stops Business Owners Taking Action?
In my experience, the reason Business Owners/Managers fail to take timely action is that they just don’t know where to start. To some people, no matter how long they have been in business, sales is still very much a black box – it works, they know vaguely what goes in and what comes out, but as to unpicking it to make it better…well that’s just a whole new ball game.
First things first:
- Sit down with your sales team and start listening to what they have to say
- Then – get out there – start talking to your best customers, start spending time in accompanied visits, start chatting to recruitment people in your area – see how buoyant your industry really is, are your competitors increasing staff or setting staff off? Takes too much time? You will have all the time in the world if your sales team don’t perform – your call entirely.
- Challenge the sales story with the reality.
- Look at the output and input of your star performers – now use that to benchmark everyone else’s sales performance – challenge activity levels, watch attitudes, motivation, engagement
- Set short-term achieve sale targets – don’t take responsibility for achieving these targets, but remain accessible, and let everyone know you are accessible
- Outline the consequences of the firm not achieving the desired output, it’s up to you how personal you wish to make it.
- As a result of the above, some will move up and some will move on….nothing scares a lazy sales person as much as a performance spot light!!
There is no doubt that having paid, you shouldn’t be a position to have to pray that the right sales performance is achieved on a regular basis…early intervention, strict performance management and a robust sales training and development plan should help you minimise your losses and capitalise of the weakness of your competitors…who will, at some point, be doing the same as you did and tolerating poor performance.
To discuss any elements of sales performance and sales performance in your firm, please contact is 0779 002 1885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Griffiths – Lead Consultant and Director
Morton Kyle Limited
0779 002 1885