Companies spend billions every year on training and “sales-enablement” technology with little return on investment.

Because the sales function supports every other function within an organization, increasing revenue is a top priority for companies all over the world. In an effort to improve sales results, companies in the United States spend an estimated $15 billion on sales training annually, according to The LinkedIn State of Sales.

However, research suggests there is comparatively little return on that investment in the form of increased sales. Even with the widespread use of sales support technology such as CRM systems, online meeting platforms and lead generation resources, only about 57% of salespeople manage to meet a quota, according to a recent study by CSO Insights. Why are sales not increasing despite all of these “enablement” resources and technology?

The Barrier Holding You Back.

Although the underlying causes of low sales productivity may be as varied as the different sales training programs and methodologies available, there is one common denominator required for sales success: In order to increase sales results, salespeople must expand their reach by prospecting for new customers as well as new opportunities among their existing client base.

“However, there is a huge difference between what you know and what you do, and fear limits what you do.”

Most salespeople acknowledge the importance of initiating contact with new and existing customers, but many avoid those prospecting opportunities because of fear, realized or not. Interestingly enough, fear limits new business development in both new and veteran salespeople, and anyone else who needs to initiate contact with those who can help them obtain a meaningful goal (ex. finding a job).

The presence of fear tends to be persistent because it is often not addressed in many sales training programs, which assume salespeople armed with product knowledge and selling skills will put those skills to use. However, there is a huge difference between what you know and what you do, and fear limits what you do.

There is a Solution.

Extensive research by behavioral scientists at BSRP have revealed sixteen distinct patterns of fear-based behavior associated with initiating sales contact. Further research has shown that most salespeople struggle with an average of five forms of sales contact reluctance. Improving sales results may require many factors, however, overcoming the fear of initiating sales contact is central to all of them.

But fear not! Negative sales behaviors are learned, which means that they can be unlearned. We know because we’ve helped tens of thousands of salespeople all over the world overcome their fear, elevating their sales performances to new levels of success.

Are your sales numbers about to flatline?

It may be time to check the pulse of your sales team. Take our free Sales Team EKG Survey to gauge the sales performance in your organization.

To find out more about BSRP’s thought-leading practices and procedures for managing call reluctance, contact us today!

Trelitha Bryant

Trelitha R. Bryant is Director of Research & Field Testing at Behavioral Sciences Research Press. Known worldwide as the original source of ground-breaking discoveries about how fear inhibits individuals’ abilities to make themselves visible, or “Call Reluctance®” in salespeople, BSRP has developed a variety of behaviorally anchored assessments and training interventions to assist in the hiring process and to help today’s professional “Earn What They’re Worth.”