Sales Force


What are the most common roadblocks that stop you from exceeding your sales goals? Often, as I teach ad sales training workshops, I observe sales people struggling against five roadblocks to sales success. We can tackle and fix these together.

1. Call-to-close ratios: Do you know how many calls you need to make to get to a meeting? What about how many meetings you need to host to close the deal? The analytics of my sales numbers show these averages: I work 50 clients to get 10 meetings. From those 10 meetings, I present eight proposals. From the eight proposals, I close five deals. To beat this roadblock, you must know your call-to-close ratios.

2. Total sales touches: My company’s research shows that it takes 12 to 15 touches to get a potential buyer to respond. Most sales people give up after four attempts. Drip marketing is slowly, consistently placing your sales marketing information — or message — in front of a potential buyer. Drip marketing is the only way to beat this roadblock. Create email and voicemail templates that vary in length, tone and subject. Understand that an immediate response is probably not going to happen. Use videos in your emails to boost interactivity. Increase your touches to beat this roadblock.

3. Be realistic: Most sales people are unrealistic about the time it takes see a change in ad sales results. In most cases, once you change to your sales processes, it will take at least a month to see the results. Rarely have I observed a “quick fix” to sales problems. When someone hires me as a sales coach, one of the first questions I ask is how committed that person is to make changes and stay the course. Be patient.

4. Don’t procrastinate: Most sales people wait until a deadline is looming to get serious about selling.  Clients buy when they are ready — not when you are. One of the keys to sales success is starting early and understanding your buyers’ purchase cycles. In general, there are two types of sales personalities: “hunters” and “farmers.” Identify which you are and adjust your timeframe. “Farmers” need more time to nurture the need, so plant your ideas with your prospects early. If you are “hunter,” don’t wait until the last minute, though — and know that your style might not fit the client. Make plans to work hard months — not days — before a sales deadline.

5. Seek training: Most sales people lack sufficient training to put best practices into place. What are you as a sales person doing to grow your skills? What about hiring a sales coach or attending a sales training conference? Most sales people wait for their company to pay for the training or coaching but investing in yourself — even in small ways — will only benefit you. Commit to training.

I encourage you to assess which of these issues is affecting you the most, and then commit to spend at least 30 days working to overcome it. Find an accountability buddy to help you stay on track — or hire a sales coach.

Ryan DohrnRyan Dohrn is the founder of sales training and consulting firm Brain Swell Media and the creator of the 360 Ad Sales Training System. He has coached over 3,000 ad sales reps in seven countries. Contact him at


International sales training expert Ryan Dohrn of Brain Swell Media will speak Sept. 27 at the Business Owner Summit in Bluffton, sponsored by Frey Media. For more information and tickets, go to