John Grubbs - When Training Matters

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5 sales skills

The inherent problem with professional sales is the knowledge gap.  Years ago, I heard someone say expertise requires the accumulation of 50,000 units of knowledge.  The problem occurs when people reach 10,000 units of knowledge and believe they know the subject at a high level while being utterly unaware of the remaining 40,000 units of knowledge. 

The 40,000-unit deficit is routine in the field of professional sales.  This reality is called the sales skills gap (SSG), a significant challenge facing most sales teams today.  They do know what they do not know.  More significantly, companies do not seek to resolve the SSG because they are entirely unaware of its existence.  Below are five of the most common skills that comprise a much larger ecosystem of unawareness in professional sales.

I teach sales professionals to uncover these gaps and treat them as learning opportunities, not signs of weakness. Successful sales innovation rests on the assumption that you have a high-quality understanding of the problem. This reality uncovers a flaw in that assumption that will help you find a sales solution.  Many sales reps find they cannot explain the workings of skills they think they understand when put to the test. There are gaps in knowledge (SSG) and instances where they are clueless as to their ignorance.

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