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Poor Sales Performance

Poor Sales Performance

This is from a blog by Dave Kurlan.

You might say that after reading an awesome book, waiting for months and years in anticipation of the movie version, only to be extremely disappointed when the much hyped film failed to live up to what you remembered feeling when turning the pages.

You might also feel let down after leaving a great, but expensive restaurant, but the meal, service or ambiance was quite different from what you had imagined when you heard about the business.

And from experience, I can tell you that once in a blue moon, after we evaluate a sales force and present our findings, a rare CEO can become defensive and react poorly to the results.  When it happens, it's usually a sign that the CEO is out of touch with the sales force.  I'll share some of the things to which they sometimes react badly:

The top 5 findings that a CEO might react poorly to are:

An executive sales leader appears to be weak on OMG's Sales Leadership Evaluation

The CEO might say, "Well, the only reason we landed that multi-million dollar contract with that billion dollar company is because of Bob.  He sold it himself.  So how do you explain that?"  

The CEO didn't recognize that the company took a great major account salesperson, place him in the Sales VP role, and instead of leading the sales force and functioning as a Sales VP should, he still wants to be the rainmaker and the star of the show. That definitely makes him a weak Sales VP!

The entire sales team is weak

The CEO might say, "Then how do you explain our double digit growth over the last 5 years?
The CEO doesn't recognize that the company's success has more to do with great marketing and desirable products than the salespeople who represent them because their salespeople just plain suck!  This is an example of Mediocrity winning out over excellence. If the company grew at double digit rates with this group, then they would be growing by leaps and bounds with stronger salespeople!  

The salespeople have issues around the Will to Sell.

Many of the salespeople lack the kind of commitment to sales success that is required to get to the next level.  The CEO might say, "I can't understand how that can possibly be and I certainly don't know how to fix it."  

The problem is that the company was hiring the wrong salespeople, focusing on technical skills instead of sales core competencies and in doing so, created a culture of complacency.

With the proper training and coaching, the existing sales force can generate 75% more revenue but it will take 24 months.

The CEO might say, "That's a considerable increase.  I don't believe that's possible.  Why is it so large and why will it take so long?"  

The problem is that the existing sales force is so weak that they are leaving letting large numbers of opportunities slip through their fingers without any ability to capture it.  It will take 24 months because the gaps are so wide and deep and there is a lengthy sales cycle.

Some of the top account managers evaluated as weak salespeople.

The CEO might say, "They are the top 3 salespeople so they can't be that weak!"  

The problem is that those 3 account managers manage more revenue than anyone else and they're extremely important to your success.  However, they aren't your top 3 salespeople and we can prove it.  If you took their existing accounts away - which they probably inherited and didn't close themselves -  and asked them to build a pipeline, close some new accounts and generate new business, they would fail in dramatic fashion.

Our eyes can be wide open yet still fail to see what we don't want to see.  When expectations aren't met it causes the three D's - discomfort, disappointment and disaster.Sometimes you can't see the reality of your own sales force until you have the actual data and use it to look at your people, systems, processes and strategies through a different lens.  

Companies that fight the data don't change.

Companies that are afraid of the data remain clueless

The sales force evaluation is the most important and powerful thing you can implement at your company.  It leads to better decisions, changes based on science instead of hunches, and improvements based on necessity instead of opportunity.


And companies that embrace the data grow by leaps and bounds. Jim Collins "Good to Great" fame - face the brutal facts.

Here is some feedback from courages Leaders.

We needed to grow our business significantly. Our sales team is spread around the world and we wanted to know what type of investment was needed and who would benefit from training/coaching.

We had many questions around the effectiveness of our current team and what we needed to do differently to grow.

SG Partners Sales Team Analysis was easy to conduct, very non invasive to our team and only took a short time to complete.

The resulting report was very illuminating. The data gave us insights we would not normally have had and has allowed us to plan and implement future growth strategies for our team.

Importantly, it has provided an objective perspective of our team and who we want to move forward with and who we should reconsider investing further in.

I would recommend SG Partners Sales Team Analysis to any company wanting to know how to get even more from their sales team, what to focus on and what ROI could be obtained from any investment plan.

VP Global Operations

Last year I had a meeting with Michael on the back of something in his monthly newsletter which  grabbed my attention. The meeting with him was engaging and dare I say it - thought provoking.

As a consulting engineering company in the mining sector, we like many others, were being challenged by the current economic climate. I knew we needed to do something different and working with Michael we decided we needed to embrace a more Business Development focus than currently was the case. We knew this would be challenging for us.

After working with SG Partners now for 6 months not only have we seen our business grow, our pipeline looks very healthy, our people are not as afraid of business development, infact some even enjoy it now.

We are more abundant in our focus, we are engaging with decision makers more and we are holding our value. Infact we are growing.

I recommend SG Partners to any company wanting to improve their revenue, marketshare and profit, they truly can help you. Yes their program is challenging and I suppose that is what has assisted us in the getting the results we have in the shortest period of time. They understand us and work with us to remain focused, engaging and being the trusted advisor to our client base.

Managing Director