It’s a new year. That means it’s time to reset sales goals, adjust strategy and get ready to embrace whatever the market throws our way.

As a sales trainer and coach, I’m often focused on SWOT analyses, Key Account Plans, and Consultative Selling techniques. Everyone knows these are important for growing sales, but I must say, with every class (virtual of course), there’s at least one or two people who struggle to focus on sales best practices. Instead they’re thinking about why goals are unrealistic, managers that aren’t supportive, inventory that’s not available, competition that’s better priced, other departments not doing their part, whether or not their job will be around next quarter, or if “management” even knows what’s going on.

Sounds like a lot of excuses, eh? To me, these are all symptoms of a troubled company culture.

Poor company culture kind of sneaks up on us – it’s certainly not the intent.  Over the last 10 years of working with organizations, I’ve seen first-hand these top 5 cultural challenges that inhibit sales…

1. Organizational Silos.

The most common culprit is when a culture allows departmental goals to take precedent over organizational goals.   Managers see their department team as their top priority, and will die on the sword for them.   There’s tremendous pride in being a team member, so much that other departments are considered less important or less capable.

The impact?  Gossip, disrespect, poor decisions, poor customer service and overall reduced productivity.

2. Poor communication.

Connected to organizational silos is poor communication.  The thicker the silo walls, the harder it is to send consistent messages across the organization.  In this environment, people don’t believe there is enough communication.  Or worse, people don’t believe there isn’t any communication.  When there’s no communication, people tend to make negative assumptions.

The impact? Gossip, confusion, lost confidence in leadership, skepticism and poor or inconsistent decisions.

3. Lack of Accountability. 

Accountability has a negative connotation.  People don’t want to be “held to account”.  We’re adults after all and don’t want others checking up on us.  But over time, if there’s no consequences for missing deadlines, late response-times, or not honouring commitments, these bad behaviours are considered acceptable behaviours, and therefore the norm.

The impact?  Apathy (why bother?), finger-pointing, resentment, slowed progress, and generally speaking, under-performance.

4. Poor Problem-Solving.

Many organizations suffer from repeat issues.  Inventory, shipping, product development and customer service are all fraught with challenges.  It becomes an issue of poor problem-solving when one hears the same conversation at every team meeting.  There seems to be an inability in not only solving the problem, but identify the root cause.

The impact?  Complacency, frustration, independent decisions, wrong decisions, and wasted time.

5. Poor Managers.

“Poor” is all encompassing.  It includes managers who are: absent, inconsistent, unorganized, power-wielding, afraid-to-make-decisions, and show little concern for people.  Ouch.  Who wants to be a manager?  These are all perceptions of course.  Most managers I work with want to be a great manager.   They’re just not aware of the negative impact that they’re having.  They were once star performers promoted to a role that manages people.  Excelling in one role rarely automatically means success in another role.

The Impact? Staff quit, under-perform and may undermine their manager’s actions.


Poor company culture will ultimately inhibit sales growth.  There are many reasons for subpar sales performance.  Look closely and culture is usually the real culprit.  Cultural challenges intersect and amplify each other, making it difficult to isolate and address.   

So what’s the solution? 

It starts with senior leadership. Company culture needs to be recognized as a significant driver of performance.  Leaders must commit to changing the culture and lead by example.  Bring in an outside facilitator who can help you through the journey.  Where are we now?  What does the ideal culture look like?  How do we help people change the way they work? Yes, it can be a long process. It can be tough.  Are you up for the challenge?  I think those sales growth targets tell us there’s no other option.

Company culture needs to be recognized as a significant driver of performance. Leaders must commit to changing the culture and lead by example. Click To Tweet


Angela is on a mission to create a happier workplace.  After all, everyone wins when people love coming to work: the employees, the customers and the company’s bottom line!

Connect with Angela for strategic planning, customized training and on-going coaching in the areas of: culture, strategy, employee experience, and customer experience.



