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Why Do Salespeople Fail? — Part One

Customer Relationship Management
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Selling is not the easiest job in the world. With quarterly and yearly targets on one side and unresponsive customers on the other, the phrase, ‘between a rock and a hard place’ could very well accurately describe a salesperson’s position. Apart from a great work ethic, salespeople need to possess a wide variety of skills and qualities to succeed.

In this post, we’ll look at the other side of the coin, why do sales people fail?

Lack of homework and organization: Ever received a sales pitch in an email where the email has three different font sizes? Ever had a salesperson mistake your company for another? Did the salesperson not know enough about your needs or suggest a product or service that you don’t need?

All these are cases in point. Salespeople have a customer-facing role. They are ambassadors of the company who directly represent it when they talk to clients or prospective clients. If the prospect sees a lack of organization or homework in the salesperson, not only does the salesperson have to forget the sale but his company’s reputation will also be ruined.

Lack of interest/belief in the product: This is something we see often. Some people come into sales because they couldn’t find anything else and the company pays the bulk of their salary in the form of commissions with just a small retainer. The company doesn’t have to pay them if they don’t perform and the salesperson gets paid for the work he/she delivers. Win-win for both of them, right? Well, not quite.

Such people usually have neither an interest in the job nor belief in the product or process. They can only hurt the organization’s long-term prospects. What’s more, their lack of passion could become contagious too.

Living in a cocoon: A salesperson’s job is just to sell. Right? Not really. That could be true in a different time but nowadays salespeople are expected to have a bit of knowledge about everything that could affect their product(s). They have to be able to effectively prospect, prepare presentations, work closely with the product marketers, understand the technical aspects as well as usability and use cases, convey the benefits of the product succinctly and accurately, and gather feedback from the customer to pass it along to the design and engineering teams.

A salesperson that can’t do them all is a walking recipe for failure.

In the next post of this series, we’ll look at some more reasons why salespeople fail. Deploy online CRM software to keep your sales team ready and organized at all times. If you have any tips on how to get around these, please share them in the comments section.

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