Why There is No Value When You Provide Value Via Special Pricing

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 @ 09:09 AM

negotiation Image Copyright: violin / 123RF Stock Photo

I was discussing the OMG Partnership opportunity with a gentlemen from Hong Kong, who objected to our reasonable licensing fees, refusing to pay any fees to a US company.  This is when the conversation began to resemble a sales call.  He did what a lot of buyers do to salespeople and began to boast about how well-positioned his company is to market OMG in Hong Kong and what a huge opportunity this would be for OMG.  He expected me to waive the fees in exchange for the great opportunity he described.

Most salespeople - 74% to be exact - not wishing to jeopardize a great opportunity, start negotiating or worse, agreeing, to the unrealistic requests.  There are ripple effects to this, for example:

  • It creates precedent, making it difficult to uphold terms with new and even existing customers
  • It makes whatever deal they sign very short term.  It is only a matter of time before someone else offers a better price and the business goes away before it has a chance to generate enough volume to make up for the discounted pricing. 
  • It threatens the profitability from the account.  If you reduce or waive fees and/or prices once, the customer expects to negotiate and win every time, making it more difficult to achieve profitability.
  • In OMG's case, the potential partner would have no skin in the game - removing the urgency for them to generate business, and further eroding the potential for a profitable partnership

Weak salespeople mistakenly see the compromise or discount as the value when, in fact, selling at a premium actually establishes the value.  This is so difficult for most salespeople to comprehend.  They think they are doing everyone a favor when they acquiesce, but in reality, they are setting everyone up for failure.  

Most executives think that this is a training issue, but they would be wrong.  While training can provide a number of strategies and tactics for dealing with prospects and buyers who behave this way, it doesn't change the misguided salesperson at all.  At best, these salespeople have new words, but still execute with the old beliefs.

The root cause appears in the way that salespeople make major purchases for themselves. If they have always shopped for the best price, that behavior becomes the norm.  When a prospect wishes to do the same, the salesperson views that as acceptable - appropriate even - and finds a way to accommodate.

This particular issue is one of the many hidden weaknesses that OMG identifies when we evaluate sales forces and assess candidates.  It can explain why margins are poor, why salespeople are unable to sell value, and why business is lost because of price.   Listen carefully to this entire audio clip, taken from a sales training webinar, where a salesperson ambushed himself as a result of this very weakness.

How many of your salespeople have this hidden weakness?  How many candidates have you considered that have this hidden weakness?  How would your business change if none of your salespeople had this issue?  What did you learn from the audio clip?


Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales training, sales weaknesses, sales assessment tools, value selling,

Are Salespeople Also Joggers?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 @ 11:09 AM

jogger

As I drove to work today, I passed 4 joggers, all with different styles, paces and appearances.  As usual, I saw the similarities between what I observed and the sales profession.

Jogger #1 was an overweight man, in his 50's, working very hard, but not going very fast or far.  He had lots of unnecessary motion and wasted energy, was wearing himself out, and showing little in the way of results.  He instantly reminded me of the salesperson who works lots of hours, always seems to have enough to keep quite busy, but never seems to get his opportunities moved through the pipeline to closure.

Jogger #2 was a middle-aged woman who was moving in slow motion.  Until that moment, I did not believe anyone could run that slowly!  She reminded me of salespeople who never seem to get new opportunities into their pipelines because they lack the urgency necessary to get on the phone and make calls. 

Jogger #3 was the model of efficiency, with good speed, pace and motion.  He reminded me of a salesperson who has a purpose, stays focused, and accomplishes his goals.

Jogger #4 was actually sprinting.  He was pushing it to the limit, exhibiting good form and clearly able to outrun the field.  He reminded me of an elite salesperson - the top 6% - that start out fast in the morning, quickly get their calls made, get results from those calls, and then conduct effective sales calls, meetings and presentations.  These salespeople have consultative selling skills, make it look easy, and close the majority of their fully-qualified opportunities, crashing through goals and quotas.

What kind of salespeople/joggers populate your sales force?

