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5 Reasons Why Sales People Aren’t Doing What You Ask

Salespeople as well as all employees actually prefer to follow instructions and perform up to your expectations, so why does it seem they the aren’t doing what you ask? Here are five reasons that make it hard for others to follow that any leader can change easily. 

1. Sales people aren’t doing what you ask because they don’t understand the importance.

Sales people aren’t doing what you ask because they don’t understand the importance of what you are asking them to do. You may find yourself reflecting, “Why aren’t they listening to me? They’re not respecting me. They always do this. They do what they want, not what I want.” Usually you will find the answer to be that they haven’t understood the importance of what you are saying or asking.

Now it is time to communicate your ideas better than in the past. But what could be another reason? Why don’t they think that what you ask of them is important?

2. Sales people have been allowed to get away with not doing what you ask.

Maybe your sales team has been able to get away with not doing what you ask for a long time. Or they have been allowed to be inconsistent in delivering your expectations or inconsistent in performing the expectations you have set out.

3. Your request is out of balance with their other duties.

Sometimes we ask things of our sales team that pull them away from other duties and it doesn’t allow them to be successful in the area they know that is most important. For instance, managing customers, increasing an account or bringing in more revenue. Additionally, they may need to spend time on customer service. But we’re asking them to do other things that are important to us and they’re not seeing the benefit to them.

As an example, I had one owner that would ask sales people to do research for new products. But they were paid on selling product. This worked against their sales goals. Ultimately it helped them, but it was out of balance.

4. Your request is a bad idea

Sales people won’t want to follow through on bad ideas. I’ve asked sales people to do things and when they’re not doing them, I’m asking, “Why aren’t you guys doing this?” And they tell me, “Rene, it’s not a good idea.” They explain why and help me understand. Then we can work towards a better idea that they will implement.

5. Sales people aren’t doing what you ask because they don’t understand the request

You understand what you want and I understand what I want. But, we don’t always communicate our expectations in a way that the sales team fully understands what it is we are asking.

Take your time with your communications and clarify your expectations. People do want to support you as long as we give them the reasons why and clearly explain what they need to do.

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Rene is the President of Sales Manager Now, a company that provides fractional sales management services to small and family-run businesses. He has twenty-seven years of experience in sales leadership, coaching, and consulting. He is also the author of the Part-Time Sales Management handbook and is based in Auburn, California.

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