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Maximizing Sales Performance: Boosting Deal Size and Velocity

Selling Effectiveness

CEOs are constantly seeking ways to enhance the performance of their Go-To-Market (GTM) teams, but this is not easy in the face of Frugalnomics.

According to recent research, up to 70% of CEOs have observed stagnant or declining trends in deal size and deal velocity, making it harder to reach revenue goals, and get seller productivity to desired levels.

So this means, in order to achieve growth targets, sales leaders will need to add even more sellers than currently planned, or get buyer capabilities elevated to address conservative purchasing habits and buyer behavior shifts.

While many sellers struggle to adapt to these changing dynamics, there are a select few who continue to thrive. 

The Four Types of Seller Approaches

Sales research firm SBI dove deep with 325 B2B sales reps and managers, to identify four distinct “seller approaches” that correlate with success in today’s market. Four types were identified:

The Narrowing Approach (34% of sellers)

Buyers have an abundance of information and as a result of overload, often stall their decisions in the face of over-choice. 

Sellers taking the Narrowing Approach curate information and help clarify and streamline the buyer’s decision-making process. By eliminating distractions and guiding buyers towards each next step in the decision making process, these sellers establish themselves as trusted authorities, facilitating wins. 

This approach was shown to boost deal size by 7%, however deals took longer to close by 20%. The results from this sales style were still positive overall, with the deal size boost outweighing the longer sales cycle.

The Provoking Approach (19% of sellers)

Many times, buyers don’t know they have an issue worth addressing and need inspiration to get things going. 

Sellers utilizing this Provoking Approach leverage insights and thought leadership to attract buyers into their sales funnel. Through tailored outreach and targeted follow-ups, they provoke buyer reconsideration, ultimately nurturing leads towards conversion, very much matching the Challenger style approach. 

These sellers were able to achieve a 9% boost in deal sizes, but wins took 22% longer to close. Again, the deal size boost outweighed the delay making this style still productive, but perhaps there is a better way with today’s buyer?

The Translating Approach (25% of sellers)

Buyers overwhelmed with information when they do their own research are having a hard time properly diagnosing their issues and knowing what pains and prescriptive solutions to prioritize. This uncertainty leads to stalled deals and canceled buying journeys.

Sellers who can take a Translating Approach, understanding the buyer’s unique needs and challenges to provide diagnostic clarity and inspiration. By demonstrating commercial empathy and showcasing how their offering addresses the buyer’s specific requirements, these sellers build rapport and expedite the sales process. 

As a result, the research revealed the largest boost in deal size (16%) and slightly quicker time to close.

The Anticipating Approach (22% of sellers)

More decision makers are involved in each purchase decision (over a dozen active per enterprise deal) making it difficult for buyers to gain consensus and arrive at a decision that is good for all involved. And more processes and hurdles have been installed, to reduce the risks of making a poor decision.

Sellers leverage the Anticipating Approach proactively identify and address potential obstacles in the buyer’s journey. By collaborating closely with buyers and anticipating their needs, these sellers minimize risks and maintain momentum throughout the sales cycle.

Sellers with an Anticipating Approach were shown to accelerate the decision process through their clarifying and streamlining efforts, some 12% shorter, and moreover, generate 11% larger deal sizes by helping with consensus.

Top Performers are More Inspirational

While all of these characteristics helped buyers to reduce stalled decisions, boost deal sizes and resulted in more wins, the research indicates that a proactive, more inspirational “pulling” approach with buyers, denoted by the Translating and Anticipating styles can generate more impact than “pushing” strategies like Narrowing and Provoking.

The Bottom-Line

With buyer behaviors driven by economic uncertainty, more deals are slipping and deal sizes are under pressure. Adding even more sellers than already planned is not a likely option. so sales leaders will need to get more effectiveness out of each commercial team member.

While each seller approach offers unique advantages, a nuanced understanding of when and how to deploy these strategies is essential for maximizing sales performance. 

By prioritizing approaches that prioritize diagnostics and prescriptions, decision process confidence and collaboration, GTM teams can not only increase deal size but also accelerate deal velocity, driving sustainable growth in an increasingly spendthrift and competitive landscape.


Checkout these great ways to get arm, enable and active the right seller approaches.


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