Based on your answers....

You have a transactional sales team

Transactional selling applies to high-margin, low-value commoditised marketplaces and focuses on selling without much customisation or bespoke processes.

How to optimise your transactional sales team

Transactional selling applies to high-margin, low-value commoditised marketplaces and focuses on selling without much customisation or bespoke processes. 

Ensure your sales team knows the products and services they are selling inside out. Your sales talent should understand the client or customer's challenges, how your products and services differ from your competitors, and how your solutions can overcome the buyer's pain points. 

You must also ensure your salespeople understand what they are selling, who they are selling to, and how to adapt their selling style to the specific persona. To achieve this, you should test your sales reps regularly to ensure they have expert knowledge of your product and service offering and know how you differ from your competitors.

When building your transactional sales team, a key thing to consider is whether your salespeople understand the value of your offering, be it a product or a solution. Of course, they may have the general knowledge of what you’re selling, but understanding the value is another thing entirely. The best way to do this is to ask them questions. 

Here are some questions to ask your sales team to ensure they understand the value of your products or services. 

  • Who is our target audience? 

  • What do we offer? 

  • How would you differentiate us from the market?

Your sales team must have the core transactional selling skills to ensure they bring the best results for your business. One of the critical skills your salespeople should have is the ability to ask the buyer the right questions. Good questioning involves asking open-ended questions. Your salespeople should ask an open question, for example, 'what is the biggest challenge you are facing?' Allow the customer to answer, then respond with a pitch of how your solutions can help.

Transactional selling is fast-paced and very active, so you must ensure your sales team is aligned with the behaviours of transactional sales, from being prepared to keep picking up the phone and reacting professionally to wins and losses to remaining resilient in striving to win the next sale. In addition, you must ensure your salespeople have the right behaviours and attitudes to help take your sales performance to the next level. 

Establishing or changing the way you target and KPI your team could fall under the behaviours of your transactional salespeople. So, for example, you could shift from measuring the volume of calls to measuring the next stage that happens as a result of that call - this might be a demo booked, a product in the pipeline to be sold or a second-stage meeting booked in the diary. 

You could look at conversion rates and how much your salespeople can convert on average while incentivising your team to grow existing accounts rather than solely focus on winning new business. 

Evaluating the qualitative nature of the conversations that are being had between your salespeople and your clients is essential to building your sales team. What do we mean by that?

As sales leaders, how many times are we listening to those first-stage calls?
And if we're listening, what are we measuring against? 

The next steps might be to provide your sales team with additional coaching on their knowledge of your businesses products or services and their value of them, the behaviours you wish to instil in your team to the skills you want to develop.  

Key questions to check the performance of your team:

  • What would be classed as a good call versus an exceptional call? 
  • Do your salespeople know what your business considers to be best practices?
  • How did your salesperson start the call?
  • How did the salesperson set an agenda? 
  • How open were their questions?
  • How often did they summarise to check back and confirm the information that they've gathered? 
  • How well did they build rapport with the client? 
  • How well did they gain commitment in the next stages?

If you can answer all of these questions, you’ll be feeling confident you have a top performing transactional sales approach. If you’re not feeling confident, reach out to our expert below for an exploratory conversation.

Samantha Tuohy

Global Sales Director - Performance Consultancy & Training

  • 12
    Years at Pareto
  • Date Joined 7/6/2011
  • Team Training Division

Athene Carr is a Commercial Consultancy & Training expert with over 6 years of experience at Pareto. As part of the Training Division at Pareto, she specialises in building bespoke training programs and consulting with global sales businesses. Through comprehensive audits, Athene and her team identy areas for improvement and provide strategic recommendations to enable businesses to achieve remarkable growth and realise their potential.

Now that you're aware of your team's progress, let's dive deeper into the transactional selling method to maximise your sales potential.

Understanding transactional selling

Typically, the transactional selling approach applies to the B2C market, where the buyer commonly has a conscious need to invest in the product or service, but the model can also apply to B2B. 

With transactional selling, the buyer already recognises they have a pain point and knows the solution to fix it. So the buyer will look at the differences in features and benefits between various products or services. Salespeople will adopt the transactional sales model by approaching buyers who have pain points that the products or services can solve. 

Transactional sales are typically completed through sales calls, either through virtual or in-person meetings, and are often closed more quickly and seamlessly than any other sales model. 

closing the sale

When to use transactional selling

Although transactional selling has excellent benefits, this approach can be limiting.

Transactional sales environments tend to be one-way conversations, which can restrict the potential of what you can gain from a client such as insight into their business and limit the opportunities for having in-depth discussions and forming long-term relationships which can lead to upsell opportunities.

However, it’s important to know that having a transactional sales environment can be of great value, especially if your business model is primarily focused on making quick wins and taking large orders, offering low-value but high-volume products or services to an extensive client base. 

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