Did our Sales Evaluation Uncover Part-Time Job Selling Drugs?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 @ 09:10 AM

pot

A salesperson was arrested for growing pot and selling it. Can you believe it?

Recently, the same man participated in OMG's Sales Force Evaluation at the company where he worked.  The evaluation showed that he was a very strong salesperson with tremendous selling skills, but it also identified a few telling issues:

  • He wasn't motivated to earn additional money;
  • He didn't enjoy the selling that he was doing for this company;
  • He wasn't committed to his sales success;
  • He wasn't trainable or coachable;
  • He was unlikely to stick around.

The salesperson was terminated following his arrest. 

If you read a sales evaluation with findings like these on a successful salesperson that worked for you, would you discount them?  Disagree with them?  Challenge the evaluation?  Challenge the individual?  After all, it's not that unusual for a successful salesperson to no longer be motivated by earning more money, but it is very unusual when a successful salesperson no longer enjoys selling and isn't committed to sales success.

We know how accurate the evaluations are, so we urge our clients to challenge the individuals in question.  However, since the evaluations uncover hidden issues and the clients weren't previously aware of those issues, quite often they will challenge the evaluation since they "know" the person and the findings "just couldn't be accurate".

This doesn't happen very frequently, but it does happen.  Why do you suppose managers prefer to push back on the findings rather than the person?  Do they know their salespeople that well or are they blinded by that person's results?  Is the performance even a result of that person's efforts or are they reaping the benefits of the hard work of the company, the prior rep, lucrative existing accounts or some other factor they aren't responsible for?

It's fine to push back on findings and evaluations, but when the evaluation is as accurate as OMG's, one needs to push back on the salesperson too.

Topics: sales assessment, sales force evaluation, enjoys selling, sales assessment testing, money motivated, sales development, personality assessment

Is There a Lack of Clarity on the Current State of Selling?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 @ 15:04 PM

clarityLast week, I wrote this article questioning the Death of SPIN Selling.  Over the years, I have questioned the impending death of other important areas like cold-calling, selling, sales process, salespeople and more.  As we continue to discuss these issues and more like them, let's think about why there are two camps - those who continue to prophecise the eventual death of salespeople and selling; and those who defend its existence and continued importance as we march into the future.

I believe that if you do some digging into who is writing relative to each topic, it becomes fairly easy to see that most of the deathmongers hail from isolated areas of the industry. Some of them are marketers who, in order to push their applications, must convince you that marketing can handle both finding and closing sales - all via the internet.  Others are from the big, new, inside sales industry.  Those bloggers too must convince you that traditional sales is on its way out the door in order to get you to buy their services.  It's no coincidence that because most inside sales groups are responsible for the top of the funnel (following up on leads or generating leads and/or meetings) or selling low-cost, high-demand products and services (transactional of course), they have little insight into a longer, more complex sale.  Then there are researchers who simply fail to talk with the right people. 

On the other side of this discussion are those, like me, who are saying, "Sorry, you just don't get it.  You don't know what you're talking about."  We are actually in the field, working with companies, their leadership teams, their sales management teams, their salespeople and helping them navigate these choppy waters and develop modern, effective sales processes, strategies, tactics and styles.

Without question, the internet, inbound marketing, and social selling have replaced traditional sales - IN CERTAIN AREAS.  But they are relatively small areas and most B2B sellers will NEVER, EVER find themselves in that situation.

If your company has a long sales cycle, a complex sale or sells a high-ticket product or service, you will always require great salespeople.  If your company is not the market leader, low-cost alternative, or the maker of the products that people wait in line to buy, you will always require great salespeople.  And if your company and/or your technology is new, you will require great salespeople.  It's really that simple.

There is some clarity though.  It's clear that most of the inside sales/marketing folks lack clarity when it comes to writing about sales.  What they write about certainly applies to what they are doing in their corner of the sales world, but it is no more representative of sales and selling than Palm Beach resorts and Orlando Theme Parks are representative of Florida.  People who visit there experience life in a controlled environment.  It's an aberration - a bubble - because the real Florida has violence, crime, pick-up trucks, cowboy boots and large metal belt buckles. 

Yesterday, during our 2014 Objective Management Group (OMG) International Conference, I was speaking with Cliff Pollan, CEO of Postwire, my favorite content-sharing application and one of our great Strategic Partners.  Despite leading a company that essentially helps companies market via an ability to push, pull and track content engagement, Cliff sides with those of us helping traditional B2B companies to sell their products and services.  

OMG introduced its brand new, fourth generation Sales Candidate Assessments at this conference and they go live next Monday, April 21.  I will be leading a webinar and walking end-users through the new report on Thursday, April 17, at 11 AM ET.  Even if you aren't a current user, you are welcome to join us and learn why there is so much buzz about OMG's Sales Candidate Assessments.  Register here.

Image credit: rtimages / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, inside sales, postwire, cliff pollan, b2b sales, sales assessment testing, objective management group

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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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