Sales Essentials Blog

12 things we’ve learned so far about Selling Better

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My team and I have been studying sales teams, salespeople, sales operating systems, sales strategies, sales processes, and sales cultures across a wide variety of industries in the public and private sectors, N4P and government since 1995 and we have seen and learned a lot of things.

Here are some of what we have learned:

  1. Selling is everybody’s business and everybody lives by selling something
  2. Selling starts with opportunity and purposeful optimism
  3. Selling is the vehicle that allows opportunity to flourish and people to prosper; nothing happens until something gets sold
  4. Selling at its best is when humans solve problems, realise opportunities and exchange something of value, together; it’s about mutual prosperity
  5. Selling is a necessary LIFE CRAFT & SYSTEM that can be mastered if you know how
  6. Selling is ubiquitous in our daily lives yet it is poorly understood and usually left to chance thus leaving businesses, sales teams and people vulnerable to failure and loss
  7. Selling is more than results and motivational Rah Rah sessions; its’ underpinned by strategy, process, people and culture
  8. Selling, as a profession, is full of platitudes, silver bullets, myths and negative stereotypes that keep people from earning what they’re worth and doing good things
  9. Selling exists on a spectrum of intention: from the devious looking for victims to exploit; to the ignorant and irritated who condemn anything or anyone to do with sales; to the commercially savvy, collaborative, customer centric professionals who deliver real value and look to create a win:win fair exchange of value that leads to long lasting productive relationships
  10. Selling, for the last 30-40 years has been hijacked by hyper aggressive, ‘win at all costs’ business gurus and leaders who see everything as win:lose which diminishes us all and perpetuates ‘race to the bottom’ outcomes that destroy businesses, people and long term value
  11. Selling is best realised when it’s human centred, ethical, team oriented, strategically aligned, systems oriented, disciplined, accountable and focused on win:win
  12. Selling is a complex variable system that requires focused, dedicated and continuous attention by leaders who are capable of thinking and acting strategically, managing a range of variables, coaching tactically, and coordinating their business’ value chain to be proactive, client facing, sales led, market relevant and profitable

Author: Sue Barrett, 


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