When Salespeople are Struggling

Some of your salespeople are struggling. Nothing new. What should you do? Where should you look?

Usually, when sales aren’t coming in, the problem is not one of ineffective closing as much as it is ineffective prospecting. There are three areas you should explore and you’ll usually identify the problem without looking any further:

  1. Your salespeople are making ineffective prospecting calls – this can include a number of problems but you should always determine if they sound likable – if they called you would you want to talk with them or get rid of them? Is the call compelling – are they identifying, early in the call, one or two potential problems the prospect might have that would provide a reason for them to engage in the call? Are they being direct – if they identify a potential issue, are they attempting to book an appointment or are they wasting the prospect’s time with unnecessary conversation?
  2. Your salespeople are setting lousy appointments – this too can include a number of problems but you should determine if the prospects have issues your company can help with or if the salespeople are just stopping by to shake hands or get acquainted? Have your salespeople set an appointment with a person who cares enough about the issue to do something or is it someone that was safe – easy for your salespeople to reach? Are their clear mutual expectations for the calls or are your salespeople leaving the outcomes to good luck?
  3. Your salespeople aren’t really making the calls – this issue comes back to you. I don’t care whether your salespeople are inclined to make the calls or not. They must know it is a condition of continued employment and if they don’t secure the required number of quality appointments each week you’ll replace them. Are you afraid of that condition? Then perhaps the problem lies within you, not your salespeople.

There are dozens of reasons why performance among salespeople falls short of requirements or expectations. Your salespeople should over achieve, not under achieve. You can identify all the obstacles, issues, road blocks and problems by evaluating your sales force. Click on the links to your right for more information.

(c) Copyright 2006 Objective Management Group, Inc.