Most sales organizations, regardless of size, lack enough #4s and that's not even the real problem.  The actual problem is that most sales leaders and their CEO's are OK with that!  They accept it as part of business.  Think about how many other sales problems must frustrate executives like that.  How many of those issues would go away if they hired better salespeople?

It's never too late to change perspectives.  It's never too late to start hiring the right salespeople.  Consider OMG's Sales Candidate Assessments.  Yesterday, I led a tour that discussed The Magic Behind OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment.  You can view the 20-minute presentation here.

It's never too late to learn about your existing salespeople either.  Wouldn't you like to know whether or not you have future #4s that simply need to be better trained and coached?  It's never too late to learn whether your #1s and #2s will never change.  And don't you want to know why, as a sales organization, you aren't finding and closing more business?

You need sales force intelligence.  Not intelligence that you get for your sales force, like Hoovers, but intelligence on your sales force, like Objective Management Group.  That's where a sales force evaluation comes in.  Can your underperformers be saved?  Can your performers improve?  Have you been selecting the right people?  How must that change?

How can your salespeople more effectively find, convince, qualify and close more new business?  Your ability to impact sales through improvement and change is dependent on having the right answers to the right questions.  Objective Management Group asks and answers 19 critical business questions about your sales force to provide you with the needed intelligence on your sales force that leads to better decisions, increased sales and improved win-rates, sales cycles and selection.

Executives tend to be just like those joggers too.  Only a small percentage make use of the available intelligence to improve revenue generation and profit.  The rest make a lot of noise, vary between the status quo and constant change, and exert lots of wasted efforts for minimal gain.  Which type are you?

Image Copyright: bowie15 / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales performance, sales candidate assessments, OMG Assessment, top sales performers, jogging,

Baseball, Sales Cycles, and the Quest for Shorter

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

waiting time

I was listening to a conversation on Sports Radio about the desire to shorten baseball games in 2015.  They've been talking about doing this for years, so one might ask, "What's different this time?"  

When I was a kid growing up in the 60's, a baseball game was expected to last no more than 2 hours.  Today, a Red Sox - Yankees game might last 4 hours - or more!  I LOVE baseball, but even I can't spend 4 hours watching a baseball game on television.  It's way too long.  It's boring.  And that's why baseball is losing so much of its young audience to American football and basketball.  

Not a day goes by when we aren't talking with someone about their sales cycle and how long it has become.  The quest to shorten the sales cycle is similar to the desire to shorten baseball games.  The conversation is never-ending and the solutions are so very simple.

In baseball, they could insist that the batter not step out of the batter's box.  They could insist that pitchers not take more than 12 seconds between pitches.  They could limit the number of pitching changes in an inning and, for that matter, the game.  They could reduce the number of warm-up pitches between innings, but then the sponsors would complain and they can't upset the sponsors!  The time between innings is currently dictated by TV and Radio, so they aren't about to change that...  They could limit the number of throws a pitcher can make to 1st base in an inning.  They could eliminate throwing the ball around the infield after a strikeout.  There are so many things they could do to shorten the game, but they never change anything.

In selling, there are even more options for shortening the sales cycle.  They include:

Customizing and optimizing the sales process - Most companies believe they have already done this well, but if the hundreds of processes shown to me are representative of what most companies think are completed processes, they have been severely misguided!

Elimination of unqualified demos, presentations, proposals or quotes - Most salespeople can't wait to demo and send proposals, but they are usually unqualified and that begins chase mode.

Spending MORE time listening and asking questions early in the first meeting or call - Most salespeople speed up and try to move through this stage as quickly as possible, but that only extends the sales process.  Slowing down accelerates it.

Uncovering their compelling reason to buy and/or move their business to you - Most salespeople are fortunate to uncover issues and needs, but rarely, if ever, uncover compelling reasons to buy.

Creating urgency - Urgency comes from compelling reasons and most salespeople don't know how to uncover them.

Being the value - Most salespeople are only able to talk about their value proposition, but they don't know how to be the value.

Nailing down the money they will spend - Most proposals and quotes are for amounts that prospects have no intention of spending.

Getting them to agree to spend a little more to do business with you - Most salespeople end up attempting to compete on price.

Getting to and staying with the decision maker - Most salespeople get no further than those tasked with doing research or buyers.

