The Four Causes of Poor Sales Results

There are a few reasons salespeople don’t perform as well as they are able—or as well as their companies need them to. You can get super-sophisticated and look at all kinds of data, analyze their approaches, and look at their tools, but in the end, it’s going to come down to one of these four root causes.

Too Little Activity: Sales is an activity-based endeavor. Even though we would much rather measure outcomes than activities, if the outcomes aren’t being delivered, the root cause may be that there is just too little activity. In this case, more activity is what is necessary to produce better results now.

Too Little Effectiveness: Effectiveness is the other side of the equation when it comes to results. All the activity in the world won’t help you if what you are doing doesn’t work. Your approach, your processes, your methodologies, your ability to communicate, and dozens of other factors make up your effectiveness—or lack thereof. The reason most sales leaders focus on activity is that effectiveness is more difficult to improve.

Too Little of Both: You can produce poor results because you have too little activity while also being ineffective, in which case you must improve in both areas. Being more effective and still not doing very much work won’t allow you to produce the results you are capable of, and neither will taking action that won’t produce results.

As a sales leader, you have some salespeople that need help with activity, some who need to be more effective, some who need both, and all of whom need the final factor.

Too Little Leadership: Some salespeople produce results that are less than they are capable of because they are simply being poorly led. They are not given the leadership and the help necessary to take more action more consistently. They are not being challenged to improve their effectiveness in sales. They are not being coached to turn in their very best performance.

The question one might ask oneself is this, “If someone else were to take over my team now, what changes would they make that would seem obvious to them and what prevents me from making those changes now?”

Filed under: Sales 3.0

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