You don’t need me to tell you that a lot of sales improvement, training and enablement just doesn’t work. You don’t need me to tell you about the buzzwords, the false messiahs and the over-excited gabbling of professionals both in and beyond your organisation when they get hold of the next big thing.


Social selling was going to revolutionise the way your sales teams work. Remember that? You were going to be able to scrap cold calls, scrap face time, call your road warriors back to the office, give them a laptop and just watch the high quality qualified leads just tumble in. Traditional prospecting was over – as long as your people had up to date profiles with a smiley enough picture, your funnel would be stacked. Remember?


Remember everyone talking about ‘Sales 2.0’? That term was coined back in 2006, referring to how the new breed of salesperson would work with the web and social tech to revolutionise results and the industry in a way we’d never seen before. More than 10 years ago now.


Remember the promised content marketing/conversions lock in? Effective automated lead and prospect scoring? Remember how your salespeople were all going to be able to access and analyse vast amounts of customer and prospect data at the click of a button? Remember how that was going to drive bottom lines to new heights?


Now, how much of that has come to fruition in your organisation?


Fashions come and go, and while there are some sales improvement trends that become part of the very fabric of the industry, a lot of them are just shoulder pads. Passing, meaningless trends. They look good – for a while. They’re important – for a while. You spend an awful lot of money on them – for a while.


Sales improvement needs to be much more about fundamental truths. What really matters to the industry?


Results. Consistent ROI. Bottom lines. That is literally it.


So there are a few fundamentals that should be the absolute foundation of all sales improvement, enablement and tools:


1. People need to understand people in order to pitch properly.


2. People need to understand how people process information in order to deliver their message clearly and concisely.


3. People need to understand how that processing of information leads to a buying decision in order to understand how to persuade effectively.


As I said in my last article, until digital disruption is way further along and robots can feel as well as think, it’s that simple.


If a sales improvement approach isn’t addressing those fundamentals, it’s just shoulder pads. And no one needs shoulder pads.


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– Tom @WSL