In “Solving the Problem (Part II)”, we discussed how Sam, the sales manager at XYZ Corp., could tie some of his sales performance challenges to problems to his approach to training his sales staff primarily on product and company details. Now let’s look at how this impacts Sam and his team.

Don’t know what to say and ask
The sales resources have good foundation of knowledge about the products that they sell. But since they are reaching out to prospects that have not expressed interest, it is too early to talk too much about the products.

As a result, the sales staff does not know exactly what to say and ask in order to get the prospects to progress to the next stage in the sales cycle. The training that Sam provided did not prepare them for this early sales cycle stage.

Improvising conversations
Since Sam’s sales staff does not know what to say, they end up improvising when picking up the phone and talking with sales prospects. They pretty much “wing it” and try to figure out in the moment what to do and end up learning through trial and error.

Long new hire ramp up
Because the sales resources are pretty much learning on the job and through trial and error, it will can take a long time for Sam’s new sales resources to get up and running and that alone will decrease .

Not getting the most out of prospect interactions
When Sam’s sales reps “wing it” when talking with prospects, they end up not getting the most out of each interaction as they are not always asking right questions and making the right points. This can have a direct impact on sales growth by decreasing appointments set and leads generated and increasing the number of opportunities missed.

Not selling enough
With Sam’s team not setting appointments and generating a high volume of leads, the sales reps are often not selling enough and meeting their individual targets. This obviously impacts Sam’s ability to hit his sales growth targets. Not only are a lot of team members not performing against assigned targets, they also are not making the income they desire.

Sales staff turnover
When performance is not where it needs to be, sales people leave. They either voluntarily leave to make more income elsewhere or are let go due to performance.

Skills, experience, and knowledge walk out the door
Sam spent a lot of time investing in the sales resources that end up leaving. Both time and financial investment was put and it is a loss when that walks out the door.

Lost opportunities while position is open
While the sales position is open from sales staff turnover, there will be deals lost to the competition.

Costs from recruiting, hiring, and training
It is not only costly from a financial standpoint to get a new sales resource in place, it is also very costly from a time investment as well. Time and money will need to be spent on recruiting, interviewing, hiring and training.

Lost opportunities while sales resource is ramping up
Now Sam has a new sales resource and they are learning through trial and error and while on the job. This takes a while and because of that long ramp up, opportunities will be lost to the competition since the sales resource is not performing at an optimum level yet.

And as you can see, Sam’s problem begins to repeat itself just as Sam is trying to fix it.