Why Salespeople Fail

You are bursting with pride at your most recent hire in the sales department. You lured the guy with a high sales quota from his job at Giant Company to work with your small, entrepreneurial start up and told him you wanted him to work the same magic for you that he worked there. You believe he can do it or you wouldn’t have gone after him. He believes he can do it or he wouldn’t have left his job there to come to work for you.

When he arrives for his first day on the job he looks very professional, has a great attitude, and a contact list a mile long. You put him in a great territory and wait for superior sales figures. And wait. And wait some more. The sales figures you expected never materialize, even though he’s always on the phone and seems to be making a lot of sales calls.

You try to analyze the situation and can’t put your finger on the problem. The gears just never seem to mesh. He’s always out of step with your expectations and never quite reaches the level of performance you see in your sales leaders. Or he reached a certain level and never went beyond that. Now he is marching in place.

Such disastrous hiring doesn’t have to happen, yet it often does. Why?

Why This Happens

One of the myths of sales is the belief that excellent salespeople are born, not made, and that sales success in one place easily translates to sales success anywhere.

These beliefs ignore the fact that a great part of the top salesperson’s success at his previous company was linked to that company’s culture. Oh yes, a previously successful salesperson can be successful in your company too. But success in your company will depend on you redefining his role, training him well, and both of you thinking about selling for your company in a different way. In short, you can’t import his previous success without key changes.

Prior sales success is often the sole criterion that hiring managers look at when considering a candidate for this crucial position. After all, that star by the quota line is a quantitative measurement. You don’t get to count the notches in the belt of most other employees. So why is a previous track record a bad thing to look at?

It’s not, unless it’s the only thing you are looking at. Don’t let your search end there. Look within as much as you do without. Study your own company and customers, and think about what you want sales excellence to look like. Only when you have discerned what your company’s culture requires can you begin to develop a profile for what your top salespersons should look like.

Doing this is not terribly hard when you look at people in your company who are already tops in sales and still growing, achieving ever-higher quotas and building on their successes. These top producers can become your Performance Model and give you the standards you need to hire future top salespeople.

Our technology can find out what makes your top producers who they are and use this information to help you hire more just like them! You can find out more now.

Many failures at sales are mostly due to a person’s underdeveloped skills and to selling the wrong thing. You can put someone with good skills in a nice suit and give her lots of contacts, and she still won’t be able to sell if she doesn’t have the right attitude, vision, skills and training that you provide.

Also consider that good salespeople are not necessarily born. Some make it look so easy that it seems like native ability, but just like any job done well, a talent for selling takes training, practice and commitment. Yes, there’s an art to attaining superior sales, but art is not magic.

When you combine the right characteristics that our assessments can help you discern with the right training, hiring top salespeople is a science that enhances the art.

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