Overcoming the Sales Plateau

Your Guide to Making Your Sales Engine Work for 2024

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Albert Einstein

This article covers the following and you can jump straight to the section you want:

What is a Sales Plateau? (aka ‘why are sales not working anymore?’)

A sales plateau is when your sales stop growing. Most businesses hit a sales plateau at some point, no matter how successful they are. Once the easier sales are converted (that’s those customers already in acute pain from the problem you solve) complacency can set in. But you need to continually retain them and find new customers – customers operating on a different level to those first ones, which gets increasingly harder, and this is when you can hit the sales plateau.

The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.

Peter Drucker

RevenueGen help you do both.
On repeat.

And hitting the sales plateau happens for multiple reasons. We’ll look at common ones below. But first, let’s look at the knee-jerk reaction most businesses make when they’ve hit the sales plateau, because the smartest move you can make right now is to avoid doing this:

The common mistake most businesses make when they hit the sales plateau

Clouded by complacency, most businesses float into the sales plateau. Then, one day, it clicks that they have a problem with their sales-engine and start to look for those obvious silver bullet solutions, and end up spending valuable time, money and effort on things that ultimately don’t work.

Meanwhile, as they throw the wrong solutions at the problem, the problem, frustration and associated tension tightens around them even more. It’s so common to see businesses trying to do the right thing, but tightening the knot around them. The good news is, if you stop tightening the knot, you can fix this.

Typical knee-jerk solutions that businesses start looking for include hiring new sales people, buying ‘sales training’, hiring lead-gen agencies, buying lists, or launching new marketing campaigns. We frequently hear sales directors say “I don’t know why it’s not working!” only then to throw a handful of attempted solutions at the problem and hope for the best. It rarely ends well.

We suggest that if you don’t know why it’s not working, then the pressing problem to solve becomes to find out why. Then you can invest in the right solution. Because like all businesses, your business is unique, and things have changed since you got to where you’re at.

You’re in a new game, with new rules.

So, what’s the smart way forward?

It’s best to get clear on exactly where you’re at, and learn the new rules…here’s how to do that.

Why does a sales plateau happen?

Because if you keep using the sames sales approach that you started with, it’ll fizzle out.

Guaranteed. And that happens faster these days than ever before.

You’d be forgiven for not seeing the sales plateau coming. It’s common. As time goes by, things change. This section just gives a few reasons as to why you might find yourself on a sales plateau, before we look at what you can do about it. Factors include:

You didn’t update and upgrade your sales approach fast enough

Complacency when things are going just fine can lead to this. “Haven’t got time to adapt and upgrade – too busy winning!” is the dangerous mindset. Sales hit a plateau when your existing approaches have chewed through most of your existing opportunities. When those buyers who buy in the way that your current set up allows have been exhausted, you’ve completed ‘that game’. And need to step into a new game, with new rules. You need to keep adapting, aligning with customers, and adding value to them on repeat. Fail to do that, and you’ll probably hit a plateau.

Market saturation

A sales plateau can happen when there are too many sellers on the scene. In a hot market? Nature takes it’s course and more competitors can make it harder to grow.

Resource limits

A sales plateau can happen if you lack staff or money to grow. You become tied down by the constraints around you. A common catch-22. It might be time to find efficiences with your current resources and squeeze more juice from them! And using AI to help in the right way can supercharge your efforts! Talk to us about this.

Product age

A sales plateau can occur if your products are old news and out of date. Customers will likely flock to better solutions from competitors, or your entire industry may be disrupted by a new service. Are your solutions creating enough value for your ideal customers of today?

Sales Leader or Sales Team Lose Drive

If your sales team plateau because of either complacency, or because they’re earning enough money, their loss of sales drive will create a sales plateau for your business. Changing their pay structure might help, or helping them tap into what we call their ‘belief in cause’ that drives them to sell more effectively are proven options worth looking at. Also understanding that they’re about to step into a new level or a ‘new game’ with new rules can revitalise the team. With that, they’ll want to diagnose where they’re at, what the new rules are, where they realistically could be, and a game plan to get there. Our diagnosis is the place to start.