Being more memorable - Most salespeople blend in and don't stand out.

Differentiating more effectively - Most salespeople compare features/benefits, but not much more.

Building a case - The sales cycle must build on itself, but most salespeople don't know how.

Relationships - People still buy from people they like and most salespeople could do a much better job leveraging their relationships.

Positioning - Most salespeople don't effectively uncover who their viable competitors are and properly position themselves with and against those competitors.

Change the timeline - Most salespeople extend the timeline when they ask when a decision might be made.  They need to shorten the timeline by asking when the prospect would like their problem solved.

Should we shorten baseball games?  What would you do?

Can you shorten your sales cycle?  How would you do it?  Start by using this free tool to see how effective your existing process is! 

Image Copyright: bswei / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, shorten sales cycle, long sales cycle, long baseball games

After Inbound 14 - Anatomy of a Hybrid Sales & Marketing Role

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 07:09 AM

hybrid

Last week, when speaking on the Inbound Stage at Inbound14, my topic was Hiring for the Inbound Sales Role.  I asked the question, "Is this a sales or a marketing role?"

The audience desperately wanted this to be a hybrid - someone who could do both the marketing and the sales.  Unfortunately, a hybrid role it is not.

If you needed to hire an airline employee, would it be a pilot, flight attendant or a hybrid?  I once flew on a 9-seater with a lone pilot who, after reaching cruising altitude of about 1,000 feet, threw peanuts and pretzels from the cockpit...

They are different skill sets and attitudes.  One wants to fly high and the other wants to travel.

If you needed to hire an entertainment venue employee, would it be a food vendor, a security guard or a hybrid?   

They are different skill sets.  One wants to serve food and the other wants to show their muscle.

The marketer generates and posts content, performs some social selling, gets found, generates leads and works behind the scenes.  

The seller connects with the contacts, by phone or email, and must overcome tremendous resistance, get their attention, get them engaged, qualify them as a potential prospect, and convert them to an opportunity in the pipeline.  Or, if responsible for more of the sales cycle, convert that opportunity into something more, like a sale.

They are different skill sets.  One wants to generate and see leads come in, the other wants to engage those leads and convert them to opportunities.

One person asked, "If we could hire only one, which one should we hire?"  That's easy, with no leads, there is no inbound salesperson.  So, it becomes a different choice.  You must choose between a Marketer to generate content and begin developing inbound leads, or a more traditional, outbound salesperson to generate appointments.  If you can only afford to hire one, I would pick the one who could have an immediate impact on the company's ability to generate revenue.  That would be the outbound salesperson.

Inbound is still relatively new; and the people working in inbound roles, nearly as new.  There is much trial-and-error taking place, and the blueprint is still on the architect's table.  Anyone, who can tell you for certain how this role will evolve, has their own private-label, crystal ball.  For instance, take a look at traditional sales roles.  Those have been evolving for more than 100 years and are still changing - more in the last 5 years than ever before.  If we take traditional sales experiences and use those as guidelines for inside, inbound and social, the best we can reliably say is that these roles will probably be quite different five years from now.

The Fall Top Sales Academy offering is available (it's free) - you can see it here.  There is a sales management track and a sales track.  I'll be leading the session on October 8 and the topic is Mastering the Art of Coaching Salespeople.

Earlier that week, I'll be speaking at the EcSell Institute Fall Sales Coaching Conference in Dallas.  You can look here for more information.

Image Copyright: alexmit / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Inbound Marketing, inbound sales, top sales academy, ecsell sales coaching conference, inbound hiring

How Significant is the Migration to Inside Sales?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 @ 06:09 AM

Sales Leadership Intensive

Last week, I led our annual Sales Leadership intensive and hosted the best group of sales leaders to ever attend the event.  Chad Burmeister, who is well known throughout the inside sales community, was one of the attendees.  At one of the lunch breaks, he was talking about the customers his company, Connect and Sell, helps.  He commented that most of them are inside sales organizations.  Chad thought that we would have data to demonstrate the transition to inside sales over the past several years.

I began by reviewing my personal clients at Kurlan & Associates and compared them with clients from several years ago.  Sure enough, the numbers were amazing.

