The Real Reason Salespeople Fail to Hit Their Targets

Real Reason Salespeople FailThe real reason salespeople fail is they don't know what they're doing. And it gets worse. Company leaders are not committed to ongoing sales education and reinforcement. In tough times, the very times the edge is especially needed, education and travel to get that education are quickly cut.

What CEOs Believe About the Real Reason Salespeople Fail

CEOs say their salespeople are

  • 12 - 18 months behind strategy
  • calling too low in the organization, and don't reach decision makers
  • unable to tell the story, so the focus becomes price not value
  • the wrong people--poor screening lead to bad sales hires.

This data comes from a study by the Corporate Executive Board, reported in a 2-page article by Real Business magazine.

A truly disturbing stat from page 2 of that article reveals that in 1986 a typical knowledge worker could retain 76% of the knowledge necessary to be effective, but by 2013 that retention ability had dropped to 5%. Five percent! Talk about having to be retrained after every coffee break. This is a reflection on the speed of technological change and buyer habits. But the point is, if you don't plan for this need to keep current, you'll fall behind as soon as you begin.

Lack of Ongoing Education a Key Factor In the Real Reason Salespeople Fail to Make Their Numbers

A HubSpot marketer continues this train of thought by sharing some Kurlan & Associates numbers on salespeople. According to the Kurlan data, three-quarters of salespeople are failing to reach their targets. Only 6% are elite and doing well. Of the 74%, many could improve their performance through training; however, the bottom third are doomed because they're untrainable. Ineffective and untrainable. Now there's a lousy combination.

You'll consistently see me writing that ongoing reinforcement of technique is vital to sales success. Otherwise, the salesperson falls back into their old comfort zone--and results. So here it is again. Continuous learning is necessary. When we're looking for the real reason salespeople fail, this comes up at the top of the list.

This article then goes on to discuss a screening tool, Kurlan's OMG Assessment, and how it can be used to find coachable, trainable and effective candidates when hiring. I've taken the assessment and also used it for hiring: it is the very best screening tool I've found.

Sales is an odd field, because it's one of the few you can get into without any training whatsoever. Would we send a nurse out without training? An accountant? An engineer? Yet we'll slap a nametag on someone's shirt and push them out into traffic, expecting them to "wing it" and get the job done. Is it any surprise three-quarters of salespeople suck? They don't know what they're doing, and leadership has no commitment to their ongoing education. Surprise, surprise.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. Did this article help you? Please Like, Share or Comment to let others know! <<