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Why people suck at sales

I want to share the sad truth about why some people suck at sales.

I’m busy assisting several clients to increase their sales team’s results and they all have three huge challenges that are the main contributors to their lack of sales:

  1. Weak sales pipeline
  2. Minimal new sales meetings
  3. Minimal to no on-going prospecting

Weak sales pipeline

Sales results flow from the sales pipeline and the fuller the qualified pipeline, the higher the sales results. Unfortunately, too many salespeople have what I deem to be a “sewer line” and you know what that contains.

I’m a firm believer in being brutal with your sales pipeline and that means only deals you are prepared to commit to (happening within the pipeline period) should show on it.

The first reason for poor sales is that you don’t have enough qualified deals waiting to happen and living in hope, prayer and crossing your fingers is not the way to achieve target. Be brutal with qualifying your sales pipeline and ensuring you have at least 200% cover.

Minimal sales meetings

To grow a strong sales pipeline, you need to be in front of enough qualified people that can buy from you. Your diary is the benchmark of what you are spending your time doing every day. Simply put, your diary should always be full at least two weeks in advance…period

Minimal to no on-going prospecting

This continues to baffle me, how do salespeople expect to fill their diaries if they don’t prospect? Don’t even get me started on “I’m waiting for leads” or other lame excuses. I’m a huge believer that in sales, it’s a salesperson’s job to create their own leads. Companies are spending fortunes on their sales teams to sit around and not prospect and I see little to no accountability or consequence. There is no magic wand or sales genie that will pop out of the bottle and fill your diary for you, you need to get on the phone, email, LinkedIn or whatever prospecting mechanism you choose and do it yourself.

Now the above might seem harsh to some and I don’t apologise for it. I don’t apologise to salespeople who are not doing what they said they would do and that’s to prospect daily, keep a full diary, build and maintain a strong sales pipeline. I don’t apologise to lazy salespeople who have every excuse for why they are not prospecting. I do salute the salespeople who are taking daily action and building our great profession. You are worth more than you cost and a credit to sales South Africa.

Do an honest self-assessment on your sales pipeline, the number of meetings in your diary and the amount of time you are prospecting daily. What needs to change in order to increase your sales results?

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