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Sales Coaching
May 19, 2023
Nishit Asnani
Get ready to revolutionize your sales approach with Gap Selling! Learn how to identify and bridge the 'gap' for your clients, and discover how AI is supercharging this powerful approach.

Imagine you're a chef, and you've just whipped up the most delectable dish, but your customers don't seem to be excited about it. Bummer, right? Well, sales can be a similar story. You can have the best product, but if it doesn't solve your customer's problem, it's just a shiny object. Here's where Gap Selling comes to the rescue. This method shifts the focus from the shiny object (your product) to the king (your customer's problem). Let's dive into the delicious world of Gap Selling.

What is Gap Selling?

Gap Selling is a sales methodology developed by the sales guru, Keenan, which centers around the idea of finding the 'gap' between your client's current state and their desired future state. It's all about identifying their 'pain points', and positioning your product as the perfect painkiller.

Why is Gap Selling Effective?

Gap Selling is effective because it speaks the customer's language. It's about understanding their problems and offering a solution, rather than just flaunting your product's features. It's like being a doctor who diagnoses the problem first and then prescribes the medicine.

The Core Principle of Gap Selling

The core principle of Gap Selling is empathy. It's about stepping into your customer's shoes, feeling their pain, and guiding them to a better future. It's about being their Yoda in the galaxy of problems.

The Four Key Components of Gap Selling

Gap Selling is like a four-course meal, with each course serving a different purpose. Let's dig in!

Current State

Identifying Your Prospect's Current Situation

The first course is all about understanding your prospect's current situation. This involves diving deep into their world, identifying their problems, and understanding the root cause. It's like being a detective, solving the mystery of their problems.

Understanding the Challenges in the Current State

Once you've identified the problems, it's time to understand the challenges associated with them. It involves analyzing the impact of these problems on their business, the inefficiencies they're causing, and the opportunities they're missing out on. It's about painting a picture of their problem-ridden world.

Desired Future State

Discovering the Prospect's Goals and Aspirations

The second course is about discovering your prospect's goals and aspirations. It's about understanding what their dream world looks like, what they want to achieve, and how they envision their future. It's like looking into their crystal ball and seeing their future.

Articulating the Potential Benefits of the Future State

Once you've seen their future, it's time to articulate the benefits. This involves highlighting the potential growth, increased efficiency, and the overall benefits they would enjoy in their desired future state. It's like showing them the trailer of a blockbuster movie where they're the star.

The Gap

Defining the Gap: From Current to Future State

The third course is about defining the gap. It's the distance between their current state and their desired future state. Your goal is to highlight this gap and make them realize the need to bridge it. It's like showing them the gap on a map and how it's preventing them from reaching their destination.

Quantifying the Gap for Prospects 

Now, it's time to put a number to the gap. This involves quantifying the gap in terms of lost profits, inefficiencies, or any other metric that resonates with your prospect. It's about showing them the 'cost of inaction' and how ignoring the gap is costing their business. It's like showing them the price tag of their problems.

Your Solution

Positioning Your Product/Service as a Bridge to the Future State

The final course is about showcasing your product or service as the bridge that can help them cross the gap. It's about aligning your solution with their problems and demonstrating how it can help them reach their desired future state. It's like presenting your dish as the perfect recipe to satiate their hunger.

Selling the Vision: How Your Solution Fits

The last bite of the final course is about selling the vision. It involves painting a vivid picture of how their world would look like once your solution is implemented. It's like showing them a glimpse of a future where their problems are solved, and they're thriving.

Implementing Gap Selling in Your Sales Process

Now that we've savored the four-course meal of Gap Selling, let's look at how to implement it in your sales process.

The Importance of Effective Listening and Questioning

Effective listening and questioning are the utensils you need for Gap Selling. It's about digging deeper into your prospect's world, understanding their pain points, and crafting your solution accordingly. It's about being the Sherlock Holmes of their world.

Overcoming Objections in Gap Selling

Objections are the spices of sales. They add flavor to the conversation and provide an opportunity to further understand the gap and refine your solution. It's about turning the heat up and using objections to enhance your selling.

