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7 Deadly Sins of Top Sales Teams

Complex sales opportunities require the entire company to work together.

The most challenging sales situations--and the world's top sales people--are found inside the high tech industries, where complex million-dollar deals are forged every day.

However, even top sales teams falter and fail if they neglect the rest of their company, according Sharon Daniels, CEO of the sales effectiveness firm AchieveGlobal.

With that in mind, here are seven huge "sins" that can transform a top sales team into an organization nightmare:

1. Lone Wolfing.

The sales team hides the size of an opportunity and tries to develop it alone. When the deal moves forward, there's no internal support for the deal.  Fix:

2. Overcommitment. 

The sales team gets too many complex deals "in the hopper," making it impossible to address any of them adequately.

3. Wishful Thinking.

The sales team gets so enamored with the size of an opportunity that they fails to withdraw when closing the deal becomes unlikely or impossible.

4. Jumping the Gun.

The sales team underestimates the complexity of the opportunity and try to close it before working all the customer's issues.

5. Fingerpointing.

The sales team blames failed opportunities on the unwillingness of other teams to support the effort (and vice versa).

6. Showboating. 

The sales team treats other employees shabbily because it forgets that sales success is dependent upon the quality of their internal relationships.

7. Stovepiping. 

The sales team pursues its own agenda regardless of whether the rest of the company is has gotten aboard for the ride.

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Last updated: Jun 27, 2013


Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

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