Why Sales People Fail (When the Company is to Blame)

Yesterday, I talked about why sales people fail themselves. Today, I’m breaking down why sales people fail because of the company.

Yes! Sales people fail because their company fails them. It happens all the time. The only difference between when sales people fail themselves vs when sales people fail because of their company — the company rarely gets blamed. But it happens and it’s a crying shame.

Sales people are only part of a two part system to drive sales. Sales people are the tip of the spear, they are the executors and if they aren’t doing the right things, nothing is getting done. With that said, the company has a job too, and if they aren’t doing their job, it doesn’t matter how good sales is, ain’t nothing gonna happen.

Sales people fail because they company fails them and when the company fails them the isn’t doing some or all of these things;

  1. They don’t provide a  good competitive product
  2. They aren’t providing solid sales support (enablement)
  3. They don’t have a solid on boarding process
  4. They’ve created a shitty sales culture
  5. They have unrealistic quotas
  6. They don’t provide adequate training
  7. The have horrible hiring practices
  8. They don’t have a sales culture through out the entire company
  9. They lack sales leadership
  10. They don’t listen to the sales people
  11. The business model no longer fits the market
  12. Shitty territory development
  13. No lead development
  14. Weak sales messaging
  15. Lack of market understanding
  16. Slow product upgrades, improvements
  17. High prices (yes your product can be too expensive)
  18. Shitty marketing department
  19. They micro manage
  20. No room for failure (miss quota two times and your gone)
  21. Too much room for failure (never make quota, and still have a job)
  22. Bad talent management
  23. No coaching
  24. Can’t create a fun place to work
  25. Poor communication
  26. It’s political and bureaucratic
  27. They have a “sales prevention” department
  28. Over zealous legal
  29. Unrealistic expectations
  30. Can’t deliver product, they can’t implement
  31. Shitty customer service
  32. Poor customer retention
  33. Not enough tools (salesforce automation, CRM’s, etc.)
  34. Don’t embrace social media
  35. Don’t recognize it’s 2014 NOT 1990
  36. Still giving out steak knives for second place

This is one long ass list of ways sales people fail, because of their company. It’s too easy to blame the sales person or the sales team for falling revenue, for poor sales results, but before we do, we need to take a good long look at the company. Is it providing the sales team with what it needs to crush it? Often times, the answer is no.

Corporate humility is a new phrase I want to start. If the Supreme Court says companies are “people” then it’s time companies have some humility and recognize they can  be the reason sales people fail and fix it. It’s time companies become accountable for sales success and failure as much as the sales individuals.

How does your company stack up?

If you want a bad ass sales organization, hire bad ass sales people AND then give them everything they need to be successful, which starts with avoiding EVERYTHING on this list.

Yes, companies CAN be the reason sales people fail.

Are there any reasons I forgot?