The Conversation Sales Leaders Must Have with Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 @ 06:07 AM

the_hard_thing.jpg

Thanks to another recommendation from my client and friend, Chris Collias, I am reading a terrific book called The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There are No Easy Answers.

On page 49 (of the Kindle Edition), there is a must-read passage for Sales Leaders who want to properly lead a sales force. The passage sums up what sales coaching and accountability are all about. 

After assembling a top-end sales force, he completely revamped the sales process and sent every salesperson through a rigorous and unforgiving training program. He demanded mastery. Any slip-up in technique, skill, or knowledge would be met with total intolerance from Mark.

We held a weekly forecast call where Mark reviewed every deal in front of the entire 150-person sales force.  On one such call, a salesperson described an account that he'd forecast in detail: "I have buy-in from my champion, the vice president that he reports to, and the head of purchasing.

My champion assures me that they'll be able to complete the deal by the end of the fiscal quarter."

Mark quickly replied, "Have you spoken to the vice president's peer in the networking group?"

Sales rep: "Um, no I haven't."

Mark: "Have you spoken to the vice president yourself?"

Sales rep: "No."

Mark: "Okay, listen carefully.  Here's what I'd like you to do.  First, reach up to your face and take off your rose-colored glasses.  Then get a Q-tip and clean the wax out of your ears.  Finally, take off your pink panties and call the fucking vice president right now, because you do not have a deal."

Mark was right.  It turned out that we did not have a deal, as the vice president's peer in networking was blocking it.  We eventually got a meeting with him and won the deal.  More important, Mark set the tone:  Sloppiness would not be tolerated.

 

I loved this passage. I'll read it at every Sales Leadership Intensive. I don't condone using the language [Update:  See comments below for clarification] with a salesperson, but the approach is spot on. The challenge, for most sales leaders, is whether or not they can do the following:

  • Can they see around the corner?
  • Can they anticipate 5 steps ahead?
  • Can they be cynical?
  • Can they be both optimistic and skeptical at the same time?
  • Can they push back and challenge their salespeople without being afraid of their salespeople hating them or quitting?

If you can't imagine a sales leader having any of these difficulties, then you are fine! If you have some of these difficulties, then you absolutely must attend my annual Sales Leadership Intensive in August.

Topics: sales management, Sales Coaching, accountability, sales pipeline, pipeline review

College Basketball vs. the Pros & Sales Management & Selling

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Mar 03, 2014 @ 06:03 AM

Before I get to the meat of today's article, I have one last request for you to participate in this very important survey on sales force function.  I would really appreciate it.  Take the Survey.  Thanks!

rondo

I was listening to my favorite sports radio station and I heard another interesting discussion.  The hosts were discussing current Celtic all-star point guard Rajon Rondo.  He had asked permission to remain behind in Los Angeles to celebrate his birthday.  His coach said no, but Rondo stayed behind anyway instead of traveling with the team.

The Celtics have a former college coach, Brad Stevens, as their head coach and the discussion turned to college basketball head coaches who also had success as a head coach in the NBA.  The hosts were unable to come up with any.  They presented the following argument, as the reason why college coaches fail in the NBA, by suggesting that the college coach has all the power.  The players are not being paid, there are strict rules governing behavior and a player who doesn't comply, doesn't play.  If they don't play, they certainly can't be stars, won't be noticed and could not possibly be drafted by NBA teams.  The hosts went on to say that in the NBA, the highly-paid players have all the power and the coaches don't have the ability to bench their star player if that player's behavior breaks some rules.  The star players, with all that money, rule.

I don't see it the same way.  I see it as the company (team) paying a huge amount of money to its players to perform and so the company should have all of the leverage.

As usual, this argument got me thinking about sales management (the coaches) and salespeople (the players).  Sales management tends to take the same wimpy approach with its best salespeople, just trying to keep the peace and keep their business rolling in.  But why?  It sets a terrible example for everyone else on the sales force.  An unwritten rule becomes well known to everyone.  It is perceived to say, "If I sell enough, I can do whatever the bleep I want, when I want, and how I want."  Is that the perception you want in your sales force?  Can you build a trustworthy, solid, scalable organization with that as the core value of your top performers?

As much as it can hurt pride, relationships, sales and profits, when an individual believes that they are more important, better, or untouchable, it is time for that person to be terminated.  If that person was your top salesperson, then you'll have a new top salesperson.  If that person put himself above all others, you can bet that his customers weren't in love with him and won't follow him to his next company.

However, if you live in fear and follow the path laid out by NBA head coaches, and just try to make everyone happy, you get the wrong outcome.  Additionally, you show that you are not a good leader, you are not a good coach, you are not a good sales manager, and you are not a good role model.  You are, in essence, a babysitter with all of the power of the 13-year old who can watch and entertain, but cannot make a decision.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, accountability, NBA, sales functions

Sales Execution - What Should You Pay Attention to?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

baseball executionThis is the 8th article in a January series on the Architecture of the Sales Force.  Here are the others:

If we refer to baseball, the best sport for sales analogies, there's a word that ball players and managers use quite often: Execute.

Pitcher:  "I felt strong out there, had good velocity, good stuff, but I didn't execute my pitches."

Manager: "We had a game plan as to how to approach [the opposing pitcher], but we just didn't execute very well today."

You could substitute most any sport and the dialog would be similar.  Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan even wrote a best-selling business book titled, Execution.  Yet in sales, we rarely hear anything as simple or basic.  We're far more likely to hear about competition, politics, relationships, price, marketing, or the product itself before we hear anyone utter execution as the reason for not winning an account or a deal.  Why is that?

There are some very large egos in sales and some of the largest can be found occupying sales leadership roles.  For a sales leader to say, "We failed to execute", is an admission that they weren't good enough.  While the admission of ineffectiveness is very difficult for most sales leaders, the reality is that without it, there can be no real change.

Watch this one-minute video on Excuse Making and you'll completely understand what I mean by "no real change."

Suppose you could put an end to excuse making.  Suppose you were to be held accountable for executing.  The first thing you would do is set clear expectations and then hold your salespeople accountable for executing.  What would you pay attention to in order to make sure they were executing?  

You could look at conversion ratios, but some opportunities move from one stage to another and it's unrelated to whether or not the salesperson was effective.

You could look at closing ratios, but unless you have a ratio that is definitive of success, all actual ratios are simply relative to the goal, to last month, to last year, or to other salespeople.

You could look at activity, but that tends to put all of the focus on the first stage of the sales process.  While that could be the most difficult stage of the process, it doesn't help us determine effectiveness in the latter stages of the sales process.

While we are reviewing our salespeople's performance on selling activities that have already occurred, it's also important that we consider forward-looking indicators, not lagging indicators.  

Let me propose several areas in which we could measure effectiveness to achieve an overall effectiveness score, while also serving as forward-looking indicators of likely business:

  • New - There are so many sales roles today, and each has a different level of responsibility for getting opportunities into the pipeline.  A broad term like "new" allows us to redefine what "new" represents for each role in the sales force.  Based on the definition, we should be able to rate the level of execution for each of those roles.
  • Conversations - Before demos, proposals, quotes, presentations, samples, references and even qualification, salespeople must, at minimum, get their prospects to engage in a conversation, discover their compelling reason to buy, and differentiate.  They should have developed a relationship during this conversation.  Based on what the salesperson is able to convey about their conversation, we should be able to rate the level of traction they achieved.
  • Thoroughness - Qualified opportunities don't necessarily measure a salesperson's effectiveness.  While getting to the decision maker is a measure of effectiveness, the spending ability, timeline, incumbent vendor and internal politics are not a measure of their effectiveness.  A better measure of effectiveness is a salesperson's ability to be thorough, uncovering information like this, even if that ultimately disqualifies an opportunity.
  • Qualified Win Rate - Most companies measure win rates, but it's often one of two formulas.  Either it represents the percentage of total opportunities that become sales, or it represents the percentage of quotes/proposals that convert to sales.  The problem with both of those formulas is that they don't take into account whether those opportunities were ever closable.  However, if our salespeople are only quoting and proposing to qualified opportunities where the Conversation and Thoroughness have both been rated, we will have a more quantifiable metric from which to work.
Suppose we were to rate the effectiveness of each of our salespeople, in all four categories, on a scale of 1 to 4, using 4 for Excellent, 3 for Good, 2 for Fair, and 1 for Poor.  They would be rated each month and, at the end of the month, be given a scorecard showing their average ratings in each of the four categories, and an overall effectiveness rating.
By defining, setting expectations, monitoring and grading salespeople in these four areas, you would have a much better way to determine and communicate a salesperson's overall effectiveness, and as a result, the effectiveness of your team.  But, that's just the beginning.  Given a grade of anything less than 4, what will you do about it?  What kind of coaching will you provide?  What will your salespeople do about it?  What kind of coaching will they need?  
Sales Execution is the key to improved performance and, in this case, the key unlocks a safe.  Inside, for safe keeping, is your ego along with the egos of your salespeople.  Will you be able to unlock the safe, liberate the egos, and allow humility and capability gaps to raise awareness and allow change to take place?

