How Much Time Do Sales People Waste?

As sellers, we waste over 90% of our time. We need to find prospects, get them bought-in to the possibility of using our solution, get them what they need to understand our solution and how it might fit, get past gatekeepers, manage objections, get to the right people who will know how to buy us, and wait. And then, we only close a small fraction.

There must be a better way to do this, no?

  1. if we knew who would be a prospect on the first call, and get rid of those who will never buy, how much time would we save?
  2. if most gatekeepers would get us to the right person, how much time would we save?
  3. if we can connect with all of the folks who will ultimately be (or are already) on the Buying Decision Team, how many more sales would we close?
  4. if there are no more objections of any kind, how much time would we save and how much more money would we make?
  5. if buyers could make a buying decision in the time frame that we believe is possible (i.e. those buyers who call up and purchase quickly are good examples of what’s possible for every sale),

how much more business would we close? And why can’t we make these things happen?

The Reasons You Are Not Getting The Results You Deserve

To begin with, you are beginning at the end of the buyer’s journey – the purchasing decision – and must wait while they manage the internal, systems and change issues necessary prior to any purchase. As sellers, you have been trained to find appropriate prospects: you have not been trained to help them begin or traverse their journey through the pre-sales behind-the-scenes decision path that ischange management/systems based, and has more to do with internal politics, relationship issues and time lines than it does with purchasing a solution or choosing a vendor.

As a result, you have learned ways to manage the fallout you’ve received from attempting to offer a solution at the wrong time. (objections, no call backs, stalls, no appointments, no response to appointments or proposals, unwillingness to speak, no purchase) Or from attempting to offer a solution that folks might not know they need.  Or know they need but haven’t figured out how to get buy-in. Or they haven’t figured out all of the right people to assemble for the buying decision team.

Every buying decision is a change management problem.

The only reason you aren’t closing more sales, and the reason you end up wasting time with non-buyers and delayed sales cycles, is not because of your solution. Your solution is fine. So is your care and respect and personality.

You’re wasting your time trying to place a solution before the buyer has lined up the change management issues they must contend with. But that’s the job of the sales model. It was not invented to facilitate the buying decision path. That’s why I invented Buying Facilitation®.

The Buying Facilitation® Model Works With Sales To Manage The Buying Decision.

Buying Facilitation® works as a precursor to sales – it is not a solution placement model – to manage the back end of issues buyers must address privately before they can buy. By starting your prospecting by first helping buyers address change issues on their way to seeking excellence (hopefully with your solution),


  • Gatekeepers will help you find the right people to talk to rather than put you off.
  • You can help buyers put together their entire Buying Decision Team on the first call.
  • You will no longer get objections (fallout from the sales model) – price or otherwise.
  • You will be differentiated from your competition immediately.
  • Your buyers will buy in approximately 1/8 the time (sometimes with very large sales the number drops to 1/4).
  • You will know who is a buyer and who is not, on the first call.

Buying Facilitation employs a different skill set; Listening for systems rather than need; formulating facilitative questions that help change rather than using questions; following a coded sequence that enables change rather than gathering information. It’s not sales. But really – do you want to keep having those super long sales cycles and getting objections? Do you really want pipelines that aren’t converting?

About the Author

Sharon Drew Morgen is a visionary, original thinker, and thought leader in change management and decision facilitation. She works as a coach, trainer, speaker, and consultant, and has authored 9 books including the NYTimes Business BestsellerSelling with Integrity. Morgen developed the Buying Facilitation® method in 1985 to facilitate change decisions, notably to help buyers buy and help leaders and coaches affect permanent change. Her newest book What? explains how to close the gap between what’s said and what’s heard. She can be reached at [email protected]

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *