The 21-Day Solution for the Toughest Sales Weaknesses

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Apr 05, 2019 @ 16:04 PM

Salesmind

About a year ago, I wrote a very popular article called, Persistence Over Polish, where I discussed the competencies that the top 10% of all salespeople were better at than everyone else.  The article identified 5 of the 21 Sales Core Competencies that were the biggest difference makers, showed the gap in capabilities, and explained the impact of having these competencies as weaknesses.  You should really take 2-minutes and read it.  Then, about a week ago, I wrote another popular article called, How the Rubber Band Sabotages Sales Performance.  That article discussed six competencies specific to Sales DNA and the impact those six have on performance when they appear as weaknesses.  At the end of last week's article, I promised to introduce a solution to you within a week and true to my promise, the solution follows.

Let's begin with two examples of the problem:

Only 2% of elite salespeople (top 5%) have any weaknesses at all in their Sales DNA, while 98% of weak salespeople (the bottom 50%) have weak Sales DNA overall.

Salespeople who need to be liked are 148% less effective, they are 147% less likely to reach the decision maker, and their probability of closing is 151% smaller.  That's why elite salespeople are 329% more effective at creating urgency than weak salespeople.  Urgency causes action, while a lack of urgency results in an opportunity that gets stuck in the pipeline.

Salespeople who are uncomfortable talking about money are 168% less effective, 129% less likely to reach the decision maker, and their probability of closing is 150% less.  

And if salespeople have both of those weaknesses?  It's over before they make the call!

All 10 of the tactical selling competencies require salespeople who do not need to be liked.  It's most important for effective hunting, consultative selling and  selling value.  Both selling value and Qualifying require that salespeople be able to have in-depth conversations about finances.

Years ago, Objective Management Group (OMG) had a product called Salesmind.  It used self-hypnosis to reprogram a salesperson's limiting beliefs.  Beliefs influence behaviors and behaviors impact results.  Salesmind was extremely effective, helping salespeople overcome 10 different sales weaknesses, each after just 21 days of use.  Compared to coaching and the discomfort associated with change, Salesmind was easy and fast!  But Salesmind was a CD and computers stopped shipping with CD drives so the product faded away.  Until now!

We have migrated all of the terrific Salesmind programming to an online platform called the Sales DNA Modifier, where it can be used more easily than ever before.  We retained the very best content from Salesmind, and added sales affirmations as downloadable audio files for when you are driving in the car.  

The 10 best things about the Sales DNA Modifier with Salesmind are:

  1. It works!
  2. It's easy
  3. It's fast
  4. It requires only 5 minutes of your time, twice per day
  5. You don't need to think about it
  6. It's more powerful than getting coached or going for therapy
  7. It's available 24x7
  8. You can access it from any device
  9. It will make you a much more effective salesperson
  10. You will feel much better about yourself

The Sales DNA Modifier is available as an online subscription for just $119/year and comes with a money-back guarantee.  Check it out here.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Need for Approval, sales weaknesses, Sales DNA, need to be liked

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

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 @ 19:10 PM

friends

A lot of the salespeople I coach have a weakness in their Sales DNA - their need to be liked.  Approximately 58% of all salespeople have this weakness and on average, salespeople score 76% in that competency.  Elite salespeople have an average score of 87% and weak salespeople have an average score of 69%.

What would it look like if we were to pivot this data and look only at the group who have it as a weakness?  When we filter the results by the need to be liked, there are some very interesting scores.  Could it be that the need to be liked - by itself - is a predictor of sales success?  Maybe.  We know that if the salesperson is in an account management role, the need to be liked is an asset.  However, in any kind of producer role, especially in a consultative process or methodology, it will get in the way.  Take a look at this data!

Approval-Impact-2

The most striking takeaway here is that salespeople who don't need to be liked, score 47% higher on their ability to reach decision makers!  This video discusses the inability to reach decision makers.

 

Salespeople who don't need to be liked are also 51% more likely to close the opportunities in their pipeline and score 42% higher in the Consultative Seller competency.

