Your sales aren’t working. You’re to blame

Your sales aren’t working. You’re to blame

Your sales engine isn’t working, and yes, you’re to blame.

You can have the best proposition, strategy, process, tools and people in the industry, but your sales won’t work if you’re not leading sales.

Without sales leadership, you might as well not bother. Give up now and save everyone the heartache.

What’s that, you say? You’re leading sales? Well, I doubt it. Very few leaders genuinely lead sales.

More often than not, sales are something that just happens to a business. Opportunities come inbound; they get closed and things roll on.

But what’s surprising is how a business can experience moderate success in a normal economy.

So if you’re after moderate, that’s cool. Read no further.

However, today’s economy isn’t normal. So, if you’re letting sales ‘happen’ to you, there’s a chance your business is on a downward trajectory. Or, at best, it’s flat.

So, where does it all go wrong?

First things first

Yes, we’re back to you. You’re the problem. You’re treating sales as a passive function and not driving it forward with the energy it needs.

Ask yourself, who is that pivotal figure in your organisation?

Who shoulders the responsibility of nurturing and driving the sales engine?

The answer holds the key to sustained success. Sales isn’t merely a department; it’s the lifeblood of your business. Without someone firmly grasping the reins, the engine sputters, and growth stalls.

What that person needs to do are simple tasks. Sales isn’t rocket science; it’s about consistency, momentum and scale. But above all, ownership and drive.

Yes, you need a clear offer that talks to a problem and a clear ladder to get the potential client to the solution they need. But the bit that is missing is the drive.

Be honest with yourself. Are you doing the following things:

  • Prioritising sales conversations
  • Dedicating time to sales every day
  • Going through every single opportunity once a week to determine the next best action
  • Being the person who knows where every deal is
  • Being motivated by that successive win
  • Ensuring every follow-up is done
  • Being open-minded about where most conversations could go
  • Spending the time with prospects to learn about them and how you could help (with no expectation)
  • Gauging the deal temperature and taking the right next action
  • Being the driving force for ambition in the business
  • Being the person who has unwavering focus and drive to move the pipeline forward
  • Going that extra mile to show you care about a prospect and the problem they have in front of them
  • Pushing the team to scale and achieve more
  • Making that long journey for a prospective coffee because you never know

Ownership isn’t a one-time acquisition; it’s a continual process of cultivation and reinforcement.

It’s about fostering a culture from a central sales leader where every team member feels empowered to take initiative, innovate, and drive results.

It’s about fostering an environment where failure isn’t stigmatised but viewed as a stepping stone toward growth.

The outsourcing trap.

Outsourcing sales might seem like a quick fix and a convenient delegation of responsibilities.

However, the truth remains that even if outsourcing for leads miraculously works, if there’s no ownership inside the business, the lead won’t go anywhere.

That said, if you don’t have ownership over the top of the funnel, you’re giving over the lifestream of your business to a bunch of people who don’t understand your business and are clock-watching based on the monthly fee you’re paying.

Or you may have fallen foul of a trixy sales pitch from a pay-by-results, fly-by-night chancers.

But let’s be honest. You need hard-to-find conversations with sophisticated buyers who are unlikely to fall for the hard sell, cold calling, battering ram tactics this bunch employs.

So, let’s be honest: most outsourced sales don’t care about your company or will ever feel the pipeline pressure.

Above all, none of this is scalable, predictable or sustainable.

The solution is a mindset shift.

Creating ownership isn’t merely a matter of assigning titles; it’s a cultural ethos that permeates every facet of the organisation. It’s about instilling a sense of purpose, accountability, and relentless pursuit of excellence.

When every individual within the organisation internalises this ethos, remarkable transformations unfold.

It’s about giving a shit and driving sales forward.

The journey toward ownership begins with a shift in leadership mindset, transcending the confines of job descriptions and embracing a broader sense of responsibility by recognising that the fate of the sales engine rests not on the shoulders of a select few but on the collective efforts of everyone. But realising that everyone needs you to be a sales leader.

Let’s wrap this up.

Yes, maybe I’m being dramatic in the way I’m highlighting what it takes to drive sales forward, scale your engine and grow your business. Have you met me? :)

But having spent 23 years building, running and scaling sales engines, I’ve met thousands of businesses, and they all have a sales problem in some shape or another.

However, what are the things that differentiate the ones that succeed? There is sales leadership.

In the past six months, I’ve seen many businesses break out of monotonous flat growth and increase revenue by as much as 45%. Many of which broke that elusive £1m revenue mark because of it.

How? Sales leadership.

It doesn’t have to be the Founder. But usually, it is until the business hits a particular scale.

(Which, for the record, is higher than you’d think.) I didn’t hand over sales leadership in my last agency until we were well over £10m in revenue.

And how did we hit that level? Sales leadership and a lot of hunger and drive.

Ownership lies at the heart of every thriving sales engine. It’s the driving force that propels businesses toward growth.

If you’re even slightly doubting your sales leadership, that means it’s not working. Read this article again and take the learnings from it. And if in doubt, give me a shout.

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