Is it the person or the tools?



There is no doubt that sales enablement has exploded in popularity over the past ten years.  Despite the massive increase in tools and apps, the number of reps achieving quote is declining.  There have never been more tools available for a sales rep to succeed, yet fewer are succeeding. What is missing in your sales team? Why is your sales team behind their goal?

I saw this video shared around the internet.  It is fascinating to watch what these two men can do with sticks, mud, sand, and water.  Oh, and focused effort. They are very skilled, yet all their tools are primitive.  It made me wonder, with all the tools available, why don’t we see better numbers? Do we have a problem with sales skills?  What is the problem?

What are the problems?

Lack of leadership and direction 

Despite sales being the number one revenue driver of most businesses, it remains one of the lowest areas of investment for training. Smaller businesses, $1M – $20M are often living off sales from years ago.  These businesses often don’t have a clear view of the prospect and thus cannot adequately train the sales team on how to adequately prospect. This means small pipelines and chasing wrong deals. Another area of direction or lack thereof is the absence of any sales training.  Reps are often turned loose without enough training to succeed again resulting in missed quotas

You hire the wrong person

If you don’t know what to look for in a prospect, it becomes even harder to know what to look for in a sales representative.  If you hire someone who does not take direction or learn new skills they will falter. You may get lucky and find a “Lone Wolf” style representative of the Challenger Sales variety, but even these will leave money on the table by missing the bigger picture.

Wrong strategy

If you are flawlessly executing the wrong strategy, you will fail.  Much has been written about execution versus strategy.  By now, it should be obvious that salespeople need a bias towards action.  However, gone are the days when it is a simple “get your numbers.”  Our prospects are overwhelmed with distractions.  We need to execute the correct strategy in a manner respectful and useful to our prospects.

If your growth is not where it should be examine these three areas.  Challenge the marketing and sales teams to look at creating value for the clients and prospects.  If you are a leader, take a long look in the mirror and make sure you have provided the direction and accountability needed to achieve the company goals.  If you have not.  Begin with you.

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