When a salesperson doesn’t make the sale, doesn’t close the deal, doesn’t have the numbers, or doesn’t bring the fire you had hoped for, what’s your reaction?
“She’s a bad saleswoman!” or, “Does he even care about being a salesman?!”
That’s a completely normal reaction, but it shouldn’t be more than a fleeting thought.
It’s easy to see the gaps in other people’s performance, but it’s not as easy to understand why those gaps are there. So we make assumptions that other people aren’t doing their part or aren’t following through. But who is really to blame for poor sales?
Who’s to Blame for Poor Sales?
Let’s assume for the moment that your underperforming salesperson GWCs the role—they Get it, Want it, and have the Capacity to do it. I’d like to turn the tables on you for a minute by asking a few qualifying questions:
- Have you done your part as the sales manager or business owner?
- Does the salesperson have clear, measurable, and attainable goals to measure their own success?
- Is there an ideal client profile for targeted sales?
- Is your salesperson reporting their measurables to you weekly?
- Have you created a positive sales environment?
- Have you defined a simple and standardized sales process?
- Are prospecting time blocks or outreach goal minimums in place?
- Is it easy for the salesperson to track numbers?
- Is sales training available throughout the year?
- Does the sales team have a pipeline?
- Do you spend time weekly with the salesperson to wrestle with the issues plaguing the sales department?
Stronger Sales with Stronger Leadership
Look back over the questions you answered “No” to. Consider what your sales team would look like if you could answer “Yes” to all of those questions. I’ll bet it would look like a high-performing sales team that makes the sale, closes the deal, and achieves the numbers.
Before we blame poor performance on a salesperson, our leadership teams need to do their part to make sure the sales department is properly developed. You need a sales team that GWCs it, has systemized processes, has accountability around the numbers—all with open and honest communication that flows regularly.