Sales performance

Why the classic sales model doesn’t work

Are you thinking about implementing a new sales process? Beware for some pitfalls.

Are you thinking about implementing a new sales process, but you cannot separate the wheat from the chaff? There are theories that may sound nice but do not work in practice and thinking in terms of complex, modern or simple does not always guarantee quality. A sales process is difficult to impose, it needs proper implementation.

Questions you must ask yourself for every sales model

The following weeks I will guide you through several known processes and I will discuss a few criteria you should take into account. For a start: the sales model that has almost become a classic.

This is not about the customer

It is clear that this is a linear process. Your salespeople will immediately see that this sales process representation is old-fashioned and simplistic and does not reflect reality. Your sales team offers resistance and rightly so, because this process does not enable them to properly assess, follow-up or report the customer’s situation. A good salesperson will do what they have to do and will enter a status based on individual interpretation. Mostly, CRM is somewhat outdated because the salesperson does not benefit from it.

It is a rigid model with little room for variation. Moreover, it forces the salesperson to report from his/her own activities. As a result, the management cannot properly evaluate the customer’s situation and it is impossible to provide coaching to guide the salesperson accordingly.


The process starts from your own activities and therefore does not depend on the market or the product complexity, which seems really interesting. However, it is so meaningless that it hardly improves the functioning of your company in the end. It is true that this linear step-by-step plan is simple and easy to remember, but due to this oversimplification the process is not applicable in reality.

Too little information is available, so that additional fields in CRM will probably be created so as to compensate this inadequacy. If you work with this model, you have to work with visit reports. Such reports are very time-consuming and do not allow structured reporting.

Not recommended

We can only advise you against working with this model. It increases the administrative burden, is impossible to maintain in reality and will jeopardise good collaboration between your different departments. Your salespeople will be frustrated and will not meet their quota.

About Pascal Persyn

Pascal supports organisations in delivering commercial excellence in the areas of Sales Enablement, Content Strategy and Buyer Journey Enablement. His pet projects are about helping companies overcome challenges due to the empowered customer and thus evolving into buyer-aligned organisations. His executive experience in private, VC-backed and public companies enables doing the right thing at the right time with the right people. Don’t hesitate to contact Pascal for expert advice: