What Makes a Sales Person Unsuccessful?

Enterprise software companies can only succeed if they have a strong sales team in place. No matter how great your products and services may be, they simply won’t sell themselves. However, sales teams are notorious for high turnover. Some of that turnover can be attributed to the failure of individual salespeople.

But why do they fail? Sometimes it’s the fault of the individual rep. Other times, it is the result of failed company processes. Most of the time, it’s a combination of factors that can include:

  • Lack of motivation – Sales is a fairly self-policing job that requires long hours and a great deal of motivation, especially in the face of constant rejection. Individuals who require hand-holding and micromanaging typically won’t succeed in sales over the long haul.
  • Mismanaging their pipeline – Salespeople must be able to identify where each prospect is in the sales cycle, and they must know how much time and effort it takes (and how much they should spend) to move those prospects on to the next step. This often means knowing when to let a prospect go, something that is hard for many salespeople to do. Those who focus too much time on dead leads, or conversely, who don’t spend enough time at each stage of the sales cycle, will fail.
  • Not understanding that customer service is part of the job – Salespeople who approach customer service with a “Not My Job” attitude won’t get very far in their careers. Even if company policy requires a rep to hand accounts over to a management team, all sales reps should be willing to assist customers who call seeking assistance.
  • Poor support from other departments – Even the best salesperson will fail if she’s not getting support from other departments. Customer service may be lacking. Shipments might be slow or inaccurate. In order for salespeople to succeed, the company must be able to deliver on the promises made throughout the sales process, or customers will leave for a competitor.
  • Lack of training – In order to succeed, reps must be trained (and trained well) on your specific products and services, your processes, your company structure, etc. Organizations that lack comprehensive training programs for their salespeople will see high turnover, as new reps will become quickly frustrated by the lack of support in their early days on the job.

The Number One Reason Why Sales Pros Fail

The most common reason why salespeople fail is a poor fit. Choosing the wrong people time and time again is the best way to ensure your sales team will experience a revolving door of new hires. Why? Because high turnover often leads to apathy among managers. They get so fed up with the hiring process that they will just bring in “warm bodies” to fill open positons, rather than taking the time to really identify those candidates who have the best chance to succeed with the company. Breaking the cycle of unsuccessful salespeople begins with hiring.

If your enterprise software company is struggling to develop an effective, successful sales team, Strategic Staffing Solutions can help. We are a nationally recognized recruiting firm that works solely with software companies. We can help you attract, hire, and most importantly, retain the right candidates with the skills and qualifications to help drive sales. Contact us today to learn more about our talent network and our proven recruiting methods.

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