8 Reasons Why Your Sales Team Isn’t Performing

Are you unhappy about the results your sales team are achieving? Has the situation manifested itself over quite a long period of time? In these situations it is easy for your sales people to point the blame at the current economic situation, excessively high selling prices set by your company, insufficient advertising measures, etc.

However, there are eight other possible reasons for declining sales which every sales manager should be aware of as they can influence these factors and so turn poor sales performance round.

Managing the sales force can be particularly challenging as the sales manager must ensure that all of their sales people are performing consistently well in order to achieve sales targets. Invariable, when managing a large team, one or more of your people may not be hitting their targets.

When this happens check if any of the following problems are causing these poor results:

1. Are there any weaknesses in the sales person’s self-organisation skills, e.g. bad territory planning, an inadequate customer record management system or poor personal time management?

2. Does the sales person exhibit any personal weaknesses, e.g. a lack of self-motivation or poor self-confidence. These can seriously hamper the way in which your sales people conduct their sales negotiations and consequently cause a decline in the number of sales they make.

3. Do your sales people show poor or inadequate focus on new target groups or markets? Is there evidence that they are not using a systematic approach to canvassing for new customers, or insufficient observation of competitor industries and current consumer trends?

4. A very common reason for poor sales performance is the sales person not using benefits to sell to the customer. This often stems from poor or no identification of the individual customer needs during the fact finding phase of the sales presentation. Check if your sales people are using features to persuade, rather than turning these features into actual benefits.

5. Are your sales people classifying their customers into A/B/C customers? If they are using the wrong prioritisation or using no priorities among customers then this will result in too much time being allocated to the wrong customer.

6. Do they have poor sales presentation skills? Are they using a boring opening to their sales presentation. Or is inaccurate requirements analysis leading to the wrong information being presented? Or are they simply giving a standard sales talk instead of individual customer advice?

7. How is their attitude? Do they have a negative attitude towards the customer, towards your own company, etc? If this is the case, they may be in the wrong job!

8. And finally, are there signs of poor cooperation with the office based customer service staff? Poor cooperation can quickly lead to friction, lack of delegation etc.

Check over these eight points again to identify in what areas of improvement are necessary for your poorly performing sales person and then get to work on these straight away, by providing field based coaching or arranging a sales training course for them. The effort is worth it and you will start to get better sales results from your team!