One Thing Missing from The New Way of Selling - Part 2

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jul 02, 2014 @ 06:07 AM

missing in salesYesterday, I read an article that was very consistent with what I was complaining about last week when I wrote The One Thing Missing From the New Way of Selling.  I have tremendous respect for the article's author, Mark Roberge, who has built a great sales force over at Hubspot.  They use Objective Management Group's (OMG) Sales Candidate Assessments to identify the new kind of salespeople who will succeed there.  

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Mark and I go back a long way.  I worked for his dad back in 1973 and his dad worked for me earlier in the current century.  OMG became one of Hubspot's very first customers in 2006 and all of my articles are hosted on their terrific platform.  

I loved Mark's article about the 4 Habits of a New Generation of Salespeople.  You should read the article!  It's a great description of how their salespeople and many inside salespeople operate. It describes mostly young, social salespeople, who sell inside and to marketers who are also mostly social sellers.  

On the other hand, while many inside sales experts are writing terrific articles, they are at the same time attempting to get the entire sales population to do what works so well for inside/inbound sales (and sell their inside/inbound services).  And it does work if you have a suitable product, price range, technology, target market and sales cycle.  It works if you have a dedicated team of top-of-the-funnel inbound marketers.  However, for every company and product where this makes sense, I can name three where it doesn't.  I love the new way of selling.  Just don't proclaim that the new way is the only way.  That's like saying, now that we have developed a spaceship that can take private citizens to outer space, everyone shall commute to work that way.  When commercial airlines made flying affordable enough for everyone, it didn't eliminate buses, trains and cars.  It simply became a better choice for long-distance trips.  We still use our cars to drive 120 miles!

While we are on the subject of old and new, I wrote an article that appears in the new issue of Top Sales Magazine.  You can download the magazine here.  The article, What is the Big Secret That Powers Baseline Selling? includes some video and some terrific explanations of what continues to make the process and methodology work so well for so many salespeople, 10 years after it was written.  And guess which book their salespeople read over at Hubspot?  Yeah, once they have a prospect, they still have to sell...

 

Baseline Selling

 

Selling is still selling and while a lot has changed in the last 10 years, a lot of it hasn't.  I'm a social seller.  Social sellers get found, find prospects and connect using a myriad of social selling tools.  But once a meeting has been scheduled, the social must be dropped in favor of the selling.   A prospect should only be aware of a terrific conversation, but process and methodology must be hidden backstage.

Image Copyright: lianna2013 / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, Consultative Selling, sales selection tool, social selling, Mark Roberge, objective management group

Combo Article Friday - Finding New Business and Sales

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 @ 06:01 AM

on the phone sellingI wrote an article for the Sales Blog over at Hubspot on how Inbound Marketing has really been around, like, forever.  

Mark Roberge, the Chief Revenue Officer at Hubspot, wrote an article there this week that has elicted one of the best discussions I've seen in the Sales Blogoshere - and not a single attack on any of the contributors (as of the last time I checked).  The article was about who should be your first sales hire.  I wrote my own article on the topic 3 years ago called Startups and the Dilemma of the First Sales Hire.  The inbound audience loves to engage in discussions, but not so much the CEO's, Presidents and Sales VP's who read these articles.  Chime in!

The February Issue of Top Sales Magazine was published yesterday and it includes an article with my latest thinking about using the phone for prospecting.  You can download the issue here This issue also announces a Top Sales Contest for Salespeople.  If there is a salesperson who you would like to nominate, instructions and guidelines are here.  

My article Tips for Great Keynotes and Better Sales Presentations was named a Top 10 Sales Article for the week over at TopSalesWorld.com.

