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Why Your Salespeople are Not Selling as Expected

Posted by Tony Cole on Fri, Jun 28, 2024

Some of your salespeople are selling as expected… and some of them are not. If we buy into the theories of Italian economist, Pareto, then we buy into the concept that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This application of Pareto Principle can help to answer the question: Why Are Your Sales People Not Selling as Expected?


In your role as Sales Leader in your company, you probably have asked this question of your sales managers or asked it of yourself in some variation: Why are Some of the People that You Hire, Train, Coach, Pay and Invest in Performing at a Level That is Lower Than Expected?

Certainly, you did not hire them with that intention.  When a potential new hire is brought to you by someone in your organization, they are typically described as:

  • Highly successful
  • Carry themselves very well
  • Interviewed great
  • Can be a top producer
  • Has a great resume
  • Has an awesome network
  • Will fit our culture really well
  • Will cost us more than we budgeted, but worth it

Never once did someone say to you that the person should be hired because: 12 months from now, they will be performing solidly in the middle of the pack. That wasn’t the intention, but it happens, alot.

The first step is to assess the current state of your sales team. If your numbers are like most, we get the chance to look at, then your sales team adheres to the 80/20 rule so you must get your arms around your numbers and figure this out for your company.  Once you have that data, ask yourself these questions:

  • If this is true, then why do I have the other 80% of my sales team?
  • Why is 80% of my team only generating 20% of my revenue?
  • What are they doing or not doing that is getting that result? 
  • What is my sales management environment/sales manager doing or not doing that is contributing to this outcome? 
  • How long has it been this way and why?
  • If this is true, then what should we be doing to correct the problem? 
  • Is it a goal problem? 
  • Is it a hiring problem? 
  • Is it an on-boarding, training, development problem? 
  • Do we have a process in place to help people succeed at the level we thought they would when we hired them?
  • Is this a have-to-fix problem?

Once you get your arms around the data, you will gain some business intelligence and insight as to where the problems are and why they exist. Failing to do this data analysis is akin to trying to diagnose a medical problem without going through diagnostics on the systems responsible for good health!  As you attack the answer to these questions for your organization, we challenge you to take action. You don’t have to accept the status quo. The Pareto Principle does not have to thrive at your organization.




Topics: Sales Training, motivating sales people, sales training tips


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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


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