Why Inbound and Inside Sales Experts Think Sales Process is Dead Too

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 @ 16:08 PM

Sales Process isn't even the only thing that inbound marketers say is dead. They'll have you believing that salespeople are no longer needed, selling is dead, and a consultative approach is dead too. They are basically ready to proclaim that anything selling-related, that they don't really understand or find it necessary to do, is not needed and dead.  

Let's start with my recent Google search for "Sales Process is Dead."  That search turned up these articles on the first page of results:

So who wrote all of these articles?  

One article was written by a sales expert discussing the concept of following the buyer's purchasing process. OK, that's still a sales process and it has some validity if you have weak salespeople that sell to large companies where you can't impact or change anything relative to how they buy.

One article was published in Harvard Business Review and was really about Solution Selling being dead. It isn't dead, but the authors are making a lot of money by saying that and pushing the Challenger Sale!

And the rest were written by marketers who might sell a lot more of their services if they can convince you that sales process is dead. 

The second page of the Google search results was even worse, including proclamations that B2B selling is dead and that field sales is dead. Don't get me wrong. I love and use some of their tools and services and recommend them to clients too. But the key word here is tools. They support and enhance selling. Tools don't replace selling.

There's very little question that everything we know about selling has changed dramatically in the past 5-8 years. I've written about these changes on 5 occasions and even my viewpoint has changed during this time! See:

There is some truth to what inbound marketing experts and inside sales experts are saying relative to the context of who they work with. Certainly, those who work inbound leads only need to follow up and either schedule a call or get the lead to click a button and subscribe. There isn't any complicated selling or sales process to navigate in order for that to work! Many inside salespeople only need to concern themselves with the top of the funnel where scheduling an appointment is their ultimate success.  

The disconnect occurs when salespeople, sales managers, sales leaders, marketing executives and CEOs read the propaganda from the inbound/inside experts and mistakenly believe that it applies to them! There are 10 scenarios where that message does not and will not ever apply to you:

  1. If you don't sell inexpensive subscriptions,
  2. If you aren't the lowest price in your category,
  3. If you don't have a short sales cycle,
  4. If you aren't the brand leader,
  5. If you have a story to tell,
  6. If your product requires design/build or customization,
  7. If what you sell is a lot of money,
  8. If you have a new company, new product or new technology,
  9. If you need to get to the C Suite, and/or
  10. If you are the underdog.

Today, there are a significant number of inside salespeople who are responsible for the entire sales cycle and they carry a quota too. Don't even suggest that they don't need a sales process and don't need to sell. Today, if you want even a chance of selling value, differentiating your company and winning business, you must take a consultative approach and use a milestone-centric sales process. You can include buyer-side milestones in that process if you like, but if you include only buyer-side milestones and don't focus on sales-side milestones too, you will get beat by competitors who have a true sales process.

This is important.  

Selling has become more difficult than ever before. Consistent success requires a consultative approach that most salespeople have difficulty executing. They haven't been properly trained or coached in its application, don't practice, and aren't confident enough to use it. It's much easier to give in to the marketers, abandon the sales process, abandon the consultative approach, abandon value selling, and abandon best practices despite how relevant and effective they still are. You'll have a longer sales process and a lower win-rate, but failing could never be easier!

Or, you can take the path less traveled, use the more difficult consultative approach in a more challenging milestone-centric sales process. It will be harder, but your sales cycle will be shorter and you'll have a higher win rate.

Easy gets you lousy results. Difficult helps you achieve consistent success.

I've seen this first-hand with golf and tennis. Accept the difficult job of learning to play either game the right way, learn the correct way to stroke the ball, learn the right strategies, practice your butt off and you'll win a lot more than you'll lose and feel much better about yourself too. Or, continue to play like a hack and you'll lose a lot more than you'll win and constantly have a feeling of frustration and discouragement.

