3 years ago
January 7, 2015

5 Early Warning Signs of Plateauing in Sales

In this article, we’ll discuss five signs of plateauing in sales that you should always be on the lookout for.

Rhys Metler

Recognizing the signs of plateauing in sales before you, your team, or your company begins stagnating should be a high priority for anyone in sales, regardless of position or industry. While not every business can grow indefinitely, a sales plateau more often serves as a sign that something is going wrong, serving as intermediary before a downward trend. In this article, we’ll discuss five signs of plateauing in sales that you should always be on the lookout for.

#1: Waning ROI from previously consistent pipelines.

The most obvious of the signs of plateauing in sales, if your time and money aren’t getting the same returns they did a few months ago you need to consider ‘Why?’ very carefully. If the trend continues, your sales will plateau-if it continues longer than that, the result is obvious. Any significant change in ROI from reliable methods should always be intensely scrutinized for signs of plateauing in sales.

#2: Otherwise successful sales team members stagnating.

There are many reasons a reliable member of your team might start lagging-health or family problems can explain such problems as easily as a pending company-wide slouch. That said, when individual sales people start stagnating, especially more than one, it’s definitely worth considering as one of the signs of plateauing in sale.

At best, it’s a different problem that needs to be solved before it CAUSES a plateau.

#3: Odd shifts in metrics.

This can be difficult to get a grasp of unless you already have a head for metrics and analysis, but it’s probably the earliest warning signs of plateauing in sales you can get. For an example of an odd shift, an uptick in word-of-mouth sales without an associated uptick in overall sales could be evidence that your other sales methods are suffering-that momentum alone is carrying your company.

Momentum doesn’t last forever.

#4: Competitors showing signs of plateauing in sales-or exceptional growth.

Any major change in a competitor deserves your attention as potential signs of plateauing in sales. If your competition has hit a plateau, you may not be far behind-or maybe you took all the good customers and left them empty-handed. Alternatively, a competitor’s business exploding with growth might mean they found something new-something you or your company will need to get on top of to stay relevant in the industry.

#5: Insufficient leads.

By the time you see this particular one of the signs of plateauing sales, a period of stagnation may be inevitable. Later steps can’t rectify a failure at this point of the sales pipeline-if your leads dry up, a holding pattern is the best you can hope for. Keep an eye out for the earlier warning signs so things don’t reach this point!

As a final warning to anyone looking at these signs of plateauing in sales, carefully consider your businesses situation before you look to assign blame, as most of these signs of plateauing in sales can be either evidence of a pending failure or a root cause, depending on the situation.

If you are a member of a sales team, don’t be too fast to blame a dated or failing sales model-consider whether you and other members of the team have been pushing hard or letting complacency creep into your work. On the other hand, sales managers should consider these signs of plateauing in sales and not assign blame to salespeople or method until a careful review of the situation is done

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.