After a roller coaster of a ride in 2020, you don’t want COVID to be one of the factors getting in the way of achieving your goals in 2021!

According to several sources such as Harvard Business Review, Objective Management Group, and Sandler Research Centre – only 43% of sales professionals achieved their sales goals in 2019. In 2020, it is speculated that this number was reduced closer to 40%.  How many of you and your sellers achieved your goals in 2020?

Only 43% of sales professionals achieved their sales goals in 2019. In 2020, it is speculated that this number was reduced closer to 40%. How many of you and your sellers achieved your goals in 2020? Click To Tweet

Let’s rise to the challenge of achieving more goals in 2021 to increase the economic vitality.  To achieve your sales goals this year, you need to be 100% committed to doing what it takes and 110% committed to saying no to any distractions that may get in the way.

Here are the Top 7 factors getting in the way of achieving your sales goals:


#1. Your Boss!

The #1 reason why sales professionals don’t achieve their goals is their boss!

If you are a sales professional – set your own goal and own it! 

If you are the sales leader, here is what you can do: Stop being their boss and become their coach! When a sales professional is provided a goal or given an increased percentage to achieve next year’s goal, it doesn’t work. Why? Because it is the boss’ goal and not their goal – they don’t own it and therefore it’s not meaningful to them. Ask your individual sales team members what goals they want to achieve.

Reality check: Their sales goal is typically higher than the goal you would set for them!


#2. One Year Sales Goals are Not Enough!

Where do want to be in 3 ­years? What sales goal do you want to accomplish in the next 3­ years? Perhaps its doubling your sales goal, becoming a Sales Leader, or landing a big client or contract.  Think bigger and set your 3­-year vision & goals, then map out your 1-year goal from there.

Reality Check: Many one-year goals don’t get sales professionals excited and committed to their future.


#3. High Maintenance Customers who take up a lot of your time but give you very little in sales.

To achieve your goals, be proactive and focus your time on your ideal profitable customers. Calculating your return on time invested (ROTI) and analyzing your current client list and time spent with each, could really bring to light who you should be spending more (or less) of your valuable time with.

Reality Check: You are probably spending too much time with a few high maintenance clients who are not contributing enough to your sales revenue.


#4. Winging It – Not having a weekly plan that will help you achieve your 3­-year & 1­-year goals.

How many customer meetings do you have scheduled for the next week or the next two weeks? Pre-­COVID, it wasn’t unheard of for a salesperson to spend multiple hours travelling to see a customer face-­to-­face, usually aiming to stop by to see other customers or prospects that are nearby. Now in the age of virtual selling, salespeople should be making the most of their saved travel time by dedicating this time to research and preparation for virtual customer meetings or prospecting. Turning those chunks of time that are typically spent in the car into productive time should increase your strategic, proactive, and even brave time.

Reality Check: Most sales professionals are more reactive than proactive with their time.


#5. Pipeline is not Robust Enough

With no tradeshows, events, or conferences during most of 2020, pipelines are getting thinner.  Sales Professionals must be strategic, proactive, and brave to consistently prospect to ensure there is enough in their pipeline to achieve their goals.

Reality Check: Most sales professionals don’t know their closing ratio.


#6. You Fall Down & Don’t Get Up Fast Enough

Sales is a roller coaster and there are many highs and lows, some even forcing us to fall when customers blow you off or reject your proposal – sending us in a downward spiral.  COVID forced many sales professionals into a downward spiral in the past year, the only thing that matters is how quickly we can break that spiral, get back up, and keep trying.

Reality Check: We all fall; the difference is whether you get up faster than your competitors.  

We all fall; the difference is whether you get up faster than your competitors. Click To Tweet

#7. Excuses

There is no shortage of excuses you can make as to why you can’t achieve your goals – especially after the whirlwind of a global pandemic. Other excuses can be the economy, customers not returning your calls/emails, a competitor having a better price, or not being able to meet F2F with customers. Identify your biggest obstacles then create strategies and an action plan to overcome each obstacle.  When you encounter these obstacles, you’ll be ready to tackle them…no excuses.

