There are a lot of challenges in sales but there is one that trumps them all. That challenge is building enough quality pipeline. The problem is leaders know it but they don’t know how to solve it. They often think it’s a people challenge so they hire more people but the numbers don’t improve. This makes for an interesting dilemma among leaders and one that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
Sales Leaders Running in Circles to Build Pipeline
“With so much hype around data and AI, you would expect that we would all be the most productive sales reps on the planet. Guess what? It is not. We’re on five years of continual decline. We’re actually at one of the least productive phases in recent history. Quota attainment has dropped from 63% reps hitting attainment, hitting their quota down to 53% in 2016– this is CSO Insights data,” said Dave Elkington.
He adds that the sudden decline in quota attainment comes due to a never-ending request for growth from stakeholders, which sales leaders are trying to comply with by simply adding headcount and capacity.
The Sales Capacity Conundrum
After adding headcount, sales departments are compelled to split territories and invest even more in training to ramp up their new sales reps. This leads to even more spending, as new hires are showing low productivity.
“You see a decrease in productivity during that phase, but that’s okay. It’s cool because we’re going to have these reps ramp up and ‘Man, I’m going to blow my number out.’ That is not what happens. Let me tell you what happens.”
“The other side of that chart from CSO Insights shows that 47% of reps are missing quota. So if you’re a sales rep and you just missed your quota, what does that really mean? That means you didn’t make the money you thought you were going to make, and if you didn’t make the money you thought you’d make, you go get another job,” added Dave.
Companies now lose reps and need to start all over again with replacing them. Because of this never-ending cycle, businesses are stuck with sales teams which are not productive and inefficient.
Scalable, Sustainable Growth With Artificial Intelligence
The solution needs to be scalable growth, and the only way to do this is to work with intelligent sales software systems that help reps sell more faster and build more qualified pipeline.
Listen to the entire podcast to learn how Artificial Intelligence can help sales leaders solve the headcount dilemma.
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- What data and research prove is the biggest challenge in sales
- What role AI has in solving sales challenges
- What is an AI system of growth
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