Which One: Sales Skills or Sales Tools?

If you gave a weekend duffer Tiger Wood’s golf clubs could they win the next tournament? No way. It takes more than just a set of good clubs to perform against the best.

Equally, if you replace Tiger Wood’s modern golf clubs with those of several decades ago, could he win either? No way. Even with his great skills, physical training, and mental focus of a champion, the competition is just too close and you need every edge to win.

It has long been debated whether selling effectiveness can best be addressed by improving Sales Reps skills, or by providing Sales Reps with the right Sales Tools.

In these arguments, the sides are highly polarized, with some pundits contending that a great Sales Rep can often sell regardless of the tools at hand, while others argue that without the right Sales Tools, it is often impossible to get the job done right.

If you think of your Sales Reps as the new Craftsman of our day, a good Craftsman needs two things to be successful:
  • Skills – an inherent ability, coupled with the right Training, and Apprenticeship / hands-on experience under the guidance of a master
  •  The Right Tools – providing the guidance to do the job right, and the improved productivity to do more

If your Craftsman have the right skills but are using the wrong or antiquated tools, the best can produce, often through brute force or cunning, however: Will the result be as good? Will the job get done in a timely manner? Can your lesser craftsman actually deliver?

If you have the right tools but not the skills to use them, the tools are often not used right, and the results can result in injury, and be a hit or miss in producing the expected results.

However, if you take the raw talent and shape it with good training, coaching and experience, and arm your Craftsman with the modern tools to get the job done – you’ve created a winner.

So what's it worth for you to pay attention to this critical balance between Sales Skills and modern Sales Tools? According to IDC, poor sales enablement results in $14 million of wasted marketing and sales expenses and $100 million in lost revenue opportunities in a "typical" $1 billion company.

To learn more about the modern Sales Tools you can leverage to make a big difference in your selling effectiveness, click here:

Thanks to Craig Preston who helped to spark this debate (LinkedIn discussion group Technology Sales Professionals):


Brian MacIver said…
Three things Tom. First a great blog, Tom.

Second, Great Graphics, they just get better and better.

Thirdly, you raise, then offer a solution to one of the biggest problems in Selling today: POOR SALES ENABLEMENT.....
"According to IDC, poor sales enablement results in $14 million of wasted marketing and sales expenses and $100 million in lost revenue opportunities in a "typical" $1 billion company."


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