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Revealed - The Five Reasons Your Sales Team is Struggling

Revealed - The Five Reasons Your Sales Team is Struggling

During the boom time, your salespeople pretty much just had to have a pulse to secure a sale. Now with the boom times but a fleeting memory, with the increase in competition and the tightening of purse strings, a done deal is not so easy to come by.

It is not uncommon for 5-12 companies to be bidding for the same job, or for a client to decide to “do nothing” and salespeople to blame the economy, competition or the company for not winning the order- excuses are plentiful.
So why can’t your sales team grow revenue/profit and market share; where is it all going wrong?

Here are the five reasons your sales team is struggling.
  1. 65%. The buyer has travelled 65% of the way through their buying decision process by the time they engage with your company- your sales team. They have researched the possible solutions to their problems, the offerings out there and pretty much what they want to buy. So what do your salespeople bring for the 35%? What do they offer the buyer? They offer what they have always offered, the same old engagement- you have a problem, we have a solution (hoping something will stick), I will do you a quote then nothing happens- no calls or emails returned. So what should they bring to the table for the 35%? 
  2. It’s harder to reach prospects. They no longer pick up their phone to talk to your salespeople, they no longer answer benign emails, and they no longer have the time to meet to discuss the football. If you want to grow market share by engaging with new clients, your salespeople need to be able to reach them and meet with them. If you want your salespeople to cross-sell and upsell existing clients, they need to be able to meet with them. Why are they not able to do this consistently?
  3. Prospects are more cautious and conservative on what they spend their money on. You see back in the boom people’s “wants” were much easier to access, companies did not put as much rigour around the “wants” as they do today. In fact, most people need to write quite a business case to get their “wants” let alone their “needs.” So why would your clients new and old want to spend their precious time writing business cases if they do not feel a compelling reason to change from their current status quo? How are your salespeople engaging with them to establish this compelling reason? 
  4. There is far more price sensitivity. Yes, it’s all about price- I hear it often. And yet from a survey of 2400 company personnel, the price was only 9% of the importance when dealing with suppliers- 53% was with the sales experience. What experience are your salespeople creating for your clients? In fact, how are your salespeople positioning themselves as trusted advisors within the first meeting- so they get invited back? In a recent survey by Forrester, decision makers were asked how often meetings with vendors were valuable and lived up to expectations-44%. Furthermore, they were asked how often do you accept follow-up meetings- 25%. So once again what sort of experience are your salespeople providing for your clients?
  5. There is a greater need to differentiate. This goes with the price issue. In the absence of any other differentiator, the buyer can only use price to separate the options put forward. So how well do your salespeople know how to differentiate the offering- and please no feature and benefit selling here- this is DEAD, gone! If I want to know the f&b of your solution- that us what the internet is for. 75%of salespeople believe their approach differentiates them, but only 3% of their clients agree. Why should I choose YOU- that is what they are asking. Here is a quick check to see how your sales team is going with differentiating themselves- ask them this: “What is our value proposition?”, and then ask them this, “Why should I buy from you?” From these answers would you buy from your salespeople?

So what can you do about it, how can you change the way your salespeople find, capture and close more deals? 

Firstly it’s important to understand why they will not hunt or farm for more opportunities consistently, why they are not reaching prospects more effectively.

Next, what stops them from engaging with people as trusted advisors and not as discounters, why is required to maximise the 35%, why they are not differentiating value effectively.

Lastly, what are the parameters to set up to ensure they have a consistent improvement in your team’s engagement- which WILL grow revenue/profit and market share.

Sales is not a “black art”, it is no different to a production line, to a distribution or service centre or the financial sector. It’s all about the effectiveness of people.
You want a service person/engineer- they either have the skills you want or not, you either train them or not. Salespeople are no different- except you think or wonder if they have the skills, you hope they can put them into practise and you hope it all comes together. What if you could have certainty around this- data that showed what skill sets they have or not and whether they have desire and commitment for sales.

So by now you may be wondering, where can I go from here? If you leave these issues to fester they will get worse and leave you picking up the pieces. If you want better results now, we can assist you and your team.
Start by calling or email us, I challenge you to find an excuse not to. If you think of one, I’d love to discuss it with you and show you the light.