5 Reasons Why Your Sales Team Isn’t Closing

5 Reasons Why Your Sales Team Isn’t Closing
Words by Laura Quick

Crafting and steering teams that drive revenue, or what many millennials and Gen Zers refer to as “salespeople” as if it were a term to be avoided at all costs, certainly isn't a walk in the park, is it? My own journey spans over 17 years in the field, and I've found that with each passing day, the layers of complexity and nuance only deepen.

In my early days as an eager salesperson, my eyes were firmly set on smashing sales targets. Yet, I was fortunate to grow within nurturing environments, under the guidance of leaders who genuinely cared. Remarkably, during my initial, formative years in the sales arena—as a driven, single mother striving in the sales profession—I had the privilege of working under two exceptional mentors. My role in a fire restoration company, which inherently demanded empathy, played a crucial role in shaping my approach. There, my duties extended beyond traditional sales; I often found myself switching from flashy stilettos to fire boots, offering a shoulder on some of the darkest days of our clients' lives—their homes had been engulfed in flames. Balancing the drive to secure sales with profound empathy for the homeowners' plight, I believe, was key to my rapid ascent to becoming the top salesperson across seven countries within a year.

I entered the job confident in my sales abilities, yet the position challenged me to elevate the clients' needs above my own ambitions. This philosophy of prioritizing the prospective client's well-being over mere deal-closing has guided my approach for over 16 years and is something I endeavor to pass on to every naturally gifted salesperson I encounter.

Since 2009, I've had the opportunity to train and lead over fifty sales professionals, work with diverse teams, and offer consultancy to organizations valued between $50 million to $1 billion, focusing on refining their sales processes and enhancing client experiences. Despite the variances in organizational needs and team dynamics, the core 'WHY' driving the most successful sales teams remains constant. Here are the key principles, in order of importance:

  1. Belief in the mission. Top salespeople are true believers in the solutions their companies offer, recognizing the meaningful impact of their work. This conviction in the company's vision and its value proposition is a common trait among high achievers.

  2. Precise audience targeting. Successful salespeople thrive when they know exactly whom they're selling to, making it easier to identify and connect with key prospects and influencers.

  3. Confidence in delivery. Elite sales professionals trust that what they sell will be delivered with excellence, reinforcing their confidence in the promises they make, which in turn, boosts their sales performance.

  4. Collaborative mindset. The best salespeople are proactive in seeking improvements, drawing on frontline insights to suggest enhancements in partnership with their leaders, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration.

  5. Understanding urgency. Exceptional sales talent knows how to close deals by genuinely conveying the necessity of immediate action, a skill that significantly shortens the sales cycle.

If you're encountering obstacles with your sales team, it might be time to reassess these foundational aspects:

  • Do your products and services inspire belief?
  • Is your target audience clearly defined for your team, including key contacts and entry points?
  • Does your team have unwavering confidence in your company's ability to deliver with excellence?
  • Is there a culture of collaboration encouraged by sales leadership?
  • Does your team grasp how to create genuine urgency in closing sales?

Navigating the complexities of leading high-performing sales teams is undeniably challenging, with no shortcuts to exceptional leadership. However, revisiting these fundamental principles can provide invaluable insights. For those seeking further guidance, the Good Grit Agency offers workshops that might serve as an excellent starting point, especially since they boast an expert who's particularly passionate about refining sales processes.