Helping Others Elevate the Sales Profession

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.

—General Patton

As we introduced at the beginning of this book, 80 percent of sellers are at a Stage I and II level of proficiency. Not surprisingly, most company’s sales infrastructure is geared to those levels. They focus on the tangible sources of competitive advantage and not on the intangible sources of relative superiority—politics, Unexpected Value, and strategy. Although many of you have the internal motivation and drive to excel to Stage III or IV without your company’s support, you will move more easily and quickly with it.

With this gap between Stage III and IV selling and Stage I and II company infrastructure in mind, we encourage you to share this message with your sales manager to help yourself and other sellers in your company. Explain that an updated company infrastructure will produce a number of opportunities for new business. Namely:

  • Consistently Higher Win Rates: Win rates in most industries are in the neighborhood of 30 percent as a result of heavy Stage II selling. Basically, and on average, 3 out of 10 deals are won. But those 3 deals must carry the cost of sales for all 10, which also impacts margins. Even a small increase in win rate for the right types of deals can produce a disproportionate increase in revenue.
  • Unexpected Increase in Customer Satisfaction: Executive-level customer satisfaction scores tend to be lower for Stage II seller installations, which ...

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