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Sales Strategy
3 Reasons Salespeople Don’t Hit Sales Targets
Apr 11, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock
In sales, continual growth is an important part of success. One of the ways that we achieve that growth is by setting sales targets for ourselves that challenge us to do better than before. However, it doesn’t necessarily come easy to everyone. For salespeople struggling to hit sales targets, there are usually three big reasons.

1. There Is No Action Plan

We like to think of a salesperson as someone who is intuitive and spontaneous—someone who can throw themselves into any situation and come out the winner. The reality is quite a bit different. The best salespeople are meticulous when it comes to strategy. They are able to regularly hit sales targets because they have devised a structured plan, complete with proven strategies that they can rely on. 

We’re not saying that rogue salesperson who is able to hit sales targets with no preparation doesn’t exist, but we are saying that the chances of hitting your targets is pretty slim if you decide to go this route. For most salespeople, including those who are incredibly good at their job, they need an action plan. A good action plan includes multiple strategies, talking points, and pre-prepared questions that can help gauge the customer’s needs. 

It’s also important to remember that clients are more inclined to trust salespeople who seem like they know what they’re doing, have all the right information, and are able to give them a sound and carefully thought out case for why they should invest. Customers want to be persuaded, and an impromptu and improvised sales pitch will rarely measure up. 

2. You Have Poor Lead Generation

Going into a sales call without knowing if the prospective customer will be receptive to the call is not a great way to hit sales targets. While it’s still commonly used within sales departments, cold calling is a largely ineffective strategy. It requires a great deal of time and energy with little pay-off. Taking that same time and energy and investing elsewhere, for example in lead generation, is a much more productive activity. 
Sometimes called warm calling, the process of warming up leads involves determining beforehand if the client is likely to be receptive to a sales call or not. This can include everything from contacting people who have previously demonstrated interest to following up with users who have interacted with your content to leaning on referrals from companies or individuals who feel they may know someone who would be interested. 

If you make warm calling a significant part of your strategy, you’ll achieve greater successes while expending less energy. Departments that rely entirely, or too heavily, on cold calling are doing themselves a disservice when it comes to hitting their sales goals. Warm calling is the best strategy for teams that want to see growth.  

3. You Need Ongoing Sales Training

We have a tendency to think of sales training as something that only applies to new hires. The thinking goes that once you’ve received your initial training, you carry that information with you throughout your career, and subsequent training sessions would only reinforce what you already know. 

Especially when training takes place as a one-off exercise, we risk losing a significant portion of the information that we’ve learned over subsequent months. That’s not to mention the way that information changes over time! If you received sales training five years ago, much of what you originally learned could potentially be outdated. One of the reasons people don’t hit sales targets is because they haven’t received training since they were first hired. Strategies, techniques, and general information that could help departments hit sales targets are not retained in the way that they would be with ongoing sales training. 

About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
Since 1874, we’ve been developing and serving sales professionals by providing programs, benefits, and resources that help you sell more, and sell smarter. 

Contact us today at MemberServices@cpsa.com or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.

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