Have you ever had a time when you believed you had found the perfect sales candidate? The one that told you everything you wanted to hear? They had industry experience, a full rolodex, client knowledge, and they had a track record of success. You may have thought to yourself… “It’s a miracle, a pure stroke of good luck.” You wanted to believe they were going to take your company’s sales and profits to the next level.
Then, not long after you hired them, you didn’t see them generating any new sales, you were not being introduced to any of their former clients or new prospects from their rolodex and their pipeline was thin, almost non- existent. They started coming to work late, they took long lunches and left the office early. They didn’t operate with that sense of urgency or level of commitment that you anticipated when you first hired them.
If this has ever happened to you, be assured that you are in the majority. This has happened to all of us. We had high hopes and great expectations of finding this ideal candidate only to be disappointed, frustrated and concerned about the future of our company and the long-term prospects of growing sales. After this happens, we have to sit back and reflect on what happened. What did we miss? What could we have done to hire smarter and get a better result?
There are all kinds of reasons why salespeople fail. Here are 5 of the most common reasons:
· They are the wrong person. They may lack the skills and strengths or the desire and commitment to do whatever is necessary to achieve sales success. Or, even though they know better and have the ability to do the job, they have hidden weaknesses or blind spots that prevent them from doing better (i.e. a high need for approval or a fear of rejection).
· There are not clear expectations set or no demonstrated path to success. Expectations should include sales results, activities, tracking, reporting and forecasting.
· There is no onboarding program, or the onboarding program is ineffective. Without an onboarding program, the salesperson will not be equipped to hit the ground running. They will not have the knowledge to accelerate their ramp up and produce results quickly.
· There is no development or training provided. No salesperson will have all the skills needed to be successful. There will be gaps. The training program should help the salesperson to quickly close the gaps so they can consistently and predictably generate revenue.
· Finally, there may be a lack of sales leadership. Whether there is a dedicated sales manager or the owner is the sales manager, this is arguably the second most critical role in a company. Sales is the life line of the business and needs to be prioritized accordingly. An effective sales manager will take the time to coach, motivate, develop and hold the salespeople accountable.
By addressing these 5 reasons salespeople fail you will improve the effectiveness of hiring, onboarding and development of your new salespeople. If you want help putting these in place or are searching for other areas for incremental improvements, let’s work together to get you on a path of sales success.