Another Powerful Reason Why Salespeople Struggle to Become Great Sales Managers

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Feb 02, 2017 @ 16:02 PM

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Image Copyright Grinvalds

Ryan changed jobs and companies this week when he started in his new role as Business Development Manager.  When I congratulated him on his new job he wrote back the following:

"You were 110% on the money back when I became a first time sales manager. You told Stuart and me that my biggest challenge would be in not being able to understand why the hell sales reps working for me just didn't do what I did when I was selling, and what I asked them to do, since I always did what was asked of me when I was a field rep for Stu. Totally on the money, that drove me crazy every day."

We talk a lot about the mistake so many companies make when they take their best salespeople and make them sales managers.  While it's not always a mistake, the most commonly discussed reasons include:

  • Inability to replace that salesperson's significant revenue
  • Lack of sales management skills
  • Lack of recruiting skills
  • Lack of coaching skills
  • Lack of skills around accountability
  • The new sales manager might not be able to get salespeople to sell the same way
  • Things that made this person successful as a salesperson might not be duplicable
  • Resistance to move away from selling and reluctance to allow salespeople to make their own mistakes

In addition to those 8 reasons, Ryan's note highlights the single most frustrating chain of events to impact new sales managers.

New sales managers have a tremendous sense of optimism when they embark on the next chapter of their careers.  They believe that their sales success is duplicable and all they have to do is show their salespeople what they do and their salespeople will be able to do it.

Nothing could be further from the reality of the situation.

For starters, the former sales managers might be successful more because of their intangibles than having mastered 21 Sales Core Competencies.  

Their salespeople could have weaknesses in their Sales DNA that would prevent them from doing what their new sales managers can do.  When Sales DNA fails to support effective selling, Sales Managers can show and tell until they are blue in the face and their salespeople still won't be able to replicate their words and actions.

Their salespeople could be deficient in their Will to Sell, their tactical selling competencies or their understanding of business and finance.  There are many possible factors that cause 77% of all salespeople to suck and most sales managers, lacking effective coaching and training skills, are simply not equipped to overcome them.  At some point in their first year, the reality of their situation becomes more obvious and they default to the only solution they know for increasing sales.  Themselves.

They turn their salespeople into bird dogs and whenever there is a decent opportunity that isn't a slam dunk, they show up or get on the phone and help their salespeople close the business.  While this does serve as a short-term solution, it's not a very good long term strategy. The sales manager takes all of the credit, the salespeople fail to improve, they feel demotivated and unimportant, and eventually leave.

There is no shortcut to sales management success.  Sales Managers must develop the necessary skills to coach effectively so that they impact deals that their salespeople close, impact profit, win rates, retention, morale and revenue.  

If you or your sales managers need to develop this rare ability to coach up a sales team, won't you join me for my top-rated Sales Leadership Intensive?  I offer it only once each year and it's coming up on May 17-18 outside of Boston.  There is still time to plan your attendance,  and you'll leave the two days finally understanding and possessing the ability to impact a sales force.  Learn more here.  Use the discount code DK-Blog-Subscriber to receive a $100 discount off the price of a ticket.  We limit attendance to only 25 sales leaders so register early or, like we used to say at the end of each Red Sox baseball season, wait until next year!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, sales leadership, Sales Coaching, best sales management training, best sales leadership training, sales core competencies

7 Reasons Why Salespeople Underperform and How Sales Leaders Can Coach Them Up

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 @ 06:01 AM

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Image Copyright 123RF

Day after day and call after call, I hear the frustration from sales managers and sales leaders who have at least one thing in common.  They know that their salespeople could and should be doing better.

For almost ten years and regardless of how the US economy has performed, reports continue to show that only 50-60% of reps are hitting quota.  That's nothing to be proud of and the sales leaders who call and email have come to the realization that try as they might, they have been unable to coach up half of their salespeople.

These are smart, talented, experienced sales leaders, who work for companies with excellent reputations, great products and wonderful customers.  So why does nearly every sales leader struggle with the problem of under performing salespeople?  The biggest problem is that there isn't one reason - there are many - and I'll share them with you now.

