Help is Here for Salespeople Who Find Themselves as the Underdogs

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 @ 19:04 PM

Underdog.jpg

You or your salespeople are on a call.  Is it an uphill battle?  Do you feel like you need some luck to win the business? Are you up against an incumbent - and your prospect is happy with them?  Are there too many competitors - and you are having trouble getting noticed?  Does the prospect claim to only care about price - and you aren't the lowest?  Do they just want a proposal or a quote - and you feel like you need to provide it to them?  Do you have trouble winning most of the time?  Do you almost always face resistance of some kind? Is it difficult to simply get a meeting?I wrote an article for the SellingPower blog where we discuss the challenges of being an underdog. Read it to now to learn how you can outsell the big companies.

Another one of my articles was named the Top Sales Blog post of the week.  If you missed it, I explained how coyotes show us the importance of external motivation.

Sales VP's, Sales Directors, Regional Sales Managers, National Sales Managers, Local Sales Managers, CEO's, Presidents, Channel Sales Directors, Inside Sales Managers, Board Members and more come from companies of all sizes and industries to attend our Annual Sales Leadership Intensive (where we limit attendance to fewer than 30 attendees) in May.  Every graduate says that this is the-best-training that they have ever attended.  We focus on showing, demonstrating and training sales leaders to coach salespeople in the most impactful and effective way, and nobody does this like we do.  Coaching is how you impact important deals.  Coaching helps you develop salespeople.  Coaching leads to revenue growth.  Nothing - and I mean nothing - has a greater impact on the sales organization than when you spend half of your time coaching and you conduct coaching the right way.  If you would like to join us, we would love to see you there.  This embedded discount code/link will give you a special 30% discount. [Update - Sold Out]

There was a tremendous amount of interest in these ten articles over the past 4 months:

Uncovering Pain Doesn't Close the Sale and the 3 Conditions That Will

On Our Doorstep - 5 Keys to Prepare Your Sales Force for the Recession

Why More Salespeople Suck Than Ever Before 

Why Company Methods to Rank and Compensate Salespeople Are All Wrong?

Proof of How Poorly the Bottom 74% of Salespeople Perform

One of These Two Assessments is More Predictive of Sales Success

The Challenges of Coaching Different Types of Salespeople

How We Discovered They Had the Wrong Salespeople

Why This is Such a Great Sales Book

Sales Performance Improves When You Stop Worrying About Your Words

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Coaching, effective sales leadership, sales management seminar, closing more sales, beating the competition

What Percentage of Sales Managers Have the Necessary Coaching Skills?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 @ 06:04 AM

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I am often asked to explain what we look for when we evaluate Sales Managers.  At this point, most experts agree that a good Sales Manager will spend half of their time coaching up the salespeople.  Recently, I was asked to share some statistics about sales management coaching - the percentage of sales coaching skills that most Sales Managers have and the amount of time they spend.  So let's stop talking about the article and start sharing the statistics!

In a recent mining of data on approximately 100,000 Sales Managers evaluated by Objective Management Group (OMG), they have on average 43% of the Sales Coaching Competency and only 39% of all Sales Managers have at least 50% of the Sales Coaching Competency.  Only 7% have more than 75% of the Sales Coaching Competency and only 3% spend at least 50% of their time coaching their salespeople.

And that's just the sales coaching competency!

It gets better when we look at accountability, motivation and recruiting...

68% of Sales Managers have at least 50% of the attributes of the Accountability Competency and 16% have at least 75% of those skills.

90% of Sales Managers have at least 50% of the attributes of the Motivation Competency and 21% have at least 75% of those skills.

68% of Sales Managers have at least 50% of the attributes of the Recruiting Competency and 26% have at least 75% of those skills.

When you consider that Sales Managers with less than 75% of the attributes of any of these competencies are ineffective at the competency, that's a lot of sales management ineffectiveness.

Overall, 18% of all sales managers should not be in the role and 34% can't be trained up.

Sales Managers and sales leaders have an opportunity to get coached up themselves by attending my annual Sales Leadership Intensive where the training is on - you guessed it - these competencies and we focus on the sales coaching competency.  It's the best training on how to effectively coach salespeople that you can attend anywhere!  Learn more here.  If you would like to attend, you can  use this special code to get the special discount.  Just click the code : SLI-DK-UTSF [Update Sold Out]

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Coaching, sales management training, sales manager, sales management seminar

How You Can Increase Sales During the Summer

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jun 03, 2015 @ 07:06 AM

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As I scrolled the list of concerts coming to Boston this year, two things struck me.  Most of the bands that are touring were popular when I was young (don't young pop artists tour too?) and the members of those bands are getting really old!  There's something depressing about seeing 70-year-olds on the stage recreating their hit songs from decades ago.  But it is concert season and salespeople tend to drag out their own old and inappropriate beliefs about selling in the summer.

For one, they work much less.  I understand the need for a summer vacation, but why is the summer any different from when they take their winter vacation?  They return from their winter vacation and work really hard, but for some reason, before and after the summer vacation, they hardly work.  That's lazy!

Two, they believe that their prospects aren't working during the summer and they either slack off on the prospecting, or give up way too early in their attempts to reach their prospects.  Why wouldn't their prospects be working?

Three, they believe that their prospects don't work on Fridays or Mondays.  Sure - if they are on vacations that week, but the rest of the time?  They're working!

