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How to Fix an Under-performing Sales Team

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“Our leads are not convinced that our product works”

“People are working from home. That’s why I have not been able to close leads”

“Till we have the new version of the product ready, our close rates are going to be low”

These are excuses that sales teams give every single day. Know what? Those are all absolutely valid reasons why sales have not been good. However, the mark of a good salesperson is to sign deals even when your product is not optimal or the client is not ready to buy.

As the economy stutters due to the pandemic, several organizations have cut down on product expansions and are instead building larger sales teams. The idea here is to sell more of your existing product rather than build a new version.

But if you still struggle from low sales, then among several reasons, an under-performing sales team could be a big one.

Why Is Your Sales Team Not Performing

Sales is a motivation-driven function – when a team is highly motivated, they get out and bring close more deals.

Now, a lack of motivation could be due to various reasons. Are you not creating adequate incentives to close deals? Is your sales team under high pressure to perform? Or, is the general mood in your camp depressing due to everything going on in the world?

The first step in fixing an under-performing sales team is to identify the root causes. 

Apart from a lack of motivation, distraction can be another major hurdle to success. This is especially true for sales teams that are now working remotely. 

Here are some ways to minimize distraction at work:

Encourage personalized work culture

It’s only been a few months since the world started working remotely in such big numbers. Your salespeople are still figuring out what makes them productive or distracted. 

Encourage your sales staff to operate on their own schedule or patterns. This includes not forcing them to switch from phone to chatting apps, or replacing an office with a permanent remote work setup.

Let your workers figure what works best for them and give them the freedom to pursue work in a way that’s most productive for them. 

Sometimes, the inefficiency comes from legacy work processes that puts your organization behind competitors. 

Invest In Technology

The good thing about technology is that it can cover up a lot of ground that your team doesn’t have to. Most online tools today charge a subscription fee and free trials that make it easy for you to experiment with the best tool before signing up. 

To begin with, identify the bottlenecks in your sales workflow and invest in technology that can help ease these hurdles. For example, outreach is a big part of the sales process – it can take a lot of time to discover a potential buyer, find the right person to talk to in the organization, find their email address, craft a personalized note, and follow up periodically. 

Invest in tools that can do the job better for you – by efficiently personalizing a mass email, you can reach hundreds of users in a matter of minutes instead of hours. That can free up time for your sales team that can be put to better use.

If you are a completely sales-driven organization, you could also complement your sales team by focusing on inbound lead generation. If you have a well-trafficked website, a simple pop-up or lead capture form could sometimes bring in hundreds of new prospects. Such marketing tools can augment your sales team and can drive higher overall revenues for your business.

Simplify Your Metrics

While technology can help salespeople accelerate their business goals, they can also sometimes be a hindrance. Technology makes it easy to capture data of all forms and this can contribute to sales teams drowning in data. 

If your team is not performing according to your expectations, try decluttering your processes so that your team is only focused on the main sales metrics like close-win rates. This way, your sales team has to only chase one metric and this makes it easy to see what is hindering their success and how it can be fixed.

An under-performing sales team is a symptom of a larger issue – this could be a poor economy or something that is wrong with your organization. Identifying these larger issues can help your organization grow and evolve into something that is relevant to the needs of the market as a whole.

Published: August 13, 2020

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