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

Which 4 Sales Competencies Best Differentiate Top from Bottom Salespeople?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Oct 08, 2018 @ 20:10 PM

elite-v-weak

The difference between great salespeople and weak salespeople has been debated for years.  The articles in my Blog typically address these differences with science and data to support to my position. 

For example, In 2018 alone I have written 21 such articles:

Data Shows That Only 14% are Qualified for the Easiest Selling Roles

The Wrong Salespeople are Hired 77% of the Time

Examples of How Salespeople Lose Credibility with Their Prospects

Golden Nuggets from the CSO Insights 2018 Sales Talent Study

New Data Shows that You Can Double Revenue by Overcoming This One Sales Weakness

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

New Data Shows That Elite Salespeople are 700% Less Likely to Do This

Elite Salespeople are 26 Times More Effective at This Competency Than Weak Salespeople

Does Being a Strong Qualifier Correlate to Having a Strong Pipeline?

Elite Salespeople are 200% Better in These 3 Sales Competencies

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

Latest Data Shows Most Salespeople Would be Fired or Arrested if they Worked in Accounting

New Data Shows How Relationships and the Need to be Liked Impact Sales Performance

New Data Shows Sales Weaknesses Cause Powerful Chain Reactions in Salespeople

Discovered - Data Reveals the Second Biggest Obstacle to Closing More Sales

Discovered - Data Reveals the Biggest Obstacle to Closing More Sales

New Data Reveals Why Veteran Salespeople Are Not Better Than New Salespeople

Data Shows Most Salespeople are Dinosaurs When it Comes to Social Selling

Persistence Over Polish - What the Top 10% of All Salespeople Do Better

What Happens When You Force a Square Sales Peg into a Round Sales Hole?

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

Other Blogs, and far too often, the Harvard Business Review and Blog, state these differences using junk science - anecdotal observations.  While those observations can be useful, they do not actually differentiate between good and bad, as much as they are what the authors perceive as personality traits commonly found among good salespeople.

I reviewed data from nearly 511,000 sales evaluations and assessments from among the 1.8 million that Objective Management Group (OMG) has produced to date.  I compared 21 Sales Core Competencies (you can see much of that data here) of the top 5% (elite) with the bottom 50% of all salespeople.  Then I identified the 4 competencies with the biggest gaps and you can see those in the image below.

 544Competency

The 4 competencies with the biggest gaps are all tactical selling competencies and on average, the top 5% have these competencies as strengths 544% more often than the bottom 50%. However, the 544% number isn't really the story.  The big story is that that 64% of the top 5% have the Consultative Selling as a strength compared with only 3% of the bottom 50%.  Nearly as big a story is that 91% of the top 5% are strong at the Qualifying competency compared with only 6% of the bottom 50%.  And a whopping 95% of the top 5% are strong at the Value Selling competency compared with only 10% of the bottom 50%.

So what does this mean?

Elite salespeople are twice as likely to have solid pipelines because nearly every one of them are strong at the Hunting Competency.  Then, because they are so proficient at selling value and qualifying their opportunities, a high percentage of a greater number of opportunities close and not because they are better closers!

Weak salespeople - in this case, more than 255,000 of them - are twice as likely to have a weak pipeline, and because they are selling transactionally and not consultatively, they close a very small percentage of a smaller number of opportunities.  That's why they are so ineffective. 

Could there be a better case for why transactional selling doesn't work?  Please tell me if you have one!

The other story here is that it's value selling and qualifying that almost every elite salesperson executes so effectively while only 2/3 of them have learned to excel at a consultative selling approach.

The gaps are clear and if you manage salespeople, the question is how do you coach your salespeople up and close such a large gap?  You must attend my Sales Leadership Intensive and learn to coach to these 4 competencies and more.  And if 30% of your people can't be coached up, use the most customizable, accurate and predictive sales specific candidate assessment to easily identify the top 25%.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales competenices, Great salespeople, difference between good and bad salespeople, empty pipeline, closing deals

Get Out of the Way and 8 Tips for Sales Success

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:06 PM

On today's (June 9, 2009) episode of Meet the Sales Experts I interviewed Chris Mott.  This was a very interesting, fast-moving show where Chris shared his 8 tips for sales success, talked about sales management's role in growing sales, the biggest obstacle he had to overcome in order to succeed, how to succeed in this economy, and much, much more.  One of his 8 tips?  Get out of the way!  Listen in to hear him elaborate on how to get out of the way.

On Friday's episode (June 12, 2009 at 12 Noon ET) of  Meet the Sales Experts, I will interview Bill Murray, who, among other things, will talk about taking strategies from 50,000 feet and turning them into actionable, real world sales tactics.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales training, sales management, sales competenices, chris mott, sales testing, bill murray, sales assessments, Meet the Sales Experts, sales radio

Your Salespeople Call on the Wrong People and Expect Them to Buy

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 @ 10:10 AM

I speak quite often to groups comprised primarily of CEO's and Presidents.  Yesterday was a good example of that, with about 100 people in the audience.  There were 35 No-Shows, most of whom did not have the title of President or CEO. 

I speak about sales force issues that are meaningful to Presidents and CEO's.  At the end of these keynotes I learn who is interested in getting some help driving sales excellence in their company.  The historical data from about 14 years of these keynotes show that about 80% of the Presidents and CEO's say "yes" while about 80% of the sales managers and Sales VP's say "no".  Surprised? 

Let's translate this to your business. How many sales opportunities fail to convert because your salespeople failed to meet with the individual(s) in the company that:

  1. cared the most
  2. had the power to cause change;
  3. had the ability to spend money despite a spending freeze;
  4. had the ability to spend more in the face of "buy low" policies;
  5. was committed to solving the problem;
  6. didn't have to run your proposal UP the food chain.

Will you ever do business with some of the "wrong" people?  Yes. And that's the problem.  If it worked once, maybe it will work again so your salespeople continue to hope against hope when they should be doing whatever it takes to meet/speak with the right people, those who actually have the ability to do business with you.

I can count on one hand the number of sales managers or sales VP's that made the decision to do business with my company over the years.  In my world it always begins with a CEO or President and then, after we have evaluated their sales force, we work with the VP or sales manager.  I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the sales managers and VP's who felt it was THEIR job to provide the expertise for which CEO's and Presidents hire my company.  Their job is to manage the sales force.  They are not experts in sales force evaluation, sales candidate assessment and selection, sales training and coaching, development, leadership, and the development and deployment of sales systems and processes. If they were, that work wouldn't make up such a huge part of the work we do with them! 

Even after engagement with a CEO/President, most sales managers and VP's do their best to prevent us from helping although once they begin working with us they come to embrace our help.

Back to your world. Identify all of the ways in which the wrong people your salespeople call on can hinder, delay, stall, block, interfere or otherwise screw up your salespeople's ability to get the business.

Make your list here.

Got yourself a good list? Have five to ten items on it?  Good - Live by it!  It's very low percentage selling so don't allow your salespeople to sell to those people. 

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales, Baseline Selling, sales management, selling, Salesforce, closing, sales competenices, sales targeting, sales assessments

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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 and this one for 2017. Read more about Dave.

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