  • Selection - When you hire the wrong salespeople, it becomes clear that the fit isn't very good.  The salespeople might be wonderful people, but when they are wrong for the role or lack the capabilities required to succeed in the role, failure is the norm and it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible to coach them up.
  • On Boarding - Some companies lack a comprehensive on boarding program and instead of preparing new salespeople for success, the new salespeople are setup for failure.
  • Messaging - I've seen the results from the sales force evaluations of more than 11,000 companies and 1 million salespeople. One thing I have observed in nearly every one of those companies is the utter lack of consistency in their messaging. Whether it's the value proposition, brand promise or elevator pitch, each salesperson tends to say something completely different from everyone else.  
  • Sales DNA - Some salespeople are good relationship builders, have a solid set of skills, but lack the necessary Sales DNA - the set of strengths that support successful sales outcomes - to be effective.  It is very difficult for a sales leader to coach up a salesperson when the issue is Sales DNA.  If you have salespeople, and you have repeatedly had to coach them on the same issues, it's more than likely Sales DNA that is causing the problem, not a skill gap.
  • Training - A lot of companies don't provide their salespeople with professional sales training and of the companies that do, it's important to know that a lot of the sales training that is out there isn't very good.  Why?  A lot of it is incomplete, outdated, focuses on the wrong things, and most of it ignores the issues of Sales DNA.  There are 21 Sales Core Competencies.  Sales Training must thoroughly cover all 21 of those competencies - in context - through role play - and more.
  • Coaching - This is it.  The big differentiator.  The one thing that can make up for mediocrity.  You know that coaching now accounts for 50% of any sales leader's role.  The problem is that there is coaching, and there is coaching that has an impact.  How do you know if your coaching is having an impact?  Your salespeople will be begging you for your time.  Opportunities on which you coached your salespeople are getting closed - by them, not you.  They are getting stronger, better, more confident and meeting and exceeding their quotas.
  • Sales Process - I've written about sales process 31 times because it's that important.  When salespeople don't have a proven, predictable sales process to follow they will fail much more often than they need to.  And the coaching must take place within the context of the sales process.

If coaching is the single most important sales leadership competency that will have the greatest impact, and you aren't having that impact on each of your salespeople, every single day, and in every coaching conversation, what can you do?

Dedicate yourself to becoming the best sales coach on the planet.  Period.  The challenge is in finding the right place to start.

I can help.  My annual Spring Sales Leadership Intensive is coming up May 17-18 outside of Boston and in those two days we will explain, show, demonstrate, listen, watch and discuss how to coach - for impact.  You will leave us with the ability to coach - for impact - and feel so good about your ability to grow and develop your salespeople.  

If that's not enough, we have a kick-ass coaching application that will help after the intensive training.  Click here to learn more about the event.  If you would like to attend, you can use my special discount code to save $100.  Use the code DK-Blog-Subscriber.  

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, sales management, sales leadership, Sales Coaching, sales core competencies

Big Data and Big Lies Have Arrived in the Sales Training and Assessment Space

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Jun 03, 2016 @ 07:06 AM

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I've been trying very hard to find the time to write this article.  I always have plenty of material, but I just couldn't wait to write this particular article, and I've been waiting for nearly 24 hours since the idea was triggered by an email.  24 hours may not seem like a lot of time, but for me, once I decide to do something, I want to do it right then.  But before I could write, there were meetings, an important award ceremony where our son was named Middle School Male Athlete of the Year, and of course, the dinner celebration that followed.  We are so proud!  I hadn't realized it, but he has become to athletics what Objective Management Group (OMG) is to assessments, and my wife's company, PENTA Communications, is to marketing.  All three of us are committed to being the best at what we do.  

Yesterday I received an email that you might have received too.  It was a promotion from Top Sales World (TSW) to download a "Free Big Data-Driven Sales Training Report for Your Industry."  TSW was simply the messenger in this case, with the provider being The Sales Board.  Like many of you, I clicked through and saw that their report was based on their assessments.  And this is where it got really interesting for me!  Their website read an awful lot like OMG's - only the numbers were very different...

