Do You Know if Your Sales Organization is Digital or Analog?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Aug 04, 2016 @ 07:08 AM

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During our very first conversation with a CEO, the talking path is determined by whether their company is analog or digital.  

Digital companies are typically on the cutting edge in their thinking and actions, their CEO's read content like this, are active on LinkedIn and Twitter, they are aware that selling has changed dramatically, they already have inside sales teams, playbooks, demo decks, sales enablement, online tools beyond CRM and in true digital fashion, they live by their KPI's which count the elements of their work flow.

Analog companies are old school. Analog salespeople still pound the phones to find opportunities, and visit their prospects to close sales. Their CEO's may have a LinkedIn account, but it probably isn't used much, they don't tweet, read online content like this, and most importantly, have little clue about how dramatically selling has changed in the past 5 years.  They may not be aware of the migration to inside sales, typically make little use of selling tools, don't know what a sales playbook is, and in true analog fashion, measure work product, not flow.  

The difference between work flow in a digital company versus work product in the analog company is dramatic too.

Work flow represents a series or flow of actions.  With inbound marketing for example, a company might use a combination of landing pages, email templates and rules to generate the flow of contacts, leads and opportunities, all of which are counted.

Work product represents outcomes.  Analog companies are more likely to measure how hard their salespeople work. Analog versus digital. Counting versus measuring. 

Digital companies usually think that they have it all figured out because they read free content like this, make use of the latest tools, have millennials working their inbound marketing effort, have inside and outside sales, hire expensive sales leaders, and together they built a sales machine.  But when it's not generating enough revenue, the sales machine is broken.

Analog companies aren't really aware that they are old school, but they have recognized that what used to work doesn't appear to be generating the same results today.  Their salespeople struggle to close new business, they are losing important accounts, margins are slipping because their salespeople are unable sell value, and their veteran salespeople are in denial.  Their ability to generate sales by pounding the phones and managing their territories has become inefficient and ineffective.  You can even recognize an analog sales force by looking at them.  With rare exceptions, it's a group of fat, aging, white guys.

In the end, it simply doesn't matter whether a company is analog or digital.  The commonality between them is that their sales organizations are not bringing in enough business and there are several reasons for this - or more!

One of the many reasons for less than stellar revenue is that these companies - both analog and digital - often fail to hire the right salespeople for the role.  That's the easiest of all things in sales to correct.  A simple change to your selection criteria and an accurate and predictive sales tool will drive up your rate of success and consistency with hiring very quickly!

If you are interested in learning how we use *digital magic* to help companies hire the right salespeople, then you might enjoy spending 30 minutes with me next month.  On September 28, I will lead a fast-paced behind the scenes online tour of the magic behind OMG's award-winning sales selection tools.  You can join me by registering here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales assesments, sales consulting, sales selection tool, selling has changed

Sales Selection Experiment - Part 2 - It's Back!

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 @ 04:01 AM

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When our son was just beginning to speak and we did something that he really enjoyed, he would say, "Again!  Again!"  

Two years ago, I wrote about a sales selection experiment with a group of college kids and the results were so much fun to read that when they repeated the exercise this year, my first reaction was, "Again!"  I think you're going to really enjoy the conclusions from this year's class!

First, you'll need the back story and results from the first go around and don't worry - it was an extremely short article!

Now that you are familiar with the premise and the first set of results, we must ask whether or not the results will be similar, the same or completely different.  The setup was the same - 5 teams - organized by their scores, and they set out to sell overpriced encyclopedias to homeowners in upscale neighborhoods.  Here are my conclusions from this year:

The students with the highest scores for Commitment to Sales Success sold five times more books than the students with the lowest scores for Commitment.  Once again we see why Commitment is the most important finding.

The team with the highest scores for Desire for Sales Success had both the best win rate and the most wins, but also had the fewest door knocks.  While strong Desire is always a requirement, Desire alone is not enough!

The two teams with the lowest scores for Desire for Sales Success and the lowest Sales DNA / Sales Quotient tied for the lowest win rate and fewest books sold.

The student who had the highest combined scores for Desire and Commitment had the highest win rate and the most books sold.

The five students with the lowest scores for Commitment and the most doors knocked had a combined win rate of 0.  Did they lie about the number of doors they knocked on or simply knock and fail to do what was required after that?

The seven students, or 28%, with the highest combination of Desire and Commitment closed 19 of the 32 sales.

The three students, or 13%, with the highest combination of Sales DNA and Sales Quotient scores closed 5, or 20%, of the 32 sales.

Neither Sales Quotient nor Sales DNA by themselves are enough.  The five who scored highest on each of those scores closed only 6 of the 32 sales.  They must be accompanied by Desire and Commitment!

This study also proved that numbers alone aren't enough to get it done.  The ten students who knocked on the most doors closed only 7 of the 32 sales.

 

 

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Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales assesments, sales selection, objective management group

You Have an 82% Chance of Making a Hiring Mistake When...

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Sep 02, 2009 @ 21:09 PM

My guest on this week's episode of Meet the Sales Experts was Ken Edmundson.  We were talking about hiring when he he said that there is an 82% chance of making a hiring mistake when management does not know how their candidate is wired.  He said it's a mistake when they are fired, they quit, or they under achieve.  He went on to say that you can't hire without an interview and a background check and you can't hire by only doing those two things.  He named 4 things that cause these mistakes:

  1. they have the wrong DNA to do it
  2. they are not trained to do it
  3. they have personal issues
  4. they aren't a good fit for the culture.

Ken had a new example of number four that I can't even include in this article.  You'll have to listen to the show to hear this incredible explanation!  And when it comes to the DNA of salespeople, nobody does a better job of presenting you with their DNA than Objective Management Group.

Ken said that "when a sales manager says, 'what my salespeople do when they walk out the door is none of my business' means that we have a problem with the sales manager."

Ken had dozens of great tips and suggestions during our conversation.  Listen to the show for all of the rest!

You can click here to listen.  You can click here to contact Ken.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, sales assesments, hiring salespeople, sales evaluations, ken edmundson, sales candidate assessments

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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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