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How Sales Leaders Can Achieve Success by Prioritizing Sales Effectiveness

If you're tired of following trends that lead nowhere, it's time to make sales effectiveness your top priority.

Sales leaders and sales managers tend to follow trends. This is like when my mom asked me if I would jump off a cliff because everyone else was doing it. My answer was that I would wait until the bodies piled up enough that it would break my fall. In many cases, I was the first to jump. From where I sit, it is clear that the body count should be high enough to prove that following some of the most popular sales trends leads to a dead end.

Rethinking the “Why Us” Approach

You might have tried to use the age-old “Why us?” approach, one that has your sales force singing the praises of your company, your clients, and your solution. If this isn’t working for you, it is because your buyers and decision-makers find it to be redundant. Everything you might say in this type of presentation is now on your website, which your contact has already seen.

The Pitfalls of a Linear Sales Process

Maybe you have been unsuccessful reaching your sales goals with the linear sales process. While you may need a sales process, you might find that your best reps are still the best reps, and your struggling sales reps are still struggling. You may or may not have recognized that your contacts are pursuing their goals, with no concern about your sales process. You might be better off with a non-linear sales process that would allow you to help your contacts with what they need.

The Misconception of Solution Differentiation

For more than a couple of decades, sales organizations have pursued the idea that their solution is their point of differentiation. This is one factor that seems to cause sales managers and their sales teams to practice a transactional approach to selling. Recent insights suggest that the way some salespeople sell leads some prospective clients to avoid a conversation with them. All of your competitors have a solution that works for their clients. That is not a solid point of differentiation.

Sales Effectiveness: The Missing Ingredient

What is missing from our conversation about B2B sales and success is sales effectiveness. There are a number of reasons sales leaders and sales managers avoid sales effectiveness.

  • Good Enough Is Not Enough: One reason sales leaders don’t prioritize the effectiveness of each of their sales teams is because they believe that their sales reps are as good as they need to be. But when win rates are as low as they are now, you can be certain salespeople lack the ability to win at a high enough rate for you to reach your goals. It turns out that good enough isn’t good enough.
  • Avoiding Field Disruptions: Too many sales leaders want to keep their sales force in the field, pursuing their goal. It is important to know that in the third decade of the 21st century, there are ways to train their team without taking them out of the field. If you want to see how this works, go to the contact form here and send me a note.
  • Disappointments from Past Initiatives: Most attempts to train the sales force involve giving them a single training once a year at the Sales Kickoff Meeting. There is no follow-up, no coaching, and no accountability for the behavioral changes that would improve the sales force’s effectiveness.
  • Recognizing Competitor Strengths: Every sales organization has a top 20 percent. These salespeople have a high level of sales effectiveness. When one of your competitor’s top 20 percent salespeople follows one of your bottom 40 percent salespeople in a contested deal, you have a mismatch.
  • Lack of Interest in Sales Effectiveness: Some sales managers have no real interest in sales effectiveness. One reason they are not interested is due to the fact that their sales managers have no interest in sales effectiveness.

Why Sales Effectiveness Should Be Your Top Priority

One mistake sales leaders and sales managers make is prioritizing coverage in their pipeline. This strategy tends to fail for one reason: the sales force is not able to win enough of the opportunities in their pipeline. Should you decide to prioritize sales effectiveness, you would convert more of these opportunities, and you would need less pipeline coverage, making time for your highly effective sales reps to win deals instead of filling the pipeline with low-probability opportunities.

If you want to improve your ability to create and win new high-probability opportunities, this has less to do with your clients and more to do with your sales team’s effectiveness. This is why you need to make sales effectiveness your most important priority. As your sales force increases their effectiveness, you will lose fewer deals.

It will take time and effort to improve your sales force’s effectiveness. The time you spend with B2B sales training, coaching, and other development initiatives will pay dividends far into the future. If you have followed the common trends without producing the results you need, you might give sales effectiveness a try.

Leaving this article, make a short list of what you have tried that hasn’t produced the results you need. Then look at the list of reasons sales leaders avoid sales effectiveness and identify your resistance to developing your sales force to be more effective. Give yourself a full year with a focus on increasing your sales force’s win rate. At the end of that year, you may be surprised how much easier your job is when you have a higher win rate.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on June 1, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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