In the end, it's always up to you. There are plenty of us who are always more than willing to help if you want to take the journey to mastery.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Consultative Selling, Inbound Marketing, sales process, solution selling, sales funnel, cold calling, inside sales, SPIN Selling, selling is dead

Selling Value - Everything You Always Wanted to Know

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Dec 03, 2014 @ 23:12 PM

value

Copyright: kchung / 123RF Stock Photo

Some news stories just don't go away.  Today those stories include Ferguson, Bill Cosby, ISIS and The NFL's Domestic Abuse Problem.  There is also Obamacare, Immigration and Ebola.  They remain in the news more because the media continues to milk these stories then readers demand to know more.

When we look at the sales stories of the recent past, the topics that sales experts continue writing about are Social Selling, Inbound Marketing, LinkedIn, Twitter, CRM and Lead Nurturing.  They remain in the news more because the writers are attempting to sell their own services that happen to support those topics more than readers demanding to read more about it.  There's nothing wrong with these topics of course, but sales experts should be addressing topics more closely aligned with helping sellers sell, instead of so much space being devoted to what takes place at the top and above the top of the sales funnel.

So if not those topics, then what should we all be writing about - all the time - that would be a real difference maker for salespeople?

I believe that it's the importance of and ability to sell value.  Why, you ask? 

Selling value is the one thing that all salespeople, operating without benefit of the lowest price, absolutely, positively, must be able to do well in order to consistently earn the business.  

Despite the need to effectively sell value, it happens to be one of things that salespeople do very poorly. The importance of selling value isn't going away, but sales experts are not spending enough time talking about it, writing about it, explaining it, or providing training on it.  The most critical aspect of this topic is understanding the many factors that support a salesperson's ability to sell value.  Selling value isn't a specific thing that one says or does, as much as it's an outcome of several other things.  According to Objective Management Group's (OMG) statistics (close to one million salespeople assessed), of the 6 most important factors required to sell value, most salespeople have, on average, only 2 of them as strengths or skills.

This is such an important topic that last week I hosted a broadcast on Selling Value in Modern Times.  If you would like to watch it, run time is 46 minutes.

According to a Google search on my blog, I've written about or mentioned selling value, in some way, shape or form, 766 times in the past 10 years.  Here are 10 of my favorite articles on selling value and when you extract the major points from each, it provides a very nice collection of guidelines for selling value:

Is the Sales Force Getting Dressed Up or are Real Changes Taking Place?

Closing and Negotiating Challenges - Symptoms of Another Selling Problem

Sales 102 - The Pitch Deck, the Price Reduction and the Data

This Simple Strategy Will Sell Your ROI and Value Proposition Every Time

Why This is Still a Great Selling Sales Book After 10 Years

Price Quotes and the Inability of Salespeople to Sell Value

The One Thing Most Salespeople Are Unable to Do

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

Top 10 Outcomes When Salespeople Screw Up Selling "Value Added"

Top 5 Sales Issues Leaders Should Not Focus On

This is the One Thing Missing from the New Way of Selling

Do You/Should You Have a Complex Sale?

Top 10 Reasons Why Salespeople Let Price Drive the Sale

How to Add Value to Your Sales Offering

New Metrics for the Sales Force - Unusual Thoughts for Unusual Times

Boston Ballet and Money Tolerance - What it Means to Your Sales Force

As I mentioned above, selling value does not stand on its own.  You should now understand that from the value selling broadcast and the articles above,  there are several other factors that contribute to selling value.  Unless salespeople are able to effectively integrate all of the necessary factors (Sales DNA, sales process, strategy and tactics), then the end result will always be salespeople that are only able to talk about value, instead of actually becoming the value.

I'll be hosting a webinar on December 10 at 11 AM Eastern Time.  We'll be discussing the 5 Hidden Factors that Determine the Fate of Every Sales Force.  Selling Value is certainly one of those factors!  It will run for about 45 minutes.  If you would like to attend you can register here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Inbound Marketing, crm, twitter, Pipeline, linkedin, social selling, selling value, Lead Nurturing, top of the funnel, Bill Cosby, Value Proposition

Why This Salesperson Failed to Close the Deal

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 @ 07:11 AM

Have you ever played golf?  Did you ever play a hole where you drove it perfectly off the tee, hit a great shot from the fairway, and still couldn’t get it on the green in regulation?

Of course you did.  Me too.  Almost always.