Would we see the same kinds of differences if we filtered by another Sales DNA weakness?  Maybe.  What we do know that most salespeople enter sales because of their need to be liked.  It might help them to make friends - over time - but the need to be liked can be death when it comes to:

  • having the difficult conversation to differentiate this salesperson from everyone else
  • identifying the prospect's compelling reasons to buy
  • causing prospects to believe they must do business with this salesperson.

Salespeople who need to be liked aren't able to do those things.  It's too uncomfortable for them because they are afraid that their questions will cause their prospects to dislike them.

Finally, salespeople who don't need to be liked score 24% better in the hunting competency, partly because they score 25% better in being rejection proof.  That translates to a much bigger pipeline, from which many more opportunities move through the sales process to a close.

So then, what does a salesperson do if they are burdened with the need to be liked and want to improve?

If you're a sales manager, you must attend my Sales Leadership Intensive to learn the only coaching approach that will help you coach those salespeople up.  The next one is in two weeks and there are still some seats left. 

If you're a salesperson, you'll need to be coached to overcome this weakness because training and reading alone won't make it go away.  It usually takes between 8-12 months to overcome the need to be liked so good luck! 

Join the discussion on this article on Linkedin.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales competenices, difference between good and bad salespeople, difference between top salespeople and the rest, need to be liked

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

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jul 18, 2018 @ 08:07 AM

bryce-harper3

Some of you might have seen Bryce Harper's incredible last-minute barrage of home runs in the 2018 All-Star game. It's one of the highlights of summer!  Today I give you a barrage of my own with three killer videos and a powerful data-packed article.  

All 3 videos and the article use data from Objective Management Group's (OMG) evaluation and assessments of salespeople.  You can see some of the actual data for yourself.

First up, this article that I wrote for Selling Power, has data that shows how strong salespeople score 375% better than weak salespeople in the 21 Sales Core Competencies.  Join the discussion of this data on LinkedIn.

Second in my barrage, the video below explains why the need to be liked is such a serious handicap in sales.

 

 

Third in my barrage, this video explains why 80% of salespeople aren't getting to decision makers and what to do about it.

 

 

Finally, my barrage ends with this video explaining why most sales managers aren't effective at coaching.

 

 Photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2018/07/did-bryce-harper-cheat-to-win-2018-home-run-derby-cubs-fans-think-so/

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Coaching, reaching decision makers, need to be liked, sales data

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

Holiday Sales Treat - A Mashup of Two Classic Songs

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Dec 06, 2016 @ 06:12 AM

brady-bunch.jpgcold-outside.jpg

This past weekend I read that the lyrics to the popular Christmas song, "Baby it's Cold Outside" were rewritten to emphasize consent.  And the weekend before I saw the news that Brady Bunch Mom, Florence Henderson, had passed away.  That immediately caused the Brady Bunch theme song to come to mind but my brain tends to combine things. In 2005, when I combined sales and baseball,  it became Baseline Selling, which when I looked as I was writing this, was still ranked #9 in the sales category on Amazon.com.  So my brain went and combined the Brady Bunch Theme song with a lyric change and came up with this diddy on OMG.

If you're too young to know or forgot how the theme song sounds, refresh your memory here.  Then sing these lyrics to that old memory:

Here’s a story, of a normal sales force
That was struggling to grow business every day
All of them had weak performers 'cept their leader
And most had *NFA.

Here’s the story, of their top performer
Who had bigger, badder, better customers
All of them were sold by other sales reps
Before becoming hers…

The OMG Sales Force Evaluation
Showed the boss why sales were rarely getting closed
Most had Sales DNA below a sixty
And pipelines full of holes.

OMG made some really great suggestions
And they followed what we said they had to do
And the changes caused performance to get better
Sales went through the roof.

OMG helps your business make more money
With answers and some truly great insights
And our candidate assessments help recruiting
You'll get selection right.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales DNA, brady bunch, baby it's cold outside, need to be liked, dean martin

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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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