8 reasons why sales people fail

It’s hard to stop anyone from being successful in sales however, that being said, sales is by no means easy! If it was then then everyone would be doing it!

Sales is notorious for its high staff turnover rates, up at 34% annually according to recent research. However why is it that some sales people make a huge amount of money and others quickly leave the industry with their tails between their legs? Below are eight reasons that we often find lead to a salesperson not building a successful career in the industry:

1 ) Lazy

Whatever way you look at sales, especially when starting out, you need to put in a significant amount of activity to get anything out of the job! This doesn’t mean working through the night and ridiculous hours however it does mean focussing in on well thought out activity and being consistent with it. If you’re unwilling to put in the graft and activity, you will not be successful… fact!

2) Listen to your clients!

The stereotypical sales person loves the sound of their own voice however they often forget arguably the most important skill in the book, listening! Without listening to what your customers truly want or where their pain points lie, how are you going to sell them anything?! If a salesperson is to truly and attentively listen to their customer then they will find out everything they need to know in order to open and close a potential deal.

3) Understand the value proposition of what they’re selling!

How can you sell anything without understanding the value that your product brings to your target customer? Far too many salespeople try to pressurise their customers to complete transactions before actually building up the value of whatever they’re selling. In order to build this value, first you must fully understand your product.

4) Inconsistent

This is a big one which coincides with some of the other points on this list as a lot of sales people know what to do but do they do it consistently? No! Everyone knows sales people who one month are on the top of the leaderboard and then at the bottom the next however the best sales people will always be consistent. Sales people who aren’t able to be consistent with their activity numbers & billings will only make the job harder than it can already be…

5) Scared of the phone and getting in front of customers

No-one likes an overbearing tell and sell salesperson however if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, too timid & apprehensive to speak to people, then you won’t last long at all in the industry. Be confident, charismatic, proud of what you do & of what you’re selling and you’ll be a success! If you’re not then sales probably isn’t for you.

6) Be positive!

In sales there can be a huge amount to complain about, e.g.; not getting any or enough leads, having no data at your disposal or the commission structure changing etc. And even though it’s easy to complain, it gets you absolutely nowhere! The most successful sales people will always be positive and optimistic, putting the negativity aside in order to just make things happen. Not enough leads? Generate your own – no data at your fingertips? Create it – the commission structure has changed? Sell more!!

7) Not setting clear and measurable goals

It is incredibly easy in sales to make yourself busy and do a huge amount of activity but actually get nothing from all your efforts – something we call a ‘busy fool’ mentality. It is therefore really important to set clear and most importantly measurable goals for you to work to in the short, medium and long term, ensuring that you’re getting something (however small) out of every call, email and meeting.

8) Professional persistence

It’s amazing how quickly a lot sales people give up after only one or two follow ups to a lead or just general prospect – especially when they’ve either already pitched their product or found a pain point. Any salesperson needs to be professionally persistent enough to follow up the 8-12 times that is often required to uncover an opportunity and close a deal! If a sales person isn’t doing this then the chances are they’ll often miss out on a whole host of hot clients & closable deals.

These are the eight areas which we at Robertson Sumner find lead to salespeople being unsuccessful… do you agree? Is there anything you don’t agree with or would add? Let us know!

Recent Posts