If your sales team is underperforming, there may be different reasons for it.
Luckily, there are ways to identify and correct any mistakes you may be making as a sales manager and get your sales team back on track.
Here are the eight main reasons your sales reps may not be performing at 100%:
1. Poor Communication Skills
Great communication is a key skill that all salespeople must have.
If there is one rep that struggles to connect with customers on a human level, it can negatively impact the performance of your entire team.
Communication not only involves having a talent for talking to customers, but also being good at listening to their questions, needs, and concerns. Customers want to feel like they’re having an organic and personable conversation, and aren’t being tricked into buying products by an uncaring salesperson.
If you notice that a rep is performing poorly because of weak communication skills, talk with them about their performance and explore ways in which they can better interact with clients.
Consider having them receive training from a high-performing sales rep skilled in communication, who can offer your underperforming team member actionable tips and strategies for success. Cloning your best reps’ top skills is always a winning move.
2. Technological Ignorance
No business can survive in this day and age without leveraging technology.
Support from relevant tools and software is key to making sales and surpassing quotas. If your reps don’t understand how to use technology to improve their sales game, they are missing out on critical resources that will not only make their process more efficient, but increase their numbers.
It is important that all your reps are on the same page in regards to the technology they use to do their job. Upon hiring new reps, it is your responsibility to provide training in the use of whatever software your sales team uses.
If you are noticing that reps do not know how to properly use sales apps and software to be more efficient, make sure they go through retraining to get them up to speed on the use of these resources.
When technology is used properly, it makes your sales reps’ jobs easier, as well as yours.
3. Not Following Up Enough
Too many times, salespeople think that once they’ve closed a deal, their job is done. What they don’t realize is that following up on closed deals is just the beginning.
Customers want to feel cared for. By following up with them, reps show that it wasn’t just about taking the money out of their pockets, but about giving them the best service and product.
Making customers feel like they made a good choice in choosing your product will allow them to feel pride in their decision, creating loyalty and increasing trust.
By training your reps to follow up regularly once the deal is closed, they can help smooth over any problems their customers may be having, or overcome problems that may pop up. If your rep is there to answer their questions, they can ensure their customer remains happy with their buying decision.
4. Wrong Attitude With Customers
Some sales reps focus entirely on sales numbers, rather than on their customers and prospects. Your reps should never treat customers like just a name on a list to be crossed off.
It is important to remember that you are speaking with human beings, and that your attitude toward them matters.
Salespeople should stay positive throughout all sales interactions, and remember that attitude is a personal choice. A great attitude brings out the best attitude in customers.
If a rep is exhibiting a poor attitude that may be affecting their productivity, schedule one-on-ones with them to discuss things that may be making them unhappy.
Your reps should always understand that they are the face of your product, and they are expected to put their best face forward when selling.
5. Product Flaws
Customer dissatisfaction often comes from flaws within the product or service that frustrate them, and make them question why they bought it in the first place. This leads to bad word of mouth and damage to your brand in the marketplace.
It is important to teach your reps how to properly deal with customer complaints when the product presents flaws or bugs. They must acknowledge the problem, and be honest with customers.
Reps should stay calm and listen to the customer’s complaints attentively. They also must understand the facts of the problem, and be able to offer a solution that will satisfy the customer until a fix can be made. Following up with the customer afterwards is crucial to keeping them on good terms with your product or service, as is perhaps offering a small gesture of apology.
Many customers will take out their frustration on sales reps, so it is important that your reps stay calm and remain professional when dealing with complaints. You should be sure to train them on how to handle complaints and objections, as it can be a regular part of their job.
6. Lack of Motivation
All productive reps require something that motivates them to do their job well. Sometimes money alone isn’t enough to keep a rep excited about their job. If your sales reps feel stagnant in their roles, it will reflect in their performance.
Find a way to learn your reps’ individual short term and long term goals, and work towards these goals together. Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals that will keep them engaged and give them regular feelings of accomplishment. Recognize and reward your sales team publicly when they perform well.
If they feel like their hard work is appreciated, your reps are more likely to have a passion for the job, and their numbers will strengthen.
7. Insufficient Training
It is often assumed because a rep has worked a job for a long time that they no longer require any training. The best reps, however, are those that are continuously sharpening their skills, and never stop learning new strategies for improving their sales game.
The sales industry is always evolving, and so must your sales team. Reps can become too comfortable in their roles, developing bad habits over time. By giving your team regular training you not only offer new ideas that can increase their numbers, but also ensure that their approach remains fresh.
Identify reps who are particularly talented in certain skills you would like to see improve throughout the team, and empower these reps to coach the rest of their team on these skills.
Look for weak areas in your team’s performance, and offer training for improvement. By focusing on and strengthening weaknesses, your team will grow and thrive.
8. Poor Management
Yes, you read that right. A sales team is only as good as their sales manager.
The sales manager bears the responsibility for sales performance. Bad days and months happen, but any sales team can reach their goals with strong vision, support and motivation from their leader.
A good sales manager should always track KPIs and performance, and based on this information elaborate a strategy to improve the sales process. Plus, they’re responsible for keeping their team motivated, and keeping internal relationships healthy.
About the Author: Betty Lockwood is a journalist, mobile apps developer, fin-tech expert and caring mother. She writes about informational technologies, news in the e-commerce world, traveling, and music events. Betty is also an editor-in-chief at a mobile app development company. Follow Betty on Twitter.