As recently as 5 years ago, only 20% of my personal clients were inside sales forces.  Today, that has increased by 150%.  Half of my own training, coaching and consulting clients are inside sales forces!  I investigated further and looked at the many other Kurlan clients who work with the rest of my team and learned that 73% of those clients are inside sales forces.  

Next, I reviewed around 250 of the newest Objective Management Group (OMG) accounts for sales candidate assessments and discovered that 42% of the open positions are for inside sales roles.  That number is quite different from the percentage I found with Kurlan clients and even though 42% is significantly greater than five years ago, I wanted to learn more about why there was such a disparity between the Kurlan versus OMG percentages.  

I dug deeper and learned that the likelihood of an account being for an outside sales role was in direct proportion to the number of years that our OMG Parter/Sales Expert has been with OMG.  That's code for how old the OMG partner is!  Sure enough, most of the older, longtime OMG Partners are still most comfortable doing business with, or positioning themselves with companies that have traditional outside sales forces.  When I looked at the recent accounts represented by newer and younger OMG Partners, 75% of them were for inside sales roles - much more consistent with what I found when I looked at the distribution of Kurlan clients. 

Who knew?

Chad knew.  Way to go, Chad!

What do these number mean for you?

Last year I wrote about the Great Migration to Inside Sales.  The article highlights eight scenarios that help you determine whether or not making that move is right for your company.

I wrote about the move to inside sales again in December and asked why the migration took so long to occur?  That article explains the various inside roles and makes a better case for migration winning out over the status quo.

SALES EFFECTIVENESS STUDY

OMG is working on a major sales effectiveness study that looks not only at traditional sales effectiveness, but also inside, inbound and social selling effectiveness.  The study must be inclusive and not just for huge companies and that's why I need your help.  I would be so appreciative if you would take 5 minutes from your busy day to provide your anonymous data.  No names, no emails, no follow-up.  Although it's an easy survey to take, it's crucial that we produce this unbiased study.  Won't you please help me?


The September, Week 4 Issue of Top Sales Magazine is available 
here.  And the brochure for the 2014-2015 Top Sales Academy is available here.  On October 8, I'll be leading the session on How to Master the Art of Coaching Salespeople

Salesforce.com's blog posted an article of mine that asks whether or not you can turn customer service reps into salespeople.  If you have CSR's, then you must read this article.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, inside sales, sales effectiveness study, Top Sales World, objective management group, salesforce.com, chad burmeister, connect and sell

Taking Your Prospecting to the Next Level

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Sep 14, 2014 @ 07:09 AM

sales prospecting

Do you ever wonder how selling evolved to where it is today?  Do you ever think about how salespeople sold in the old, old days?  All sales calls were face-to-face (no phones) and the sellers traveled by horse, canoe, boat, and later, ship.  That doesn't sound like it was efficient - or fun.  Over time, selling and our options for connecting with potential customers, moved to a new level.

Five important inventions were huge aids to selling - and they're not what you think they are: 

  • Car
  • Phone
  • Plane
  • First-Class Mail
  • Overnight Shipping

Think about how difficult it must have been before those five things came along!  How long do you think they were in place before people viewed them as ways to advance selling?  Remember that until we had dependable mail, companies could not mass market.  Years ago, much of the mass marketing that didn't appear in newspapers and magazines was in the form of direct-mail campaigns.

Then, in the mid 1980's, the invention that would bring prospecting to the next level came along.  The Fax Machine provided us with a way for one to reach many, without paying for postage.  People were using the PC at that time, but not for the things we use them for today.  Back then, a PC's primary use was for spreadsheets and word processing.  Mainstream email, web and internet marketing didn't begin to take form until the late 90's.

Four recent innovations have further improved our ability to connect:

  • Cell Phones
  • On-Demand Teleconferencing
  • On-Demand Video Conferencing
  • On-Demand Webcasting

Those four technologies have changed the face of my businesses.  At one time, I lived in airports and hotels, but I travel far less today.

We take today's technology and selling tools for granted.  They provide us with so many more options.  Now that we have these tools at our disposal, how can we use them to take your prospecting to the next level?

