Others never get the hang of it, and would be better off in another career. That’s why sales managers hear more excuses than anyone but primary school teachers! But even though it can be frustrating, these complaints can be the key to improving upon how you sell. So read on to find out what you can do about five of the most common sales complaints!
“The quota is just too high. Whoever came up with it probably never worked sales in their lives”.
Solution: First of all, management don’t pull quotas out of… Well, they don’t pull them out of thin air! There’s always a good reason for there being a high quota. It could be based on past internal performance, or competitor performance. It could also be set high so that only the best salespeople can keep up, and over time the sales force will get stronger by sorting the wheat from the chaff.
But this excuse really gets to the heart of the problem with low sales figures. Ultimately, the buck has to stop somewhere, and it stops at personal performance. If the quota was so high that not a single person on the sales floor could hit it, then, yes, the problem was with the quota. But if a majority of people hit it, and one particular person didn’t, then the problem is one of performance and suitability for a career in sales. The solution to this excuse, then, might be finding somebody better suited for the job!
“I’m not getting anywhere near enough leads…”
Solution: You can’t have sales without leads; that’s a fair point. And of course, if marketing is consistently failing to put leads on the table, then there’s only so much that a salesperson can do. You have to work with what you have. But what some people forget is that there’s more than one metric when it comes to sales.
It’s not just about the bare number of sales at the end of each day, week or month. Sales skill is judged based on conversion percentages too. How many of a given set of leads did a person convert? One in ten? Five out of ten? Ten out of ten? From management’s point of view, the solution here is either to a) put pressure on marketing to earn more leads, or b) put pressure on the sales team to convert more of what they have.
“And the leads I do get are garbage!”
Solution: The other side of the coin: now they are getting enough leads, but they complain that the leads aren’t good enough. In fairness, lead quality is a perpetual problem that sales teams face, although powerful tools like CRMs are making lead scoring and sales funnelling far easier than they were before. If you don’t yet have a CRM in place, you should consider integrating one with your existing sales process to improve the quality of your leads. With the right tools in front of them, any salesperson should be able to identify what stage a lead is at in the sales process and how likely they are to commit at any given point, which will save both time and effort!
“I’m great at scoring leads, but I hate dealing with everything else”.
Solution: Here’s a great example of serial complainers ‘having their cake and eating it too’! Not only are the leads worthless, but the tools that help keep lead quality high are useless too. How does that work?! CRMs definitely add a little extra to the workload of a sales team, but they save time and effort in the long run by making leads easier to convert. What this complaint ultimately boils down to is that you have to revisit how you explain the benefits of using a CRM to your workforce so that you can get them fully on board.
“They’re happy with their provider, what am I supposed to do!?”
Solution: If you’re working in a saturated market, or one that has a prominent market leader, a common complain you’ll hear is that it’s proving tough to carve out a market share. And, admittedly, it’s tougher to work in the face of established competition than it is to be the established competition!
The problem with this complaint is that it can often be a fair one, but if you’re managing a sales team, it’s not like you can throw in the towel. You have to find the people who can lead you from being a tiny slice to being a bigger slice, so again, maybe you have to find the right people with the right attitude for the job if you’re hearing this excuse a lot.
And there you have it: the five most common sales complaints. Of course, there are many more: the time of year, for example. You’ll probably hear from one half of your sales team that Summer is the slow time of year, and from the other half that Winter is the dead time- how does that work?! But the key is that no matter what the complaint, you do something to try and fix it. Whether that’s trying different sales techniques, finding more leads or higher quality leads, using a CRM or just getting more experienced staff, doing something positive is always the answer!