Reality Check: Many sales professionals are more creative to create excuses than create strategies to achieve their goals.


The past year has been full of adjustments and experiments, goals are no exception. As a sales community, being aware of these top 7 factors will help you be strategic, proactive and brave to achieve your 2021 goals.

Download our complimentary 3-­Year Goal Planning Template here to help you and your team set meaningful goals that motivate and excite you!



The month of November is typically an ideal time to be setting your goals for the next year – I’m recommending you don’t set your goals, yet!  No, not because of COVID and the fact that 2020 has been a year of ever-changing protocols, strategies and even goals. I’m recommending you take the time to do an analysis of your sales and clients before you establish and finalize your goals for 2021.

Every year, our Teneo team spends 2-days off site at a quaint boutique hotel to analyze, strategize and plan our vision and goals for the upcoming year, as well as following 3 years. This year, due to COVID we collectively decided it was not worth the risk to meet in-person even with social distancing, so we blocked an hour and a half of time in our calendars on several days in November as the alternative to our typical 2-days off site.

We chose to dedicate each day of our virtual strategy session to the analysis of each different aspect of our business. With this more detailed and focused analysis, it was amazing what we learned and how it made setting goals and priorities for 2021 so much easier!

I’ll admit (as I love setting goals) that I typically will jump ahead and start pre-planning the goals, even having them drafted to present and get buy-in during the usual 2-day strategy session. The approach we took this year forced me to analyze first – before making any goals or starting new initiatives.


Here’s what we at Teneo learned through this year’s analysis…


Sales Analysis

Even though our sales are about 80% of last year sales due to COVID and not being able to deliver live training, we have secured more new clients this year than ever before! We have dedicated several mornings each week to prospecting and its paying off, along with hosting the new Give-Get-Gain complimentary sessions for Sales Pros and Sales Leaders.


Training Analysis

In today’s world of validating every expenditure including training – we need to help our clients focus on getting even more sales results.


Social Media & Marketing Analysis

Our top posts and videos are not focused on sales tips & strategies, rather are little candid glimpses into our personal day-to-day lives.


The biggest ah-ha was when our Teneo team member Angela took us through a SWOT Matrix Analysis to weight and rate our top internal and external factors impacting our business.  It revealed exactly what our priorities need to be in 2021 to build a stronger business and better serve our clients, with input from the entire team.


Here are 3 Ways to Analyze your Sales, Clients, and your Sales Team before you finalize your 2021 and 2024 Goals & Strategies:


1. Ideal Client Analysis – This is a great exercise to analyze your clients for the past 2 years to determine who are your ideal profitable clients, as it may have changed this past year and we want you to focus your time and efforts to attract more of the right type clients. You can download the Ideal Client Analysis complimentary from our Tools & Templates page here.


2. SWOT Matrix Analysis – Get your team to identify your top 3 internal and external factors impacting your business, then weight and rate each factor to determine your priorities for next year.


3. Sales Evaluation – Analyze your team’s 21 Core Sales Competencies to determine each individual’s and the collective team’s strengths, as well as areas of improvement. The Sales Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis (SEIA) will help you look under the hood of your sales team, and help you create a high performing team to push forward on the road to sales success.



To ask a customer a tough question about their budget, which do you think would be most required – WILL or SKILL? Which would be needed most in order to secure 10 new clients in 2021?

Both will and skill are needed in order to be a successful Sales professional – and a lack of either one will show in sales performance. Will is an individual’s desire & commitment to the next level of sales success based on attitude, incentives, confidence, and personal feelings to achieve this success level. Skill is the combination of a Sales Professional’s aptitude, natural talent, sales training and experience.

So is WILL or SKILL more important in order to finish off 2020 strong and accelerate the recovery? 