This is a true story about a salesperson who experienced the same thing – only different – because he didn’t get it on the green in his sales cycle.

Our story begins when I received a marketing email from a software company. Their email worked perfectly, as they succeeded in getting me to click on the link to take their 3-question survey.  Once there, I found that I was unable to answer the questions because my true answers weren’t among the available selections.  The choices only allowed for me to have a problem that I didn’t have.  Oops.  I aborted the survey.  But they knew I had clicked on the survey and apparently didn’t care whether or not I finished.  Despite the fact that Joe Kindergarten designed the survey, their email marketing had worked flawlessly – at least on me.

Moments later, the inside salesperson (we’ll call him Phil) left me a voicemail and followed up with an email about two minutes later.  Apparently, the inside sales team, and specifically Phil, were well aware of these statistics touting the importance of calling in the first hour and for even better results, in the first five minutes:

Connects-1ResponseTimes-1Infographic provided by salesforce.com and CrystalNorth

So the email marketing worked, and Phil immediately followed up on his new lead.

Of course, there’s the issue of whether or not I was actually a lead.  Had I become a lead because I began to take a survey or was I simply a contact?  Did I become a lead when and if Phil reached me and turned me over to a salesperson or was Phil responsible for taking me through their sales cycle?

This was the topic of a very lively discussion between Koka Sexton and me on Dan McDade’s excellent video-conference last week.  You can watch the 30-minute show by clicking here.

Back to Phil.  We may never know if he was in an Inbound marketing role, an inside sales role, or a traditional sales role but from inside.  Why?  Let’s discuss what happened next.

Nothing happened next!

It seems that Phil was unaware of the well-known statistics that reveal how many follow-up attempts are required to reach a contact or a lead.   It can take 10-15 attempts and Phil gave up after 2!

Should Phil have continued calling and emailing?  Should he have attempted to connect on LinkedIn or give up?

Phil couldn’t possibly know the answer to that unless he kept trying.

For example, it took 15 attempts before I was able to connect with the Worldwide VP Sales for a company that became one of our biggest and most important clients.  And this wasn’t a name and email address on a form after an internet download of a White Paper.  This was someone who was introduced to us by another executive in his company and had already indicated that he wanted to talk with us. Even under those ideal conditions it took 15 attempts.

Lessons: Don’t. Give. Up.

Don’t. Let. Your. Salespeople. Give. Up.

In my most recent White Paper, The Modern Science of Sales Force Excellence, one of the findings showed that only a small percentage of companies doing inbound marketing/sales were converting more than 40% of their leads/contacts to conversations.  Download the White Paper to learn what they are doing differently from all of the other companies.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Inbound Marketing, inside sales, reaching prospects, prospecting tips

Surprising Social Selling Secret Drives Sales Revenue

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Nov 05, 2014 @ 06:11 AM

Social-Selling-Secret

Today I learned that an article I wrote back in November of 2013, Increase in Social Selling Yields No Increase in KPI's, was named Top Sales Article of the Month for October 2014 by Top Sales World.  While I'm always honored to win awards for my Blog, this time around I don't really deserve it. The findings in my November 2013 article were correct based on what I knew in 2013, but based on what I know to be true today, it is no longer accurate.  If you've been reading my Blog, then you are probably aware of OMG's big Sales Force Effectiveness Study that we've been working on for the past three months.  One of the things we studied is the impact of Social Selling. At face value, one might come to the exact same conclusion as we did in 2013, that it's having limited impact on sales.  However, this time we looked wider and deeper and beyond the obvious and we were extremely surprised by what we found.  We discovered that

companies are experiencing tremendous sales results with Social Selling, but not because of Social Selling.  We found the same thing to be true of Inbound Marketing/Sales.  Companies are experiencing tremendous results with Inbound Marketing/Sales but not because of Inbound Marketing/Sales.  The report will be released next week and I don't want to spoil the fun but I will share one snippet.

One of the many differentiators between the companies succeeding with Social Selling and/or Inbound Marketing/Sales, and those that aren't might surprise you.  Companies that are succeeding with Social Selling and/or Inbound have shorter sales cycles, higher win-rates, and significant increases in sales when...

wait for it...scroll down...

