Industry reform: Cut cycle of outdated selling methods and inject innovation into training

Natural Showcase: The sales industry has a bad reputation. Part of the reason, says Ben Turner of The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM), is because certain companies are happy to simply recycle old ideas and jump on the cyclical system of sales training. Innovation, on the whole, is lacking. How can sales teams develop effective strategies that will work for them and then use those strategies to climb into the elusive top-tier of sales performers in the country?

Ben Turner (pictured), spoke at our Natural Showcase event last month, and led with bad news.

In an ISMM survey, 50% of buyers said they would not be proud to call themselves “sales people”. More than two-thirds (36%) said the quality of sales professionals was only ‘fair’, and far fewer rated it as ‘excellent’. When asked what they thought of the quality of UK sales people, attendees of the Natural Showcase reluctantly agreed that they were ‘naïve’ and their performance was ‘poor’.

Ben Turner was quick to point out, we should add, that there are sales training businesses that are driving in the opposite direction. And, the author of the foreword for Natural Training’s sales training book, The Natural Sales Evolution, maintained that the Natural Training’s innovative and creative approach to selling is a leading light.

Ben Turner and the ISMM are looking to change things. The solid framework seen in marketing and developed in the 1960s and 70s by thought leaders such as Kotler and Maslow, has no equivalent in sales. The ISMM was set up to collect research and ideas, and consolidate global thinking on sales technique, he told delegates.

The obstacles for sales are:

  • Its bad reputation
  • Its lack of agreed knowledge
  • Its system of training


The Natural Showcase attendees collectively agreed. The standard of training in sales is low, and currently, Ben said, it’s only bad sales managers who become sales trainers. These trainers simply recycle the same tired training that they learnt.

Delegates were reminded that there is no ‘silver bullet’, no one trick that can solve all of their sales challenges. A huge range of factors can impact on the effectiveness of a sales strategy, so it’s about knowing what’s right for you, and applying the most suitable plan of action.

For this reason, the showcase room was told that the ISMM is petitioning for an internationally recognised qualification to be available in sales. Trainers will not regurgitate the same ‘hot new technique’ that they learnt ten years earlier, but be educated in all areas of sales, and be able to master this challenging profession.

The educated trainers will then pass these ideas on to trainees, and the countrywide population of sales professionals will be educated, talented and skilled in the art of selling. This, Ben explained, will cut the damaging cycle of out-dated selling methods and replace it with the kind of innovative and modern approach that is laid out in the sales training book, The Natural Sales Evolution.

Download free chapters of The Natural Sales Evolution, the sales training book that has a foreword written by Ben Turner – click here.

“The Natural Sales Evolution encapsulates the change in the modern world and offers insight and expertise on how to handle and compete. This book is a must read for any knowledge-driven salesperson; a must for any sales professional.”

Ben Turner of The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM)

Talk with a member of the Natural Training team today to discuss how our “modern world” approach could lead to higher profit and revenue in 2013 for your sales team. Call the team on 0207 043 1582 or email

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