The Key to Driving Sales is Understanding 'What' not 'How'

Brian Lambert

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What does it take to make a sale lately?

In Sales, we used to focus on the “Sales Cycle. ” Maybe you still do? The problem with the traditional definition of the ‘Sales Cycle’ is that it is focused on YOU and not on your prospect. More recently, the focus has shifted to the ‘Buying Cycle’ and learning how to synchronize it to gain a win-win relationship. To sell successfully in today’s market, your focus must be on the integration of the ‘Sales Cycle’ and the ‘Buying Cycle’ into an overall sales system based on trust, ethics, win-win, and driving towards a transaction. This “commerce cycle” is rooted in the buying and selling relationship, with special emphasis on value – the value that both the buyer and seller each bring to the relationship.

Commerce is a much more applicable term to understand the complete nature of selling, where the acts of buying and selling integrate. Just like the laws of nature, for every action there is an opposite reaction. The same holds true for sales.

To leverage the ‘Commerce Cycle’ it is important to understand: 1) the buyer(s) and his/her buying cycle(s), 2) your sales cycle, and 3) how and when the two intersect. A variation of this approach used to be referred to as ‘reducing the sales cycle. ’ In reality nothing was reduced, you just learned when to engage. Understand the buyer(s), and the buying cycle(s), and you will understand the commerce cycle - then you will be widely successful.

All sales professionals, no matter their functional area of expertise should be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their selling abilities in their various markets. Having a “universally functional” understanding will help you attain higher levels of sales success. Various examples of universal functionality may include: solution selling methodologies, commodity selling methodologies, high volume selling methodologies, and methodologies used when selling a service.

It’s a cluttered sales world out there, and you need to develop a model that helps you better understand the balance of selling and buying in today’s global economy. The model you develop must be rooted in an understanding of the seller’s activities and the buyer’s activities. Strive to make your model open and flexible to account for faster or slower sales cycles.

From the CEO to the front-line sales representative, the key is to develop an organizational understanding of the processes and framework of professional selling. Professional sales people are the revenue generating engines of any company. Yet few sales people are measured on standardized metrics of performance. Often, a “what works for you, won’t work for anyone else” approach is taken when it comes to training and nurturing the professional sales person.

Driving your sales means to understand “What” the sales profession is. To do that, you must continuously improve and seek the help of books, tapes, seminars, and others. Find the “what” as it pertains to you – the truth is out there.

Brian is the Chairman and Founder of the the United Professional Sales Association (UPSA). UPSA is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC that has addressed the concerns and challenges of individual sales professionals. Brian has authored the world’s first universal selling standards and open-source selling framework for free distribution. This ‘Compendium of Professional Selling’ containing the commonly accepted and universally functional knowledge that all sales professionals possess. The open-source selling standards have been downloaded in 16 countries by over 300 people. Over 30 people have made contributions.

Because UPSA is not owned by one person or any company, it is a member organization and guardian of the global standard of entry into the sales profession.

Find out about the membership organization and understand the processes and framework of professional selling at the UPSA Website at

Find out more about Brian at:

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