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There is a certain type of person we can call a non-believer. This person is something more than skeptical, bordering on cynical. They refuse to make any change to how they sell, even when provided with hard evidence that they could improve their results. Even though the non-believer is failing, they are unwilling or unable to give up what worked perfectly for them two decades ago. Not only have things changed, but the acceleration of change has been breathtaking.

Understanding the Modern Non-Believer in Sales

The most ardent non-believer looks at decades-old sales methodologies, believing they are still effective with buyers and decision-makers who expect a different experience, one that provides more help. Over time, people’s needs and wants change. For example, I am certain that a black-and-white television would work, but you wouldn’t swap the 75-inch color television hanging on your wall.

The Cost of Resisting Sales Evolution

Some non-believers resist the future because that would mean what they were doing is now wrong. If their sales approach worked well for a long time, they assume it should still work well today. The non-believer resists anything that is not what they already know, despite evidence that the way they sell is failing them.

Five large companies have reported to me that they are able to get a first meeting with any of their prospective clients, but they are unable to get a second meeting. All five have revenue measured in billions, and they should be dominating their competitors, but for the fact that the way they sell is no longer welcomed by their prospective clients.

Identifying the Decline in Traditional Sales Organizations

You can work for a big company with an outstanding solution and lose to a smaller company with a solution that should be no match for you. In this situation, you lose to a salesperson with a better sales approach built on a modern sales methodology. I know this from my experience in staffing, as I have beaten the largest competitors who measure their revenue in billions, while my company’s revenue was closer to three million dollars.

The Hurdles to Sales Leadership Transformation

There are several reasons sales organizations rise and fall. When they started, the way they sold worked perfectly at that time. But as decades passed without any significant change in how the company sold, their results started to wane. Often, large companies don’t recognize the need to change, even though they are losing deals they once would have captured. This can mask the fact that how the sales force sells isn’t allowing them to win deals, especially at the enterprise level.

Signs Your Sales Strategy Needs an Overhaul

By the time a sales leader recognizes that their team isn’t winning the deals they need, their teams will have lost important opportunities. Because large clients tend to choose a partner and stick with them for a long time, the sales organization may not have another opportunity to compete for the client for a decade or longer. If your sales approach causes you to be locked out by a competitor, you have evidence you need to make a change to how you sell.

Addressing Non-Believers during a Sales Transformation

To be fair, it isn’t easy to execute a sales transformation. It takes time, and it can be disruptive. Non-believers also worry the change will be difficult for their team. But more than those real concerns, many sales leaders and sales managers worry about making their sales force change how they sell. They are mostly concerned about their senior sales reps who have been selling since the Carter administration (circa 1976).

You are always going to find non-believers who try to resist making a change. This is true when it comes to sales approaches, and it is true about any change when people have done something the same way for a long time.

If what you are doing is working and ensuring you are reaching or exceeding your goals, forget all this talk about transformation and execute. But if what you are doing is not producing the results you need, you should start a conversation about a transformation and a change in how your sales force sells.

If you believe you may need a sales transformation to a modern approach, reach out to us here: https://www.thesalesblog.com/sales-accelerator#meeting.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on March 17, 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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