Join me and a panel of sales experts for a powerful one-hour Webinar that will address this subject on February 5 when we discuss, "Leading Your Ideal Sales Force - Part 1" at 11 AM Eastern Time. 

Image credit: vladyc / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales, accountability, execution, architecture of the sales force, sales execution

10 Attributes of the CEO Who Drives Sales and More

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 @ 06:08 AM

Both Sides of MouthI had two conversations that were in stark contrast to one another.

The first was with an executive who told me that the company must have their salespeople selling more consultatively to better differentiate themselves in the global market, so they began training on SPIN selling - a year ago.  I told him that was a good start and wondered if they experienced the same thing as most companies that train on SPIN selling - it is a great questioning strategy but their salespeople simply can't apply it or execute it. 

[Note - SPIN is a questioning strategy developed by Neil Rackham but it is not a sales process.  If you are familiar with my Baseline Selling sales process and book by the same name, SPIN would take place between 1st and 2nd Base.]

Back to the story...This executive said that their salespeople aren't able to demonstrate any more competance than they were a year ago but he didn't want to upset anybody, anything, any apple carts, any vendors, any salespeople, etc.  He believed he had all the answers despite his own evidence pointing to the contrary.  I  mentioned that he was talking out of both sides of his mouth and he even agreed with that!  He was simply too invested in maintaining the status quo and keeping the peace to change anything.  A powerful, consistent formula - for failure.

You may have read my article from earlier this week when I described 10 CEO's and the Impact They Have on Their Sales Forces.  The executive above was a combination of #1 and #9. 

My second conversation was with an effective CEO who is completely unlike those that I described in the other article.  My good CEO has the following 10 qualities that have a positive impact on the sales force:

  1. He asks questions and listens when he doesn't have the answers;
  2. He has very little patience for incompetence;
  3. He holds people accountable;
  4. He lets people know where they stand;
  5. He demands the best from everyone;
  6. He leads the way and drives change;
  7. He sets clear expectations and has consequences for failure;
  8. He isn't afraid to terminate anyone;
  9. He is very decisive;
  10. He knows that revenue is King.

He has many more good qualities but these ten stand in contrast to the ten I wrote about in the previous article.

If you lead a company or a sales organization, which leader would you like to emulate?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, accountability, CEO, Drive Revenue, Lead Sales Force, Lead Change, SPIN Selling

Lance Armstrong's Metrics Applied to the Sales Force Equals Results

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Dec 03, 2009 @ 21:12 PM

Recently, I completed Lance Armstrong's 2001 book on how he became a champion cyclist, was diagnosed with Cancer, beat the cancer, and then returned to become the greatest cyclist in the world.  It was an inspiring, fast-reading book.  While this won't come as a surprise to my cyclist friends, I was quite surprised to learn how metric-intensive competitive cycling is.

While training for races, Lance uses a heavy and expensive power meter that measures output (wattage). For the big race, he uses a smaller and lighter top of the line cycling computer to track speed, heart rate, incline, cadence, altitude gain, and power output. He simply adjusts his cycling until the numbers are where they were when he was training at peak performance and he figures the rest will take care of itself. Wow.

