Five Steps to Sales Failure

Sales is a challenging and competitive field, and it's no secret that many sales reps fail to meet their targets. According to a study by HubSpot, only 34% of salespeople met or exceeded their quotas in 2020. Let's explore some of the reasons for sales failures.

Improve These Skills to Avoid Sales Failure

  1. Lack of Prospecting Skills: One of the biggest reasons sales reps fail is that they lack the skills to prospect effectively. Prospecting is the process of finding potential customers and creating a pipeline of sales opportunities. It requires a deep understanding of the target market, the ability to identify the right prospects and the skills to reach out and engage with them.
  2.  Poor Sales Techniques: Another reason sales reps fail is that they may not have the right sales techniques to close deals effectively. Selling is about building relationships, identifying customer needs and delivering value. It requires excellent communication skills, the ability to listen actively and the knowledge to position products or services effectively. Without the right sales techniques, reps may struggle to build trust with prospects or close deals.
  3. Lack of Product Knowledge: To be successful in sales, reps need to have a deep understanding of the products or services they're selling. They need to be able to explain the features and benefits clearly, answer questions and address objections effectively. Without this knowledge, sales reps may struggle to position the products or services effectively, leading to lost sales opportunities. Someone who can clearly define the features and benefits as they relate to the needs of your buyers will quickly earn their trust and demonstrate what many sales reps strive to become, which is  a subject matter expert.
  4. Ineffective Sales Management: The success of a sales team depends on effective sales management. Managers need to set clear goals, provide coaching and training, and create a supportive environment for their sales reps. Without effective sales management, reps may feel demotivated or unsupported, leading to a lack of productivity and missed targets. Far too many sales managers lead with revenue as a primary focus, rather than driving the behaviors that eventually deliver results. Revenue is the biproduct of a strong sales process that is conveyed with confidence and builds trust.
  5. Lack of Persistence: Sales is a numbers game, and it often requires persistence to close deals. Reps need to be willing to follow up, overcome objections and continue to build relationships with prospects. Without this persistence, sales reps may give up too easily, leading to missed opportunities. A Business News Daily study shows that 48% quit after the first contact, 24% stop after two attempts and 12% after the third contact. With so many quitters, persistence can certainly pay off.

Sandler defines selling in seven steps(shown in the image below), starting with bonding & rapport to the eventual post-sell process. The main area of focus should always revolve around “pain,”which ultimately motivates your potential buyer’s decision.

Identify Areas of Improvement to Avoid Sales Failure

Sales is a challenging and competitive field, and many sales reps struggle to meet their targets. However, by developing strong prospecting skills, improving sales techniques, building product knowledge, having effective sales management and being persistent, reps can avoid sales failure.By identifying the areas where they may be falling short and working to improve them, sales reps can become more effective and successful in their roles.

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August 11, 2023

David Sargeant

My recruiter at ACA Talent intuitively knows what kinds of candidates I want to see, so I don’t have to see four candidates to get the one that I want.

- Field Sales Manager -

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- Route Sales Manager, Snack Food Brand

In the past, recruiting all fell on the sales manager’s shoulders. It used up so much of our time at the expense of running our business. ACA Talent has made it possible for me to focus on my job with little concern over manpower. It’s like pushing the “easy” button with them.

-Regional Sales Manager, Security Firm