5 Sales Gaps

Sales as a profession is my passion, and as a company we are relentless at leading the evolution of sales. Right now, sales is at a crossroads. Buyer behavior has changed and largely sales teams are not keeping up.

The three big challenges sales execs tell us they are facing are:

  • The need to increase revenue (and certainly keep it from decreasing)
  • The need to improve deal win rates
  • The need to shorten the sales cycle
What’s interesting is that these three items have been a problem for most sales organizations for some time now. I wrote in an earlier post that CRM won’t solve a companies revenue problem, although increasing revenue using a CRM system was a promise made and not kept by many vendors in this space. Technology doesn’t matter much if you continue to use an outdated approach when getting your prospect on the phone or meeting face-to-face.

Currently, there are five gaps in the way that most salespeople are approaching the sales process that I think need to be addressed and fast. They are:

  • Gap #1: Not adapting to changed buyer behavior
  • Gap #2: Not leveraging technology to do their homework in advance of calling/emailing people
  • Gap #3: Still wasting time on cold calling
  • Gap #4: Poor prospecting and not appropriately qualifying opportunities
  • Gap #5: Getting engaged at the wrong point in the sales cycle but continuing to invest time anyway; i.e. submit proposals

These gaps continue to stand in the way of sales management achieving their stated desire to increase revenue, improve sales deal win rates and shrink the sales cycle.

At the recent Sales 2.0 Conference in London, McKinsey presented their findings from research they had done to identify the five winning strategies of top performing sales teams. I was pleased to see that number two on the list was that top salespeople “sell the way that their customer wants to buy”. Well imagine that. I’ve been saying it for years. Thank you, McKinsey!

In my next post, I’ll get into more detail about the gaps and why they are a problem. But for now, I’ll leave you with this famous quote from Einstein…

“Insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result.”

Are you listening?

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