The top five sales myths

6th July 2023 |   Bryn Thompson

Maybe it’s time to re-examine what you may have always taken for granted.

The top five sales myths

Salespeople are born not made

Whilst having confidence, a positive attitude and being generally likeable are all useful traits, they do not guarantee success in sales. The skills required to be effective take years to learn and hone. Too many sellers are thrown in at the deep end without being given the requisite tools to do the job. As a result, many fail.

The myth that some people are born for sales, while others are doomed to fall short, is one of the reasons you hear sales leaders comment that coaching and development is reserved for the junior members of their team: “My team are experienced so don’t need to develop.” From our experience of interviewing, assessing and training well over 20,000 salespeople across the world, we have found that wherever they are in their careers, salespeople are rarely the finished article. In fact, time and time again we see several “big picture” areas for development:

  • Prospecting – Experienced salespeople generally don’t like prospecting, which includes generating new business and also getting higher and wider in existing accounts. This comes down to mindset and attitude. Many companies therefore employ sales development representatives to prospect on behalf of the more experienced sellers. Whilst there is merit in this approach (as a lot of this work can be unproductive) senior sellers consequently find it uncomfortable. There is no excuse to get out of the habit of prospecting for sellers whose role is to expand accounts; however, they often stay within their comfort zones, talking to the same stakeholders, not getting to board level decision-makers, and not selling the full range of products or services.

Bryn Thompson is a highly experienced sales director, sales trainer and author of a new book about sales in 2023: Transformational Selling: How to Adapt Your Sales Style in the New World. He is a winner of the Sales Leader of the Year Award at the BESMAs (British Excellence in Sales and Marketing Awards). He created and led the Managed Services team at Pareto for over a decade, specialising in sales and sales leadership training.