Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

3 Reasons Why Your Sales Team is Failing

3 Reasons Why Your Sales Team is FailingWhy isn’t my sales team more successful?

This is one of the top concerns of many sales managers.  Of course, in order for a business to be successful, you must have a successful and driven sales force.  When your team is failing, it is natural to wonder what is going wrong and what can be done differently.

When your sales team is under performing, it is important that you consider these possible 3 reasons.

1. No Motivation

The goal amongst most sales reps is to make as much money as possible.

What does your compensation plan look like? 

Is there a limited bonus potential or a cap on commission earnings? 

In order to properly motivate your sales team and get the most success, you need to make sure that you have incentives for them to close as much business as possible in any given month.

For example, a common theme with sales reps that have a commission cap or limited bonus is for them to hang on to business that they should be closing.  Rather than closing out as many business opportunities in a month, they will do just enough to meet goals for that month, hanging on to other possibilities to close in the next month.

For many sales reps, there is a “feast or famine attitude.  When you combine this with limited earning potential, your sales team will never strive to do better when they will receive nothing more for doing so.

Make sure your compensation plan motivates your reps to go after as much business as possible.

Likewise, establish rewards or recognition awards for your top performers each month, encouraging them to go above and beyond.

2. No Accountability

Accountability is the next key ingredient for any successful sales team.

How are goals set for your team? 

Are you meeting with each individual sales rep every quarter to discuss where they need to be? 

Are you reviewing and tracking your sales team’s production numbers?

Without goals, your team will surely fail. 

Without tracking presentations, closes, and losses, you will have no way to establish concise goals. 

Think about your sales process.  When your sales rep has a goal of closing out a certain account, are you following up and asking questions when the account is closed out by end of month?  This is key with sales.  You must ask questions and hold your sales reps accountable to their goals and plans.

If your sales reps are not succeeding, you must understand what went wrong in order to help them be successful.

3. Poor Communication

Communication is key with any sales rep.  As a sales manager, you MUST be meeting with your team constantly.  Staying in communication when it comes to goal or account status, “stucks”, as well as outstanding action items is key to success in sales.

How often are you meeting with your sales team? 

Vern Harnish of Gazelles understands the importance of communication in business.  He advises companies to have daily huddles in which the team communicates and shares information such as status updates, issues, and help needed.

It’s important to understand that a huddle is NOT a long-winded meeting.  A huddle typically lasts no more than 15 minutes.  Everyone comes prepared, in order to quickly and efficiently communicate with the team.  This huddle helps to quickly communicate and address any problems or “stucks” a team member is having, which in turn helps everyone stay on target for their goals.

Daily team huddles can be helpful in achieving more effective communication with your sales team.

In addition to daily huddles, you should also be having a weekly one-on-one with each sales rep, reviewing action items and progress for the week.  This is not to micro-manage your reps.  Rather, you are helping them by encouraging clear lines of communication with them as well as holding them accountable on a weekly basis.

Without frequent communication amongst your sales team, you will never understand what is preventing them from being more successful. 

What are some other key ingredients to a successful sales team?

Image: Nyul/

Julia Weeks

Julia is a skilled Recruiter with over 8 years of experience in sourcing, interviewing, and hiring within many industries globally. She works closely with hiring managers and job seekers to understand needs and desires, while offering guidance and ensuring the right fit. When not recruiting or writing, Julia enjoys spending time outside cycling, taking her dog for walks, or honing her sailing skills.