Sales teams missing target happens far too often. You are not alone if missed targets are high on your list of worries.

In a 2017 Selling Power Survey of 400 sales teams, in 20% of teams, 75% of salespeople are missing target. Even in high-performing teams, 25% of them miss the target.

In most operational areas, that level of poor performance wouldn’t be tolerated. Imagine production failing to meet 25% of quality thresholds, or logistics missing 75% of delivery time slots. Finance teams would be fired for admitting to these levels of inaccuracies. So why does management put up with these consistent issues with sales teams?

Missed Targets

In our decades of sales performance and first-hand sales experience, there can only be two reasons targets are missed so often:

  1. The targets are wrong, or widely unrealistic.

  2. The targets are correct, but the sales team or individuals in the team are underperforming.

We’ve identified a list of common reasons why targets are set wrong. Coming soon: “Mythical sale targets: 10 reasons why they happen.”

If, however, these targets are right then the issue lies in one of these three areas:

  • Activities: Are your salespeople active enough? How many calls and meetings do they take every day/week or month? How much time does admin and other tasks take out of sales activities? What is the optimum number of customer contacts?


    Increasing the number of sales calls and meetings is the quickest way to improve sales performance. We can show how a 25% increase in sales activity will improve performance within twelve weeks.

  • Concentration of focus: Do you know if your team are talking to the right prospects and accounts? Are they only going for an easy chat and biscuits, or are they working on a deal that is worth the effort?


    Focus the team on the right people in the right customers and ensure they talk about the right things. Getting the focus right can radically improve conversion-ratios, cost of sale and relationship strength. Analysing the data and acting on the analysis can be transformational.

  • Effectiveness: If you’ve found that your team are hitting their activity targets and meeting with the right people, then the issue is probably their effectiveness.


    Lift effectiveness through robust diagnosis of existing knowledge & skills, innovative development and tuning/reinforcement and (where appropriate) formulating new tools and ways of working.

As a sales leader, you need a clear picture of the TASK (talent, attitude, skills knowledge) of the sales team whilst having clear metrics for each stage of the sales process. We can implement a TASK diagnosis and, then put in place a plan for improving the performance of your team using our tried and tested methodology, processes and systems.

Want to find out what support your team needs? Try out our ACE Diagnostic test today:

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