Sales is exactly the same.  You train hard and once the metrics have been established, you simply continue to meet those numbers and the rest will take care of itself.  Simple.

There are only a few problems with this:

  • Most companies, sales teams and salespeople do not train hard.  As a matter of fact, a significant percentage of companies provide no training at all. They mistakenly believe that their salespeople won't benefit from it.  My feeling is if it doesn't address root problems then salespeople won't benefit but in this day and age every company should be able to find a proven sales development expert who consistently gets results for clients.  Do these companies not need lawyers, accountants, insurance and benefits advisers, marketing and advertising experts and consultants either?
  • Many companies don't have metrics and even more companies have metrics that are contextually irrelevant.  They pull numbers out of the sky, establish them as baselines, and then can't understand why their salespeople don't hit those numbers.
  • Most companies don't know how to correctly calculate the metrics.  Even more incredibly, they don't even know what to measure!
  • When companies do have metrics, know what to measure and analyze the ratios to calculate the correct values, most can't get their salespeople motivated, disciplined, committed or consistent enough for it to matter.

So what do companies do?

  • They discontinue the effort.
  • They provide training on closing skills - by the way, you can't imagine how much of a waste of time this is.  The problems salespeople have at closing time have nothing to do with closing skills.  The delays, put-offs, stalls and think-it-overs are directly related to how inept they are at the early stages of the sales process!
  • Provide training on cold-calling - this isn't as much of a time-waster as closing skills but it's a close second.  Why?  How about:
    • they train on scripts but their scripts are ineffective.
    • they train on presenting but pitches cause resistance.
    • they train on getting through but there isn't anyone to get through to anymore.  Now it's voice mail and the key there is on how to get a call returned, not on how to get through.
    • they don't train on overcoming the fear, discomfort and rejection - the real reasons salespeople don't work the phones.
    • they don't talk about how to gain a prospect's attention and engagement - prerequisites to a conversation.
    • they don't teach salespeople how to converse with as opposed to pitching a top executive 
  • Revert to pulling numbers out of the sky
  • Change strategies
  • Change sales managers
  • Change salespeople
  • Change markets
  • Realign territories
  • Change compensation plans
It should be obvious that if you identify the proper things to measure, properly determine their values, get the salespeople committed, and hold them accountable, the results will follow. Add in a dose of consequences for failing to remain disciplined and consistent and you can maintain those results.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Force, accountability, sales metrics

What Happens When You Develop Sales Competencies?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Apr 10, 2009 @ 08:04 AM

Earlier this week I wrote an article for my Baseline Selling Tips Newsletter.  It was about 
What Sleep Apnea and Sales Improvement Have in Common.  If you don't get my Newsletter, you'll need to read that article in order for the rest of this post to make sense.

OK.  So now you have the gist of the process that your salespeople go through when they are being developed, trained coached and mentored.  And you'll go through that process too as it relates to what sales management must be able to do, sales management systems and processes, metrics, pipeline management, accountability, coaching, motivating, selection and recruiting, sales plans, incentives and compensation, trade shows, etc.

Rush Burkhardt, a sales development expert in Baltimore, sent this comment to me in response to the Sleep Apnea post:

"So, much like the situation regarding sleep apnea, the doctor (sales manager) had to make you believe that if you didn't use the mask (sales process), you'd die (fail to close business ergo lose your job). Fortunately, the doctor was able to convince you about the consequences you'd face if you didn't adhere to his recommendation, and you held yourself accountable! The Sales Manager must convince the Salesperson that there are consequences for lack of adherence, and, more often than not, hold the Salesperson accountable!"

Thanks Rush.  In holding salespeople accountable for change like this, it's important that management is leading by example, demonstrating their commitment, coaching to the process on a daily basis, holding salespeople accountable for application each day and evangelizing the successes of the change. When companies fail to include these steps in development, it is inevitable that they lose momentum and revert back to their old ways.

© Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales competencies, Dave Kurlan, sales, Baseline Selling, sales process, sales training, sales management, selling, Sales Coaching, accountability, sales improvement, selling process, sales excellence, sales tips, salespeople

10 Steps for your Sales Force to Survive and Thrive in The Recession

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Jan 04, 2009 @ 21:01 PM

Like many of you, I'm back from a much needed vacation where I met a guy who could have been one of the sorry CEO's I have met over the past several months.

I was in the pool, playing catch with our six-year old son, when Henry began a "dialog" with me. He said, "You can't play catch in the pool.  It's against the rules."

I was stunned, but apologized, said I wasn't aware of that rule and removed the football from the pool.

There was another guy in the pool and he mentioned to me that the pool rules did not include an exclusion about playing catch.  I mentioned that to Henry and he became irate because he owns one of the resort's units, wrote the rules himself, and said, "It better be on that sign!"

So what's wrong with this picture?

  • Doesn't "resort" make you think fun, water and sun?
  • He and his friends were at the water's very edge but didn't want to get wet, so he didn't want any splashing which leads to no playing catch.
  • He and his friends were at the pool but in the shade.
  • It was 80 degrees but he was dressed for winter.
  • He was at a resort but wanted the quiet of a senior community. 

How is Henry any different from Bernie?

Bernie is the President of a company that had experienced flat sales for the three strong economic years leading up to the recession. He had been looking for a VP of sales for two years but hadn't found the right candidate or failed to pull the trigger.

He attended an event where he heard me speak and asked me to contact him. He asked for my advice and I recommended that if he was serious about finding the ideal VP, then he should:

  • Evaluate his sales force to better understand its real capabilities and identify the challenges a new VP would have to deal with;
  • Identify the changes that the sales force needed to make to be more effective;
  • Save the new VP at least a year by providing him with a comprehensive understanding of each salesperson's strengths,  weaknesses and coaching requirements. 
  • Identifythe salespeople that could make the transition to being more aggressive at finding and closing new business;
  • Identify the salespeople that could not be developed and plan to replace the under performers;
  • Use this intelligence to find the ideal VP of Sales Candidate.

Once in a while, CEO's and Presidents don't take my advice and Bernie, who was comfortable (hired gun, not an owner), over confident (he thought he knew better), and not afraid of failure (sales were flat, not declining), promoted one of his existing salespeople to take the VP of Sales position.

Ordinarily, this is not a particularly smart move but in this case, it was really dumb. His new VP had never managed a sales force, had no experience selling in a recession, had never reversed a flat sales trend and had never assessed a sales force.  What made Bernie think he could do all this effectively without experience?  Six months later, how do you think he's doing?  Last I heard from Bernie, George was "trying some things."

Bernie and Henry could be the same guy.  Henry was probably an arrogant, over confident president who didn't fear failure just like Bernie. They both know better than everyone else.

Compare Bernie's story with Jack, president of another manufacturer with flat year over year sales at around the same time.  Jack already had a new VP in place, knew there was complacency, knew he needed change, and despite having the expertise to do it himself, knew that it had to come from outside, not within.

Just seven months after evaluating and training, Jack's sales force is accomplishing things today that they couldn't even imagine last spring.  They transitioned from account managers to hunters; they transitioned from making proposals and presentations to conducting quality sales calls where they do nothing except ask great questions; they've gone from selling on price to selling value; they've moved from believing they had to have the best price to selling at their price; and they're closing business at a much higher rate than at this time last year - despite the economic crisis.

Which type of leader are you - Bernie or Jack?

Here are ten steps that you can take to not only survive, but thrive in this recession:

  1. Size up your sales team - we have some free tools like the Sales Force Grader, the Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator and the Sales Achievement Grader; and fee based tools like our world-class Sales Force Evaluation
  2. Get the right people in the right sales/sales management roles.  Our Sales Force Evaluation will provide these insights.
  3. Talk honestly with your sales force about the tough times ahead. Tell them the truth!
  4. Gain their commitment and buy in to work harder, be tougher and do what it takes in these more difficult times.
  5. Perform a pipeline analysis and work the pipeline.  My sales development firm offers EPACS - Emergency Pipeline Analysis and Coaching Strategies where we properly stage, strategize and coach on every opportunity.
  6. Create the necessary infrastructure. This includes an appropriate sales process, recruiting process, sales management systems, and software.
  7. Develop Sales Management on accountability, coaching, recruiting, leadership and motivation.
  8. Develop the salespeople on process, skills and overcoming their weaknesses.
  9. Sales Execution - just do it.
  10. Sales Management Execution - make sure they do it and help them do it.