When you attempt to connect over the social networks, email and by phone, are your attempts all the same or do you customize them?  Customization takes more work and preparation.  You must convert your one-to-many approach to a one-to-one approach.

I've written a lot about how to make calls and emails sound better, but here's an approach we haven't discussed often.  Everyone has potential customers with whom they just haven't been able to gain traction.  There may have been a first conversation or email, but it didn't go far enough.  What have you done to get those opportunities back on track?  Do you have a powerful and effective call or email to figure out what's going on and/or how to get a prospect who has gone missing refocused?

I don't have much time to devote to business development.  I pass most leads to my team.  I usually contact only those who are referred to me by my own clients, as well as some of those who write to me.  Because I have so little time, it's not unusual for a potential opportunity to fall through the cracks.  The other day, I sent an email to 14 people.  They were all prospects from the past 2 years who had flown off the radar, went silent or gone missing.

The next morning, I had already heard back from 8 of them.  3 of them are on the west coast and have not seen it yet.  Even so, that's a 57% response rate from people who had not responded to my infrequent attempts to connect with them over the past 2 years.  That's what I mean by an example of taking your prospecting to the next level.

What was this mystery email?  Why did it work so well?  What compelled people to respond to it?

Dave Kurlan's Mystery Email 
NonstopSalesBoom 1 s
Colleen Francis' new book, Nonstop Sales Boom has some powerful strategies to drive consistent growth through prospecting efforts.  You should check it out.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales emails that work, prospecting emails that work, prospects that don't respond, nonstop sales boom, colleen francis

Sales Efficiency - Has Google Provided Us With the Golden Egg?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

It's 6 AM and we need to plan our day.  Oh boy.

There are 87 emails that came in since 6PM yesterday, 2 internal meetings, 3 external meetings, 5 phone meetings and 14 items on the to-do list that must be completed today, including proposals, follow ups, job offers and CRM updates.  Whew!

Does that sound like you and your typical day?

With all of the demands on our time, it's more important than ever that we become more efficient.  Some of that can be accomplished through the use of tools, but as with all automation, if you don't have a good manual process, the automated process probably won't help.

If you or your salespeople sell in a territory and you use an Android phone, or an IOS phone with Google Search, then Google tracks your every move.  Just go to https://www.google.com/settings/dashboard and click on location history and you'll see what I mean.  Creepy, right?  But their "Big Brother is watching you every single minute of the day and tracking every single place you go as well as when you go there" thing can be put to good use.  Click on the days in the calendar to see exactly where you traveled and when you traveled on that day.   
google dashboard
 Does it look efficient to you?  Could it be more efficient?

Another important tool for efficiency isn't really a tool, as much as it's an important feature on your tools and that's syncing.  You must be able to find exactly what you need, when you need it.  That goes for files, tasks, events, notes, websites and pages you frequently work with.  So here is my list of suggested applications, tools and services that meet my syncing and always available criteria:

  • Chrome Browser -With Google's free browser, your bookmarks, browsing history and favorite sites are synced across all of your devices so regardless of whether it's from your desktop, tablet, phone, or laptop, you have access to exactly the same information.  Two things make this work very efficiently.  The first is when you make liberal use of organized bookmarks like this:
    bookmarksThat eliminates typing in the URL's of any sites you visit; the second is a plug-in for Chrome called LastPass, which stores and enters your passwords and then automatically logs you in to each site you visit.  Boy, do these two things save a ton of time!
  • Wunderlist - a free to-do-list application does lists and tasks the way they were meant to be.  Your lists can have sub-lists that can be shared, you can add notes, customize the interface, and it syncs in real-time across every device.  It won't matter where you are, when you are there, or which device you are using, you will know and be able to edit exactly what it is you need to do.  
  • Calendar - If you use Google Calendar, then your calendar can sync across all of your devices too by using the IPad and IPhone application, Calendars, by Readdle.  And the Mac can access the Google Calendar via your browser or with the CalendarPro application from the Mac Store.  As with Wunderlist, you'll always know.
  • DropBox - My favorite file storage application for all the reasons we've been discussing here.  Quick, easy, and secure, with the ability to share specific files with others.
  • Postwire - Awesome platform for easily sharing specific content with customers, prospects and others.
  • Membrain - My all-time favorite Pipeline Management/CRM application.  Live in it.
  • Wistia and YouTube - You need video!  And the video must be served from a high-end video server like Wistia, or  for the masses, a search engine like YouTube. 
  • ToutApp - For excellent email template sharing, mail groups, and email marketing along with live email tracking.
  • Zoom Conferencing - For very easy, fast, video conferencing for up to 4 participants, Zoom Conferencing is very tough to beat and you can record some very good, quick video using the service while you're at it.

