I’ve been trying to help answer business questions lately especially during these trying times, here’s another one:
In my experience, inconsistency with your salespeople may be signs of:
Spending too much time on unqualified leads
This is probably the most common reason for poor sales results. Not only that but it creates a vicious cycle of discouragement.
The more sales people spend (waste) time on unqualified leads, the lower their closing rate, the more discouraged they get and they start to give up and tune out.
Sales people spending time with/on the WRONG prospects is costly for your business.
Are your salespeople following an optimized sales system for your business?
In one of my first sales jobs, I remember we didn’t really get training on “how to sell”. We were just thrown into the job.
The first time I had to send a quotation to a client, I asked a colleague for help. I found every member had their own version. No one had any standardized version.
Here’s the risk when you don’t take control of the training of your staff, when they get trained or shadow an existing staff, they could learn bad habits.
These bad habits get passed on from one sales person to the next.
Your business is measuring performance based upon the WRONG metrics
In one of my former jobs, the sales team’s performance was based upon sales revenue generated per sales person AND also the # of calls one made.
I always had a problem with this metric because everyone was focused on making a call and hanging up or making calls that were never answered.
The big boss was adamant that # of calls made was a leading indicator of sales. The more calls you made, the more sales you should make right? That thinking was flawed. It incentivized sales people to cheat, so instead of optimizing for sales, they were optimizing for # of calls.
Unfortunately, they were missing something, the QUALITY of calls.
May have hired for the incorrect traits for high-performance sales
Traditional recruiting & hiring methods consist of combing through endless piles of application resumes/CV’s, then arranging interviews and selecting candidates who come across as likeable and charismatic in the interview.
It’s not anyone’s fault, most of the time we’re thrust into a Head of Sales role without any training on how to hire the right way.
I’ve learned that traits we typically look for in a sales person may NOT be the best traits for a high-performance sales person.
For example, you would think a trait of a good sales person is someone who loves to talk.
But if you really think about it, a good sales person is someone who listens well instead of talking too much (where the prospective client feels unheard).
So, my approach to sales recruitment is vastly different from the traditional methods.
I look at the sales process & system, then work backwards for what kind of character traits works well for that process.
For some who are great at talking & thinking on their feet may not be suited for a sales system that is more scripted and systemized.