Ultimately, you must focus on the machine that generates revenue, not costs.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales, coaching, sales management, selling, Salesforce, accountability, assessment, recession, objective management group

Getting Excited About Sales Metrics

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Oct 15, 2008 @ 23:10 PM

As we encourage our clients to do each day, both of my companies have daily huddles for their salespeople.  The purpose of the daily huddle is to keep everyone focused on the measurable activities that drive results.

During the last couple of weeks, I've had our six-year old son in the car for about 6 of these conference calls and it only took one huddle to get him hooked.  He wants to report his numbers - and he has them ready - each time he's with me.  It makes him proud to participate and he wants to report numbers that are better than theirs.

I get a lot of push back from clients when it's time to implement the daily huddles.  They don't think it's necessary.  It will take too much time.  It's too much of a burden. It's redundant.  Yeah, right.

It only takes about two weeks until even the most resistant clients figure out that they not only have more control over their future revenue than ever before, but their salespeople are more productive than ever before too.

The thing about our son?  If you're a regular reader of this blog then you know I've written nearly twenty articles that have a Salespeople are Like Children Theme and this one is no different.  Your new salespeople will be just as excited about being part of that huddle as our son.  Your veteran people will like the boundaries, expectations, attention, peer pressure and relentless focus on doing what's important to drive sales - every single day.  Why? It's good for them and when it's good for them they'll make more money.

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales, sales management, selling, accountability, sales behaviors, sales numbers, sales metrics

Sales - What the Data Tells Us - The Series

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Aug 13, 2008 @ 22:08 PM

Is there data which actually illustrates and supports what drives sales performance, hiring great salespeople, and developing salespeople?  Is it meaningful?  If the data is compelling, would you modify your views, beliefs, practices and behaviors? 

I've written a number of articles based on my research, our data from assessing salespeople, statistics and/or pure science.  Some of the articles pertain to sales performance, while others are based on the hundreds of thousands of salespeople whom we have assessed.

This article series is called Sales - What the Data Tells UsWhile some of the articles simply report the research and/or data, others share either my insights about the data or provide data to support my insights.  Here are the articles:

Finally!  Science Reveals the Actual Impact of Sales Coaching

Top 13 Requirements to Help You Soar as a Sales Manager

The Top 8 Requirements for Becoming a Great Salesperson

Popularity Polls are Just Like Sales Management Tracking Metrics!

Why are Half of All Sales Reps Still Missing Quota in a Booming US Economy?

Data Shows That Only 14% are Qualified for the Easiest Selling Roles

Last Day Madness on the Sales Force - That's One Kind of Urgency

Examples of How Salespeople Lose Credibility with Their Prospects

Golden Nuggets from the CSO Insights 2018 Sales Talent Study

New Data Shows that You Can Double Revenue by Overcoming This One Sales Weakness

Salespeople With This Weakness Score 47% Worse at Reaching Decision Makers

Which 4 Sales Competencies Best Differentiate Top from Bottom Salespeople?

Where Can You Find the Best Salespeople?

The Top 12 Factors that Cause Delayed Closings and What to Do About Them

Do the Best Sales Managers Have the Best Salespeople?

New Data Shows That Elite Salespeople are 700% Less Likely to Do This

Elite Salespeople are 26 Times More Effective at This Competency Than Weak Salespeople

Does Being a Strong Qualifier Correlate to Having a Strong Pipeline?

Elite Salespeople are 200% Better in These 3 Sales Competencies

Latest Data - Strong Salespeople Score 375% Better Than Weak Salespeople

Sales Pipeline Data Shows That Most Late Stage Opportunities Just Aren't

Latest Data Shows Most Salespeople Would be Fired or Arrested if they Worked in Accounting

New Data - Are Experienced Sales Managers Better Sales Managers?

