The study, based on interviews with 64 senior-level sales executives, also found a disconnect between sales and marketing. Nearly half (47%) of companies polled said the core sales and marketing messages are not the same.
Sales executives are also relying on tried-and-true strategies to pull them through the recession. The most common tactics being used to improve sales are spending more time on the phone (50%), increasing customer service (59%), and offering new services to customers (55%).
Steven Cody, managing partner of PepperCom, said most sales executives fall into one of two categories: grizzled veterans who are somewhat set in their ways or Generation X rookies who have never been forced to sell in a down economy.
"What they're both missing is the wherewithal to understand the customer or prospect's pain and how best to sell against that pain," Cody said.