Companies across Australia and New Zealand could be missing out on key revenue opportunities due to sub-par sales performance, a recent survey has revealed.
The Objective Management Group evaluated more than a million salespeople worldwide – including hundreds in Australasia – and found that over half are lacking the sales skills required for growth.
Internal sales skills were found to be particularly lacking; a blind spot that could be costing the affected companies millions of dollars in lost deals.
“Half of the survey respondents conceded that they do not have the internal sales skills to reach their growth goals,” says Grant Holland, SalesStar chief executive of Australia and New Zealand.
“This represents a significant gap in thousands of companies’ sales strategies – a gap that if sales leaders do not close, will slow down growth and revenue.”
Does this data strike a chord? Could internal sales be a weak spot within your company?
If so, here are five reasons why your sales staff might be lacking internal sales skills and what you can do about this problem.
1. Lack of internal sales training
While training sales staff could help address skill deficiencies, many sales training programmes focus on general techniques and gloss over specifics. It’s one of the reasons why sales training is often ineffective.
If internal sales needs attention within your company, find a sales trainer that can teach your staff specific, targeted skills. Do your research and ask each trainer plenty of questions before you sign up to make sure they are a good fit for your team.
2. Problematic mindset
A person’s mindset can have a huge influence on their sales performance – it’s responsible for about 80 per cent of their success in sales, to be exact.
Common mindset challenges include self-limiting beliefs, an excessive need for approval, or the tendency to get too emotionally involved in a sale. Another destructive mindset is feeling uncomfortable when discussing money – 45 per cent of salespeople suffer from this outlook.
Some of your salespeople might be unaware of their mindset challenges and require some one-on-one coaching to help them shift perspective.
3. Ineffective management
If internal sales are lagging, you may need to evaluate your management structure. Are the right people in the right leadership roles? Could your management team use some extra support? Do you need to send your managers on additional sales training?
Research shows that sales managers only have 44 per cent of the skills to effectively coach their sales team, yet it is widely recognised as the most important role of the sales manager to grow sales.
Effective sales performance often starts at the top. Investing extra time in your sales leaders may be just what you need to improve results.
4. No sales process
Your sales process is key to your sales performance. If you don’t have one – or the one you do have is largely ignored – then it could undermine not just internal sales, but your entire sales strategy.
Only 3 per cent of salespeople have an effective, milestone centric sales process.
5. Inattention to detail
Still scratching your head about your internal sales struggle? The answer might be in the numbers. Pay close attention to your sales data, especially conversion rates and leading sales indicators. See if you notice any clear patterns.