In a recent study conducted by the TAS Group, it was revealed that 67% of sales professionals don’t meet their quotas.

This is a scary proposition for sales professionals and company leadership as growth is so central to a company’s strategy. How is this happening? And, what is the result of this trend?

First things first, although we can’t draw direct correlations to the following, it does make one wonder why sales professionals and sales leadership have an average lifespan of a few years at any given company. I’m sure this is a mixture of people not meeting quota but also the modern day reality of wanting to try new things and experiment with our careers. But it does make you wonder if people are being let go or leave because they don’t see the opportunity to make quota.

However, when we take a look at the reasons for why this trend of not meeting quota persists, a few stick out the most.

1. Not Enough Conversations in the Market

Let’s face it, sales professionals are struggling to talk to people in the market. Despite the incredible training solutions your company may provide, sales people just aren’t having enough conversations with prospects.

What’s causing this?

I believe it’s a mixture of things but the way we prospect today has a lot to do with it. Buyers are cautious and wary of sales professionals and stereotype our intent. While this may not be fair, it’s the reality we’ve created for ourselves based on years of abusive prospecting patterns.

Secondly, we’re not having enough conversations because most buyers aren’t picking up cold calls or answering cold emails these days. They’re bombarded with sales pitches and they’re tired of it.

Guess who suffers? All of us.

2. Lack of Education – on the Sales Professional’s Part

No, I’m not talking about training my friends. I’m specifically calling out that most of us don’t do enough research to be educated about the prospects we want to do business with. And with the abundance of free information available online, is there a reason why this important step isn’t taken more seriously in most sales methodologies and processes?

Being educated about our prospects comes in many forms – it’s about knowing their likes, dislikes, if and how they collaborate with others, their industries, and more.

3. Not Knowing Creative Ways to Start Conversations

If prospects are picking up the phone less and answering our cold and overly-templated emails less, does this mean we give up? Should we pack up and call it a day?

If we’re willing to get educated about a buyer’s specific pain points, then we can far more contextual in our outreach. Take a look at this incredible example of HubSpot does it.

Their sales professionals reach out based on known interest points, but also create demand based on this. This…is…powerful!

While I don’t expect the sales professional to action this, I would press marketing departments to own these types of demand generation initiatives. There is plenty of opportunity in virtually every industry.

Before you think this doesn’t apply to your industry, let me share with you that a company that makes boilers – yes, those big machines that heat up rooms in buildings and homes – does this quite well. They have taught their sales professionals to sniff out pains based on research they do online, and then have created compelling campaigns to get prospects talking.

How Social Selling Can Help

While social selling isn’t the magic pill for all of these problems, it certainly can help in making life better for the sales professional. How you can start with social selling learn here

Social enables us to start conversations based on proper research and publicly available information. If done correctly, it’s a great complement to your existing sales process, because it allows you to speak to buyers on multiple levels.

For example, it helps with doing research that’s over and above the standard info that most info-tools provide (I shall leave these tools nameless here). I’ve had prospects routinely say to me how well I’ve come prepared to calls – and I have no problem showing them how I did it. I’ve always found that these buyers want to buy, they just don’t want to be sold to in the same old way.

The Bottom Line

I believe company leadership has an incredible opportunity to enable sales teams by empowering them with modern selling methods. We shouldn’t have to wonder why the tenure of the average sales professional and leader is less than a few years.

In fact, think about the economic disadvantage. Over that period of time while the sales professional is on payroll, companies will spend 10-20% of their salary on training. For the sales professional earning an average of $100K/year, costs begin to add up.

While social isn’t a panacea, it certainly is a smart and aggressive way to boost most status quo sales processes.

What’s the tenure of the sales professional at your company? Tweet me your thoughts @AmarSheth or connect with me on LinkedIn to collaborate.


Amar Sheth

Author: Amar Sheth

Amar Sheth has trained thousands of people worldwide on the topic of Social Selling, through a style that’s part storytelling and part motivational.

Leave a Reply

Login First!

Related Blogs

Dec 10, 2019 8:00 am
Overcoming Social Selling Objections From Your EMEA Leadership Team

Lately, sales leaders have been asking me how to overcome social selling objections from EMEA leadership teams. There’s no question that there’s a tremendous growth opportunity for social selling, or modern digital prospecting in EMEA because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – a relatively new European privacy law, which has dramatically restricted the … Continue reading “Overcoming Social Selling Objections From Your EMEA Leadership Team”

Nov 20, 2019 4:10 pm
Rethink How You Select The Right Target Accounts With Social Proximity

When selecting the right accounts to go after, remember to choose wisely. How you and your sales organization identify which accounts to target will dictate your time, effort and deal velocity.

Sep 20, 2019 1:04 pm
Social Media for Sales vs. Social Selling: What’s the Difference? [Infographic]

For years, the above has been a recurring question that I’ve received from sales executives, business owners, and sales leaders. They often misunderstand the word ‘social’ in ‘social selling’ by connecting social media with what their children do on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, instead of correlating ‘social’ as a mechanism to do two important things:

Aug 30, 2019 1:00 pm
Train The Trainer: What Most Sales Enablement Strategies Are Missing

After seven years of working with 350-400 customers, it recently dawned on me that there’s a fundamental flaw in the sales training industry. For context, consultants like us typically go into market and provide sales leaders with basic training on how to be a coach of modern, digital sales skills. We then train the sellers … Continue reading “Train The Trainer: What Most Sales Enablement Strategies Are Missing”