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19th May 2016
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1st December 2016

Sales – Is it an “art” or a “science” ?


Imagine a world where your business results are delivered on time, on target, month in and month out.

A world where you never get any nasty surprises, nothing ever hits you from left field, and your Senior Leadership Team are all fully in control of their part of the business.

Where key stakeholders and investors are perennially happy, and where Sales results are delivered reliably, consistently and predictably.

• Far fetched ?
• A pipe dream ?
• Impossible ?
• Pie in the sky ?
• Hogwash ?

Research has shown that most business leaders crave reliability, consistency and predictability of their sales targets as one of their main objectives.

And the good news is that this objective is eminently achievable, once the inevitable is recognised:

• Sales is not a problem, it’s a process.
Only when it’s not a process, is it a problem.

Like a manufacturing process, if your Sales Management Process has clear inputs, clear actions, and clear outputs, it will work like a well-oiled machine. Once set up, with regular maintenance, it will work efficiently and effectively, again, and again and again.

Does this make Sales an “art” or a “science” ?

Actually, the answer is both.

There is science in a robust Sales Management Process, where the Sales Director should be fully in control of all the key metrics, key variables, and key ratios that drive success.

Where the Sales Director should inspect and measure deviations from plan, providing much needed data, and forensic understanding of performance.

However, there is an art to the selling skills required to deliver the results.

The very best sales people have a balance of four types of selling skills;

• Verbal Skills
• Creating needs.
• Listening.
• Giving evidence to senior executives.

• Political Skills
• Influencing.
• Stakeholder management.
• Political Mapping

•Planning Skills
• Qualification of deals – SCOTSMAN
• Holding effective Sales Meetings.
• Account Planning
• Deal Planning
• Relationship Management

• Problem Solving Skills
• Getting a “hunting licence”
• Overcoming objections
• Beating the competition
• Selling timetables

Experience tells us that over time, many organisations fall into two traps;

• The rigour of the Sales Management Process is allowed to lapse.
• Investment in people & sales skills development is marginalised.

At Advance, we have a proven track record of inspecting Sales Management Processes, and re-instating the required level of rigour, whilst simultaneously providing the sales skills training that will drive sustainable results.

If you would like your sales results to be delivered more reliably, more consistently, and more predictably, please contact Mike Wilkinson, Managing Director Advance Selling Skills Academy, either by e-mail via, or via mobile 07816 874590 for a preliminary discussion.

James Eves
James Eves
Business Development Manager Advanced Selling Skills Academy