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Three Real Life Examples of Why a Sales Team Isn’t Selling

As a chief marketing officer, you are constantly looking for ways to increase your company’s sales and improve the bottom line. In order to do this, you and your sales team must not only continue to do tried and true methods of increasing revenue but also look at any mistakes the team has made and correct them.

One of the best ways to do this is to read case studies of what other companies did that led to a drop in sales and then assess any similar issues your own company has and make the necessary adjustments. With that in mind, check out the following real-life examples of “sales fails”:

Netflix – Making Changes Without Customer Feedback

In the summer of 2011, Netflix announced that it would split its services into two options: DVD rental by mail and live-streaming movies. The company was also going to increase their prices. It didn’t take long for Netflix to lose almost a quarter of their subscribers. When questioned, a top executive at the company said he thought the new plan had been run past focus groups but was not entirely sure. After realizing they were in big trouble, Netflix started paying attention to what their once-loyal customers really loved about the company and with this feedback they focused on giving consumers what they wanted. They also used customer feedback and viewing habits to offer a new series, “House of Cards.” The lesson? Communicating with customers and asking the tough questions to get down to the truth are key to the continued success of a company. One efficient way to collect important customer feedback is to use a tool like Infor CRM, which allows you to import your clients’ feedback about what you are doing right and what needs improvement. Using the tutorial titled “Creating and Using Contact Processes,” CFOs can learn how to automate common follow-up activities, which will allow sales team to more easily communicate with customers.

Sears – Being Slow to Shift to the Digital Marketplace

Sears has seen a consistent decline in foot traffic to their brick and mortar stores due in large part to consumers looking for e-commerce options. While most of their competitors have managed to adapt to shoppers’ wishes for online retail with snazzy and intuitive websites, Sears has launched only limited digital options, which are not attracting a huge number of customers. Interestingly, although Sears has closed some of its physical locations in an effort to focus on its online presence, they may not be doing enough. For example, their mobile shopping app has an average rating of 1.5 stars; shoppers are not happy with the speed of the app and an inability to access their loyalty accounts. By recognizing and accepting early on that consumers love to shop online and providing them with digital tools that are easy to use, companies like Sears may have avoided big drops in revenues.

Huggies – Never Insult Your Customer

A few years back, diaper giant Huggies created an ad campaign called “Have Dad Put Huggies to the Test.” In the commercials, dads were shown as so busy watching TV that they never changed their child’s diapers. The message of the commercials was basically saying that Huggies are so tough, they can withstand ineffective parenting until mom comes home to save the day. As the company soon found out, making their target demographic angry was not a great way to boost sales. If you notice a drop in revenue, take a close look at all of your advertising and messages and see if you might be inadvertently upsetting customers; if so, adjust the ads immediately and accordingly.

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.

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