for complex b2b sales

10 core principles to achieving true sales


An effective sales team is the engine that drives organizational growth. Sales effectiveness is not an accident, and it doesn’t happen overnight. To achieve true success, we must and we will change how we think about sales effectiveness, and therefore how we achieve it. We hold these truths to be crucial to that change.

  • 1

  • All selling is

    not EQUAL

Transactional selling is not the same as complex selling, and what works for one won’t necessarily work for the other. B2B selling has undergone and continues to undergo a transformation, and we must update our approach to match the new reality.

  • 2

  • Selling is not about manipulating

    but helping

Trust is critical to effective sales, and only by helping can we begin to build that trust. You must know who you can help and how, and design your sales process to guide buyers on their decision-making path.

  • 3

  • Sales must be artfully


Great salespeople are made, not born. True excellence is developed over time, in a formal, purposeful, and dynamic way. Discipline is as key to sales effectiveness as talent. Checklists, metrics, process, and formal training must be part of the strategy. Needed traits and skills will be dependent on the type of selling environment.

  • 4

  • Effectiveness starts at

    the top

True sales effectiveness cannot be achieved with a few minor tactical adjustments. It must become a cross-departmental priority at every level of the organization, driven and championed from the C-suite down.

  • 5

  • Sales process and methodology in


Sales process does not equal methodology and sales effectiveness requires both, plus the skills to effectively execute them. The definition of a sales process is not the opportunity stages in your CRM system. Sales process is a framework of stages, milestones, and steps, while methodology is the tactics and methods used to create progress.

  • 6

  • Management by results

    doesn't work

Management by results is management that comes too late. Top organizations get ahead of the problem, managing behaviors and activities that lead to the desired results.

  • 7

  • Training is not a one time


To create value for clients, and ensure momentum throughout their buying decision, your salespeople need new skills that can’t be taught in two day classroom sitting. New knowledge needs daily reinforcement to convert into skills that propel your results.

  • 8

  • Coaching is


Leading organizations understand that coaching isn’t just a warm fuzzy activity - it’s critical to sales effectiveness, and must be consistent, precise, practical, and timely.​

  • 9

  • don't assume

    that CRM systems will help you sell

CRM systems were never designed to help salespeople be better salespeople and have become glorified Rolodexes. A true sales effectiveness strategy requires software and tools that help capture and drive the right behaviors, and create discipline for consistent sales performance.

  • 10

  • Continually

    improve strategy and process

Far too few companies thoroughly analyze why customers buy or don’t buy from them. Only by understanding why we win and why we don't can we ultimately improve our strategy and tactics to increase win rates and lower sales costs.



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