Norman Behar

By: Norman Behar on April 24th, 2013

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Align Selling Skills with the Sales Process To Achieve Better Results

Sales Enablement


What's more important: developing selling skills or following a sales process? This question has become much more amplified as sales organizations continue to implement CRM systems with a pre-defined sales process (or more accurately sales pipeline stages), and are trying to figure out how to align their sales skills training with their pipeline methodology.

The good news is that better selling skills and consistently adhering to a sales process are not mutually exclusive, and both are critical to improving sales performance. So it is fairly intuitive that if you could integrate these two, you could have the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, life isn’t quite that simple. In most sales organizations, there are top performers who have great selling skills but little regard for process, and lower performers who adhere to process but have poor skills.

In order to effectively scale a sales organization, it is crucial to integrate selling skills with the sales process. This eliminates confusion for the sales team and allows sales managers to more effectively manage the sales pipeline and coach their reps on selling skills.

One time I spoke with a client who impressed me with their thought leadership in this area. Based on the implementation of a new CRM system, they made sure that their sales training captured what selling skills were most applicable for each pipeline stage and went through a detailed mapping that aligned selling skills with each stage of their sales process.

By integrating skills and processes, sales organizations enhance the quality of their sales training programs and make it much easier for sales managers to reinforce key skills within the context of their sales process. Managers can now better analyze the sales pipeline and assess how selling skills are accelerating, or potentially impeding, opportunity advancement.

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About Norman Behar

Norman Behar is Chairman and Managing Director of the Sales Readiness Group (SRG). He has over 25 years of senior sales management experience, and is recognized as a thought leader in the sales training industry. His blog posts and whitepapers are frequently featured in leading sales enablement publications including ATD,, and Selling Power.