The Latest Data Shows That Sales Managers Are Even Worse Than I Thought

Sales Playbook and CRM Problems - What the Data Tells Us

New Data Shows How Relationships and the Need to be Liked Impact Sales Performance

New Data Shows Sales Weaknesses Cause Powerful Chain Reactions in Salespeople

Discovered - Data Reveals the Second Biggest Obstacle to Closing More Sales

Discovered - Data Reveals the Biggest Obstacle to Closing More Sales

The Wrong Salespeople are Hired 77% of the Time

New Data Reveals Why Veteran Salespeople Are Not Better Than New Salespeople

Data Shows Most Salespeople are Dinosaurs When it Comes to Social Selling

Data Shows 1st Year Sales Improvement of 51% in this Competency

Are Millennials Who Enter Sales Better or Worse Than the Rest of the Sales Population?

The Official 2017 List of 21 Sales Core Competencies

Are Millennials Who Enter Sales Better or Worse Than the Rest of the Sales Population?

HBR or OMG - Whose Data Really Differentiates the Top from Bottom Salespeople?

Those Who Follow Sales Best Practices Don't Necessarily Become Top Performers

What Percentage of New Salespeople Effectively Reach Decision Makers?

Surprising New Data Busts the Myths about Relationship Selling and Social Selling

New Analysis Shows the 5 Biggest Gaps Between Top and Bottom Sales Performers

The One Sales Data Point that Varies Wildly

What Percentage of New Salespeople Reach Decision Makers?

Surprising New Data on Salespeople Busts the Myths about Relationship Selling and Social Selling

Big Data and Big Lies Have Arrived in the Sales Training and Assessment Space

What Do You Blame When Salespeople Don't Schedule Enough New Meetings?

Breaking News - More Salespeople Suck Than Ever Before (and Why)

Can the Lack Commitment to Sales Success Finding be Wrong?

Can the Worst Salespeople be Saved?

Beach Ball of Death Predicts Lack of Sales Growth

Rebuttal to What Elite Salespeople Do Differently

Science and the Length of Your Sales Cycle

Validation of the Validation of the Sales Assessment

Presidents & CEO's: 4 Out of 5 Sales Managers Are Ineffective!

The Real Problem with the Sales Profession and Sales Leadership

Are Sales and Sales Management Candidates Getting Worse?

Sales Excellence Studies Propagate Mediocrity

Top 5 Insights From Latest Sales Organization Studies

Dan Pink Hits and Then Misses the New Key to Sales Performance

Another HBR Article on Sales Leaves Me with Mixed Feelings

Are (Lack of) Results Due to the Salesperson or the Company?

When are Salespeople Too Old to Sell Effectively? 10 Conditions

Getting Reluctant Salespeople to Fill Their Empty Pipelines

The 5 Keys to Effective Sales Coaching and Results

Why Do So Many Salespeople Fail to Make Quota?

Why Most Companies are Struggling to Grow Revenue

Sales Leaders Got These Issues All Wrong

Does Your Sales Force Look Like This?

Should You Restage Your Sales Pipeline?

Another Sales Assessment Takes on OMG - What Does it Reveal?

Are Women in Sales Less Trainable?

The Sales Assessment Client Who Didn't Renew after All These Years

Why Young Male Salespeople are at a Disadvantage

The Latest Astonishing Findings About Sales Managers

Revealing Study of Salespeople Makes News at HBR

Most Salespeople Suck at Selling

Sales Effectiveness - IDC and CEB Draw Conflicting Conclusions

How Many Salespeople Made Quota in 2010?

Another Behavioral Style Assessment Pretends to Assess Salespeople

The Science of Achievement Applied to Sales Success

Caliper and Selling Power Hit and Then Miss the Mark on Sales

Harvard Business Review Hit and Then Missed the Mark on Sales

Rejection Proof - The Science Behind Success in Sales

The Top 10 Reasons Why Sales Commitment is More Important

Top 10 Reasons Why Commitment Has Become More Important

But I'm a Sales Guy! The Story of Motivation and Compensation

What Sales Leaders Don't Know about Ego and Empathy

Call Reluctance in Salespeople - Causes, Factors and Predictors

The Top 5 Factors to Prevent Sales Turnover

The Science of Selling - Rules versus Data

Does Sales Assessment Completion Time Affect Validity?

