Four Reasons Your Sales Team Is Missing the Mark (and What You Can Do)

Meeting sales targets isn’t easy. In fact, one report indicates that only 60% of sales representatives meet their targets. Your team might actually be trying really hard, leaving you to wonder where things go wrong. Are they using the wrong sales process or are they focusing on the wrong areas or clients? How can you identify the loopholes to fix it?

We answer all these questions and more in this article to help you make an informed decision.

Setting Unrealistic Sales Targets

According to a report, sales quotas have risen by 33% over the last four years, while the percentage of sales representatives making their quotas has fallen by 25%.

Sometimes sales targets are chosen arbitrarily based on wishful thinking and not on market realities. This might be because your profits are down and you feel that increasing the sales target is the only way out. But, how sales targets are set plays a part in determining whether your team will be able to meet them, and setting unrealistic sales targets would simply burn out your employees. They will be under constant pressure and their productivity will suffer.

What Can You Do?

Calculate your sales team’s past performance, both the whole team’s and each individual’s performance. Also, research the current market trends. For example, is there a slump in demand and what are the reasons for such a slump. Also, consider any seasonal factors and differences in territories.

Moreover, you should make the sales targets a little less than what you think your sales representatives can achieve. You can then reward them financially for exceeding the targets. This will motivate your team to perform beyond the expectations consistently.

Not Using a Sales Route Planner

Route planning plays an important role in defining the performance of both your sales representatives and your business. If you give your salespeople the best routes, they’ll make more appointments on time and win customers’ loyalty and trust.

However, manually planned routes using pen and paper cannot guarantee accurate routes. Yet, many companies still make the mistake of following this old-school process and not adopting a sales route planner to automate their route planning and scheduling.

How Can a Route Optimization Service Help?

The best route optimization platforms are powered by advanced algorithms that help you plan well-optimized routes with turn-by-turn directions while factoring in weather, traffic, sunrise and sunset times, one-ways, and other constraints. It even does all this in just 30 seconds. So, if you use a route optimization service, your field sales representatives will always show up on time.

Also, it offers many other advanced features, including territory management, color coding, interactive maps, and GPS tracking. These features make region management easier, improve collaboration among your team, improve sales forecasting, and increase conversions.

Spending Excessive Time on Administrative Tasks

Salespeople are meant to make money for a company, but this is not really what happens. According to a report, 71% of sales representatives complain that they spend too much time on data entry, while HubSpot states that only 39% of a sales representative’s time is spent selling or interacting with prospects and customers. Such mundane admin tasks only lower your team’s performance and morale which doesn’t help your company.

Furthermore, according to a report, 92% of companies are using CRM, but there has been a drop in the number of sales representatives who use CRM as part of their daily workflows. Also, those who do use it tend to waste time on manual data entry in CRM.

What Can You Do?

You can help your whole sales team get more out of CRM. Train your employees on complex CRM functionality and automation so that they can be more efficient with their time and sell more effectively.

Lacking a Well-Defined Sales Process

Having a foolproof sales process is critical to your team’s performance and success. According to Salesforce, almost 50% of all sales teams don’t have a playbook that outlines the sales process and other essential processes. This is alarming! Without a well-defined sales process, your sales representatives will have nothing to fall back on to secure a deal and will consistently struggle to meet their sales targets. Can you afford that to happen?

What Can You Do?

First, create a sales playbook. Analyze past sales and identify a successful process that would help your sales team sell more efficiently. Your CRM should also be aligned with your sales process so that each rep knows how to proceed with a lead.

Second, ensure efficient communication. According to CSO Insights, 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone and 85% of prospects are dissatisfied with their phone experience. Moreover, Forrester Research states that 77% of executive buyers believe that sales representatives don’t understand their problems and where they can help. This means that you need to monitor and mentor your sales team frequently to ensure that they communicate properly and effectively.

So, what steps do you take to ensure your sales team does not miss the mark? Do you’ve any questions? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

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