If a salesperson has low WILL, it is attitude related and does not mean that they are lacking any technical sales skills or are not capable of sales success. Lower will may be caused by fatigue, frustration, anger, or any multitude or external factors including Covid, a personal situation or medical issue. Regardless of the reason for lack of will, an empathetic, psychological approach and motivational strategies are best used by Sales Leaders to address it and help to shift attitudes in a positive direction.

A simple way to increase the will of a sales professional would be through the implementation of goal setting! Setting goals around a specific activity or step of the sales process that they don’t necessarily enjoy or feel motivated to complete can dramatically improve their performance by creating accountability.

Sales Professionals who are motivated but lack technical sales skills may simply need additional resources, training or support in their role to be successful. Small sales skill-gaps can often be easily closed with proper training, tools, and healthy communication with Sales Leader support. Skills are often easier to improve than will as adjusting an individual’s will requires an attitude shift from within. If you notice a Sales Team Member is underperforming or not hitting their goals, Sales Leaders should have a conversation to confirm willingness and drive to upskill in the job to improve their sales performance.

If both will and skill are lacking, try addressing the lack of skill first, as it can in turn improve one’s will as they become more confident in their abilities. Overall, a good balance of WILL and SKILL is necessary to become a high-performing salesperson and finishing off 2020 strong.

If both will and skill are lacking, try addressing the lack of skill first, as it can in turn improve one’s will as they become more confident in their abilities. Click To Tweet

Sales evaluations can be a fantastic tool to measure the Will and Skill of a salesperson, sales team, or potential new hire to show you where there may be low commitment, desire, or perhaps just lack of training that may have an impact on their performance.

The WILL Competencies Measured by OMG Evaluations:

  • Desire
  • Commitment
  • Outlook
  • Motivation
  • Responsibility

SKILL Competencies Measured by OMG Evaluations:

  • Hunting
  • Relationship building
  • Qualifying
  • Consultative
  • Closing
  • Presenting
  • Negotiation
  • Reaching decision makers

Sales DNA Competencies Measured by OMG Evaluations:

  • Coachability
  • Handles Rejection
  • Controls emotion
  • Comfortable discussing money
  • Technology/Video savvy

Schedule a consultative conversation here to learn more about OMG Evaluations and how you can improve the WILL and SKILL of your sales talent!



Only 53% of sales performers achieve their sales goals each year. This year, this number will drop below 49% and many of my sales colleagues and experts are forecasting it could be closer to 40%.  Some industries like home renovation & building materials, pet supply and janitorial/cleaning are seeing a major up-swing in the increase in sales…and even these sales performers are being impacted by these 5 factors.

In working closely with sales leaders and their sales teams, we have identified these top 5 factors that are influencing sales performance, and what you can do to combat them to close the gap…

  1. Human Disconnection

Most sales professionals are outgoing social creatures who thrive on relationships, bringing people together to secure the deal and being road warriors.  Sales pros are feeling disconnected from their clients, fellow sales team members, and even from their sales leaders. Lack of F2F human interaction, collaboration and networking is disconnecting sales professionals, and in turn, they’re becoming less motivated and enthusiastic. Ways to combat this would be implementing 1:1 Coaching Calls, daily huddles, virtual coffee breaks, and ringing the bell when securing sales.  A simple way to eliminate disconnection is turn on your video during virtual calls and ask your customer to turn on their camera – it will build rapport, trust and can turn into business!

  1. Commitment

Salespeople are feeling less committed to their roles, which can greatly impact their sales performance. The decreased motivation sent people into a ‘service’ vs ‘sell’ mindset to be more sensitive to their clients during these uncertain times of COVID, though it often results in pushing goals to the back burner. Low commitment can change by creating stronger goals that will get a sales professional excited to take their sales performance to the next level of sales success, and aligned to the company goals.  Choosing a personal goal to work on after work hours will increase productivity and commitment when working, especially when these goals are shared with managers to increase accountability. A new hobby or interest can ignite an internal spark.

