Why is My Sales Team Failing

Why is My Sales Team Failing

Learn about some common causes behind a sales team’s poor performance, what you can do to address the problems, and how you can prevent them from becoming an issue again.

Kayvon Kay
Kayvon Kay

March 27, 2022

A question we often hear when speaking to sales managers is: why is my sales team failing?

They’ve read the books. They have the experience. They do a lot of the things they need to do.

Yet, for some reason, their team doesn’t quite soar. It’s hard to understand why a lot of the time.

We’ve seen it all at The Sales Connection. So if you’re asking yourself why is my sales team failing, read on because we may just have the answer you’re looking for…

Table of Contents — Why is My Sales Team Failing

1. Why Do Most People Fail in Sales

2. What To Do When Your Sales Team is Failing

3. How Do You Improve a Failing Sales Team

3. 1: Build Effective Systems & Processes

3. 2: Train Well and Train Often

3. 3: Review Your Team

3. 4: Provide Clear Feedback

3. 5: Challenge & Motivate

4. Why is My Sales Team Failing—The Conclusions

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Many people fail in sales.

Why is My Sales Team Failing

At The Sales Connection, we’ve worked with countless clients on how to build, improve, and maximize a sales team’s potential. We’ve done this in every industry you can imagine. Size of team… type of team… we have seen it all.

During this time, we’ve spotted a few key patterns on why a sales team fails.

Each situation differs, but many of your issues come down to this…

Why Do Most People Fail in Sales

In many cases, your sales team fails due to one (or more) of these reasons:

  1. Poor Communication: Communication is everything, not only in sales but in life. As a sales manager, you need to effectively communicate with your team. You need to clearly explain what’s expected of them. You need to listen to understand them. If your sales team falls short, communication often lies at the heart of your woes.
  1. Lack of Motivation: Even the best salespeople perform poorly if they don’t turn up each day with the right attitude and drive. As a sales leader, your job is to set them up for success and push them to achieve more. Not just through financial incentives, but true leadership.
  1. Inefficient Systems/Processes: This is a big one! A salesperson can only perform based on what’s in front of them. Do they have the right tools? Do they follow a proven process? Is the system they’re part of setting them up to succeed or fail?
  1. Misunderstood Vision: This is a tricky one because although many sales teams allow their members to operate individually, it’s important everyone remains on the same page. This comes down to you as a leader communicating the bigger picture vision. This is how you build a world-class culture!

What To Do When Your Sales Team is Failing

Okay… so your sales team’s failing. You have a better understanding of why. Now what?

Embrace it!

I’m serious. This is an opportunity to get your team back on the same page. This is a chance to transform failure into success. This is a huge learning curve. Not just for you, but for each individual on the team.

Embrace it!!

We speak from experience… you can one-hundred percent turn a failing sales team into a successful one. We’ve seen it time after time; been on the front line making this happen.

Here’s how…

How Do You Improve a Failing Sales Team

Before we dive into the tips, let’s first get an important point across: your sales team is unique.

These tips are a guide. Nothing we share here is an out-of-the-solution. It’s why our clients hire us because they appreciate we can’t provide the solution they need over the phone. Each team differs. You need to take these tips and tailor them to your situation.

Keep this in mind as you read on…

1: Build Effective Systems & Processes

The first step is to evaluate your current systems, processes, and operating procedures.

From the tools you use to the processes your team follows, dissect everything!

Speak to your team about this. Ask them about their struggles and how you can better set them up for success. As a leader, it’s often hard to fully appreciate this. Go to the source. Speak to your team and get an insight into their struggles; what works vs what doesn’t.

2: Train Well and Train Often

Whether your sales team succeeds or fails, it’s important to prioritize training.

We talk about this in a few articles:

The problem is, different teams need different training. Good training depends on the situation. As a group, what does your team need? Then, what does each individual inside this team need?

This is hard to appreciate until you dig deeper.

The point is, if your team’s struggling, training (or a lack of it) plays a part.

Invest in it. Not just now, but over and over and over.

The sales world continues to evolve. You have to adapt to these changes. 

Training is what fixes this, yet it’s one thing so many businesses overlook!

3: Review Your Team

In our experience, the best sales cultures are those that make reviews an important part of the vision. It’s a way of life for high-performing sales teams. Not just every now and again, but throughout the year.

Review your team as a whole: what’s working… what isn’t.

Review each individual inside your team: their current situation… where they’re heading next.

Your job as a sales leader is to lead your team. But how can you do this if you don’t appreciate your team on a deep level? Get to know them. Work with them. Review their work. Provide clear feedback and challenge them to step up at all times.

4: Provide Clear Feedback

Reviewing your team is one thing… clearly communicating with your team is another.

As a group, sure, but also with each individual.

Feedback is the key. The good. The bad. At all times, you need to speak to your team and let them know what’s working (and what isn’t). Encourage them to share their own feedback. Often, a failing team fails because it continues to commit to the wrong strategy.

You and your team aren’t on the same page.

They don’t understand you… you don’t understand them.

Feedback solves all this. It gets everyone on the same page. 

Where you are now, and where you’re heading as a team (and a business) further down the road...

6: Challenge & Motivate

This may be the most important one of all because a failing sales team often fails due to complacency.

We see it all the time. For a while, the sales team thrives. Everyone inside sets new records and climbs the ladder. Everything is good until one day… it isn’t!

Why? You got complacent. They got complacent. You assumed what worked always would. It creeps up on you and before you know it you’re behind targets.

Righting this wrong is easier than you think.

You simply need to re-engage your team and ignite some passion.

Motivate them. Again, not just with financial incentives, but true leadership that lights a fire inside them. Challenge everyone to step up. As a group, but also with individual goals and objectives.

Don’t settle. Push the boundary and raise the ceiling. Keep doing this over and over!!

Here are some other resources to help you do exactly that:

A failing sales team often fails due to complacency.

Why is My Sales Team Failing—The Conclusions

Why is my sales team failing, you ask…?

Well, now you know. Each team differs. But it often comes down to the issues we discuss here.

Fixing it isn’t all that hard. Yet it also isn’t easy. It needs you to step up and own the situation. Easier said than done with everything else on your plate. You want to make changes. In fact, you may appreciate what those changes are. But the time it takes to dive deeper and do the work…?

That’s where we come in at The Sales Connection.

If you’re ready to take charge and transform your team, Apply To Partner with US — we’ll discover exactly what you need, and then develop the tailored strategy YOU need to thrive.

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Kayvon Kay

Kayvon Kay

Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.

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