• Dave Frost

The streets are paved with gold (or diamonds if you prefer)

Plenty of research exists to prove that well over 50% of frontline sales professionals miss their targets. Of course there can be many reasons why this is the case, including a operational issues like training, a 1950's work atmosphere and poor management, but often the salesperson is to all extents & purposes a highly skilled and motivated professional.

So why is this percentage so high?

The answer is of course complex, but here are some ideas:

They don't feel recognised

Unless you happily work alone in a medieval cave with no electricity, wi-fi or mobile, you will discover that we all rely on human beings to get your job done. If you want to accomplish more than just your job – like become successful – you need to build great relationships.

The foundation of healthy relationships is respect and appreciation. Recognition can help you grow that foundation. You’ll make connections, demonstrate how you treat people and certainly make lasting impressions.

Some would have you believe that salespeople are “coin operated” and therefore only motivated by their ability to earn more. However the stats tells us a different story - most salespeople do not perform better if the carrot is just more cash. I know this is radical, but we have to view salespeople as people, not vehicles that will do more if you input more fuel.

The science behind regular recognition will tell you it's than just a 'thank you' and making someone feel good [although there is nothing wrong with a dopamine rush]. It's a business KPI that can lead to retention, productivity and customer satisfaction results.

They get complacent

In his first two years, Nic was a top performer - he displayed discipline around the sales process and was actually prepared to give the extra discretionary effort [EDE]. But in his third year, Nic learned that he could keep his job if he gave his company 100% of his effort two days a week, 75% two days a week, and 50% one day a week. So he stopped giving the EDE and today Nic is an average sales performer – his numbers fall somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Nic knows he could work harder and earn another $2000-4000, but he lives a cruisy life and by now, today's top performers in his company are so far above him that he believes he’ll never have his name in lights again.

Today, Nic feels that the pain (discomfort) of working harder and the subsequent uncertainty of that work paying off is greater than the pleasure of extra cash.

So Nic and his manager need to discover the appropriate motivation triggers to shake him up.

They are deluded about who they are talking to

In the B2B sales process, the average number of people involved in the decision making process is 6.8 ! And when they make an enquiry through your website, they are already quite advanced in terms of their due diligence.

So we need to closely examine the level of understanding of the decision-making structure within a prospect organisation to make sure all the relevant decision makers and stakeholders have be en suitably engaged. In many cases, we just have not appreciated that more and more procurement decisions are now team-based, often involving people from a variety of areas within the target organisation.

We also fail to adequately scope the decision-making dynamic or pitched to enough of the appropriate individuals.

The opportunities and the gold is there...we just need to constantly conduct a health-check on our behaviours.

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