Why Employees Fail To Meet Their Goals
The start of a new year means fresh goals for your sales team and a renewed sense of purpose. “Tabula rasa,” it is called, or a blank slate. There is so much potential in front of your sales team with a new budget, new training, new sales operations, new sales enablement, new sales tools, and a great CRM…what more could you need to help you on your journey to success? Yet, research shows that likelihood of hitting your sales target is the flip of a coin. That’s right—a 50/50 chance of hitting the target. More than half of all sales reps do not achieve their annual goals. All that time and money invested, and yet so little success. But why is this so common?
People Are Creatures Of Habit
In the sales world, almost everything we do has a goal. Why should our games be any different? Whether it’s to win all the money, own all the properties, rescue the princess, or capture the king, good games have goals and many challenges to overcome to reach them.
The year is 1902—Albert Einstein is born on September 23. Who knew he would grow up to be such an amazing predictor of sales performance? In his later years, Albert coined a phrase: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” That phrase sums up why more than half of sales professionals fail to meet quota.
Humans are creatures of habit. Salespeople are stuck in a pattern of habits that don’t create success. Top performers do what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it, with whom they are supposed to do it—and therefore, create success. Those who are not at the top, know they should be and yet aren’t. Worse yet, they create excuses as to why they are not doing the behaviors. Time is the number one excuse given. They are too busy stuck in “insanity,” doing things over and over again, that do not produce results. They end up working really hard and yet do not achieve their quota.
As a sales leader, what are the habits of your top performers that your middle performers can’t seem to do? Take those vital few behaviors and create systems of accountability to ensure your middle performers replicate those behaviors. It sounds so simple and yet in reality, it is hard—so hard in fact that most of your salespeople aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, or aren’t doing it consistently.
Sales Gaps Vs. Performance Gaps
This is a tricky question, which often takes an average sales leader down the wrong path. Many sales leaders would say this is fundamentally a silly question. The gap is obvious—many members of the sales team are just not hitting their quota! That is not the gap we are trying to close. A salesperson’s quota attainment is a lagging measure. It is a measurement of something that happened in the past. It is like trying to lose weight by simply stepping on the scale. “Yep, still at 190 lbs.”
The gap we are trying to close isn’t a sales gap at all—it is the performance gap. These are the activities, behaviors, and habits that set apart your top salespeople and the rest of the pack. Your top sales reps are doing things consistently that your under-performing reps are not doing. What are those few things, how do you measure them, and how do you then hold people accountable?
Transferring Good Habits
The secret to success in closing the performance gap is discovering what your top salespeople are doing differently from everyone else. What is the special ingredient that helps them hit and exceed their quotas? How do they find and close more opportunities? How do they build more profitable relationships? Letting the rest of your sales team in on the habits of your top performers will help you increase performance across the board. Upskill your team through new behaviors and mannerisms not just through formal training.
Closing the gap in activity leads to quota attainment. Lead measures are the key to quota attainment. What are the vital few activities, that when done consistently, lead to success? First, understand the lead measures and then create systems and accountability to ensure those vital few things are done. Sharing these good habits will ensure your sales team achieves its quota.
Download the eBook Closing Sales Performance Gaps Using Gamification to identify and address pain points that prevent your sales teams from achieving their goals. You can also join the webinar to learn how to close gaps for good and help sales reps who struggle to meet their quotas.