The world we live in calls for a more organized, efficient approach to selling and I hope that the tools I shared with you today will help you to optimize your approach to selling and sales.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, postwire, membrain, sales tools, toutapp, wunderlist, google calendar, dropbox, zoom conferencing

7 New Ways to Motivate Salespeople Through 20 Old Hurdles

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 08, 2014 @ 07:09 AM

Sales Challenges

Trust me when I say that this is a great article, but before we get to it, I have a few post-vacation links for you.  

This is important!  We want you to be part of our next White Paper on Sales Force Effectiveness.  Would you kindly take no more than 5 minutes to answer some questions about the sales force at your company?  We won't even ask your name or email address!  

Hubspot's Sales Blog published this post with some professional follow-up email templates.  It's worth a look and it has one of mine...

The September issue of Top Sales World was published last week and my article about the Top Mistakes Salespeople Make on the Phone was named Top Blog Post for August.

Gerhard Gschwandtner interviewed me for SellingPower TV. You can see the 5-minute interview here.

I'll be speaking at Inbound14, September 17, and I'll be talking about How to Hire Great Inbound Sales/Marketing people.  You can register here.

Finally, my article about How to Hire Salespeople That Will be Great Instead of Great Salespeople that Will Fail was posted in EcSell Institute's Coaching Library.  You can hear me speak on this topic there next month.

 

Now for the article.

The ability to motivate salespeople is just as important as it has always been.  However, there are differences today that make it more complicated than it used to be.

In the old days (pre-2008), if salespeople were motivated, then they were probably motivated by money.  According to data from Objective Management Group (OMG), 54% of salespeople were money-motivated during the 1990's and first half of the 2000's.  Today, the data shows that no more than 27% of salespeople are what we now call extrinsically-motivated.  Even the name has changed!

But what about those who are intrinsically-motivated - those who are motivated by satisfaction, fulfillment, praise and recognition.  They want to change the world.  They love what they do and want to achieve mastery.  That motivates them.  OMG is able to differentiate between intrinsically-motivated and extrinsically-motivated salespeople, but how do you manage those who are intrinsically-motivated?  How do you get them to perform when they are interested in things that go beyond a commission check?

Perhaps this will help:

In the next release of OMG's suite of Sales Candidate Assessments, Salesperson Evaluations, and Sales Force Evaluations, we will be able to show you exactly what YOU can do to motivate your existing and new salespeople.  For instance, wouldn't you love to know if a salesperson:

  • Loves to win - or hates to lose?  It's a subtle difference, but you would take a completely different approach to motivate each of these two types of salespeople.
  • Spends money to force performance - or performs and spends the money as a reward?  Just like the first example, the difference is subtle, but your motivational approach would be different.
  • Responds better to being pushed by the sales manager - or prefers to push himself?  If you are familiar with the scene in "Facing the Giants", you'll have a good idea of what it means to be pushed to be the best.  
  • Performs better when closely managed - or when left alone?  Some salespeople cannot function well when left to their own devices.  They don't self-start or self-direct and need to be directed and/or be part of a team.
  • Performs better when competing against others - or when competing against her own expectations?  What if the mediocre salesperson would rise to the next level if the competition and the rewards were compelling enough?
  • Responds better to recognition - or satisfaction after meeting and exceeding goals?  For some, it doesn't get any better than hearing their name called out, receiving an award or plaque, reading about themselves on a website or being listed as the winner.  Others could care less about all of that because the self-satisfaction one gets from knowing they're the best is all they need. 
  • Is motivated by proving someone else wrong - or proving himself right?  There are some salespeople who can be motivated to achieve greatness just because someone told them that they would fail at sales, that they weren't ready for this role, that they couldn't sell that big account, that they wouldn't beat out that particular competitor, or that they could never earn that much money.

