Top 5 Sales Leadership Articles of 2013 - So Far

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 @ 08:07 AM

top 5 sales articlesI found it difficult to select the Top 5 articles because that means different things to me.  Most Popular?  Best?  Most Commented?  Most Linked To?  Favorite?  Written in the last 6 months?  Read in the last 6 months?

I couldn't narrow them down for a single article, so I decided to go with the topics above.



The most popular article was an article from two years ago, What's the Difference Between Sales Commitment and Motivation.



The article receiving the most comments was on an Inc. Magazine article which I debunked, Inc. Gets it Wrong on Consultative Selling.



The article, linked to more than any other, was simply a how-to article on email, Email for the Sales Force - How it Should be Used It was actually pretty simple, but got a lot of links.


My favorite from the past 6 months is well...I had two and since this is mine, to heck with the numbers.  The Doctor, The Drug Dealer and The User was fun and Why Accidental Sales Training Works More Effectively was insightful.



I had three for this one - the first, To Salespeople, Demos and Presentations are Like Snack Food; the second, View From the Top - When Salespeople Call on Purchasing; and the third, This is How Sales Managers Should Coach Their Salespeople.


And finally, as long as we are on the topic of Sales Leadership, you can reserve your seat and pay later for the November Sales Leadership Intensive in Boston on November 14-15.  Check out these video testimonials for the event!








Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, top sales articles, top sales blog, top sales blog posts, top sales leadership

Vote the Best Top Article on Sales and Sales Management

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 @ 00:12 AM

This is a pretty exciting time for us.  We reviewed 1,000 articles which I've posted on this Blog since 2006 in an effort to present you with the Top 15 Sales Articles of the past six years, and later this week, the Top Sales Article of the last six years.  It was not quick, easy, fun or obvious.  They aren't necessarily the most viewed and they do not have the most inbound links.  But we did pick fifteen of the more serious articles.  Some are articles backed by science and some are assessment comparisons.  Five are on selling and two are articles where I debunked other published articles.  Missing are the articles with analogies, humor and comparisons to children, but other than that, it's a nice cross-section.

You can do one of three things with this post:

  1. Ignore it.
  2. Read and learn from some or all of the Top 15.
  3. Read the Top 15 and vote on your favorite to influence future topic choices. [Voting ended on 12-19-2012]


  1. What's the Difference Between Sales Commitment and Motivation?
  2. 10 Sales Competencies of Steve Jobs
  3. What is the #1 Sales Competency and How Many Salespeople Have it?
  4. Selling Power Hits and Then Miss the Mark on Sales
  5. Harvard Business Review Hits and Then Missed the Mark on Sales
  6. Effective Selling Can't Occur Until Salespeople Perfect This
  7. Exposed - Personality Tests Disguised as Sales Assessments
  8. Tale of Two Assessments - Comparing Value
  9. Ultimate Comparison of Top Salespeople versus Salespeople That Fail
  10. The Sales Assessment that Dave Kurlan Developed
  11. Top 10 Steps to Recruit Strong Salespeople
  12. Only 11% of Salespeople Do This at the End of a Sales Call
  13. How to Close the Big Sales that are so Difficult to Close
  14. What Makes Salespeople Stand Out from the Crowd?
  15. The Science of Achievement Applied to Sales Success

Topics: sales blog, Dave Kurlan, grow sales, sales force evaluation, top sales articles, sales backed by science, salesforce blog, sales assessments

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

Top 15 Questions That Prospects Ask Themselves

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 @ 09:09 AM

thoughtsFollowing up yesterday's Moneyball article, here are some more new things for you to think about.  

When your salespeople are in front of or on the phone with prospects, do they ever think in terms of whether their prospects:

  • Want what you're selling?
  • Need what you're selling?
  • Must solve a problem that you can solve?
  • Don't care?

Let's discuss the implications of each:

If your prospects want what you sell, they are asking themselves:

  • Is it practical?
  • Do I really need it?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Is the timing right?
  • Is this who I want to buy it from?
  • Is this the one I want?
If your prospects need what you sell, they are asking themselves:
  • Do I want it?
  • Do I need it now?
  • What's it going to cost?
  • Who should I get it from?
If your prospects have a problem that needs to be solved, they are asking themselves:
  • Who can best solve my problem?
  • Who can do it now?
  • Who can do it right - the first time?
  • Who can get it completed quickly?
If your prospects don't care and aren't interested, your salespeople shouldn't be speaking with them.
So there are three possible mindsets that prospects could have when your salespeople are speaking with them that demand three completely different approaches.  Clearly, the scenario where your salespeople can create the most urgency and move the sales process along more quickly is #3.  Do your salespeople execute consultative selling effectively enough to consistently achieve #3?  If they don't, they won't be able to move their prospects into #3 from either #1 or #2, at which point they may be viewed as a commodity or transaction rather than a value added solution.
On top of that, your products and/or services fall into two additional categories, each requiring different approaches:
  1. Why me?  or Why?  If prospects know they will buy (think expiring copier lease) then it's simply a case of your salespeople getting them to choose your company.  Why me?  If prospects weren't aware that they were going to buy (think no money in the budget for the product or service) then it's a case of your salespeople selling them on the concept of buying.  Why?
  2. Through?  or To?  If your salespeople sell through a channel (distributors, VAR's, brokers, dealers, retailers, resellers, etc.) then they are selling through and may have little influence on whether the end-user buys.  In this case they are coaches to their channel.  If your salespeople sell directly to end users then they are in control of their own destiny.
Two questions for you:  Are your salespeople conciously aware of the 3 mindsets and two categories, and have you checked as to whether they have appropriate approaches for each?


One of my articles, Top Ten Reasons for Roller Coaster Sales, was nominated for article of the month.  I only learned about it late last week so there are only 3 days left to vote.  I would appreciate it if you would take 15 seconds to vote here.


Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales training, Sales Coaching, sales tips, advanced selling skills, top sales articles

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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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