I'll be speaking near you over the next two months:

WEBINAR: Leading the Ideal Sales Force Part 1
Wednesday, February 5, 11 AM ET
Register: http://hub.am/1jLizo2 

The latest thinking about growing, developing, tweaking and managing the ideal sales force.  Part 1 will address:
  • Sales Process - Optimizing Conversions
  • Sales Methodology – Why It Matters
  • Sales Messaging - How to Get It Right
  • 3 Critical Conversations
  • Executing in a Changing Economy
  • Sales Model – Making It Scalable
  • Channels - Optimizing Your Traction
  • Sales Training - Critical Components for Maximum Impact 
WEBINAR SERIES - Baseline Selling Open Enrollment
Begins February 20 for 12 Weeks
More Information: http://hub.am/1fhbMvv 
WEBINAR - How to Get the Most from OMG's Sales Candidate Analyzer Tool
February 26, 11 AM ET
Register 
SALES 2.0 CONFERENCE IN PHILADELPHIA - What to Ask To Determine If You Need to Implement Sales Force Transformation
March 10 
Register
ECSELL SALES COACHING SUMMIT IN CHARLOTTE NC - What Does Commitment to Sales Success Mean?
April 15
Register
EO AUSTIN TX - How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle and Close More Sales
April 23
Email me 
Image credit: feverpitched / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, EcSELL Institute, Top Sales World, Sales 2.0 Conference, EO, Top Sales Article, Hubspot Sales Blog, Mark Roberge

Can You Improve a Kick-Ass Sales Force?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 @ 17:09 PM

Most of the calls and emails which we receive come from companies with flat or declining sales.  However, some of the greatest successes occur when we help companies who are already kicking ass.  

Mark Roberge, Sales VP at Hubspot, is responsible for building one of those kick-ass sales forces and he contributed a guest post to Software Advice on Building a Sales Team the Hubspot Way

When I read the article, I noted a couple of things that I really liked:

  1. They learn very little about sales in the first 30 days.  Mark said, "Instead, they start a blog, create a website, open a Twitter account and begin email marketing campaigns.  By the time training is over, they will rank in Google for a few dozen keywords in their market, have a few dozen followers on Twitter and have written a few dozen blog articles.  HubSpot’s content marketing strategy allows the rep to establish online credibility before even getting on the phone with his or her first prospect."  Cool.
     
  2. A steady flow of inbound leads.  That sure helps new salespeople get started, doesn't it?
Like all kick-ass sales forces, they could do better.  I read a few things that surely aren't as good as they could be and with some tweaking, would significantly improve sales:
  • Mark identified 5 traits that he believes correlate to success and hires salespeople who have these traits.  He identified Coachability, Intelligence, Prior Success, Curiosity and Work Ethic.  While most top-performing salespeople have these qualities, it does not necessarily work in reverse.  For example, top-performing salespeople are also great at developing, building and maintaining relationships.  However, people who are good with relationships do not necessarily become good salespeople.  In fact, most of them don't!  So while it's important to identify predictors of success, predictors that correlate in only one direction will often disappoint.  The problem with the 5 that Mark identified is that none of them speak to either sales DNA, Commitment, Desire or selling skills.  Hubspot has so many leads that their salespeople don't have to be nearly as strong or effective at overcoming resistance as they would if the company were an underdog as described by:
  • Really expensive products or services; 
  • Not the market leader; 
  • Higher priced offerings than their competition; 
  • Have a story to tell; 
  • New product or technology;
  • New company or brand.  
If you are reading this, and your company matches up with any one of my criteria for underdogs, then you couldn't possibly get away with what Hubspot can get away with.  You must have strong hunters who are adept at overcoming resistance, can differentiate by selling consultatively, and ask the kinds of questions that develop respect, allowing prospects to open their mind to the possibility that you can help.
 
  • Hold Them Accountable to a Predictable Sales Process.  I completely agree with the premise, but the example is not a sales process as much as it is a set of metrics measuring conversion ratios.  This too - having a set of KPI's that drives revenue - is extremely important, but you can't choose between KPI's and Sales Process.  You need them both.  I speak with many CEO's who think they have a solid sales process in place and what they actually have are some steps - not necessarily the right ones, and never in the right sequence.  There are two things you can do to determine if your sales process is any good.  The first is the eye test.  Does it always yield predictable results on a predictable timeline?  The second is a graded test.  Use our complimentary Sales Process Grader and get a score!

sales process grader
In summary, Mark has done a great job, written a great article and achieved greatness for Hubspot.  But like any kick-ass sales force, they can do even better.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales leads, HubSpot, sales process, sales training, inbound, sales KPI, Mark Roberge

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight 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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