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6 sales fundamentals: The dos & don’ts in winning more deals

September 10, 2021

Check out our cartoon flipbook to learn about the factors and influences both inside and outside of sellers' control.

Determined, intelligent and unafraid of knockbacks – all traits of great sellers.

Salespeople are also having to adapt to new technology, buyer behavior and other factors outside their control, while still striving to hit targets.

Here we look at six fundamentals or data points of selling, to see how these changes are impacting the dos (and don’ts) of each.

6 data points of selling

1. Sellers spend only 32% of their time selling and 18% of their time prospecting and preparing for calls

  • Don’t get distracted with unnecessary admin.
  • Do use call planning processes and tools to increase selling time and to reduce prep time.

Read more about how to effectively use sales call planning tools

2. 78% of world-class sellers use a formal process to effectively gain access to and engage key decision-makers.

  • Don’t try to reinvent the wheel and waste effort creating new approaches to engage prospects.
  • Do follow a tried and tested methodology that your whole team can align to, benefiting sellers and leaders alike.

Read 3 ways to a consistent sales methodology

3. 86% of world-class sales performers provide their clients with insights and perspective that reframe thinking

  • Don’t sell! Or tell them what they already know or can easily find out. Today’s buyers research extensively before engaging with a salesperson.
  • Do get under the skin of their business and provide insight and suggestions to help them succeed.

Read more about EQ vs IQ: Which one is more important for a sales person?

4. Sales organizations that provide perspective in client and prospect conversations have higher win rates than 23% that don't

  • Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. A true sales partner should open into a dialogue to work out the best approach together.
  • Do your research. You need to be confident in your knowledge of their business, the industry, and market to offer a valued point of view.

Read 5 seller skills to master when offering perspective

5. 86% of world-class seller effectively use questioning skills to establish customer needs - compared with 40% overall

  • Don’t jump in and start telling. You are more effective when you ask questions, listen to the answers and take the time to work out the best response.
  • Do prepare your questions in advance. Make them relevant to the business and the individual and prepare to offer perspective.

Read Sellers: Ask the right sales questions to move deals forward

6. Sales organizations with managers who are more effective at developing and coaching salespeople have higher quota attainment 24% than their peers

  • Don’t leave your team to their own devices. Everyone needs support and advice on how to improve. A structured development and coaching strategy addresses this.
  • Do be aware that everyone has a unique style and work out how to play to individual strengths. Coaching is not ‘one-way fits all’.

Read why sales coaching is so important & how to adopt a formal process


To keep winning business, sales organizations need to keep pace with changes in the market and close the gap between buyers and sellers. IQ is as important as EQ. Listening as talking. Working as one team to close deals.

Contact us to learn how Korn Ferry’s sales effectiveness solutions can improve team performance and accelerate your revenue growth.