As we reach mid-year many Inside Sales managers and B2B sales leaders are staring at their sales pipeline in aggravation. They have started to realize that their year is in jeopardy. According to SiriusDecisions, an alarming 54% of sales reps fail to meet their quota. WIth the numerous sales 2.0 tools and resources available at the the sales reps’ disposal, this number is unsettling. A critical sales management’s responsibility is determining not only which reps are failing, but why are they failing to meet their quota.
Reps aren’t Prepared to Make Calls
When inside sales reps wing it, the prospects clearly understand that they have failed to do their homework. Sales reps need to equip themselves with contextual prospect information before they make a call. The data is out there, but your reps need to get a hold of them. Scan a lead’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook feeds, lookup for recent news on prospect’s company etc. There are 7 important things an inside sales rep should know before making a call.
Lack of Sufficient Coaching
Organizations state one of their top challenges is the inability of managers to coach effectively (24%). With a 15% increase from last year, this reveals a growing need for real-time coaching and reinforcement. Spend time with your reps on areas where they struggle. Dive into key sales performance metrics to diagnose specific individual weaknesses. Once you have identified them, devise tactics and training programs to improve on them. Probably your reps might need to reinforce qualification standards, maybe across-the-board training on demos, or role playing. Identify the training method that works well with each individual and the team.
Reps are Following up with Weak Leads
Not all leads that come to Sales are exceptionally good. A lot of them can be weak. Are your inside sales reps spending too much time following up with weak leads, rather than promising prospects? You need to filter out weak leads so that your reps can focus on hot leads, and the other leads can be either disqualified, nurtured through campaigns, or followed-up as time allows. Lead scoring is a perfect solution to this problem. It will assign a score or grade to each of your leads based on set criterias such as their job title, size of company, location, time spent on your website, any content downloaded, and so on.
Poorly Defined Roles
Quite often sales reps are unclear about their roles in the sales process. If your inbound sales reps are spending time on field, there’s is going to be an obvious disconnect. Improve role clarity by ensuring that your reps focus exclusively on their assigned activities. It is highly beneficial to have clearly defined roles across the sales organization including the intersecting and supporting roles.
Bad Hiring Decisions
Hiring the wrong sales guy can be very detrimental for your entire sales organization. It’s not about hiring the best sales guy, find the best guy for the job. Identify the competencies and characteristics that are crucial to be successful on you sales team and develop a system around these values that ensures the right talent is hired for your sales team.
As quotas continues to rise, the percentage of reps meeting them are staggering. We will have to accept the fact that some people aren’t quite cut out for the gig, but it is not always the reason behind failing to hit quotas. Without the right sales cycle management, structure and technology in place, your goals will never be fully realized.