Tony Watson, Certified Sales Leader
As an Outsourced VP of Sales, I help businesses achieve breakthrough Sales Growth, Accountability, and Execution.

Want to kill sales opportunities? Want to make it impossible for your sales team to achieve individual, team, and company sales goals? Want to fall behind your competitors and put your company on a “death watch?” Of course not. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’d prefer to create sales opportunities. You’d rather help your sales team meet quotas that align with bigger-picture sales goals. And you’d like to help your organization outpace the competition.
And yet far too many sales managers and executives make the same costly selling mistakes over and over. Which mistakes am I talking about? At Sales Xceleration, we’ve found – based on more than 900 completed Sales Agility Assessments – that these 5 sales mistakes are among the most dangerous for sales success:

Mistake #1: No Goal Alignment

Nearly 2 in 3 Sales Agility Assessment respondents (65%) indicated they don’t align the sales rep’s quota to overall company goals. This can create confusion when prioritizing sales efforts. It also makes it difficult for the sales rep to see how their efforts contribute to overall company success.

Fixing the Mistake:

DON’T present individual and team quotas in a vacuum. DON’T assume your sales reps have a clear understanding of the big-picture company growth and revenue goals. If you don’t pay them to be concerned with your company’s objectives, they won’t care to the degree you would like.

DO establish SMART individual sales goals (i.e., goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). And DO draw and communicate clear connections to bigger goals at the team and company levels.

Mistake #2: Ignorance of Competitors and Differentiators

A full 75% of Sales Agility Assessment respondents indicated they don’t know their competition well enough to differentiate themselves effectively. This makes it hard to sell if you don’t understand what you’re up against!

Fixing the Mistake:

DON’T assume your sales reps are equipped to differentiate your company’s solutions from your competitor’s. DON’T expect them to represent your company well if they don’t know what sets you apart.

DO provide communications, tools and training necessary for your sales reps to make a clear and compelling case why customers should buy from you. Make sure they know and fully articulate your value proposition. After all, if your reps don’t know why your solution is best, your customers won’t either.

Mistake #3: Inadvertently Setting Up Turf Wars

Nearly 2 in 3 Sales Agility Assessment respondents (65%) indicated they don’t have separate and distinct sales territories to ensure the maximization of revenue and elimination of customer conflict. Lack of clear territories can create chaos within your sales team culture. What’s more, it can tarnish not only your team’s chances for success but also can tarnish your company’s reputation in your marketplace.

Fixing the Mistake:

DON’T assume boundaries are understood. DON’T assume customer targeting criteria are clear from one sales rep to the next. And DON’T underestimate the cost to your organization (in redundant effort and reputational risk) when multiple reps pursue the same customer or niche market.

DO establish clear territories – geographic or by customer type – that eliminate overlap. DO establish sales strategies and processes that maximize ROI on each rep’s targeted efforts.

Mistake #4: Lack of Commitment to Initial and Ongoing Training

Nearly 3 in 4 Sales Agility Assessment respondents (74%) indicated they don’t provide initial or ongoing training to ensure their sales reps have the knowledge they need to do their jobs well. If your company is among that proactive 26% that does provide such training, you’ve got an edge on the competition. If not, you’ve got an opportunity to improve and gain market share.

Fixing the Mistake:

DON’T undervalue the importance of frequent sales training that equips sales team members to succeed. DON’T assume your entire sales team needs the exact same training.

DO make sales training a priority, not just when onboarding a new sales team member, but throughout their career in your organization. This will enable continuous performance improvement and empower sales reps to consistently deliver excellent results. DO customize your training to fit the individual needs of each sales team member.

Mistake #5: Inadequate and Ineffective Preparation

On a related note, more than 6 in 10 Sales Agility Assessment respondents (63%) indicated they don’t know if the sales training they DO provide effectively and properly prepares their sales reps for success. Even more important is a well-trained sales leader. Too often we see successful sales reps get promoted to manager, but they don’t receive any leadership training to support their new role.

Fixing the Mistake:

DON’T underestimate the importance of effective sales training to the success of your sales team.

DO make sure your training programs cover essential components to equip sales reps to act with confidence and competence every day and with every customer. And DO make sales training measurement a priority. Also, DO understand that creating effective training to optimize sales performance is important at every level of the sales organization.

The Bottom Line:

The best sales strategies require a solid sales infrastructure. They also require aligning sales quotas with company objectives, understanding your competitors, and providing effective and ongoing training. In fact, we’ve found companies that do this have a greater than 300 times better chance of achieving their sales goals!

But if your company is among the 63 to 75% who continue to sabotage sales goals by making these deadly sales management mistakes, we can help.

Comment your experience with Sales Goal Sabotage, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

For help driving sales, contact me below or send a DM:

Tony Watson, CSL | PRESIDENT | 716-508-0046 |
Serving All of Western New York

Phil B.
Senior Account Manager

“Taught by one of the best sales leaders I have been around, I utilized what I learned and applied the techniques directly to my organization.

I would recommend this program program to anyone who is looking to make an impact in sales within their organization.”

Aaron W.
HVAC Sales Manager

“As someone who has attended multiple trainings in my career, I can say that this program is essential for any business that does not have a sales strategy in place and wants to grow.

It is great reinforcement for sales managers and by working with other local leaders you are reminded that you are not alone and others are fighting the same fight you are.

I highly recommend this program.”

Sales Manager

“I personally experienced Tony’s systematic sales planning and revenue enhancement training as part of a year long Sales Leadership Exchange program. This expansive program taught me how to effectively train and develop sales staff to peak performance levels. I am confident that this method of training has significantly benefited my Team’s performance.

From effectively analyzing team needs to conducting engaging coaching sessions, Tony prepared me to excel in my role…”

Liz B.
Sales Manager

“Tony is a skilled Vice President of Sales. He has vast knowledge, based on 25+ years of experience, on all topics related to effective sales management. Tony is direct and insightful, generous with his time and talent. Tony is very professional and currently serves as a facilitator of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s

Sales Leader Exchange Program. Tony’s invaluable knowledge regarding process, procedures, strategy planning, measurement, leadership and accountability…”

Marcelo A.
VP of Sales Tarbell Management

“We engaged Tony’s consulting services at the end of 2019. When we started the 2020 year, we had to put our projects on pause due to the Covid pandemic. Tony was easy to work with and very flexible. He was professional and always delivered on his commitments on time. Tony helped us to structure our sales team, create a sales process from scratch, develop and implement a CRM system, introduce a performance based compensation plan for our sales force, and conducted sales training for our field sales representatives and regional sales managers…”

Connie W.

“Tony will give ANY sales team the kick they need to jump start or reinvigorate their sales efforts. He has been such a gift to numerous companies – building effective sales team and creating focused, strategic sales plans that have resulted in $100’s of millions in annual revenues. Tony is a pleasure to work with, inspires leaders and teams where ever he works, and he somehow is able to see through a myriad of complications and personalities to establish order and a focused game plan. I could not recommend him more highly.”

Kyle S.
President/CEO at STI-CO Industries, Inc.

“We worked with Tony to establish a sales process and reporting matrix. Tony has extensive experience in sales and helping companies build a more efficient, results oriented business development team. He has a creative approach that was easy to implement. Understanding that buy-in from the team is critical, he spent time with each individual to customize a sales system that was unique to STI-CO. He helped us with job descriptions, commission structure and execution strategy…”

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