Sales Transformation Pitfalls


To be able to enhance sales performance substantially and sustainably, serious and critical issues should be addressed, sales conundrums and dilemmas should be analysed, current prevalent perceptions should be challenged, daily working habits and current sales culture should be altered. Whilst dealing with sales quotas and tackling with daily demanding operational issues delving into this kind of sales turnaround projects can be compared to fixing a plane during the flight.


Most of the time intervention to solely one specific area fails to generate desired results when sales is concerned. Many endogenous factors such as sales process, sales culture, customer expectations, managerial styles have become so monolithic that solutions which are not based on one coherent integral model comprised of a sequential logic from strategy to tactics, general to specific and prerequisite are dealt before the others may not yield the results expected.


Below, we tried to summarize sales transformation pitfalls and obstacles we encountered during several long term sales turnaround projects:


  • Absence of commitment and decisiveness from company owners and directors on dealing with change and its possible repercussions
  • Jumping to execution without defining the final conclusive situation to be reached
  • Rushing over the projects and ignoring the reality that sales turnaround takes time
  • Trying to execute the plan without making the steps easily actionable
  • Avoiding a change in the current sales team
  • Multi-tasking or jumping to next actions without properly finishing one
  • Not preparing the base, not finishing the prerequisites first
  • Project management without time and resource planning
  • Not investing time for project management
  • Cracking under the resistance and objections of sales team to change
  • Trying to reach a consensus with everyone for every item on the list
  • Ignoring overt and covert worries of sales team about change
  • Under developed CRM to match the change in sales operation
  • Fear of sales revenue decrease, loss of sales people and customers
  • Overarching deadline for the whole project or even absence of it
  • Not measuring the progress and delays
  • Loss of momentum caused by emergencies, disruptions
  • High turn-over of sales team members
  • Unaligned sales strategy with corporate strategy, sales actions with sales strategy
  • Discrepancies and unbridgeable weaknesses between the plan and execution
  • Not promoting and rewarding for keeping up with change or vice versa
  • Waiting till last minute where you all lose competitiveness to jump start your sales turnaround project


Among all these factors and reasons, absence of commitment and decisiveness from company owners and directors on dealing with change and its possible repercussions prevails. After going through reasons and factors against a successful sales turnaround project one should not be surprised there are very few companies dare to take this rigorous one-way path and even fewer to see the end of the road.