  1. Prospecting

Due to lack of tradeshows, events, and travelling, prospecting has taken a hard hit during COVID,  exposing a major gap in sales performance. The lack of tradeshows, live meetings, drop-ins, and conferences leaves salespeople dry for leads and forces harder prospecting. A way to combat this is by committing to a 90-day virtual prospecting blitz.  A simple strategy of 5 prospecting calls by 5pm, or even 10 calls by 10am – along with the double whammy approach will generate more leads.

  1. Presenting solutions to solve a problem

In this virtual-selling reality, simply sending a quote or proposal via email and hoping it gets a “yes” is not going to cut it. Salespeople must demonstrate GRIT, by being more creative and proactive in their presentations now that they are virtual. Schedule a virtual call to present your solution to them, and make sure your proposal actually solves a problem! If you can demonstrate what problem your solution solves and how it would benefit the buyer, your chances of scoring a “yes” improve dramatically.

If you can demonstrate what problem your solution solves and how it would benefit the buyer, your chances of scoring a “yes” improve dramatically. Click To Tweet
  1. PURPOSE Consultative Conversations.

Too many salespeople are unsure how to conduct a great virtual call and are bumbling through the call frustrating themselves and even the buyer for not being purposeful.  Our PURPOSE Conversation is a proven framework that will build confidence in a simple step-by-step approach to demonstrate you are being consultative right from preparing for the meeting, all the way through executing next steps. Download our complimentary PURPOSE Conversation template from our Tools & Templates page here.

Closing these gaps is incredibly important, ignoring them will only make them widen and push sales goals further out of reach. Being aware of these performance gaps is the first step on the road to sales recovery.



Are you a Sales Road Warrior who is realizing that COVID is changing the way you can sell?

Even though some customers don’t want to turn on their cameras, buyers are telling us that virtual selling is more efficient and effective than the F2F meetings of the past. 

Buyers are telling us that virtual selling is more efficient and effective than the F2F meetings of the past. Click To Tweet


The first change to virtual selling that needs to happen is with Sales Professionals. In a recent webinar, 42% of sales professionals stated that they realize they need to embrace virtual selling as it is here to stay. Additionally, 35% stated that human disconnection from their customers & team is widening their sales performance gap, making it more difficult to achieve their 2020 sales goals. 43% stated getting really good & confident to apply the PURPOSE Consultative Framework in a virtual platform would help them to accelerate their sales recovery.


Self Talk – What is the self-talk that needs to change the most to confidently sell virtually? 

  1. I can learn different virtual platforms 10%
  2. Customers/buyers will buy from me virtually – 7%
  3. I can sell as well virtually as F2F – 27%
  4. I can do an interactive Lunch n’ Learn or demo using different platform features with polls & chat box – 9%
  5. I must embrace virtual selling, as F2F Customers Meetings will be the exception this fall – 47%


Which Factor is Widening your Sales Performance GAP? 

  1. Human Dis-Connection – 35%
  2. Commitment – 11%
  3. Prospecting – 22%
  4. PURPOSE Consultative Conversations – 16%
  5. Presenting Solutions to Solve a Problem – 15%


Which Strategy will Accelerate your Recovery? Choose Top 2

  1. Changing your Mindset – 42%
  2. Goals – to get you excited & committed – 30%
  3. Prospecting Virtually – with a 90-Day Prospect Blitz – 39%
  4. Get REALLY good & confident to apply PURPOSE in a virtual platform – 43%
  5. Presenting Proposals to Solve Problems with Next Step Follow-up – 22%


Sale Professional Advice:

To build rapport and trust during a virtual call, it begins with your mindset, turning on your camera and asking your customer to turn on your camera (all you have to do is ask and they will – it works be for me about 98% of the time) and the apply the PURPOSE Consultative framework. Download PURPOSE template here.

Sales Leaders Advice:

What is your Sales Leader Mindset – do you want to turn your Sales Road Warriors into Tech Titans?  Your team needs a strong leader and coach to help them embrace the new way of selling and it begins with you, your mindset and the tools you can provide to them to confidently sell virtually.