Are Sales Cycles Really Getting Shorter?

Ultimate Comparison of Sales Superstars and Sales Losers

How to Hire the Best Salespeople on the Planet

More Than Half of All Sales Managers Should Consider...

How Many Salespeople Shouldn't be in Sales?

Personality Assessments for Sales - The Definitive Case Study

Misleading Statistics and Hiring the Wrong Salespeople

Who Are Better Salespeople - Men or Women?

Top 5 Reasons Why OMG's Assessments are More Predictive

Sales Statistics that Reveal Sales Effectiveness

How to Select More Effective Sales Candidates

Fact Based Reasons Why New Salespeople Fail - the Data Points

Misleading Sales Numbers Part 2

What Do Sales Managers Do With Their Time?

Myths About Top Performing Salespeople

10 Reasons for HR and Sales Management to Hire Winning Salespeople Using Assessments

Sales Assessments - More Accurate Than Sales Management Thinks

Pfizer Reduces Size of Sales Force by 20%

Sales Hiring Efficiency

The Correlation Between the Findings and Performance

A Behavioral Styles Assessment versus OMG's Assessment

How to Elminate the 80/20 Rule on Your Sales Force

Sales Coaching - Between the Lines

How to Find More Hirable Sales Candidates

Where Are All the Hunters and Farmers?

Is He or Isn't He?

How to Close a Sale using Proof of Concept


B2B Salespeople Send 16,000+ Unqualified Proposals Each Day

Why You Should Care That Sales Motivation Data Correlates Perfectly with Sales Performance

Can Sales Statistics be Good and Bad at the Same Time?

 

 

Topics: sales competencies, assessments, recruiting, Sales Coaching, accountability, leadership, Motivation

Salespeople are Like Children - The Series

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Aug 13, 2008 @ 21:08 PM

I have written many articles based on the insights of our son, most when he was between the ages of 3-7.  Each article has profound lessons and they're fun to read. Readers have enjoyed these particular articles so much, and found the lessons to be so good, that I compiled this series called Salespeople are Like Children.  As you might expect, some of these articles are my all-time favorites too.

Baseball and Selling Revisited - A Powerful Analogy

Salespeople Must Use & Embrace Life's Most Embarrassing Moments

Selling Styles - How Many Styles Should Your Salespeople Have?

Sales Coaching Lessons from the Baseball Files

Gaining Sales Traction is Like Talking to Kids

The Difference Between Sales Commitment and Desire

25 or 6 to 4 and Your Sales Force

The Lion King - Watching a Movie Again Improves Sales Effectiveness

Salespeople Should be More Like Children

Dicing, Shoveling and Training Salespeople

MLB All-Star Game Unveils a Sales Prodigy

Over Achievers on the Sales Force - We Have it Wrong

Will your Salespeople Change Behaviors to Improve Their Sales Effectiveness? 

Getting Excited About Sales Metrics

How To Get Salespeople to Leave Their Comfort Zone

Prospects Are Like Children

Turning Order Takers into Salespeople

The Emerging Boy, the Lingering Toddler

Helping New Salespeople Succeed

5 Sales Management Tips from my Five Year Old 

The Impact of Unhealthy Relationships on Salespeople

If Your Salespeople Can Spell They Can Sell

Salespeople Aren't Made of Glass

How Long Does it Take a Salesperson to Get It? 

What Can a Trip to Italy Teach You About Managing Salespeople?

Salespeople are Like Children

Making it Easy for Salespeople to Succeed

Improve Sales Competencies at the Salesperson's Hall of Fame

Compelling Reasons to Buy

How to Start a Sales Call Over

Get Prospects to Make Decisions

The Importance of Practice

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

  

Topics: coaching, accountability, leadership, Motivation

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About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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