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Why Do So Many Companies Under-Perform in Sales?

January 20, 2011

Many companies are in a perpetual state of sales underperformance without realizing it. Sales force cruising is a common phenomenon in which both salespeople and leadership accept the current level of sales performance without recognizing there is the deeper need for their salespeople to receive more intensive coaching which will improve sales for their company.

This problem relates to the widespread common self-limiting belief in business today that: we shouldn’t have to give our salespeople more extensive coaching and training if they’re any good and that’s what we pay them so much for. This need for greater coaching stems from the fact that salespeople are the most neglected of employees which is so ironic because they are responsible for driving all revenue.

Salespeople Need More Motivation

The fact is, salespeople need greater motivational inspiration and support since they encounter so much rejection. the skills required for selling are far more complex and broad ranging than any other job in business—a grossly under-recognized fact. Salespeople are as valuable in business as a professional athlete is to the sports team. So why is it that professional athletes receive specialized coaching to perform at their highest level of capability, yet most sales professionals do not receive ongoing sustained coaching support, even though their level of competence drives the company’s entire revenue stream.

Sales Training Fade-Out

When salespeople do attend training seminars, rarely do these provide the necessary follow-up coaching to actually sustain improved performance. The inspiration is short-lived. And salespeople rarely demonstrate real behavior change in complex sales skills in just a few group-training sessions. Salespeople are generally familiar with foundational sales skills: stating value proposition, handling objections, closing, etc. However, salespeople seldom receive enough intensive coaching to continuously refine and master the broad range of these critical skills. No wonder it is common for salespeople to fall into slumps with over-reliance on “cruising” with repeat business, procrastinating and avoiding the most difficult part of selling, namely prospecting and calling on new business.

Sales Leaders Are Under-Coached

Sales managers are also often insufficiently developed and under-coached in the unique leadership skills needed for the job. Most sales managers do not receive the intensity of coaching required for the “softer” people skills of inspiring, motivating, supporting and coaching their salespeople. These competencies may sometimes run counter to the natural hard-driving, aggressive personality tendencies of many sales managers.

Leading Edge Sales Coaching Skills

The solution to remedying all of the above problems is to utilize the latest, very best sales coaching practices giving salespeople and sales managers the more in-depth coaching they really need to elevate the sales organization’s performance to the very highest possible level. See EPC’s Sales Improvement Coaching Program for what those specific practices might entail.

Would you like to discuss this article or find out more about our programs? Please contact us.