Why Aren’t Your Sales Reps Closing the Deal?

If your sales team seems to be consistently making it to the point where they should be closing a deal and it falls through close to the end, it can be incredibly frustrating.

If you’re seeing an issue where salespeople aren’t closing, there are two possible reasons in the general sense.

The first is that it’s the sales rep who is a problem. The second reason could be a problem within the sales process itself.

So, it’s incredibly important to make sure you have the right tools in place to start identifying where the problems lie, and to compare on a smaller level where they’re happening.

To start pinpointing specific problems, whether with sales reps themselves or the sales process, you want to look at the stages of your sales process. Assess all of the stages that are part of your process, and do a stage conversion rate analysis. If your current sales analytic platform doesn’t allow you to see this type of information, it could be time to make a switch.

As you’re doing this, look at not only the overall stage conversion rates but also compare them between your top-performing reps and everyone else. This can help you identify what the best reps are doing differently, which may help you when it comes to eliminating bottlenecks and coaching reps.

The following are some reasons sales reps don’t close the deal and some things to consider if you’re grappling with this in your business.


If you do analytic research and you see that some individual reps are struggling but others do well, it can indicate the problem lies not with the process, but instead with some of the reps. So why aren’t they closing?

One of the biggest reason members of a sales team can’t close deals at the individual level is often because of complacency.

A good salesperson is someone who has intrinsic motivation and takes a sense of personal responsibility. If you have members of your sales team who aren’t closing and it’s because of complacency, this may not be something you can coach away, so tough decisions might have to be made.

A Lack of Organization

Another big reason members of your sales team might not be closing could be because of a lack of organization. This can be a process problem or an individual problem, and it’s up to you to ultimately make that determination.

If it’s a process issue, there might not be a clear progression of steps from start to finish that allow reps to understand how they need to most effectively move toward a close. For example, what is the follow-up process like? Is it well-defined and honed or is it sloppy?

Are Reps Doing Their Homework?

According to data cited on Inc.com, for buyers to go ahead with a deal, they want sales reps to have done their homework.

One study, in particular, indicated 77 percent of buyers want their reps to integrate highly customized data and insights into interactions. The same overwhelming percentage said they wouldn’t be interested in working with a sales rep who didn’t know their business or who didn’t come prepared.

Are you reinforcing the importance of doing the necessary research leading up to interactions? How do you encourage reps to gain this information, and what tools are you offering as a way to make it easier and more efficient for reps to get the information they need to close deals?

Learning more about the buyer and the business can help reduce some of the other reasons sales reps aren’t closing as well. For example, it helps them better outline a specific business case as to why the buyer needs the product. It helps sales reps personalize and tailor their approach.

Lack of Identified Shared Connections

Taking the time to do the necessary homework can also help reps find common ground with their target, and an inability to find that common ground is one more reason it’s tough for sales reps to close deals.

There are different ways to identify common ground. For example, shared connections are a good one, as are shared groups or interests.

 Do Reps Come Off As True Experts?

At the end of the day, one of the key factors that play a role in whether or not a sales rep can close the deal is how much they can show themselves to be a true expert not only on what they’re selling but the industry as a whole.

Are your reps being coached in a way that allows them to be true experts and even thought leaders in your industry? If not, this might not be a personal problem of the rep, but it could indicate a larger problem in terms of your businesses’ coaching and strategy approach.

Susan is a writer, editor, business consultant and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources.