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The term “sales process” has become an almost universal cliché (and yes, I have been as guilty as the rest). Research is regularly published to prove that organisations with a defined “sales process” outperform their less well organised competitors.

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When I meet sales leaders for the first time, one of the questions I usually ask is, “Who is your top salesperson?” Very often, the answer is the name of a woman.

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Today’s case covers a common issue with a new sales hire’s ability to close deals consistently in a complex B2B sales environment. Pressed for time, new reps often prioritize the wrong activities, leading to bloated pipelines with poor close rates.

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U.S. companies spent $90.6 billion on training in 2017*. Of that, about $20 billion was spent on sales-specific training, representing an average expenditure of about $5000 per representative per year*.

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Recently, I participated in a discussion on “the buyers journey.” In some ways, I suppose I should have been happy that we were at least focused on the buyer, normally we obsess about our products/solutions and how we inflict them on our customers.

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There are a lot of skills and techniques that are important to sales effectiveness, but few are as overlooked and undervalued as empathy. We don’t talk about it when we’re building sales process, we rarely discuss it in sales meetings, and it’s not usually mentioned in sales training.

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Have you reviewed sales enablement job descriptions lately? As members of the burgeoning Sales Enablement Society or the Sales Enablement Community of ATD (and almost anyone close to the Sales Enablement market) will tell you, "sales enablement" means different things to different people, and is being executed differently in different organizations. This certainly is apparent in the job descriptions I've reviewed.

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A lot of companies think that in order to be effective in sales, they need a large team of young, inexpensive "Sales Development Reps" (SDRs) lining up emails, inmails and sales calls and talking customers into exploring their products & services. This model of sales started in Silicon Valley, and has been successful in expanding the reach of many SaaS and other technology companies.

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Today’s case covers another common issue with a new sales hire’s ability to hit their sales targets in a complex B2B sales environment. A bad attitude can kill deals before they have a chance to get started. The salesperson keeps putting new opportunities into the pipeline, but can’t seem to close them.

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The right sales strategy is critical to high sales performance. When a great sales strategy is aligned with appropriate sales process, methods, training, coaching, and technologies, sales teams can reliably knock the numbers out of the ballpark.

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