They say that they have assessed 400,000 salespeople from 3,500 companies and they measure 5 critical selling skills that are predictive of success.  That gives them more than 1 million data points.  Good for them.  They claim that "no other company has developed big data comparable to this enormous database of skill measurement and corresponding performance change."  Absolutely Incredible!  So why am I ticked off, but not impressed? 

If you're a regular reader, then you know I mention the source and size of OMG's database whenever I provide statistics from OMG.  So I need to do that again here.  OMG has assessed more than 1 million salespeople from more than 11,000 companies (in the same period of time) and we measure all 21 Sales Core Competencies.  And since there are an average of about 10 attributes in each of the 21 Competencies, that would give us 210 million data points!  Even though OMG's data points dwarf theirs by 210 times, their lie about their big data being the biggest source anywhere is only a footnote.

I want to talk about the 5 selling skills that they say are critical and predictive of success.  I would argue that while their 5 are useful, selling skills alone are not predictive of anything!  We have assessed tens of thousands of salespeople who have incredible skills, but some:

  • Lack Sales DNA - They lack the strengths that support their ability to execute those skills.
  • Lack Commitment to sales success - They won't do what it takes and give up when it gets difficult.
  • Lack Desire for sales success - It's not important enough to them to do what it takes.
  • Don't enjoy selling - It's not enough fun - it's more of a job.
  • Have a Low Figure it Out Factor - They can't connect the dots quickly enough to succeed.

Those are examples of salespeople who can, but don't.  The weaknesses cause salespeople with great skills in all areas of selling to fail to achieve.  How helpful are their 5 skills (buyer/seller relationships, gaining commitments, sales planning, presenting and questioning skills) when a salesperson won't hunt or qualify? 

Everything is relative, so I'm sure that when hunting isn't required, and qualifying isn't important, and a consultative approach isn't necessary (a transactional sale), then salespeople with those 5 skills are more effective than salespeople without them.  Even questioning skills, which are so crucial to a consultative approach that enables salespeople to differentiate themselves from the competition, can't be executed by a salesperson whose Sales DNA doesn't support it.

Okay.  My rant is done.

Message to The Sales Board - stop lying on your website!  You can't help it if your assessment is inferior, but at least be truthful about your place in the sales assessment world.

Speaking of assessments, I'll be the tourguide for a fast-paced presentation on Tuesday, June 7, at 11 AM Eastern, where you can learn all about the real magic behind OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment.  Register to be part of it!

And speaking of email promotions, do you remember BigBrains case history I wrote about last fall?  Yesterday I also got an email promotion from them and this one will knock your socks off.  If you remember the study or went back and just read it, you know that their SDR's aren't very good.  And they didn't want to do anything to hire better ones or train the ones they had.  But they are offering training to companies who want to learn how they do it.  Is that like Donald Trump offering lessons on how to be politically correct?  Or Obama offering lessons on how to execute on a world-class foreign relations policy?  Or Hillary on how to give speeches without screaming?  I'm sure you get the point.  Stupid!

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales core competencies, sales effectiveness

3 New Sales Article Series, A Holiday Tradition and Future Blog #1000

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 @ 13:12 PM

nutcrackerAs we prepare for the holiday and year-end, I'm also preparing for this blog's 1,000th article.  That's right; since 2006, I've posted nearly 1,000 articles.  We've selected 15 of our favorites and on Monday, December 17, you'll be able to vote for your favorite from that list.  Then, on Thursday, December 20, we'll post the winning article.

In the meantime, it's become my holiday tradition to introduce my new readers and reacquaint my long-time readers to this popular holiday article.