 

...scroll further...

 

...scroll some more...

 

...the CEO is involved, committed, and driving best practices throughout the sales organization.  Companies are twice as likely to experience this kind of success when the CEO is part of this picture.

Look for insights like these and dozens more when we release our study on November 11.  Want to be notified?  Just subscribe to the Blog  and/or follow OMG on Twitter.

 

Topics: sales competencies, Dave Kurlan, Inbound Marketing, sales effectiveness study, social selling

Sales Success is Like Making Great Tasting Soup

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Nov 03, 2014 @ 10:11 AM

french_onion_soup_med

Believe it or not, most people still believe that sales success boils down to getting a lot of people to agree to watch a demo.  While that's the case with technology, it doesn't vary too much from that in non-technology sales where most people believe that sales success boils down to one of two things - either a critical mass of meetings, or a proposal or quote.

On the other hand, depending on which experts you listen to, sales success boils down to how effective one is with either Inbound, Social Selling, Consultative Selling, Qualifying, Value Selling, Solution Selling, Relationship Selling, The Challenger Sale, acceptance of the Buyer Journey, Sales Process, Sales Methodology, Prospecting, Telesales, Reaching Decision Makers, Closing Techniques, Value Propositions, Capabilities, Presentations, Metrics, Tools, CRM, Pipeline Management, Training, Coaching, Sales Management, Selection, or Timing.  I'm sure I've missed a few, but you get the gist.

Sales success is no more about any one competency than great-tasting soup is about one ingredient.  If you omit one ingredient, like salt, the soup will taste bland.  If you omit one competency, like Qualifying, your sales effectiveness will suffer.  While you can't leave one ingredient out of the soup, it's also not possible to make soup by focusing on and including only one ingredient.  Likewise, with sales, you can't expect to succeed, dominate your market, and celebrate your results if you focus on and include only one of the competencies on my list.  

It requires all of the competencies, all of the tools, all of the systems and processes, and effective sales leaders to bring it all together.

Companies that abandon their time-tested and proven approaches for new tools and technology are as short-sighted as companies that fail to adopt the new approaches, tools and technologies.  It's not about extremes or polar opposites as much as it's about planning, integration, a practical approach and inspection.

Sometimes, the leaders are too close to know what to keep, what to discard, what to adopt, and how or when to adapt.  Sometimes they are too smart and know the answers without knowing which questions to ask.

Just remember, sales success is a lot like making soup.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Inbound Marketing, sales methodology, closing, sales performance, sales selelction

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, inbound hiring

Top 10 Reasons Why Inbound Cannot Replace Sales

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 @ 13:08 PM

INBOUND V SALESWell, it's really happened now.

I was following a discussion in the Hubspot VAR Group on LinkedIn, where the question posed to the group was whether or not the first sales hire should be a sales or a marketing person.

[Disclosure:  Hubspot is a client of both Kurlan and OMG; This blog is hosted on Hubspot's terrific blogging and lead-gen platform and I was one of their very first customers back in 2006.]  

Hubspot's VAR's are all marketing agencies specializing in inbound marketing.  There were some terrific comments, but one particular comment stopped me dead in my clicks and scrolls.  The comment was from a well-respected Hubspot executive who said, "Do not hire a salesperson."  It's a polarizing comment for a number of reasons:

  1. I'm speaking at their international INBOUND14 Conference next month (if you want to attend, you can use this discount code: GOINB14) and my topic is, "Interviewing for the Inbound Sales Role"!  Should I back out?  Do you think anyone will show up to hear me?
  2. This comment, as well as articles and comments like this, are the source of exactly the kind of confusion that I spoke about in this cover story for Top Sales World Magazine last week.
  3. And it's exactly the kind of confusion that I spoke about with Selling Power Publisher, Gerhard Gschwandtner, in the video below, recorded at last month's Sales 2.0 conference in Boston.

