There’s not a sales leader out there who is not feeling the pressure to improve their team’s sales performance or stop missing your sales goals. According to the experts, just over sixty percent of sales professionals hit or exceed their goals consistently and annually. That's right – according to Hubspot’s Global Sales Enablement Survey, 40% of organizations underperform against their revenue goals each year.
The bad news? That means about one-third of your sales team is missing its sales goals. Is that too much, is that too little? Well, there are different schools of thought on it, but I have always questioned why you would want to keep a member of your sales team who cannot hit goal.
As a sales leader, your goal shouldn’t be to get sixty percent of your sales team to hit goal. It should be to get 100 percent of your team to hit goal, and your top performers to consistently surpass goals. Your job as a leader is to hold your team accountable, and understanding why your team is missing their sales goals is the first step towards improvement.
Your Role As A Sales Leader
As a sales leader, your job is to deeply understand why you are missing your sales goals and what your top performers are doing to exceed goal.
Sales team members usually fall into three categories:
- Top Performers – Those that consistently surpass goals.
- Performers - Those that hit goal at least sixty to seventy percent of the time.
- Under Performers - Those that struggle to or fail to hit sales goals
As a sales leader, your job is to deeply understand what your top performers are doing to exceed goal and support them to be able to continue doing what they are doing. Then dive in and use this information to help your performers become top performers, and lastly manage your under performers up or out.
Let’s begin by understanding what your under performers are doing wrong, and what you as a sales leader can do to help them move up or out.
Missing Your Sales Goals: 5 Reasons Your Sales Team Is Not Performing
Now the truth is, there are far more than five reasons your team is missing their sales goals, but these are five powerful areas that you can focus on as a sales leader to give your underperforming sales reps their best shot of exceeding goals.
Let's dive into the main reasons you might be missing your sales goals.
No Lead Warming
Your team is making sales so much harder than it must be by entering the game at half-time. The sales cycle has changed, and the biggest impact is that we as sales professionals no longer control the buying cycle.
Research tells us that prospects are 67% of the ways through the buying cycle before they ever interact with a salesperson. Yes, that’s over half-way through the buying cycle.
If you want to give your sales professionals the best shot of success, help them warm their leads. In other words, help them get into the sales cycle where it starts.
No Synergy Between Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing have become one department. There is no longer room for marketing to be putting messages into the marketplace, and sales to be communicating contrary or additional messages.
Sales and marketing need to be executing one strategy, with each understanding and defining their role, and executing seamlessly on their part of the sales process.
Marketing starts the sales process, sales picks up the ball and engages with the prospect and moves the sale to close, and then marketing engages again to help identify opportunities to refer, expand and increase customer profitability. A little over simplified, but you get the point!
No Lead Criteria
If your sales team is missing its sales goals, they are spending way too much time chasing the wrong prospects. In a world where the market is tightening, competition is increasing, and customer decision making is slowing, sales professionals do not have time to chase business that is not going to close or is not the best fit for your organization.
If your sales team is not closing deals, they are spending way too much time chasing the wrong prospects. They are selling from a place of need rather than power. Your team is allowing the prospect to dictate the relationship rather than selling from a place of power.
No Follow-up System
Missing your sales goals often comes down to a lack of follow-up. The sale happens in the follow-up; it always happens in the follow-up. And yet, most salespeople don’t follow-up up. Why? Because they don’t know how to, or they don’t see the value.
It has become epidemic in the sales world that we think sales is synonymous with instant gratification.
We make a call, we have a conversation, and we expect our prospect to buy. One of the major differences between consistent sales performance and under performance is the follow-up system.
No Sales Coaching & Accountability
And finally, under performance comes down to one person, and it is not the salesperson. It is you, the sales leader.
What does it take to help performers become top performers? Sales coaching and accountability.
What does it take to manage an under performer up or out? Sales coaching and accountability.
What does it take to help a top performer perform at even a higher level? Sales coaching and accountability.
So, if you want to stop missing your sales goals, then dive in as a sales leader and don’t settle for the status quo. Don’t accept that 60% of your sales team hitting goal is the mark of a strong sales leader and a strong performance.
Use this information about why your team is missing goal and help them gain the sales strategies they need to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.