7 Things Your Sales Team Needs To RethinkLet me begin by saying there’s an endless number of reasons that sales teams aren’t hitting quota. And this is a major problem for organizations. In fact, research from SiriusDecisions found 54% of sales professionals won’t meet quota this year. This is a bad nightmare and a harsh reality for many sales teams, because it means that only a small minority of sales professionals will achieve quota attainment!

Rather than getting into operational issues like product, pricing or compensation models, in this blog, we’ll look at why sales professionals aren’t hitting quota based on their sales process. Here are seven reasons:

1. Not adding value

If you polled your sales team, most of them would think the first time they add value is when they are having a conversation with a customer live on the phone or in a live meeting during the discovery process. 67% of B2B organizations report that their biggest barrier to creating relevant content is a lack of insight into and understanding of the buyer. Without insight into your buyer, adding value and starting relevant conversations simply can’t happen.

2. Zero digital interactions

That discovery process or live meeting is the first time they’re having digital interactions with that customer. Your buyers have already done their due diligence online and have researched various solutions, including yours. They’re digitally-driven and if your first interaction with the customer is the live meeting then you’re missing the more than half of the opportunity to influence their purchase decision.

3. Not sharing content

Sales is responsible for creating at least 25% of quota from their own leads, but haven’t been part of any employee advocacy programs or sharing any content. According to SiriusDecisions, 60-70% of content in B2B organizations goes unused.

4. Misalignment with marketing

Sales is responsible for creating at least 25% of quota attainment, but they believe marketing isn’t pulling their weight on lead generation or lead flow. Many organizations worldwide haven’t solved the sales and marketing alignment issue.

5. Death to the order-takers

Your sales team is viewed as either order-takers or demo-doers, and they are far from being consultative. Forrester predicted that by 2020, 1 million sales jobs will be obsolete. The one major sales archetypes that will suffer the biggest loss will be the “order takers” which will see a 33% job loss or roughly 550,00 out of 1.6 million jobs. Consultative sales roles will continue to increase by at least 10% within the next 5 years.

6. Lack of industry expertise

Your sales team has zero social presence. There isn’t a single person on the team who is seen as an industry thought leader. Customers buy from sales professionals they trust. If you don’t have the credibility, expertise or authority then buyers are simply less likely to engage with you.

7. Selling like it’s 1990

You as leaders are doing nothing to invest in the development of that sales team, considering that the buyer and marketing has forever changed. But your sales team is still selling the way they did 10 years ago.

Go through the list and ask yourself if you recognize your sales team in any of the above? If you’re taking the right initiatives to shift your sales team for better quota attainment then I commend you. If the list above resonates with your sales team then it’s time to take action.


Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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