Why do some salespeople fail?

October 31, 2014

By Ray Barry, Chief Shreducation and Member Relations Officer

When I speak with business owners in the information destruction and records management industries, one of the biggest issues they face is finding the right sales professionals for their businesses. And, once they find a good sales professional, they struggle with helping him/her maintain a certain level of success. Many business owners think that hiring salespeople is like rolling a dice. It doesn’t have to be that way.

If you identify the main reasons that some salespeople fail, you can qualify the best candidates moving forward and then put the right process in place to ensure success for your sales professionals. There are many reasons why some salespeople don’t work out, even if you felt you made a good hiring decision. Here are the top 10 reasons salespeople fail:

  1. Most salespeople don’t prospect effectively and efficiently and they end up spending valuable time with prospects who most likely will not buy.
  2. Lack of proper training: Sales superstars don’t happen by accident. Just like athletes, it takes practice to become great. No one gets good at anything by doing it just once.
  3. They don’t utilize a consistent step-by-step sales process; therefore, their results are inconsistent and each opportunity is handled differently, creating a hit-or-miss scenario.
  4. They try to persuade and convince their prospects to buy their services using manipulative tactics, which turns prospects off and creates sales resistance.
  5. Most salespeople talk too much in the sales call. They also talk too much about their company and prospects often feel disrespected and neglected. Top sales professionals invest at least 80 percent of their time letting the prospect talk.
  6. They do sales presentations instead of finding out what their prospects really want and the reasons why.
  7. They don’t understand their prospect’s buying and decision-making processes so they end up spending too much time with non-decision makers.
  8. They try to close the sale using manipulative tactics. On the other hand, sales superstars start closing at the beginning of their sales process by using a great line of questioning.
  9. They learned the old school way of handling objections, which don’t work anymore. Customers are used to the same old sales pitches. Old school tactics blend into the crowd and don’t make you stand apart. Top sales professionals eliminate most objections proactively within the sales process.
  10. Lack of guidance from ownership and management: Sometimes salespeople fail because they are micromanaged or not properly guided by their managers. Frontline sales reps, managers, and owners need coaches, not managers. To become a salesperson, you need sales training. To become a sales champion, you need sales coaching.

If you or your sales professional want to become a sales champion, make sure you avoid these common mistakes so that hiring sales professionals in the future will not be a roll of the dice.