Sales People Created the Commodity Problem

Why do sales people and sales managers sit around complaining about how their industry has become a commodity like selling environment with “everything” being about price. I have heard enough of this and all the excuses or blame for why it has happened to the market they sell in.

Well, another NEWS FLASH! No one other than the sales team themselves created this mess. And, the main reason the sales people created this environment is simple. Sales people forgot to keep developing their skills and talent. There I said it, now let the comments commence!

For most of the sales people and sales management, I can stop the excuses, anger and even denial by asking one question. And here it is…

When was the last time you spent time engaged in a serious sales development work session? 

Conferences with success stories, updates from different groups and departments, speeches by executives or customer panels and awards is not sales development. Morale builds maybe, not development. And, product information sessions are not sales development, they are product knowledge sessions. Get real! I’m talking about serious, application exercising (role plays for the old timers) extended time active sales training and development.

Sales development is all about learning different tactics and strategies to use in today’s fast paced world of high tech and low touch. To get more actual “face time” with the right people in the customer or prospect accounts takes new and different ways to sell.

Therefore, when was the last time you spent a day or more on the following topics…

  • Targeting Accounts
  • Gaining Rapport with all prospects
  • Learning to ask the right questions to get the prospect or customer involved in the process
  • Presentation skills that influence positive actions from prospects or customers
  • Presentations that actually work – not the “Death by PowerPoint Slide Shows”
  • Using ROI to help influence the closing
  • Recognizing the triggers for asking for the business and closing the account
  • Understanding all the terms using in an industry – Business Acumen

If you have not attended a session on any of the above topics during the past three years, then you contributing to the commodity selling crisis. Are you the low cost provider in your industry? If you are, have you found your competitors will actually try to beat your low price? Fact: Someone will always try to best your lowest price to get the sale.

Learn to sell using better tactics and strategies if you want to remain in Business to Business (b2b) sales. Better ways of selling with translate into larger sales, more profitable sales and consistent sales over the year.

Okay, here is my disclaimer: Yes, I offer sales development training and have helped a number of sales teams become highly successful in b2b sales. Yes, I wrote a book on b2b sales – Three Games of Selling. But most importantly, my sales success over the years has been based upon a continuous learning system – a Personal Kaizen accord with myself. This has allowed me to be a success in sales and drive our company for over twenty-two years. I could not have done it without a steady dose of learning new tactics and strategies. Call me at 901-757-4434 and let’s talk about sales.

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Voss Graham

Sr Business Advisor / CEO at InnerActive Consulting Group Inc
Your Knowledgeable Partner for Business Success and Achievement. Dedicated to helping others get to their next level of success. Award winning business advisor; coach to executives and business owners; Business Growth Strategist; and experienced using assessments for hiring & selection, evaluation of teams and improving communication. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.

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4 thoughts on “Sales People Created the Commodity Problem”

  1. Thanks Graham! Your job is helping folks like us who are newly into the entrepreneur business. The sales tips and suggestions in your blog are simple and implementable. Resources available on net are usually obscure and difficult to comprehend. Your effort is appreciable. is another good site. There are interesting blogs in


  2. Voss,
    We have a similar amount of experience in successful selling (20+ years). When I look back on how I did it – what stands out to me was my mastering the discipline of prospecting. We have always had a bounty of qualified, interested new prospects to talk to. As such, “necessity became the mother of invention.” We had to develop efficient sales presentations and organized follow up in order to deal with the volume. We are in a commoditized business (insurance), but we sell our experience and service expertise. We still have to be price competitive, but what causes customers to buy from us is their belief that we can aptly meet their needs.
    I have written a lot about success in sales through success in prospecting (see: If salespeople have an abundance of prospects – they will soon be drawn to square away the other elements of their sales activity. All it takes to get started is to commit to a new, more demanding, level of activity (i.e. number of calls per day, per week, per month, etc). Someone once said, one discipline affects all other disciplines. The new discipline to efficiently and systematically bolster prospecting outreach will have the affect of calling all of other required elements into place.

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