7 years ago
February 21, 2017

How to Know If Your Sales Process Is Failing

Is your sales force will have a difficult time selling your products or services? Learn how to tell if your sales process is failing.

Rhys Metler


Your sales process is key to your business success. Your sales people need a sound, proven, effective sales process to follow in order to close deals left, right, and center. When your sales process is failing, your sales force will have a hard time prospecting new clients and closing deals. And this will significantly hurt your business growth and your profitability.

The first step to fixing a failing sales process is to identify it. If you don’t realize that your process is ineffective at helping you meet your sales targets, you won’t know what’s really holding you back and you’ll just keep wondering why your numbers are so low. You won’t understand how to help your sales team sell better.

Here’s how to tell if your process needs an overhaul.

20 Percent of Your Sales Team Is Making 80 Percent of the Revenue

Many organizations live by the 80/20 rule. They just accept it as a part of business in sales. They know only 20 percent of their sales teams are really bringing in the revenue, while the other 80 percent is just limping along. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to accept this rule as truth. You should be maximizing your entire sales force, and you can, with a great process. All of your sales people should be bringing in more or less the same amount of clients and sales if they’re selling the same products or services to the same types of clients. That’s what an effective sales process is all about after all. It’s repeatable. It has solid, proven steps that, when followed, will produce the same results time and time again—no matter who is making the sale. If only 20 percent of your team is bringing in revenue, it’s time to take a closer look at your sales process.

Your Team Doesn’t Use It

For a sales process to work, it needs to be used. You’ve put in X amount of dollars to implement it and train your sales force to use it, but you’re seeing that everyone is still doing their own thing. If this is the case, your sales process is probably too confusing and complex.

If your sales force needs tons of training manuals just to try to figure out how to use it, if your process is filled with jargon that no one understands, and if your sales people are constantly failing to use it properly no matter how hard they try to follow it, your sales process is problematic. It should be easy to grasp and use—by your entire team—if it’s going to bring you positive results. An overly complicated process isn’t helpful. 

You Have Inaccurate Forecasts

Sales forecasts can be incredibly helpful in business. But if your sales forecasts aren’t accurately reflecting what is really happening in your sales department, your process is failing. Your sales process should include very specific, measurable steps in the sales cycle.

Your forecasts shouldn’t be based on a gut feeling from a good meeting. They should be based on analytical metrics that come from steps being accomplished or not. When you have an effective sales process, your forecasts will be much more accurate as emotional feelings are removed from the equation and only quantifiable actions and activities are used to measure future outcomes.

Give Your Sales People What They Need to Sell Better

Because you spent so much effort and money implementing your sales process, it might be difficult for you to admit that it’s failing. It isn’t the magical tool that you thought it was. But once you admit it, you can start taking action and fixing the problems you’ve identified so you can stop losing out on potential sales. When your process is as effective and error free as possible, your sales people will have the tools they need to sell better.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ 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 daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.