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The sales professional is the sale

What's the most influential factor in business-to-business sales? It isn't competitive pricing. It isn't your product's Six Sigma quality. It isn't your product's innovative features or your company's ability to deliver a total solution.
Certainly, all of these influence your customer's buying decisions, but surprisingly, none of them is the most influential factor in business-to-business; it is you - the sales professional.

You don't have to take our word on this; it is business customers themselves who have placed salespeople in the top spot.

Statistical analysis

Since 1988, our statistical analysis of purchasing decisions has demonstrated that the sales professional is the most important factor in determining what customers purchase, how much they pay, and how long they stick with the lucky suppliers they choose from the thousands of business-to-business sellers competing for their business.

In fact, our analysis proved that salesperson effectiveness accounts for 39% of customer's buying decisions and is the most important decision factor - more influential than price, quality, and the availability of a total solution.

This is a notable development in the sales world, and it represents the emergence of a new competitive advantage in the B2B arena. Sales professionals have become the leading influence on their customer's buying processes - more important than the selling price, more important than the offering's features and benefits, more important than the product and service quality.

Added value

This means that the effectiveness of sales professionals themselves can be an added value to their customers and a competitive advantage for their employers.

In the 1960s, media guru Marshall McLuhan declared that the medium is the message. Now, in the business world, the salesperson is the sale.

About Peter Gilbert

A sales veteran with over 30 years of experience, Peter Gilbert is MD of HR Chally SA (, an international sales consulting company specialising in talent management and recruitment. He is passionate about sales as a profession and the identification of real sales talent who can really sell! Email him at
Brett Vorster
Yeah I find its less about the brand and more about the people - after all its the people who can either make or break it so it makes total sense.
Posted on 17 May 2012 09:10