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Are you prepared to sell in the age of distraction?

A shift to Outcome Selling can help sales teams regain their focus—and their sales momentum.


Chief sales officers (CSOs) have spent billions on tools to improve sales performance. Yet, sales productivity has declined over the past five years. We believe an inability to focus is largely to blame.

Sales agents, sales leaders and customers now contend with different and growing sources of distraction. Too much information, too many choices, competing sales imperatives, and too many tools, processes and policies are taking their toll.

By applying actionable insights and Outcome Selling techniques, CSOs can help cut through the noise and, in the process, shape sellers’ behaviors, as well as the outcomes customers demand and deserve.


Key Findings

The costs associated with distraction in the sales process are significant.

  • Sales productivity. Fifty-nine percent of sales reps believe they have too many sales tools, and 55 percent consider these tools to be more of an obstacle than a facilitator of sales performance.

  • Talent readiness. Too many demands and not enough training contribute to sales rep turnover—up to 20 percent per year in some industries. With so many processes, tools and data sources, the onboarding process of new hires takes six months. Time-to-proficiency takes nine.

  • Customer defection. Sixty-four percent of customers switched at least one of their providers last year. Had sellers not been distracted, it’s likely they could have identified at-risk customers and retained a number of defectors. Indeed, our research showed that 81 percent of consumers who switched believed their providers could have done something to prevent them from leaving.


In the “age of distraction,” CSOs must transition from giving sellers more time to sell to a strategy that helps them deliver the outcomes their organizations want and the experiences their customers demand. The key to making that shift is Outcome Selling.

Outcome Selling is rooted in a holistic understanding of sales team’s abilities, customer preferences, and high-value sales opportunities. Armed with such insights, sales leaders can apply greater precision to their planning activities and, more importantly, apply active sales management techniques that enable sellers to make better, more strategic use of the time they have with customers.

Learn more about Accenture Strategy


Jason Angelos

Jason Angelos

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy
Advanced Customer Strategy

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Gregory Solomon

Gregory Solomon

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy
Advanced Customer Strategy, Sales Strategy and Transformation

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Berkeley Warburton

Berkeley Warburton

Managing Director
Advanced Customer Strategy, Canada Lead

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