Leveraging Gap Selling in Complex Sales Scenarios

Complex sales scenarios are like a multi-layered lasagna. Each layer needs to be addressed individually, and that's where Gap Selling shines. It allows you to peel off each layer, understand the underlying problems, and offer a tailored solution. It's about being the masterchef who knows how to cook the perfect lasagna.

The Role of Empathy in Gap Selling

Empathy is the secret ingredient of Gap Selling. It's about understanding your customer's feelings, their struggles, and their aspirations. It's about not just hearing, but feeling their pain points, and offering a solution that genuinely helps them.

Gap Selling in the Age of AI

The world of sales is evolving with the advent of AI and Machine Learning, and Gap Selling is no exception. Let's see how these technologies are supercharging Gap Selling.

How AI and Machine Learning Enhance Gap Selling

AI and Machine Learning are like a sous-chef in your Gap Selling kitchen. They provide powerful insights into customer behavior, enabling a more targeted approach. They can predict customer needs, identify patterns, and offer tailored solutions. It's like having a secret weapon in your sales arsenal.

Sybill’s Role in Empowering Gap Selling

At Sybill, we're like the tech-savvy sous-chef in your kitchen. Our AI analyzes every moment of your sales calls, identifies verbal and non-verbal cues, and provides real-time insights. This supercharges your Gap Selling efforts, making you the masterchef of sales.

Case Studies: Success Stories with Gap Selling

Now, let's look at some real-world examples of companies that have successfully implemented Gap Selling.

Case Study 1: Zoho Corporation


Zoho Corporation, a SaaS company offering a suite of business software, adopted Gap Selling to better understand their customers' needs. They focused on identifying the 'gap' in their customer's processes and tailored their software to bridge this 'gap'.

As a result, Zoho saw a significant increase in customer satisfaction, which translated into higher customer retention and repeat business. Their close rate also increased by 30%, proving the effectiveness of Gap Selling. Zoho's success story clearly illustrates how Gap Selling can transform sales outcomes.

Case Study 2: Slack


Slack, a business communication platform, used Gap Selling to highlight the inefficiencies in traditional communication methods and positioned their platform as the solution. They focused on understanding their customer's current state (email overload, disjointed communication) and their desired future state (streamlined, efficient communication).

By effectively highlighting and quantifying the 'gap', Slack was able to showcase the value their platform brought to the table. This resulted in a 40% increase in their close rate and established Slack as a leader in business communication.

Practical Tips for Gap Selling

To wrap up, here are some practical tips to make the most of Gap Selling:

  1. Listen More, Talk Less: Remember, Gap Selling is about understanding your customer's world. So, listen more, ask probing questions, and get a deep understanding of their problems.
  2. Empathize with Your Customers: Step into your customer's shoes, feel their pain, and then offer a solution. Remember, people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
  3. Leverage Technology: Use CRM systems, AI-powered analytics, and other technological tools to gain deeper insights into your customer's problems and tailor your solution accordingly.
  4. Tell a Story: Craft a compelling narrative that paints a vivid picture of your customer's current problem-ridden world and their desired problem-free world. Make them the hero, and your product the magic wand.
  5. Be Patient: Gap Selling is not about quick wins. It's about building long-term relationships based on trust and value delivery. So, be patient, persistent, and keep delivering value.


Gap Selling is not just a methodology; it's a mindset. It's about shifting the focus from your product to your customer's problems. It's about being a superhero for your customers, resciving them from their problems, and guiding them to a brighter future.

With AI and Machine Learning becoming integral parts of the sales process, Gap Selling is bound to evolve further. We're likely to see more precise identification of gaps, more tailored solutions, and a more personalized approach to selling. It's an exciting time for sales professionals, and embracing Gap Selling can be a game-changer.

So there you have it, folks! A comprehensive, fun, and engaging guide to mastering Gap Selling. Remember, in the world of sales, understanding your customers' problems and providing the right solution is the name of the game. At Sybill, we're committed to empowering your sales efforts with our advanced AI capabilities. We're here to add a dash of AI magic to your Gap Selling endeavors, turning you into a true masterchef of sales.

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