If you want some reading for your holiday vacation, I have created 3 new series of articles:

And, if you haven't noticed them before, there are also article series on:

Data and Research (all based on science)

Comparing Salespeople to Children (my favorite)

Assessments Compared (which show OMG's superiority to others)

Case Histories (cool stuff)

Sales Motivation (very motivational)

Sales Training Impact (very important)

Top 10 Sales Competencies (core to selling)

Top 10 Sales Management Functions (core to sales management)

Analogies for Boosting Sales (my favorite way to write)

Hiring, Recruiting and Compensation (all about sales selection)

Sales Pipeline (by far the biggest frustration of 2012)

The Difference Between... (provides clarity)

Music and Selling 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, Sales Coaching, sales core competencies, top sales articles, top sales management articles

10 Sales Competencies of Steve Jobs

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 @ 00:08 AM

steve jobsI read the Steve Jobs biography and although he was a very talented designer, innovator and inventor, it was clear to everyone who worked with him, and even to Jobs himself at the end of his life, that he was an asshole.  A simply horrible human being.  Despite his miserable people skills, he was on a mission to design products which would change the world.  But, Steve was also a great salesperson and this article discusses ten things about Steve Jobs, the salesperson, which you might want your salespeople to emulate.

Preparation - It is well known that Steve obsessed over the most minute details of product design to assure a tremendous user experience.  But, he prepared just as much for sales calls, such as when he convinced Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates, to develop Word and Excel exclusively for the first Mac.

Determination - Jobs was so determined to get his way, make the sale and seal the deal, that he nearly always found a way.  He did not consider the possibility that he might fail.

Slide Decks - He didn't like people who hid behind their PowerPoint slides and he did not use more than a few himself.  He believed that if you knew your stuff, you didn't need PowerPoint.  He preferred to have discussions rather than slide shows.  Amen to that!

Charm - Knowing that Jobs regularly treated people so badly makes it even more incredible that he could turn on the charm when he wanted something or someone to do business with him.  Although he seemed to have no empathy for the feelings of others, he was aware of the need to develop relationships in order to sell.

Negotiation - Steve usually cut very profitable deals because he was consistently successful at getting others to want what he had.  More importantly, he always was willing to walk away and did walk if he wasn't getting his way.  He usually got his way.  There is a great story in the book about how he sold Pixar to Disney for something like 7 or 8 Billion dollars.  One of the terms of the deal was that the Pixar Management Team got to run things!

Building Value - Jobs was a master at building value.  He would talk about the individual components or features of a device and for how much they would sell if available on their own, to demonstrate the tremendous value of the device itself.

Understanding - He always knew what was important to his prospect - their compelling reason to buy - and was able to leverage it and get people excited about the opportunity to work with him.

Creating Trust - Jobs got people to believe in him and his vision.  Even when people began a meeting biased against Jobs, after they met him, talked with him and became caught up in his trance, they wanted to do business with him.

Fearless - Steve would not hesitate to call anyone, anywhere, at any time to ask for anything he wanted - and he usually wanted a lot!  He was persistent too - he didn't give up and would get others to help him connect if he couldn't get connected on his own.

Showmanship - While he was a master of all the competencies which I listed above, he was best known for and best at showmanship.  His Macworld appearances were sales showmanship at its best.  The book detailed some of those presentations along with the secrecy, preparation, practice, timing, theater and attention to detail which helped to enhance his mystique and allow him to sell millions of devices from the podium.

What can you learn from the salesperson Steve Jobs?

Topics: sales culture, Dave Kurlan, salesmanship, sales core competencies, negotiation, sales personality, sales presentations, showmanship, building value, steve jobs

Questions You Should Ask Sales Candidates and Much More

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 @ 07:12 AM

giftThis is my final post of 2011 so as my holiday gift to you I have included links to original articles I have written for other sites, links to some articles on this site, and links to two recent interviews.  All in all, there is enough material here to more than make up for the 10 days I won't be writing!

What are the Best Answers to Sales Interview Questions? is a terrific guide to the questions you should be asking, as well as what to look for in your candidates' answers.  I wrote this article for task.fm.