Once again, it's imperative for everyone to understand that there are many scenarios where salespeople cannot be replaced by inbound marketing!  If you or your company are involved in any of the following 10 scenarios, you absolutely must have salespeople:

  1. Complex Sale 
  2. Big Ticket Sale
  3. Long Sales Cycle
  4. You are the Underdog.
  5. You Have a New Technology.
  6. You are Not the Market Leader.
  7. You are Not the Low Price Leader.
  8. You are Not the Recognized Major Brand.
  9. It is Not an Existing Expense for Most Customers.
  10. Your Product or Service is Not an Easy-to-Sell, Affordable Subscription.

So, it should be quite obvious why an inbound marketer, following up on an inbound lead, cannot possibly run the sophisticated sales cycle that would be required to successfully sell and close a prospect or group of prospects in the 10 scenarios listed above.

How do you feel about this topic?  Please weigh in below, regardless of which side of the fence you are on.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, Gerhard Gschwandtner, jonathan farrington, Top Sales World, selling power

Double Article Friday and the Death of All Selling Forever

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 @ 07:04 AM

warYou get more bang for your buck on Fridays!  Especially this Friday when you get my powerful rant below, as well as two bonus articles!

The Selling Power Blog has my new article on why consultative selling is so difficult.  Head over there for a great read!

And over at Top Sales World, my article on the premature announcement that SPIN Selling is dead is one of the top 10 articles for last week.

There is no doubt that selling has changed - a lot - but the marketers who most benefit from telling you that it has changed to the point where you should not sell anymore are simply trying to get you to buy their stuff!

Don't get me wrong - they ALL have great tools, applications, insights, data and uses.  But you need to buy those services on their own merit because you need them or they would add to your sales force's effectiveness.  THEY DO NOT TODAY, NOR WILL THEY TOMORROW, BE USED INSTEAD OF SELLING!

There is a very significant movement, by everyone selling something for inside sales and inbound marketing, to get everyone else on this overhyped, death of selling, band wagon.  I've said this before and I'll say it again.  For very transactional sales, very quick sales, very inexpensive sales, or the lowest price on the planet sales, inbound, outbound, overbound, double bound, inside, not outside, two-sided and both-sided, inside and inbound will surely replace traditional salespeople.  But it stops there folks.  Everyone else needs salespeople, and while selling has surely changed, that doesn't mean that you should take their myopic advice and stop selling!

You don't stop selling.  Repeat it three times. You don't stop selling.  You don't stop selling.  You don't stop selling. You don't replace salespeople with marketing.  You don't make salespeople passive.  You don't stop asking questions. You don't stop qualifying and closing.  If the methods of these inside sales experts are so good, why are their win rates so low and their sales cycles so long?  Why is their turnover so high?

Good questions.

I've seen the underbelly of their sales forces and you don't want to trade what you have now for what they have now.  Adopt some of their technology, sure, but don't blow up the farm.  You still need the harvest to eat.

Image credit: stefanolunardi / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Inbound Marketing, inside sales, death of selling

Social Selling - I'm a Proponent, Not a Detractor - Look at The Stats

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 @ 08:11 AM

The battle that I inadvertently started with this post moved here where it took on a life of its own.  As of this writing, there were 36 comments, some more pointed than others.  Gerhard Gschwandtner added this post to the ongoing discussion.  Earlier this week, I wrote this post to address most of the confusion that's out there.  Yesterday, this post appeared on the Sales Thought Leaders Blog to add fuel to the fire.

I think it's all quite funny that so many have so much difficulty letting go of their positions and take things so personally.

I'm actually a proponent of social selling, not a detractor.  I proactively and consistently use LinkedIn, ToutApp, Hubspot, YouTube, Wistia, Postwire, HootSuite, MeetMe, Eventbrite and more.  Both of my companies have Twitter accounts that tweet Blog posts, news and retweet many of the tweets from other sales thought leaders.  

Bob Thompson left several comments on the article at the CustomerThink site.  In his last comment, he asked what the stats would look like if we only reported on what the best salespeople did with social media.  I think that's a terrific idea, Bob, and while it's much more difficult to isolate those statistics, I did the research and report on it here.

One important thing to remember when making these comparisons is that the most successful reps don't make cold calls, so we need to compare their social media successes to the alternative which, for them, is referral/introduction selling.

