BTS Strategic Execution Blog

5 Worst Practices that May be Hiding in Your Sales Training

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 | Category :
    • Sales
    • Blogs

By Rick Cheatham, BTS Partner

Rick Cheatham

Creating a clear vision of sales excellence is critical, however, sometimes just eliminating your sellers' worst practices may have equal impact. Additionally, you’ll never have to be embarrassed by hearing about or witnessing these egregious sales tactics that lose you revenue and esteem.


Customer Facing – Respect your buyers. They can see through these manipulative techniques.

  • Controlling the call – It is the customer’s meeting, not the seller’s. Manipulating the conversation to lead the buyer into a purchase that they may not need is giving us a bad name. Great sellers are prepared to flow with the customer and connect their offerings to customer’s priorities.
  • Focusing on pain points – People are busy. Great sellers are the best part of their customer’s day, not the worst. No one wants to spend an hour with someone they hardly know focusing on everything that is wrong with their business. Beyond being patronizing and unpleasant, “building the pain” just doesn't work. What keeps me up at night? The fact that anyone still tries this.
  • Objection handling – Stop handling and start listening. Buyers aren’t playing games, they are solving problems. If your products and services legitimately aren’t a fit, point them in the right direction.

Internal facing –These behaviors are killing your team’s performance and giving reps a bad rap.

  • Over-advocating for the customer – Sellers have got to remember who they work for. There are times when saying no is exactly what your customer needs.
  • Being the only one who “gets it” – Now it is time to grow up and take a balanced view of the competing KPIs in your business. Start with the assumption that everyone wants to do a good job. Internal pushback likely has good reasons behind it; even if you believe you have an Office of Sales Prevention, you can’t afford for your customers to lose respect for your larger organization.

Unless your sellers are pushing used Pontiacs that are only held together with a fresh coat of paint or payday loans at 85% interest, it’s time they drop these worst practices and start acting like the professionals their business cards say they are and your customers expect them to be.

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About the Author: Rick Cheatham is a Partner and Head of the BTS USA Sales Practice.

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