I also wrote How Do You Best Select a Candidate to Hire? and How Do You Manage Salespeople in a Startup Environment? for task.fm

Speaking of interviews, here are two interviews that were recently conducted with me:

Aaron Ross interviewed me for his Predictable Revenue Blog where the topics included sales process, music and fatherhood.  There is an article and the interview is here on audio.

Brendan Cournoyer interviewed me for OpenView Labs where the topic was Which Sales Competencies Matter Most? A transcript of the interview and audio are both on the page.

I wrote six articles for the Alister Paine blog.  They include: 

The Key to Driving Revenue 
How to Close More Business
Incentivizing Your Sales Force 
How to Predict and Prevent Sales Turnover 
What to Do With Your Useless Sales Pipeline
The Pros and Cons of Hiring Green Salespeople.

2011 was a terrific year.  My Blog won the Gold for Top Sales & Marketing Blog of 2011, my article, Money Motivated Salespeople a Dying Breed (there were two follow ups to that article; The Offer is here and Non-Stop Sales Motivator is here) won the Silver for Top Sales & Marketing Blog Post of 2011, Objective Management Group won the Gold for Top Sales Assessment Tool of 2011, and I was a finalist for Top Sales & Marketing Thought Leader of 2011.  Thanks to the panel of expert judges for their decisions and to all of the readers that lended their support with the popular vote.

Have a great holiday!

Have a wonderful holiday and I'll be back in two weeks with more to disucss.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales core competencies, hiring salespeople, top sales blog, money motivated salespeople, top sales thought leader, top sales blog post, dave kurlan interview, sales assessments

Salespeople Become More Effective But Can They Become Worse?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Sep 09, 2010 @ 05:09 AM

progressObjective Management Group (OMG) provides Progress Evaluations to determine how much improvement has taken place during the period of time since an individual or a team was orginally assessed.  In most cases, especially when effective training and coaching has taken place, significant to dramatic improvement occurs.  Occassionally though, a salesperson will appear to be worse - weaker - than the first time.  How could this be?

I'll explain some of the scenarios where this should not be alarming, as well as some where it should.

Becoming Emotionally Involved - This weakness tends to show up when salespeople are going through comprehensive training and/or coaching and development.  It means that they are thinking too much - an unsurprising byproduct of the development work.  When a salesperson develops this weakness post evaluation it's really nothing more than a sign that they are in the mid-development phase but don't yet own their changes.

Inexperienced Salespeople - When fairly new salespeople appear weaker the second time around, it is usually an awareness problem.  The first time they were assessed, they were going on theory - how they imagined they would think, behave, act and/or perform in the various selling scenarios presented.  This is useful for identifying the weaknesses of someone who hasn't previously sold.  The second time around, they are answering these questions based on how they actually thought, behaved, acted and/or performed in various selling scenarios.  When reality differs - even slightly - from theory, the result of experiential awareness, it can result in a weakness that didn't appear the first time around.

Motivation - Motivating factors are moving targets.  The two biggies, Desire for Success in Sales, and Commitment to Do What it Takes to be Successful in Sales, can change depending on work/life needs, challenges, changes and results.  Think about a woman who, when assessed for the first time, had strong Desire.  Then she married a wealthy man, experienced a lifestyle change, became satisfied with her financial situation, and when assessed again, no longer had strong Desire or Money Motivation.  Think about a man who had strong Commitment the first time around.  Then the economy tanked.  Since he was in the building materials industry, he began to struggle - repeatedly.  Soon, he was questioning whether sales, especially that job in that industry, was for him.  When he was assessed a second time, his Commitment was weak.

On the other hand, if a salesperson's strengths become weaknesses in the areas of Comfort Talking About Money, Need for Approval, being Too Trusting, or Buy Cycle, then we have some issues that need to be explored.  If selling skills get worse, that would also be reason for concern.

Tomorrow, we'll explore some of the strengths/weaknesses and skills/challenges where you should see improvement.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Force, sales management functions, sales core competencies, sales assessments, progress assessments

5 Advantages That Overcome Inequities on the Sales Force

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 @ 05:06 AM

Red Sox fanInequities are the things that aren't fair and that don't happen to everyone.

