Why aren't sales scaling up?

Oct 12, 2021 10:56:19 PM | Why aren't sales scaling up?

Why are your sales not scaling? It’s a simple question with many answers. And the fact is that it’s difficult to say if it’s just one issue causing you a problem or a combination of multiple factors holding you back. Let's uncover them one by one...

It is beyond the scope of this article to be a crystal ball that can deduce the exact cause of your sales woes but we can do the next best thing; Give you the tools to identify why sales are being held back and how to fix them. 

Sales Audit 

To determine the cause of your scaling problems we must begin with a full sales audit. This will assess your sales process and identify any ailments that may be affecting them. 

Download your own sales audit right here. 

If you are not ready to start your sales audit just yet most problems can typically be traced back to one of three categories. 

  • Marketing
  • Sales team 
  • Sales process

We can examine each of these areas in more detail. 


Marketing Problems 

Typically marketing problems affecting the scalability of sales take the form of what is being passed from marketing to sales in the form of SALs or sales accepted leads. 

If marketing is judged solely on the number of leads they generate rather than the quality of leads then it is common for this problem to rear its head. 

To see if you are facing this problem simply audit and score all of the leads being passed to sales by marketing. You can follow our step-by-step guide on auditing your leads in this article. 

After your audit, all of your leads should have an A, B, or C grade. If you find yourself with too many B or C grade leads then you know you need to up the quality of what you are sending to sales. 

To do this, change the way you assess the performance of your marketing team by assigning a monetary value to each lead. 

For example: 

A grade = $100

B grade = $50

C grade = $25

Then, put marketing on a quote such as they must generate $2000 worth of leads per month. They could do this by delivering 20 A grade leads or 40 B grade leads. Either way, you incentivize marketing to deliver higher-quality leads to your sales team. 

Once you have your leads graded in this way you must also ask the question: Am I providing my sales team with sufficient leads for my sales to grow? Maybe they need more quality leads than are being provided. 


Sales Team Problems

The second area for common issues preventing your sales from scaling is your sales team itself, more specifically their performance. 

While it can be difficult to determine with only one sales representative, you need to ask the question: “Are there differences in the performance of my sales reps?”

If you find that one representative has a much better performance than the others, then you must ask why.

Of course, this may be down to one rep simply being better. If that is the case then examine why they are better. Is it their emails, the number of calls they make, the way they speak on the phone, etc? Whatever it is that makes them better, you must document it and teach it to the rest of your team. 

This might not be the case though. Here are some other reasons why one rep might outperform the others

  • Are they simply performing more activities? Such as making more calls?
  • Are they working at certain times of the day like making calls from 8 am to 9 am? 
  • Do they receive a different types of leads compared to the other representatives? 
  • Are they working in a different geographical location?

All of these criteria can play a role in the performance of one rep over another. 

Don’t simply assume that one representative is better than the other. Dig deeper into the data to find other variables that could impact the situation. 

If you do not already have one in place it is strongly recommended that you have a dashboard monitoring and comparing the performance of your sales team at all times. 


Sales Process Problems

The third and most common area for issues holding back your sales performance is the sales processes themselves. 

There are almost too many potential traps that can hold you back when it comes to the sales process or operations for us to cover in one article. 

Each of them will be uncovered with a full sales audit but for the scope of this article, we will cover the most common issues that you can investigate.

  • Are deals getting stuck in a specific stage? 
    Investigate why they are getting stuck here

  • Are you putting non-qualified deals into your pipeline? 
    A booked demo does not need to be in a pipeline (they might not even show up). A large percentage will not be qualified and go to closed or lost which will skew your metrics such as close rate.

  • Do you have a clear definition for what each stage of your pipeline is and is not?
    Every deal in your pipeline should meet the requirements of your definition for each stage. If you do not have standard definitions that all deals must conform to, then you cannot analyse your pipeline.

  • Do you have a clear definition of qualified?
    Does everyone know what qualified means? A very common problem is different people have different definitions of what is qualified. As a result, you get a lot of deals that move forward as qualified when they are not. 

  • Are you tracking planned closed dates?
    It's not uncommon for companies to have full pipelines but not track when the deals are predicted to close. You should run a filter on your pipeline each month and look at what is predicted to close - what is the potential revenue with this filter applied? How many did you actually close? You might be surprised at how your pipeline shrinks.

  • Are you tracking use cases?
    By measuring the use case or pain of each deal you can run analytics on which pain points close most frequently and in what timeframe.

  • Do you monitor sales cycles?
    Despite wanting quicker sales many companies do not track how long their sales cycle actually takes. Once you are tracking the sales cycle you can measure the additional variables such as use case, persona type and marketing source which can extend or shrink the time to close.  

  • Are you tracking closed lost reasons?
    By tracking the reasons you lost deals you can take the feedback and use this to improve. Perhaps the leads were simply a bad fit or they stopped responding. Whatever the reason, you are now armed to do something about it.

  • Unshackle your sales
    With this information, you are now armed to investigate and solve the key reasons holding back your sales. Work through them in a methodical manner and see your sales results begin to grow. 

Written By: Dan Wheatley