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70% of sales professionals are regularly missing targets

21st Nov 2014
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A third of sales teams are effectively dead weight, if new research from Artesian is anything to go by.

Surveying business leaders from around the UK, the social selling specialists found the majority of respondents reporting that three-quarters of their sales force did not hit targets on a regular basis, classing 30% of their sales team as “weak or struggling”.

However, the survey also highlighted the paradox that currently exists in most sales roles - revealing that whilst 97% of sales leaders think technology makes it easier to identify, connect with or get noticed by customers, 80% also think that the volume of communication that a customer receives from brands makes it harder for sales people to be noticed.

David Meerman Scott, an author and expert on sales and marketing, recently spoke about the need for sales teams to evolve beyond traditional practices, and follow the marketing professional’s lead of becoming more data-led by design, using social media and marketing automation to target potential customers more effectively.

And it was these factors that Artesian’s research stated was often the cause of many sales failings, with 42% of respondents stating that the availability of information delivered by sources such as Google, customer websites and social media had made selling easier.       

Andrew Yates, Artesian’s CEO, suggests that most sales professionals are yet to move beyond often outdated models for targeting:  

“Sales organisations have not progressed in decades,” he stated.  

“Especially when we consider the advances in technology and access to information now available – if the majority of the sales team is not performing to a high level we have to urgently ask ourselves why. Why are we not focused on building vital traditional sales skills and developing behaviours that we know result in sales success?”

A recent CSO Insights Sales Management Optimization Study found that the average win rate of sales rep forecast deals is at 45.9%, a figure that continues to decline over time.

CSO Insights’ managing partner, Barry Trailer believes organisations need to focus more on the ‘how’ of selling and more effective sales coaching schemes, in order to retain and train sales teams to make better use of the data insights at their disposal.  

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