Take the Boston Red Sox for example. If you don't follow them, you probably don't know that they are just 1.5 games out of first place despite the fact that they have lost these great players for some or most of the season:

  • Speedy outfielder and offensive spark Jacoby Ellsbury has missed most of the season with broken ribs suffered when Adrian Beltre collided with him
  • Veteran outfielder Mike Camerson has missed almost as much time and is playing with an abdominal tear;
  • Back-up outfielder Jeremy Hermeda has missed a month with broken ribs suffered when Adrian Beltre collided with him (not a copy/paste error - Beltre actually did this twice!);
  • Ace pitcher Josh Becket has been ineffective and missed more than a month because of a back problem;
  • MVP 2nd Baseman Dustin Pedroia fouled a ball off his foot Friday night and will be out 6-8 weeks;
  • Catcher Victor Martinez took a foul ball off his thumb yesterday and broke it and will miss time
  • Mike Lowell is on the disabled list with a bad hip
  • Starting pitcher Dasike Matsuzaka has been on the disabled list twice.
  • Jed Lowrie, the guy who was supposed to be their starting shortstop for the last two years, has been injured for most of the past three years and has missed all of this year with Mono;
  • Starting pitcher Clay Buckholtz pulled his hamstring during Saturday's start.

That's an inequity (actually it's just really bad luck) because all of the teams haven't suffered the same fate as the Sox.  Another inequity is interleague play. The Red Sox have already played the Phillies, Braves and Mets (all NL East contenders) as well as the Rockies, Dodgers and Giants (all NL West contenders) while other AL teams get to beat up on weaker NL Teams.

So let's move over to business, and sales.  There are inequities there too - with territories, margins on imported versus domestic components, parts and products, various markets a company sells into, the relative size and market clout of the competition, patents and copyrights, etc.

But there are advantages that companies can, but don't all necessarily have.  R & D, leadership, people, product design and quality, expertise, service and support are a few that quickly come to mind. There are five areas where the sales force can develop a huge advantage over its competitors:

  • Selection - when a company learns how to hire the right salespeople - those who will consistently succeed at their company - they can compensate for inequities through the effectiveness of their salespeople.  Market leaders only need people who will show up every day.  The rest of us need great salespeople to compete.
  • Sales Process - 91% of the companies we evaluate don't have a formal, structured sales process.  This is just stupid!  An optimized sales process is a huge difference maker, keeping salespeople focused on what must be done, when, with whom, and in over what period of time.  It helps salespeople gain traction, improves conversion ratios, leads to bigger margins and increases in revenue.  What's not to like?  Mike Workman, CEO of Pillar Data System, wrote a very funny article on his Blog about sales process.  
  • Strategies, Competencies, Tactics, Posturing - Most companies don't have much in the way of this stuff either yet, through training, this becomes a huge differentiator.  If you're not the company people ask to do business with and you don't have the lowest price, your salespeople must be skilled in these areas.
  • Pipeline - Everyone talks about pipeline but most companies have nothing more than a placeholder.  There is a pipeline, but it's not staged properly, the criteria for each stage is lame, the method for factoring confidence sucks, and the data isn't properly integrated for coaching and accountability.  Yet, when management has a properly set up pipeline, used within an effective sales management framework, good things happen!
  • Metrics - Most companies have metrics but they are invented rather than derived from pipeline requirements.  The most important metrics drive revenue but most companies ignore them, opting for lagging rather than predictive metrics.  The latter makes all the difference in the world.

