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Eight Reasons Why Salespeople Fail

Eight Reasons Why Salespeople Fail

Jonathan Farrington

The responsibility for ensuring that every member of the sales team is successful and performing at optimum levels lies entirely with management and below are the eight reasons why sales people fail. In fact, I usually ask just three very straightforward questions, in order to identify why a salesperson is underachieving i.e.,


Are they visiting/talking to enough clients/prospects? In other words are they pro-active and are their activity levels high?

Are they talking to the right people within those client/prospect organizations? Are they able to penetrate the formal DMU (Decision Making Unit) and get to the MAN?

Are they saying/doing the right things? This really means – how strong are their selling skills?


However this list, whilst not exhaustive, remains extremely accurate and as I said earlier, management has total control over each of these, including the last one!


1. Wrong or no selection process - The wrong person for the position

2. Wrong or no training - Insufficiently developed

3. Wrong or no planning - Expected to do all of their own planning

4. Wrong or no supervision – Left without competent supervision

5. Wrong or no motivation - Not properly motivated to meet objectives

6. Wrong or no stimulation – Not stimulated by appropriate incentives

7. Wrong or no evaluation – Not regularly appraised against a set of agreed objectives

8. Wrong or no executive action – Not adequately supported by a competent manager


If you are a sales manager, consider your part in this equation. According to these criteria, do you feel your current team poised for success? Hopefully you can say yes! If not, this list will hopefully draw attention to how you can help your team exercise their potential. Your wallet will also thank you!

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