Let’s just get this out of the way first and foremost: You don’t really need a college degree to get into sales. It absolutely goes a long way if you have one but I know plenty of people who don’t have degrees and are in sales. I went to an all business school and sales wasn’t an option as a Major concentration, and just recently it’s been added to the curriculum as a Minor.
But yet, there are millions of sales people in this world who never went to school for sales or business. The turnover is higher than most of any other profession and the pay discrepancy has incredible highs and lows. Some of the top performing sales reps can earn more than their own CEO and the lowest performing sales reps might not even have a base salary to lean on.
Here are 7 reasons why sales people often fail:
Not working smart and efficiently: Low performing sales reps waste time on chasing people who will never buy and prospect companies that don’t fit the target profile.
First call demos and presentations: Rather than spending time conversing with their customer and understanding their true needs and beliefs, these people present vanilla, canned demos that, at best, might be somewhat tailored to their prospect.
Lack of tracking capabilities: How can you track what you’re doing if you don’t know what you’ve done? If they don’t efficiently track their work in a CRM or if they don’t even use one, it usually correlates with under-performance.
Objection handling fail: Great salespeople kill objections before they’re even a thought in a prospect’s’ mind. Unsuccessful reps stumble and let the objection kill the flow of their conversation.
Crunch time scrambling: Bad sales reps are hectically trying to hit their quotas at the end of the month or quarter, where the high performing reps are starting strong. There should not be a sense of desperation when trying to close a deal, because the good sales reps are in control over the process and that results in more closed deals.
Stuck in the “buddy” mentality: Great reps are personable but intertwine the action of earning respect and trust along the way. They don’t waste a prospect’s time with useless banter out of the insecure desire for their prospect to “like” them.
Too many preconceived notions: A lot of reps commonly get in their own way and trap themselves in a bubble that prevents them from getting where they want to go. They often have preconceived notions about what will happen and it tends to be captured in a negative light.
Sales reps, watch out for these indicators and learn to succeed in sales. Regardless of your education or background, you can become a successful sales rep by concentrating on improving the above areas.