Reasons Why Your Leads are Not Closing

April 7, 2015

No company can long function without an effective sales force. You may have one of the most energetic and experience groups of persons in the country, but it will amount to nothing if they can’t close the deal and make the sell. In too many instances, the techniques and strategies devised for selling focus on the individual tasked with actually doing it. If there is a fall in sales for the quarter, the persons within the sales department are blamed. If a salesperson is not doing well, he or she is often looked at as not trying hard enough or as using a poor or bad technique.

The usual way of explaining poor sales performance is to look at individual salespersons and blame them for the shortcoming. But this is an old and outmoded way of thinking. Indeed, it has never been the case that individual salespersons are necessarily the cause of underperformance in sales. As with most other things in this world, a range of conditions must be examined before a particular phenomenon can be understood and explained. If you are the head of a salesforce or responsible for sales, then your first response to low numbers should be to ask what was done to set your salesforce up for success. If no one has done anything to create the conditions for successful sales, then of course you should expect individual salespersons to fail.

Getting good leads is only part of what you must do to come up with a sale. However, it is important to understand that not all leads are the same. Some leads are better than others and are likely to actually result in a sale. If you take the attitude of finding and giving out leads arbitrarily, your salesforce is not likely to be successful. It is important to institute a quality control system for your leads. You should establish a means of testing to see which leads are more likely to end up in a sale and which ones aren’t. You can then rank them accordingly and manage your resources accordingly. Doing so will help to ensure you get the right people involved in the right work.

Another question you should be asking is whether or not people trust you; not just your individual sales representatives, but your entire brand. If the reputation of your company is not as solid as it should be, then you’re going to have trouble regardless of how many bodies you commit to selling. No amount of energy and effort can convince someone to buy your product, when they have serious doubts about its quality. You certainly want to ensure that your each individual in your salesforce is honest and forthright, and that he or she has an easy way of working with clients. However, you also want to do what you can to shore up the reputation of your brand and your company.

Selling is all about identifying a client’s needs, and then offering a product that satisfies it. One of the mistakes that salespersons make is in believing that the clients themselves know what they need. This is rarely the case. It is your job as a salesperson to look at the various aims, purposes, and operations of a company and explain to them, in a way that is quite clear and vivid, how the product you have to offer can help improve their business. Breaking it down for the client in terms that they can understand is one of the most important things that you have to do during such a session. In some cases, a brief sales pitch won’t work. You might have to go deep into the operations of the company and map-out exactly how your product will make it easier for them to do business.

A final point you want to address is whether or not your salespersons are reaching the people who make the decisions. If they are not speaking with anyone who is involved in the actual buying decision, then they are probably wasting their time. Some companies do have a process that requires salespersons to speak to low level staff before presenting to the decision-makers. But if your salespersons are not reaching the latter, then they’re unlikely to ever make the sale.