4 Obstacles that Could Be Impeding Your Sales Team

How many of these obstacles to success does your sales team have to overcome?

Uncorrected mistakes lead to bad habits. Bad habits, once established in your salesforce, turn into roadblocks that prevent your sales team from achieving the highest levels of sales performance.

Don’t let departmental roadblocks set a cap on your sales team’s goal achievement. Here are four common obstacles to sales performance to watch out for:

1. Overburdening CRM
Except for a subset of inside salespeople working in call centers, most reps are not wired for data entry or record keeping. That set of activities conflicts with the natural tendencies of salespeople successful at new business development, who are usually neither sedentary nor detail-oriented.

Instead of paying a salesperson for these activities, hire a sales support person to do it at a much lower cost. Not only will the right individual accomplish these tasks at a higher level of quality, but they will also free the sales rep to do what they should be doing: selling.

2. Lack of a Defined Sales Process
When you don’t have a defined sales process, your sales team members will make it up as they go along. There’s little or no organizational learning and thus no discernable path to maximize sales. Worse, it creates a domino effect: if your team can’t differentiate between those who will and won’t buy your products and services, you’ll never provide your executive leadership with a reliable forecast.

Ideal Profile for Hiring Outside Sales Reps

3. Insufficient Market Research
Sales reps often spend an inordinate amount of time doing data management. They must import prospect lists, clean them, and rake through them for the best sales opportunities. Even in a small company, one person dedicated to market research and data management can do this both better and cheaper.

4. Sales Managers Who Can’t Coach
A sales manager who cannot or does not coach will consistently focus on policy, procedure, and quota, not development. That impedes improvement, resulting in salespeople with a strong tendency to make the same mistakes over and over again. People who with coaching could grow into top performers stagnate, and another domino effect occurs—they end up as average or subpar performers and leave, by your choice or theirs.

That leads to turnover issues—a perpetual state of recruiting, hiring, on-boarding, and training. This never allows you to gain traction in the market. You’re permanently stuck at the most basic level in the marketplace. 80% of your revenue comes from your top 20% of performers who have found a way to make it work. Unfortunately, the bottom 80% remain in constant churn. That much churn means you’re forced to spend all your time managing nonperformance and never focused on things that actually drive more sales.

Overcoming bad habits like these takes time and effort. If your organization lacks a defined sales process, that’s where you should start. When your sales team knows where they should be focused, they’ll find it a lot easier to avoid other activities—like market research and data entry.

Define your process and then coach to it to clear obstacles like these from your team’s path. Then step out of the way and watch them run.