Excuse-making from the sales team drives me crazy! It’s like saying you give up and you can’t do any better. The reality is it’s either BS or they just don’t know what to do. My experience… it’s a little of both. It’s okay to miss a sales target occasionally, but its never okay not to have a plan to improve. Excuse-making begins when poor results begin to show, and the sales team doesn’t know what to do.
So where does that leave you? What does one do with the excuses? The good news is you don’t have to know all the answers. You just need to know that excuse-making is a deadly sales disease that stops progress cold and is unacceptable. First, compare what your team is doing vs. what it should be doing. This article should help: Breakthrough Sales Growth for Small Tech – 9 Essentials
Start by asking some basic questions…
- Do I have the right people in the right seats, and can they get us to our destination?
- Am I the right person to be leading the sales & marketing effort or do I need help?
- BUSINESS OWNERS, IF YOUR SUCCESS HAS COME BECAUSE OF YOUR TECHNICAL SAVVY, YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT THE ONE TO LEAD A SERIOUS SALES & MARKETING EFFORT.
Next, see if your team has a basic plan and a process:
- Is the lead generation working? Do they know the quantity and quality of leads we need to have to be successful? Are we getting enough to make our goal? What are we doing differently today to get a better result than yesterday? What’s the lead gen calendar / plan look like for the month, quarter, and year? Are we getting real leads from our very expensive trade shows or are we just tracking who came by the booth?
- Is the sales team’s one-to-one sales prospecting plan working? Do we have a Target Account Profile that is driving us to win bigger more qualified deals? What is our qualifying message and is it compelling, easy to understand and directed toward the decision makers issues? Are we having real business conversations with these targeted prospects that convert to sales opportunities or are we just taking what is given to us?
- Is our close rate of sales opportunities near or above 30%? Are the opportunities in our sales pipeline well qualified and sponsored? Are these opportunities moving towards close with commitments from the sponsor along the way? Are too many sales opportunities stuck in the pipeline with no strategy to move them to close? Why is our sales forecasting always off?
Don’t let your team focus on the wrong end of the sales problem which are the bad results accompanied by excuses to avoid responsibility. Bad results always point to poor execution. The right end of the problem demands excellent execution of strategy, people, process, and metrics. This combined with coaching and accountability will elevate your team and your revenue fast!
BTW, I have a lot more questions (and answers) if you need them!