Are you wondering why your sales engine isn’t working?

Are you wondering why your sales engine isn’t working?

So your sales engine isn't working? Quelle surprise.

They're hard things to build properly and even harder to maintain. This is often why business leaders opt to outsource the problem, which seems attractive.

But outsourcing the problem isn't just a physical thing. Too many business leaders mentally outsource sales.

They're just not into it and most certainly not across it.

And I get it. Friday Solved is my third time around the Founder merry-go-round. Leading a business is really hard, too. You're constantly being pulled in so many directions.

However, business leaders who physically or mentally outsource sales are the ones in the most trouble, especially if they've mentally outsourced sales because there soon comes the blame game.

No matter how good your engine is, it will fail if the senior leadership team:

  • Don’t take sales seriously
  • Don’t get involved in the trenches with their team
  • Don’t support their team
  • Don’t add their expertise and experience into the mix

Once the first domino topples, the struggle begins. Your business will struggle to hold it together and achieve the desired sales outcomes, not due to lack of effort, but because of fundamental issues that will appear within your sales engine through poor sales leadership.

So, what do those other dominos look like as they topple?

Broken sales culture

The first thing to creak and crack is your sales culture.

Culture plays a pivotal role in the success of any sales team. Sales is a confidence game powered by momentum, drive and leadership.

As soon as leadership fails, so does the culture. And a toxic or non-supportive sales culture will rapidly demotivate your team and derail your engine.

Sales culture should be built on positive values such as teamwork, integrity, and collaboration.

You need to assess and realign the sales culture, ensuring it supports both the well-being of your team members and the overall business objectives.

This means being involved. Giving a shit. Taking interest and being part of the solution.

Being too salesy

Being overly aggressive and "salesy" will alienate your prospects in a consultative environment.

Today's customers are looking for solutions to their problems, not just another sales pitch. So when the engine wobbles and leadership isn't focused, old habits creep in. This means that the shift to focusing on the bottom line rather than solving real problems and offering value hurts the business.

Ultimately, you’re trying to achieve buyability – and you can’t do that when you’re being overly salesy. No one wants to buy from that sleazy guy who’s too pushy, so why do it? You need to prove that you’re offering value, solving problems, and being genuine. That’s how you build lasting relationships.

Focusing on quick deals

As leadership's focus dwindles and the fast-selling pinch point creeps back in, the team creaks into being overly salesy. And of course blame raises its head. This drives the wrong pressure inside your sales engine, and the focus ends up on the wrong deals — specifically, fast selling.

While quick wins should always be a focus, they must be right. But with a lack of leadership and a sales engine starting to wobble, sales teams often focus on lazy, fast selling.

Fast selling can jeopardise long-term business relationships and sustainable growth. Complex and consultative deals require building deep relationships and understanding client needs over time, and fast selling a solution, unless it's a well-crafted gateway, can lead to a team selling in a distressed project to hit their number rather than offering what the client needs.

The undue pressure from lack of leadership is where the fault begins. But the crack spreads quickly.

Not optimising your sales engine effectively

As these dominos in your sales engine start to topple, the whole engine creaks, and the next step is the impact optimisation has on your engine.

Sales is not a one-and-done thing. You don't just opt in and out when you need sales. It's an always-on organism that needs a lot of care and attention – but, importantly, optimisation.

It's through optimisation you get better and better results. Whether it's a top-of-funnel campaign, the way you're optimising your gateway products, or the process of nurturing prospects. It's a process of continual evolution and optimisation.

But as the engine creaks through poor leadership and old sales behaviours creep in, the chance of any constructive optimisation goes out the window.

Not scaling your sales engine effectively

At this stage of a fast-failing sales engine, the last thing you're going to try and do is scale further.

You're not likely to be adding more profiles to your LinkedIn outreach, and I very much doubt anyone in leadership is going to invest further in your email engine. This puts a stranglehold on your top of the funnel.

As the sales engine stops working, the business is less likely to invest in the right people and new talent to help you scale, which puts a choke point on your existing team. More pressure builds, and we hit a vicious cycle back around being too salesy, focusing on fast deals and, therefore, even less optimisation.

Right now, you're in freefall, and all that effort, energy and investment is going to waste.

All is not lost

Let's get some perspective.

This situation can be salvaged. But the change needs to come from your leadership.

A successful sales engine starts and ends with solid leadership; the most common failure point is mentally outsourcing sales.

When this happens, the entire process stalls.

Leaders must set clear goals and expectations, inspire and motivate their team, and be involved in the shared success your sales engine can deliver.

Without this drive and direction, sales teams can lack the motivation and clarity to engage prospects and close deals.

If you're a leader, please make your sales engine a priority. Your business and your team need your expertise and energy.

Let's all get on the journey and solve sales.

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