You are facing an unwanted reality: sales for your company are just not where they should be. Nearly all sales managers have found themselves in this position at one point or another − it is almost like a rite of passage before you really get the hang of managing sales. However, the key to getting your sales back on track is to determine the root cause of your sales slump.
Is it your sales team? Is it the market? Is it a lack of understanding of the market? Is it your managing style?
There are a number of factors that could be contributing to the decline in your company’s sales. However, there are 4 common factors that you’ll find across companies in the United States.
Thus, today we are going to let you in on the secrets of those factors that could be draining your company, and you, of sales.
The Top 4 Factors Driving Your Sales Team to Failure
1. Your Sales Team Lacks Prospecting Skills
The key to successful sales is the ability to successfully prospect new customers. Unfortunately, according to a 2017 Hubspot survey, “prospecting is the most difficult part of the sales process for salespeople.”
And it is clear why: consumers are just not buying like they used to.
With the growing popularity of shopping via social media and smartphones, as well as the use of the internet to research products on their own, consumers are relying less on salespeople.
How does your sales team navigate these issues?
Your sales team can get around these consumer hurdles by going beyond being just a salesperson − your team needs to focus on becoming a trusted advisor.
Thinking outside of the box and being proactive are the means of survival in the sales world today.
Sitting and waiting for leads to fall into their laps will bring nothing but failure for your salespeople, and your company’s sales.
Your sales team needs to always have goals to work toward. When they achieve the goals, set new, higher ones.
The need to keep improving and doing better should never leave your sales team.
2. Your Sales Team Lacks Drive
Drive is the core of a successful sales team. Without true Drive, your salespeople will likely not be able to succeed long-term.
So chances are good that if your salespeople are struggling, they lack Drive. However, finding salespeople with Drive can be a tricky thing. Why is that?
Because Drive is something that cannot be taught. Drive is something a person has or does not have. Furthermore, Drive can be easily faked in an interview.
So how do you determine if a sales rep has Drive?
The only way to know if your sales rep has Drive is to give them a sales skill assessment.
The results of this assessment will tell you if your salespeople have the 3 critical traits that make up Drive:
- Need for Achievement
The best time to give a sales assessment is before the in-person interview, so you only interview those with the highest potential for success in sales, saving you time and money.
Oftentimes, sales managers will look at experience as a more desirable trait than Drive, but sometimes this is the wrong route to take.
Experience can be taught, but Drive cannot.
3. Your Sales Reps Are Wasting Precious Time
Though technological advances have made some parts of sales much easier (think CRM and other programs that are more efficient at keeping track of sales information), many sales reps are finding that they waste a great deal of time on activities that are not selling.
According to the same Hubspot study, 57% of sales reps spend up to an hour each day on data entry.
Think of all the potential sales lost as a result of this.
Your best seller could be prospecting new clients and bringing in some great numbers, but instead they are entering data.
Find members of your team that are better suited for things such as data entry. Which employees should you have focus their efforts on data and follow-up?
Those employees with lower Drive. Though they lack Drive to be great salespeople, those with low Drive can still be great assets to your company.
In order to allow the high-Drive salespeople (known as hunters) to spend more time selling, low-Drive salespeople (known as farmers) can serve as support staff – doing things such as entering data and following up with customers.
Customer support for issues and building relationships for future and repeat sales is just as important as the initial prospecting and sales done by high-Drive salespeople, so the low-Drive salespeople are just as key to your company.
Setting your sales team up like this allows your employees to work side-by-side to maximize their potential, and play to their different strengths.
4. Your Salespeople Don’t Fully Understand the Product/Service Or Your Competitors
This seems fairly simple, but you would be surprised at how many sales reps do not really understand what they are trying to sell.
That is a wild thought, right?
If you are wondering how they can expect to be successful in sales without a complete understanding of the product or service, we have an answer: they cannot.
Without the knowledge, they will never find success. Knowing your company’s product or service is absolutely integral to selling. The ability to answer (almost) any question, and talk about the product or service to consumers is what is going to take your sales team’s prospects and turn them into customers.
Also, a great way to seal the deal with prospects is to let them know what you offer that your competitors do not. Knowledge about the industry as a whole and what your competitors are offering is a major factor of successful sales.
So how do you ensure that your sales team understands not only the product or service they are selling, but your company’s competitors as well?
The way for you to ensure that your sales team has all the information and resources they need to feel confident about selling your company’s product or service is to provide them with proper training.
Help them feel truly connected with the company and its product or service, and you will find your sales reps connecting to more prospects.