I talk to sales leaders and business owners daily.
The greatest part of my job is asking the question, "What's going best in your business right now?" Most of them love to share with me how great their company is doing and how they are so proud of their employees' fighting spirit over the last few months. They share how they have had to pivot as a company. And how their best employees have responded positively to the changes and are continually developing as professionals. There is nothing better than having these conversations.
However, the conversation quickly turns to discussing the struggles and challenges sales and business leaders face within their organization. I often hear things like:
We’re just not getting the amount of meetings we’d like to get
My sales reps aren’t making the calls
We’re not playing at the right level / not getting to Key Decision Maker
We send proposals before qualifying the opportunity
Our win rate is low / We aren’t hitting our forecast
We often lose to no decision
We’re not following the sales process
Hearing leaders talk about their challenges is a good thing because it shows vulnerability and identifies growth opportunities. However, for me to truly help my customers solve their problems, I have to ensure I have identified the correct problem by asking some follow up questions such as:
How is the culture of accountability within your company?
Have you properly set expectations with your reps?
What happens if someone misses their quota?
Are KPI’s optional?
How is CRM documentation?
Does your compensation plan match your expectations?
Do your leaders model the behaviors they want to see from their team?
These conversations aren’t as fun to have, but what I'm really asking leaders to do is look in the mirror to identify the real reason they aren't achieving the success they want. After all – they did hire sales reps who they believed could get the job done and/or have proven they can drive results.
This often transitions the conversation from the need for sales training to a more immediate need for leadership development training to create more accountability within the organization. A strong culture of accountability creates discipline, and discipline is required to win at a high level on a continuous basis.
If you find your team achieving poor sales results, I challenge you to go through the list of questions above with your leadership team. First, determine if it’s a sales aptitude problem, or if you have drifted away from the discipline and accountability that has provided you with success. If you need help getting there, please contact us to discuss our sales and leadership training programs.