Part 1: Want to know why sales are down? Fifty-Six Reasons for Sales Leakage!
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Part 2: Want to know why sales are down? Fifty-Six Reasons for Sales Leakage!

If you've read Part 1 you have some feeling of the sales leakage problems that stalk every company. Here we have another 16, with the last 24 to follow tomorrow.  

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16. Is there fiction between sales and marketing? It is supposed to be a team, these marketing and sales folks. If there is anger and frustration between the groups, if their goals are not the same, either get them working on the same team or fire the department heads so you can form new teams.

17. Sales incentive systems too complicated? Ask 10 salespeople how they are paid and if they know how much they will make by selling your products you are probably doing OK. If they cannot explain your incentive compensation plan, you don't have one.

18. Reporting on quota achievement? If a salesperson doesn't know where they stand on quota achievement, how will they know if they are ahead or behind. Report their performance achievements monthly if not more often.

19. Are there monthly, quarterly and yearly quotas? If you do not have monthly, quarterly and yearly sales quotas you are not running a sales organization with salespeople, you have a group that will hide behind the group when sales fail to deliver. Set monthly and quarterly achievement quotas and watch sales increase within three months.

20. Check with inquirers that are less than six months old. When a group of leads are six months old, 56% are usually still in the market. Go back to them. Love them and nurture them. Bring them to life.

Why It Matters

Leakage isn't reserved for sales departments,

it also runs amok in marketing departments

21. Are salespeople in front of the prospects faster than competitors? Because 10% to 15% of the sales from inquiries are made within three months you're losing sales if the salespeople are slow about getting in front of the prospects. Get your salespeople in the door first and let them set the table for others to follow. If salespeople aren't in front if their prospects soon enough, you can lose 25% of the sales potential because you're too slow. In sales you are quick or you are dead. Buy the book Zero Time Selling; Live by it. 22. Salespeople getting enough appointments? Teach them how to make appointments or get a specialized company to do it for you. Appointments have a phenomenal closing rate. Get appointments; go to the bank.

23. Are the right salespeople selling for you? Do you have a "commodity product" salesperson selling on price and delivery for a long-term "consultative" sale? Even worse, do you have the reverse? Test the salesperson to match the personality or sales skills you need to the type of product you have to sell.

24. Are the salespeople properly trained? Have they had product training? Retraining? More importantly have your salespeople attended actual sales training classes based on their abilities? Have you tested them to see where they need help?

25. Has the inside sales group had the same sales training as the outside representatives? From sales skill training to product training, too many inside salespeople are ignored and not treated on an equal basis with outside representatives.

26. Are sales territories properly aligned? Is there the same sales potential in each territory; the same number of potential customers? Have you set up the territories based on geographic barriers, drive time, etc.?

27. Are there activity quotas that contribute to goal attainment? Activity quotas are habits and actions that you have found that when repeated often enough will lead to a predictable sales outcome. For instance activities can be, the number of cold calls per day, number of live appointments per week, etc.

28. Risking too much with hockey stick sales performance? Hockey stick performers deliver sales in the last week or two of a quarter. If a majority of the salespeople do this you have 50% of more of your sales coming in during this last two weeks. This puts pressure on shipping and creates undue risk if the performers don't perform. Pay bonuses monthly for making quota and stop this risky practice.

29. Tracking the sales pipeline? Do you know the ratio of proposals or outstanding quotes in the pipeline to closed sales? Do top performers have a bigger pipe? Do you factor the pipeline dollars to be able to predict the future sales?

30. Are district and regional sales managers risking as much as the salespeople? Is the sales incentive plan for sales management a mirror to the plan for the salespeople? The closer you get management aligned with salespeople the better and more consistent your results will be. The sales manager must have monthly and quarterly goals just like the salespeople.

31. Are the sales coaches (regional and district sales managers) spending enough time with their salespeople? Are the coaches shouting from the sidelines or are they in the field listening and coaching salespeople to excel? If sales are in a slump, everybody goes to the field and sells.

32. Where are the salespeople spending their time? Have you measured hour by hour where salespeople are spending their time? Is it in the office, behind a windshield, on service problems, on the telephone, in meetings, on in front of new prospects? Make changes to increase the face-to-face selling time.

Tomorrow, Part 3 with the last 24 Sales Leakage Problems. 

 

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