As sales teams are faced with the need to rapidly adapt to the emerging world of Sales 2.0, companies across nearly every market and vertical have a seemingly innocuous, yet substantial dilemma: They can’t find enough good professional sales people.
As respected business and sales consultant Dick Lee of High-Yield Methods states, “The well has about run dry.”
But part of the supposed “lack of talent” is further exemplified by an all-too-common disconnect between what sales management says they want, and the way they implement the sales process. It’s not that there’s a lack of “talent,” it’s that the talent that’s out there is tired of working under adverse conditions.
Sales organizations are often treated like the quarterback of a football team–even when it’s not their fault, they take a lion’s share of the blame for poor business performance. It’s not always conscious, but managers and C-levels often make sales reps the company “punching bag,” even though the reality is that the reps are being given very little chance to succeed based on current processes in place.
How many sales directors and VPs say they want “More sales!” but don’t bother doing lead management, or measuring the end-to-end buying cycle to track lead source effectiveness, making it rare for reps to get truly qualified leads?
How often does a company invest thousands of dollars each month on SEO and pay-per-click campaigns—but then wait two days or more to get the generated inquiries to sales, markedly reducing a rep’s ability to making contact (assuming that anyone responds at all, since research consistently shows that around 40 percent of all companies don’t even make a single contact attempt)?
How many times are reps expected to “get their foot in the door” of C-level and enterprise prospects, but the company refuses to give them the productivity tools to increase their output enough to reach the expected goals?
Sometimes sales aren’t happening because a company is simply in the wrong market. But sometimes it’s because they have repeatedly (and often blatantly) failed to provide reps with the right tools and strategy to have the success they expect. And when that happens, why would anyone with a hint of sales talent want to work for a company that takes that approach?