There isn't much you can do about inequities but you can compensate for them by doing all you can with those things you can take advantage of.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, Sales Force, sales pipeline, sales management functions, sales core competencies, mike workman, pillar data systems, sales management framework

Top 10 Rules for Getting Salespeople to Follow Your Sales Process

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Mar 08, 2010 @ 09:03 AM

Our priest was sharing his frustration over parishioners who took shortcuts and left church early.  At a parish he was assigned to earlier in his career, parishioners received the host and exited via the side door without returning to their seats for the remainder of the service.  He wondered how many of them had simply developed a bad habit and challenged them by saying, "The next time you find yourself leaving early, ask yourself, 'Why am I doing this?'"  A lady approached him after the service and felt terrible about all of this.  She said that she had been leaving early to tend to her sick husband.  The priest said that this didn't apply to her; she was already making a sacrifice by attending, and should care for her husband.  She paused and finally said, "But he passed away three years ago!"

This story got me wondering about the widespread misuse of the sales process.  There are certain steps that must be executed at specific times to assure a successful outcome.  However, undisciplined salespeople are often tempted to skip steps when prospects ask for prices, quotes, proposals, demos, references, and presentations much earlier than the process allows for.  Once in a while, these salespeople get lucky and get the business.  And then they start skipping the steps they've been trained to follow because, after all, they are more comfortable and confident at presenting, proposing, quoting and demoing, than they are with listening, questioning, probing and identifying compelling reasons to buy.  Like the lady with the sick husband, they take steps that aren't necessary or desirable, simply out of habit.

Sales Management's number one priority is to assure that their salespeople don't fall into old habits, take shortcuts, get lazy, or avoid steps in the sales process where they aren't as skilled or comfortable. Once your customized, optimized, integrated sales process is in place and introduced, my top 10 rules for all things sales process, strategy and tactics are:

  1. This isn't voluntary.
  2. No exceptions.
  3. Live it and breath it.
  4. Hold them accountable to it.
  5. Coach to it daily.
  6. Reinforce it.
  7. Point out what happens when they skip steps.
  8. Show them what happens when they execute.
  9. Noncompliance has consequences.
  10. Practice daily.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, sales management, sales core competencies

The Secret - The Ancient Scrolls and its Impact on the Sales Force

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 @ 12:03 PM

Al Turrisi was kind enough to give me a book called the Power of the Kabbalah.  Its ancient scrolls originated around 4,000 years ago, inspired The Secret and predates Moses and the Bible!  Since this book is not the Kabbalah itself, rather a Cliff Notes version, it tends to read more like a self-help book. It is far more powerful than a self-help book though as it points to a number of rules that will cause a transformation in one's life.

Seven of the desired behaviors are consistent with the philosophies in Baseline Selling - How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball as well as Objective Management Group's Sales Assessments:

The importance of Desire. Read the Top 10 Factors for Salespeople to Overachieve.

It's not about you.  Over the past several months I have found myself telling an awful lot of salespeople and sales managers that it's not about them.  It's even become a finding in Objective Management Group's Sales Manager's Evaluation - The It's All About Me finding.

Need for Approval or what happens when you need people to like you.  This is the second most powerful weakness in all of selling. Here's an article about that.

Becoming Emotionally Involvedor reacting instead of proacting.This is the third most powerful weakness in all of selling. I wrote an article about this.

Resistance or the great challenge that presents itself rather than an obstacle.  I wrote a an article about this earlier this month and another one a couple of years ago.

Certainty or having faith that what you say, ask, or do will get the desired outcome.

Doing What's Uncomfortable.  I wrote an article about this a while back too.

Many of the articles I linked to were Baseline Selling Tips.  Speaking of Baseline Selling, this is the third anniversary of the publish date of the book, a good reason to reread or order it.

So in summary, simply by having your salespeople overcome their sales weaknesses, doing the very things they are uncomfortable doing, having faith in their abilities and having a strong desire for success will cause those very same people to experience life changing experiences.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

 

 

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, Need for Approval, Baseline Selling, assessments, sales skills, Salesforce, Sales Force, Changing_Behavior, over achievement, sales weaknesses, Motivation, sales core competencies, assessment, sales evaluation, over achieve, improve sales performance, sales winners, overachievers, sales assessment test, Baseline_Selling, sales assessments, sales test, objective management group

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About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years.  Dave's Blog earned a Bronze Medal in 2016 and this article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016. Read more about Dave.

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