The only businesses that shut down for summer are snow plowing companies and they don't really shut down - they simply return to their core business of landscaping and construction.  Salespeople can't shut it down either.  Bare down.  Work harder.  Get laser-focused.  Be more tenacious.  If you know that your competitors are letting up, it's your opportunity to differentiate, be there when they aren't, call when they can't, schedule more meetings and close more business.

I work harder in the summer.  With our son's baseball taking up so much time, I must get more done in fewer hours.  You can too.

I don't know whether I've gotten behind or my articles are having children, but here are some more of my new, fresh articles that have been posted on other sites:

This short interview with me about sales enablement has appeared on multiple sites this week.  One of my favorite clients, Tom See, Sr. VP of Sales at Universal Studios Hollywood, emailed me this morning to let me know that he was alerted to it from his Disruptive Leader feed.  I like being disruptive, but this interview hardly qualifies!

I was one of "70 Top Sales Pros Who Revealed Their Most Impactful Sales Advice."  This was a pretty cool piece!

The latest issue of Top Sales Magazine is available for download.  My article on page 18 was named Top Sales Article of the week.

The Selling Power Blog featured this article of mine on How to Stop Using Price as a Selling Crutch.

My best-selling book, Baseline Selling, was named a Best Summer Read for 2015.

The Sales Mastery Summit posted this video interview on Constructing a Predictive Sales Pipeline / Process and Sales Process

I'll be hosting my annual Sales Leadership Intensive - absolutely our top event of the year - on August 27-28 in the Boston area.  Check it out and join us for the finest training available on mastering the art of sales coaching.

Get busy - get more done - Succeed.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales, sales management seminar, rolling stones, summer selling

Major Changes in Buying Require Major Changes in Selling

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, May 02, 2013 @ 08:05 AM

Sales ShiftLast week I wrote this article and talked about how much selling has changed.  But in that article, I only mentioned the need to differentiate and sell consultatively.  The articles I wrote and mentioned here talk about it greater detail.  But to really understand how completely sales has shifted, you absolutely must read Frank Belzer's new book Sales Shift: How inbound marketing has turned sales upside down making it more difficult and more lucrative at the same time".

Frank has not only written the entire story, but goes really deep and wide on the impact of social selling and how you can and should leverage tools and resources like LinkedIn, inbound marketing, blogging and more.

I'm especially excited about Frank's book because he has worked alongside me at Kurlan & Associates since 2008 when these changes first began to take shape in a lasting way.  As you know, 2008 was also the year the economy collapsed and that says a lot about Frank.  Anyone who can survive a start in the sales development business during the worst economic climate in decades has to be strong.

If you want to know more about Frank's book, there is a great interview with Frank here.  If you would like to order Frank's book - and you should - you can get it here from Amazon.

Finally - if you would like to master the art and science of managing, coaching and developing salespeople in these changing times, this is the last call for our spring Sales Leadership Intensive in Boston May 14-15.  You can read about the event here and check out the testimonial videos here and here; but if you would like to attend, there isn't much time.  I recommend that you just drop me a line instead and we'll make the arrangements for you.  You'll get to work with Frank and me and 3 other great experts on my team.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Consultative Selling, sales process, sales management training, sales leadership training, sales shift, frank belzer, sales management seminar

Does Your Sales Force Look Like This?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 @ 14:04 PM

Yesterday, I spoke to an energetic group of sales leaders attending the EcSELL Institute Sales Coaching Summit in Austin, Texas.  EcSELL is different in that they won't place speakers on their event faculties unless their work can be substantiated by research and science.  As a result, their audience is a sponge for any and all best practices that are time-tested, proven and have confirming empirical data.

I shared just a few of the charts, graphs and tables, which we include in a sales force evaluation when we are answering common, but difficult, business questions such as:

  • Are the salespeople, whom you have today, the right people and are they in the right roles to help you reach your stretch goal?  If not, why and what must be done?
  • Which of your non-performers and underachievers can be saved (developed into strong B's and A's) and, if so, what will it take, how long will it take and what is the expected improvement?
  • Can the existing sales force execute your changing strategies?
  • What impact is sales management having on the sales team in the areas of coaching, motivating, recruiting, accountability and developing them for growth?
  • Which of your existing salespeople can make the important transition from transactional selling (hunt, present, propose or quote and close) to the more effective, but more difficult, consultative selling (asking many good, tough, timely questions to uncover compelling reasons to buy, and identifying an appropriate solution.)
In a post earlier this month, I shared some of the graphics from a pipeline analysis, one of the many data points we use to determine if the sales force can execute the strategies.  Here is another graph that we use to answer some of the questions above:
sales capabilities

 

In this graph, you can see that the three teams, making up this sales force, have some ability to hunt down new opportunities and they are most capable at presenting.  Unfortunately, like most sales forces, they have very little capability in the areas of selling consultatively, qualifying and closing.

 


I will be working with sales leaders in Boston on May 10th and 11th to help them develop the mastery to overcome problems like this.  Please join us for the premier sales leadership event of the year.  If you are interested in attending, notify me by email and I'll get you a preferred rate!

sales leadership event 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Consultative Selling, sales force evaluation, EcSELL Institute, sales management training, sales leadership training, pipeline analysis, sales management seminar

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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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