I looked at 1,921 leads that were assigned to a group of top salespeople.

They closed 69% of the leads that were customer/client referrals/introductions.

On the other hand, they closed only 5% of the leads from social selling.  WOW!!

However, I looked more closely and found that we can identify something different altogether.

If we isolate the leads that were either call-ins or emails generated from Blog Posts or videos, the closing rate shot up to 29%.  It's not the 69% of referrals, but it sure beats the hell out of cold calls and the rest of the social selling leads.  How did the top salespeople fare on those?

They closed only 3% of the "leads" that were from White Paper downloads, Sample Requests, Webinar views, and the like.

In summary, top salespeople closed less than half as many quality social selling leads as they did with all referral/introduction leads.  That's not bad.  But the 3% suggests that the "leads" from other sources should never go to salespeople.  Those leads waste time and should remain with marketing.

One question this leaves me with is who would have been better at following up on the quality social selling leads?  The top salespeople (who never cold call and rarely get resistance) or the newer and/or less successful salespeople who regularly deal with such annoyances?

Are these findings more encouraging?

I believe they are.  They suggest that with the existance of two variables, social selling can be effective.  

We must be able to differentiate between quality and other leads.

We must have a method for getting only the best quality leads directly to the salespeople.

We must funnel those leads to the salespeople who are most capable of closing them.  That last statement is different from traditional lead distribution at most companies.  Aren't you sick and tired of giving leads to salespeople who don't follow up on a timely basis?  Who don't convert them?  Who don't close them?  I believe that leads should go only to the salespeople who prove they can be effective with them and follow up on a timely basis.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Inbound Marketing, Gerhard Gschwandtner, lead follow up, lead conversion, KPI, social selling, statistics

Sales Candidate Shortage - More Proof That Sales Isn't Dead Yet

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Nov 07, 2013 @ 06:11 AM

Death Of SellingAs you probably know, many people have been writing premature obituaries about the impending death of selling.  Of course, that's been going on since at least 2006 when I posted my first rebuttal to this silly claim, and as recently as last month when I posted my latest rebuttal.  It's being perpetuated by extremist marketers who are claiming that inbound will become the be-all end-all.  

It's simply not true.

The latest proof can be found in this July 2013 USA Today article.  I'll give you the important facts, but you should shoot over there and read the entire article.

The article said that in June, "the number of jobs in sales and related occupations jumped a whopping 445,000 to a four-year-high of 15.8 million."  That's in the USA alone.  Those numbers are trending the wrong way for the pro-death-of-selling folks.  Not only that, our company, Objective Management Group, will need to change it's BHAG from 14 million to 16 million salespeople evaluated! 

The article also said that "Thirty-five percent of sales managers couldn't find qualified candidates for open positions."  That's consistent with what clients have been seeing.  

Another important point from the article was that it is now taking three months to fill a sales position.  I should add that that's when standard quality sales managers look for standard quality salespeople.  If we raise the bar and look for high quality salespeople, the timeline can extend to six months!

These developments place an even bigger emphasis on the importance of using a best-in-class, sales-specific, accurate and predictive sales candidate assessment early in your sales recruiting process.  When there is urgency to fill positions and most of the candidates aren't very good, even your hiring managers will have to deal with the case of happy ears.  Consistent use of the assessment will alleviate that.

While this is all disappointing and frustrating news for companies that need to hire salespeople, and especially for those who want to hire great salespeople, it's really bad news for the people who have been holding those messed-up crystal balls!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, Inbound Marketing, sales candidates, omg, sales recruiting sales assessments, death of selling

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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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Vendor Neutral Certified 100 SalesTech Vendor Objective Management Group

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee

MVP2018_badge_winner_SPC

Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Individual Blog -  Silver

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Article/Post -  Silver


Top Sales Awards 2018 - Assessment Tool -  Gold

 2016 Top Sales & Marketing Individual Blog - Bronze

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Podcast - Gold

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Webinar - Gold

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

2018 Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blogs Widget

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers

Top100Strategic

Top100SalesInfluencersOnTwitter



Hubspot Top 25 Blogs

 

Free Tools

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