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certain selling strategies?

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Survey: Challenges in the Sales Environment


Listed below are the most common challenges being faced by sales organisations in todays commoditised business market. Please tick those elements where you feel assistance is required and I will revert with a suggestion on the remedial action.

  • Our sales formula: Efficiency + Effectiveness + Performance Management = Sales

Efficiency: Advancing thru’ the sales cycle without wasting materials, time or energy (pitfalls abound!)

Effectiveness: Executing selling strategies in line with the complexity of the solution to maximise win rates

Performance Management: The extent to which sales management has a control on the results.

The Survey

How can the sales survey be set up as an easy method of:

  • Marking their particular problems
  • Returning the completed survey to me


Efficiency (The sales process)

  • No documented sales process to guide sellers on the best practice to advance through your unique sales cycle simply & quickly. Sellers default to their own trial & error process. Productivity not optimised, and there are no standards for accountability or coaching.
  • Ineffective new hire induction programs. Sellers face unnecessary obstacles retarding immediate productivity. Shadowing senior staff must be avoided- bad habits transferred.
Performance Management
  • Inaccurate sales forecasting. No standard process to determine sales probabilities – defaulting to gut feel is an emotional system, placing you at the mercy of how the seller feels.
  • Ideal customer profiles have not been established – the average sales value is driven down by engaging with less-than-ideal prospects. This is affecting your ability to achieve revenue targets.
  • Inability to effectively combat the competitor intrusion into existing accounts – inadequate customer retention program within the sales process.
  • NB: You can’t hold sellers accountable to sales numbers, only sales activities -develop & document your unique sales process (best practice). You can’t get commitment without clarity!

Effectiveness (The teams selling expertise)

  • Training is product focused only – sellers’ only have one strategy; prove product superiority. In a market of product parity this is not effective.
  • Current training is not being reinforced and developed into a real skill for sellers, Poor return on this high investment – additional expense of consistent & unnecessary training “refreshment.”
  • Insufficient new prospect development (sellers are reluctant to visit new business). Sellers must be held accountable to the exact number of new prospects engaged, calculated as per their individual expertise. Sellers are simply hoping that opportunities will “pop up.”
  • Very limited understanding of human communication. Without an understanding of this science sellers will consistently fall prey to illogical buyer decisions (without even knowing why). Repeating these errors simply restricts the company’s win ratio from ever really increasing.
  • Random, untrained words are used in the opening prospecting statement leading to poor success in setting up first meetings. Prospecting reluctance results, placing sales targets at risk.
  • Sellers’ do not understand how the brain makes buying decisions (anchoring principle) and consistently fall prey to common traps, diluting their persuasive ability, reducing win rates.
  • A focus on existing customer maintenance rather than customer development –Opportunities for new sales are being squandered – sellers believe that they are doing a good job simply by building relationships. There has to be a commitment to customer development by uncovering unidentified problems. Opportunities for new sales are being squandered.
  • The needs analysis is too limited. Sellers’ do not understand the difference between buyer needs & buyer’s buying criteria. No measurable guidelines are being developed to bias the decision to your company differentiators. Opportunities to set up the closing strategy are lost.
  • Inability of sellers to effectively differentiate the company – discounting becomes the only attractive alternative to deal with price objections.
  • The lack of a structured, consultative questioning model – sellers’ start to sell prematurely and are encouraging unnecessary objections, placing buyers in a negative emotional state. Buyers’ struggle to see value in this state, even if it’s in their best interest!
  • Poor value proposition – Proposals don’t show tangible outcomes to the client’s business. No compelling reason to buy or urgency to act. This is the sellers’ biggest fault today. Too many deals are being lost or “shelved.”
  • Building of trust – With no track record to rely on, sellers’ do not understand how to build rapport with first time prospects, placing sales at risk.
  • Current training consists of spot events or motivational talks. While extremely interesting, these activities are not structured to drive real behaviour change.

Performance Management (The sales manager’s expertise)

  • Sales management are unable to objectively guide sellers on what skills are required to improve performance. Coaching is defaulting to demands for increased call rates, quotes etc. – this does little to coach poor skills. Poor seller behavior is perpetuating.
  • Managers are consistently submitting inaccurate sales forecasts. This is a huge indicator that they have lost control of the business.
  • Sellers are not being held accountable for their performance. Mediocrity is being accepted. Any person becomes their “worst self” when they think no one is looking (or being held accountable).
  • General sales meetings are held in favor of individual meetings with each seller. It is almost impossible to get to the root cause of poor behavior in a general meeting

Important: Sellers must be trained by a professional trainer, not the sales manager. Sales managers must be responsible for coaching the trained material only.

Any other challengers being faced:






Most sales training programs do not deal adequately with the science of communication, depriving sellers the opportunity to be highly persuasive. Since products and services have begun to be viewed by the buying community as commoditized, the only way to be differentiated on anything but price, is not on what you sell, but how you sell. As a certified *NLP practitioner, I have studied this science with the specific intent to include it into my sales training program. If sellers’ do not understand how the brain makes buying decisions, they will consistently fall prey to buyers illogical buying decisions, drastically reducing their win rates.

How much increase have you experienced in your win ratio over the last 10 years… despite regular training?