New Data Shows Sales Weaknesses Cause Powerful Chain Reactions in Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, May 30, 2018 @ 06:05 AM

 chain-reaction

I have written extensively about Sales DNA over the years and today we will view Sales DNA from the perspective of sitting inside of a chemistry lab.

Sales DNA is the combination of strengths (or weaknesses) that support (or sabotage) the execution of sales process, sales strategy and sales tactics.  Objective Management Group (OMG) measures and includes the 6 most powerful of those strands of Sales DNA in its 21 Sales Core Competencies.  While I usually discuss the impact of these weaknesses, we have never conducted a lab experiment like this before! 

John Pattison, the COO at OMG, built a new tool for us to play with.  It allows us to slice and dice the data in ways never before possible (for us).  I feel like a kid with a new train set but that analogy ages me.  I feel like a kid with a new PlayStation!

The image below shows the average scores for all salespeople in the 6 Sales Core Competencies of Sales DNA.

DNA-pct-strengths-2

 

The average scores for all salespeople are not very good!  The next image shows the percentage of all salespeople who have those 6 Competencies as strengths.  This isn't very good either.

DNA-pct-strengths-1-1

 

You can see all of our data in all 21 Sales Core Competencies and filter it by industry and company here.

Most experiments begin with a theory or a question. My theory is that Sales DNA is similar to a chemical reaction whereby if a salesperson has 2 or more of the 6 above as weaknesses, and #2 is the tendency to become emotional, then weakness #1 will trigger weakness #2. 

A weakness is triggered when salespeople are aware of the need to execute a step, strategy or tactic, like asking a specific question, but are worried that the prospect will dislike them for doing so. As a result, they avoid executing and thereby sabotage themselves.  

DOESN'T NEED APPROVAL:  As a weakness, it causes salespeople to avoid an action when they worry that their prospects won't like them.  Prevents salespeople from asking tough questions, pushing back and challenging their prospects, the core skills to selling like a Challenger.

CONTROLS EMOTIONS: As a weakness, it occurs when salespeople worry, strategize, panic or get excited.  This causes them to get in their own heads, and prevents them from being able to actively listen and ask good questions, the core skills of a consultative approach to selling.

COMFORTABLE DISCUSSING MONEY: As a weakness, salespeople aren't comfortable asking a prospect where their money is coming from, how they might find money they don't have, how they might find more money than what was budgeted, or how to prioritize expenditures to solve their problems.

Let the experiment begin!

The first Competency I tested was Doesn't Need Approval or, whether or not a salesperson NEEDS to be liked.

58% of all salespeople Need to be Liked (a weakness) and their average score is 76 (weak).

When I sliced the data with Controls Emotions you can see what I found in the table below:

Emotions

66% of salespeople who need their prospects to like them become emotional when the weakness is triggered.  2/3 of them!

I wondered how much that percentage might change based on our Sales PercentileTM score so I dug deeper and learned that:

The bottom 25% of all salespeople, almost all of them at 85% - become emotional when the need to be liked is triggered.

For those in the percentiles between 26 and 50, 72% become emotional when the need to be liked is triggered.

Salespeople in the percentiles between 51 and 75 were less likely to become emotional when the need to be liked is triggered.  It happens with 60% of them.

Only 41% of the salespeople in the percentiles between 76-94 (strong) have the need to be liked but when it is triggered, 46% of that group become emotional.

Only 18% of elite salespeople (the top 5%) have the need to be liked but when it is triggered, 24% of them become emotional. 

* * * * 

I ran the same experiment on Comfortable Discussing Money.  As with the need to be liked, 60% of all salespeople have this as a weakness.  

67% of those who are not comfortable discussing finances become emotional at the moment the money weakness is triggered.  Again, it's two thirds of them!

As with the need to be liked, the percentage changed according to Sales PercentileTM so here is what happens:

78% of the salespeople in the bottom 50% become emotional when the money weakness is triggered.

59% of the salespeople in the percentiles between 51 and 75 become emotional when the money weakness is triggered.

Only 34% of salespeople in the percentiles between 75-95 are uncomfortable discussing money but when the weakness is triggered, 41% of that group become emotional.

Only 8% of elite salespeople (the top 5%) are uncomfortable talking about money, but when the weakness is triggered, 17% of them become emotional. 

Upon the triggering of the first weakness, these findings show that for most salespeople with more than 1 major weakness along with the tendency to become emotional, the emotions weakness is triggered as part of a chain reaction.

The data also confirms that nearly all of the weakest salespeople (Sales Percentile below 25) have these weaknesses (and more) and the 1st weakness almost always triggers the 2nd weakness.

Finally, the data confirms that very few of the salespeople in the elite top 5% have these weaknesses and when they do it is far less likely for the 2nd weakness to be triggered with the 1st.

When everyone on the sales force receives the exact same sales training and coaching, these findings explain why top salespeople continue to succeed while poor salespeople fail to show measurable improvement

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Need for Approval, Sales DNA, sales statistics, emotional, need to be liked, talking about money, sales data

Getting Emotional at Dunkin Donuts, and Over Social Selling

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 06:08 AM

daydream

As I approached the window of my local Dunkin' Donuts, the woman said, "How are you today?"  I paid her and then replied, "I'm fine, and you?"  My response had an extreme delay.  Then she asked if I needed a tray, to which I replied, "No....Sorry, yes."  I was faster this time - with a trick question like whether or not I needed a tray, I had to be quick on my feet!  But I gave her the wrong answer.  Of course, I needed a tray for 3 coffees.

What happened to me?  Was I experiencing symptoms of the early stage of dementia?

My sudden inability to comprehend what was taking place is what happens when your mind is elsewhere.  It happens to salespeople when they aren't able to stay in the moment, maintain complete focus on what their prospects are saying, and respond without thinking several moves ahead or, more typically, about what they want to talk.  It's a form of being emotional.

I wrote about becoming emotional last week in this very popular articleThe Top 5 Mistakes Salespeople Make When Under Pressure.  While both are examples of becoming emotional, we get there in two very different ways!  If you are daydreaming, you are in your own head, and if you are getting frustrated, you are in your own head.  Neither scenario bodes well for selling.  For that matter, it's extremely difficult to coach a salesperson if you are in your own head.

Speaking of coaching salespeople, my annual Sales Leadership Intensive is fast approaching!  It's just 3 weeks away.

September 10 - 11 |  Boston Area  |  2 Days of intense sales leadership training  

If you have any interest in attending, please send me an email and I'll make special arrangements for you.

You might have missed the article that I wrote on Friday last week.  (I never got so many "out of office" messages!)  It was an important article on Why Inbound Cannot Replace Selling and you should read it before the next paragraph.

Not too long ago, the only options for prospecting were either to pick up the phone or knock on a door.  In the 70's and 80's, I would do almost anything to knock on a door rather than call on the phone.  It wasn't very efficient but, back then, I was more comfortable and more effective face-to-face.  Times change and today I would choose the phone over door knocking 100% of the time.  But while there were only 2 options in the 70's and 80's, today there are many more.  Social Selling allows us to connect using Twitter, LinkedIn, email, blogs, Facebook,Google and more.  The problem occurs when people use the newest 6 options instead of the phone.  Ideally, they should be using the newest 6 options in conjunction with the phone.

When people find something they like or an approach that is more comfortable for them, they tend to embrace it to the point of obsession.  But effective selling has never been about what is most comfortable or popular.  Successful selling is about what works most effectively, most of the time, for most people.  They call it Best Practices.

Image Copyright: dundanim / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales best practices, emotional, social selling, sales prospecting

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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 and this one for 2017. Read more about Dave.

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