Struggle for Relevance in Pandemic-Stricken Marketplace is Near-Universal, Sales Leaders Say

Sales challenges, team alignment, and personal distractions among the causes noted in the 2020 Sales Leader Survey, administered by The Brooks Group

Fewer than a third of sales executives believe they will meet their strategic sales objectives this year – a startling, yet expected, side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic noted in the 2020 Sales Leadership Report, a whitepaper released today by The Brooks Group, an acclaimed sales training and consulting organization.

More than 175 sales executives – ranging from Chief Sales Officer to Sales Manager – took part in the Survey used to power the recommendations in the whitepaper, available free of charge at

The report, an annual gauge of market sentiment and sales team readiness in the face of contemporary challenges, seeks to measure responses against four cornerstones of high performing sales organizations, including talent; training and development; leading, managing and coaching; and process and standards of work.

“Few would argue that 2020 has completely changed the game for businesses, and this is reflected throughout our survey and whitepaper,” said Gary Fly, President, The Brooks Group. “We observed deep uncertainty in all four of the cornerstone areas, as businesses grapple with the fundamental challenge of how to do more with less while restoring positive momentum among sales teams.”

Findings outlined in the report include:​

  • 74% of leaders are also actively servicing accounts, which creates distractions that can affect their ability to motivate and manage sales professionals.
  • There’s a misalignment between performance metrics – what is expected of sales professionals – and compensation metrics – or how they are remunerated on performance. For example, though 51% of sales professionals felt that company profits were their company’s main measure of sales success, only 33% felt their compensation reflected their contribution to profitability.

This has driven a thread of discontent which already existed in some companies pre-COVID, and spiked after the pandemic caused leaders to tear up their 2020 playbook.

For example, 73% of respondents felt their pipelines were running dry in March, up from 38% earlier this year. An additional 29% of respondents felt that insufficient selling skills will limit their team’s success, and 27% noted a lack of organizational process to support sales goals.

  • Only 9% of respondents said that they would consider their operations to be “business as usual,” with the need to go virtual and conserve cash causing many leaders to pivot on the fly.

Despite the market uncertainty, most sales leaders noted the importance of the “table stakes” of sales – coaching, upskilling, and regular assessments of team performance – in regulating the uncertainty.

“The industry is facing times of unprecedented turmoil,” Fly added. “While a creative response to evolving conditions is critical, leaders must not abandon fundamental good practices. This report indicates how critical best practices can be in creating the structure that supports the attainment of goals.”

​Tracy Baumann
Marketing Director
(866) 711-9164

Source: The Brooks Group


Categories: Business

Tags: corporate sales training, industrial distribution sales training, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales management training, sales selection, sales training, sales training firm, top 20 sales training companies

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Founded in 1977, The Brooks Group is an award-winning B2B sales training company focused on bringing practical, straightforward solutions to your sales force selection and training challenges.

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