Salespeople are different - very different - and the more you know about what will help them face and overcome the following 20 hurdles, the better:

  1. Adversity
  2. Rejection
  3. Better-Known Competition
  4. Disinterest
  5. Ambivalence
  6. Existing Relationships
  7. Preconceived Motions
  8. Lower Priced Competitors
  9. Insulated Decision Makers
  10. Liars
  11. Assholes
  12. Impossible Political Structures
  13. Unfair Terms
  14. Unwillingness to Answer Questions
  15. No's
  16. Maybe's
  17. Self-Limiting Beliefs
  18. Discomfort with Certain Selling Situations
  19. Fear
  20. Pressure
     

Image Copyright: texelart / 123RF Stock Photo 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales motivation, sales challenges, sales testing, sales assessments, objective management group

Keys to Improved Sales Performance - Part 4 of 4

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Sep 05, 2014 @ 07:09 AM

sales force dominationThis is the last in a four-part series that ran this week.

See Part 1 here
See Part 2 here.  
See Part 3 here.

If you are like most folks, you were away for at least part of the summer, took as many long weekends as you could, and worked fewer hours on the days you actually did work.  As part of getting the work done, you deleted as many emails as you could where a reply wasn't required and visited fewer websites and blogs.

That means you missed a lot of what we were discussing this summer.  This series was written to catch you up in a hurry.

Four days, four categories, with related articles.  Easy.
 

The Sales Leadership Articles

Sales Leadership and sales management are the keys to successful sales performance.  Without good sales leadership, management, coaching, motivation and accountability, we have salespeople left to their own devices.  You've all seen that show before and for all but the top 6% of the sales population, that show is one that will cause you to change the channel and tune out because you can't stand what you're seeing.  Think Reality Television.
 

Starting with the Sales Management Team - Is it a Bad Decision? 

Why You Must Understand This about Desire for Sales Success 

Does Efficiency or DNA Help to Increase Sales? 

My Top 21 Keys to Help Your Sales Force Dominate Today 

United Airlines Uses Customer Service This Way to Impact Sales 

Fine Tune Your Sales Force as You Optimize Your Computer 
 

Please tell us what you think and share your opinions about how these sales leadership topics impact you, your thinking and your sales force. 
 

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Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, sales leadership, Sales Coaching, sales team

Keys to Improved Sales Performance - Part 3 of 4

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Sep 04, 2014 @ 07:09 AM

professional selling

This is the third in a four-part series that will run this week.

See Part 1 here
See Part 2 here 
This is Part 3.

If you are like most folks, you were away for at least part of the summer, took as many long weekends as you could, and worked fewer hours on the days you actually did work.  As part of getting the work done, you deleted as many emails as you could where a reply wasn't required and visited fewer websites and blogs.

That means you missed a lot of what we were discussing this summer.  This series will catch you up in a hurry.

Four days, four categories, with related articles.  Easy.

 

The Selling Articles

While the majority of the 1,200 articles that I have written and posted on this blog in the past 8 years are about the sales force, sales management, sales leadership and sales recruiting, I write about selling more than I ever expected to.  Nowhere is this more evident than this summer, when I managed to write these 7 articles.

How Stealing 2nd Base is Today's Secret to Success in Sales 

The One Sales Question I've Been Wrong About for Years 

The 21 New Sales Core Competencies for Modern Selling 

What is the Best Sales Process for Increasing Sales? 

Rejection: Does Selling Cause More Anxiety Than Dating? 

Top 5 Mistakes Salespeople Make When Under Pressure 

Top 10 Mistakes Salespeople Make on the Phone (Funny Read) 

Tell us what you think, and share your opinions about how the concepts in these articles apply to you and your sales efforts.

 

Image Copyright: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Consultative Selling, sales tips, sales questions

About Dave

Dave Kurlan's Blog has earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award three years running and this year this article earned Gold. Read more about Dave.

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