Partners in Performance Blog

Intentional Selling: Why 3 out of 4 People Suck at Sales

Sales-success-with-intentional-sellingI recently read in Hubspot some astonishing statistics on the performance of salespeople: A study by Objective Management Group (OMG) concluded that only 6% of salespeople across all industries are “elite sellers”.

They also reported that 3 out of 4 sales professionals are failing. These numbers aren’t coming out of thin air. They are based on the evaluations of 700,000 salespeople!

However the study was not all bad news. The silver lining is that most of the sales professionals in the 74% bracket can improve with training that provides them with a defined (intentional) and consistent methodology for selling that is repeatable, coachable and predictable.

Disclaimer: Bear in mind that OMG has a sister company that specializes in sales training and coaching. Like me, they love numbers like this because it accentuates the need for our services.

4 Crucial Factors MOST Important for Sales Success

Here’s where the article really gets interesting. The study goes deeper and explores the crucial factors that matter most for sales success.

  • Desire. How badly do you want to be good at sales? How high will you set the bar?
  • Commitment. How committed are you to meeting goals? What are you willing to do to get over the bar?
  • Responsibility. Are you the kind of person who blames others when you fall short, or do you take responsibility?
  • Outlook. In general, how happy are you with your life, with your company, with yourself?

This is the part of the article that most resonated for me because all of the factors are directly related to mindset. It’s right in line with my philosophy about what makes a sales person great and thereby what makes sales training great.

Yes, it’s critical for sales people to ‘own’ a defined methodology or process for ALL of their client interactions – phone connections, email connection and face-to-face sales meetings. This must be a key development focus for all sales people in the 74% bracket.

But where the rubber hits the road is the mindset and this is where intention kicks in. Desire, commitment, responsibility and outlook are all connected to intention. Intention defined and the components of an Intentional Selling mindset are explored in my last post The Power of Intention for Accelerating Sales Results.

To put all of this in context of sales performance I use this model to shape how I approach development and I encourage my clients to use it also for self coaching or for coaching their team if they are the Sales Leader.

It’s like a 3-legged stool. The stool tumbles with only two legs. Most often training and development focuses on Focus and Means only and the Intention component is missing. But performance is not optimized if all three subsystems are not attended to.


Next week we will explore this notion of Intentional Selling more deeply and focus on a useful framework for Levels of Intention. Intention can range anywhere from soft intent (or no intent) to 100% commitment.

If you truly want to increase your sales (or results in any aspect of your life), it’s time to bring the Intention conversation into our full consciousness…And to make it more explicit in our conversations.

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Go on, do it – you’ll be glad you did!



This entry was posted by Tanja Parsley on June 26, 2014 in Intentional Selling™, Sales Skills, Success Mindset. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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