I was reading an interesting blog on the reasons for sales failure the other day. According to research from Qvidian, only 63% of sales professionals make their quota. There aren’t many industries where a slightly more than 50% success rate is considered satisfactory. As you might imagine; everything from bad recruitment strategies to poor on-boarding and mentoring has been blamed for the lack of success of the modern day sales warrior failure. But excuses won’t improve poor closing ratios.
In my experience, there are many reasons why high performing sales representatives stand out from the rest but here are the game changers:
- Dedication: Great sales people and great employees are dedicated to their profession. They want to get better every day and take the necessary steps to make that happen. Whether they are reading a book, attending a workshop or seeking advice, they spend time most of their time improving.
- Resourcefulness: Let’s face it, aside from basic product or service training, an expense account and a trade association membership salespeople rarely have a wealth of tools to draw upon. Some of the best salespeople out there find a way to get the job done; unfortunately many people in the organization don’t realize how difficult that can be and is a skill rather than an art.
- Preparedness: Knowledge is power and strong performers always come prepared. They know a customer’s pain points and can empathize with their situation. Their high level of preparedness positions them as experts that can help rather than someone just trying to sell them something. Nobody likes to be sold but everybody like to buy.
So how do you become part of the solution rather than part of the problem? It begins with you. The minute that you take ownership of your performance, you will gain the sense of empowerment necessary to reach your full potential. Until you do, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of the sales equation.