The 4 Signs of Complacent Behavior in a Sales Team
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The 4 Signs of Complacent Behavior in a Sales Team

- Venkataraman Subramanyan

Customer decision-making has started to slow down, and salespeople are working very hard to meet their quotas but often falling short. 

I’ve been speaking to several sales leaders recently and there is a deeper problem.

They share that their sales teams are not feeling the hunger for value maximization for customers nor the pain of not meeting their own sales quotas. 

They are competent, but risk being complacent. 

Today, I will share 4 indicators to spot if your sales team is being complacent or is moving towards that direction of behavior. 

Think of these as yellow lights at a traffic signal.

Let’s get started.

1.Churning the Same Data Over and Over

Observe your sales review.

Are you churning the same data?

If the data you are discussing is the same set of opportunities as the week before, and the week before that, it might be time to ask: why?

This will often be accompanied by confused faces and excuses.

It’s because they are not creating new opportunities OR accelerating existing pipelines. 

You may hear about specific activities, but there is no talk of progress or outcomes from the customer’s side. 

2.Relying Heavily on Inbound Opportunities

Take a look at the source of opportunities.

Does the largest portion originate from incoming requests and particular inquiries made by current customers?

While this isn’t inherently bad, you must also look if your sales team is being proactive with outbound prospecting. 

When the flow from existing clients suddenly stops or isn’t sufficient to hit your quota, it leads to an urgent scramble.

It is always better to take charge proactively to build a net new pipeline rather than to merely react to extenuating circumstances.

3.Smaller Deals vs. Larger, Transformational Deals

Review the quality of proposals your team is submitting. 

Are you seeing more transactional proposals rather than transformation proposals?

Are you seeing smaller deals in the pipeline, rather than larger, transformational multi-horizon deals?

If yes, this is a clear sign they are being complacent.

Every deal gives you the opportunity to transact or transform. 

4.Engaging with Mid-tier Contacts More Than Top Executives

Is your sales team interacting with mid-tier contacts instead of top-level executives?

Maybe, it is with the CxO – 2 or CxO – 1 level, but not necessarily with the decision-makers. 

Although relationships at all levels are vital, engaging with decision-makers should always be a priority.

As I have always said… “One CXO meeting everyday until infinity for everybody in the sales team”

In your next review, sit with them and understand who they are meeting and if the client is proposing any concrete next steps. 

Acknowledging the problem is the first step in solving it. 

If you’re finding the signs, please move fast and fix it immediately.

In my experience, complacency, when left unaddressed, can erode an organization’s performance over time. 

We owe it to ourselves, our teams and our clients to stay proactive, engaged, and ambitious.

Next Step 

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Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Tripura Multinational is a dynamic sales organization dedicated to empowering sales professionals and organizations to achieve unparalleled success. Originally established as a platform to address skill gaps in the sales industry, Tripura has evolved into a multi-faceted entity that offers comprehensive engagements for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders. Through the transformative power of Sales Coaching, Tripura enables sales organizations to elevate their performance from good to great and ultimately reach a world-class level. Our approach focuses on optimizing sales skills, management expertise, and leadership capabilities, helping clients plan more effectively, qualify leads better, orchestrate sales processes seamlessly, and expand their business with confidence. 

Our organisation is the trusted choice of market leaders across various industries and segments, relying on our expertise to elevate their performance to new heights. Recognized for our ability to enhance excellence, we are entrusted with the task of making the client’s best even better.

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