Customer Loss

A sales plateau can happen if you lose customers as fast as you get new ones. We see this a lot. Some businesses focus on new business at the expense of retaining customers, others focus on retaining at the expense of new business. Your strategy should be purposeful and robust for the years ahead. We can help you with your “buyer’s journey” and your “customer’s journey” and have you adding value all the way along.

Ineffective sales engine

Finally, you can hit a sales plateau when your sales engine is just running at the same ineffective pace it always has been. If your engine only brings in the same volume of qualified leads, and you convert them in the same way you always have, then the output will never increase. This needs attention.

How to overcome a sales plateau

First, breathe in, and take charge of your situation. Someone needs to care about this enough to take action.

Then, you’ll need to accept that something needs to change. And that you’re going to do that. It might feel scary or uncertain, but what you’re about to do is at the other end of both of those scales! Your going to create certainty, and it will gradually feel clear and exciting.

You need to consider that something is holding you or your sales team back. So long as your products or services are indeed valuable (and we can test that for you if you haven’t!) then there are ideal buyer’s out there who are for you, and who you are for. You’re meant to fit together. But a lack of alignment between how they buy, and how you help them to buy, is evident. This needs addressing. And it’s very rarely just one problem in your sales function, but multiple problems that require systematically rolled out solutions.

So, we’re going to work with you to find them. We’re going to get real, and work with the facts, not on hope or random guesswork. We’re going to get clear on your business and sales vision and strategy. We’re going to test it to ensure it’s robust. Then we’re going to look at where you’re at in regards to that, where you realistically can be, and by when, and where the hard work is likely to be. We’ll break it all down.

Then we’ll look at your next level ideal customers, we’ll define them, we’ll talk to them, we’ll determine how they are most likely to think through and buy what you offer, and in what circumstances. And we’ll reverse-engineer all this into a process that your sales engine can align with and follow. We’ll determine the creation of value along the way, and we’ll weave that into our system too.

Then we’ll work out how to deliver this in the right ways at the right times to your ideal customers. So that they walk right into the right place, and are lifted, elevated along the way. The goal is to keep their smile growing, and we’ll work with you to determine how.

Once we’re clear on how to deliver it, we’ll audit your internal capabilities for doing so. Anything that we can automate or get AI to do faster, more cheaply and more easily, we’ll allocate accordingly. Then we’ll tap into the untapped capabilities of your existing team and employees. What you’ll find will surprise you. Finally, we’ll work out what capabilties are trainable (learnable), and who needs them. And we’ll use accelerated learning (something we have a background in) to have your people learn what they need in the fastest possible way, such that they’re translating it to the job in the right ways at the right times.

If any capabilities are missing, which is unlikely, we’ll look at how you might recruit them in, either full time or as needed. Chances are, it won’t be in the form of someone who’s in the job market as a ‘sales person’. What you learn about this may surprise you.

Then we’ll get the system working efficiently, but look for more efficiencies and ways to make it bullet-proof for future.

And when we’re done with you, you’ll have broken free from your sales plateau and reaching new heights!

That’s how to break a sales plateau.

And it gets better, because you can get started for FREE. Just see the 4 options below. The first two are FREE and if you want to talk to us about an affordable diagnosis to kick things off, that’s below too. The bottom line is, if you’ve taken charge of your situation, and realised that someone needs to care enough to take NEW ACTION, then perhaps now is the time.

4 Steps

To overcome your sales plateau

FREE 6 month sales growth plan

Download our example sales growth plan for SME’s and small sales teams.

FREE diagnosis and strategy session

Schedule a FREE 30 minute virtual call with us to diagnose, explore, and send strategies in a custom report to improve your sales.

FREE diagnosis and strategy session

Schedule a FREE 30 minute virtual call with us to diagnose, explore, and send strategies in a custom report to improve your sales.

FULL diagnosis and strategic path to sales growth

A deep dive to test and discover how to systematically improve your sales efficiently.

6 months + implementation

Want help for any or all of your implementation? We can support you in many different ways and at the level that works for you to improve your sales engine.

6 months + implementation

Want help for any or all of your implementation? We can support you in many different ways and at the level that works for you to improve your sales engine.

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