Last Day Madness on the Sales Force - That's One Kind of Urgency

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Nov 05, 2018 @ 20:11 PM

madness

The 2018 World Series is in the rear view mirror, my family can go to sleep at a normal time again, and sports fans can finally devote their attention to Basketball, Hockey and Football (and soccer okay?  You got me to say it).  I'm still getting calls and emails asking if I've come down from cloud 9 over the Red Sox world-series victory but I keep explaining that I was never on cloud 9.  The series victories over the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers, all 100-win teams in their own right, were too easy. There wasn't enough drama, tension, adrenaline or doubt.  There was no sense of urgency.  That's the topic for today - urgency.  Check out the table below:

RedSox-RevenueAs you can see in the table, each clinching victory became bigger than the one before it as final days of the month, quarter and year increase in importance to a company.

If a company has the month won, the quarter in the bag, and even the yearly revenue goal met by the end of November, there isn't any drama, doubt, tension, or urgency.  They just keep on selling without any pressure.  

We know that 50% of sales reps won't hit their quota this year because the same thing has been happening for years without signs of improvement.  That's not surprising given that the data from 1.8 million salespeople evaluated and assessed by Objective Management Group (OMG) shows that the bottom 50% of salespeople are very weak.

Most sales managers don't have their months, quarters and years end like the Red Sox did.  They're pushing, pulling, demanding, asking, strong-arming, discounting and screaming to get the deals in, all because the deals were never closed in the first place.  If customers will place their orders on the 30th of the month, they would have placed them on the 20th if the salesperson was effective.  But prospects have learned that if they hold out, the call offering a discount will come through at the end of the month.  And the difference between good and crappy salespeople?  The ability to create Urgency.  This article shows how Elite salespeople create urgency 326% more often than weak salespeople!  

There's one other factor at play in last day madness.  Crappy sales managers are part of the mix too and effective coaching, as you can see in this article, is achieved by only 10% of all sales managers.

There will always be urgency to win. - The question is simply, will you create the urgency and eliminate last day madness, or by failing to create urgency, require unnecessary urgency - madness - on the last day instead?

Join the discussion of this article on LinkedIn here.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, urgency, closing more sales, end of quarter closing, red sox, world series

9 Reasons Why Salespeople Lack the Urgency Necessary to Succeed

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 @ 04:09 AM


Mass.-Environmental-Police.jpg

I was in the right-hand lane of very slow moving traffic because of a lane closure ahead, marked by orange cones.  I was along side the cones in the lane where traffic was merging left.  All of a sudden, a police siren and flashing lights were upon me but I had nowhere to go.  Cars were in front of me and to the left of me with cones to the right and the cop was right on top of my rear bumper.  He moved into the lane closed off by the cone, rolled his window down and screamed, "Get out of the way!"

But, from what?

He stopped his Ford F150 along the guard rail inside the coned off lane, turned off his lights and sirens, and put his truck in park.  He was working a private detail, was 5 minutes late and was with the Massachusetts Environmental Police.  I couldn't believe it.  He turned on the lights and sirens, reserved for code 3 emergencies and traffic violations, just so that he could park - and he screamed at me.

You're probably wondering what in the world this scenario has to do with selling but it does, and in a big way.

There was money on the table and the cop was feeling tremendous urgency to make sure he didn't lose the money.

I coach a lot of sales leaders and their most common frustration is that they can't understand why their salespeople don't seem to have the same urgency as they did when they were selling. Their salespeople lack urgency when returning calls and emails, lack urgency booking appointments with people they've been asked to meet, lack urgency when it's time to follow up, lack urgency when the deal needs to be closed, and lack urgency building their pipelines.  The opposite of the cop. 

So while I found the cop's behavior unacceptable, it's exactly the behavior that money motivated salespeople will exhibit, sometimes to the point of rude and obnoxious.

In my experience, there are several possible reasons behind this lack of urgency.  They include, but aren't limited to these 9 reasons:

  • Expectations - their managers have not been crystal clear as to what exactly they expect their salespeople to do.
  • Need to be Liked - Their need for approval is very strong and they don't want to appear to be a pest or a nuisance which in their mind could cause the prospect to dislike them, so they back off.
  • Intrinsically Motivated - They are motivated by being part of something bigger than themselves, mastery, love of selling, and job satisfaction so the expected behavior is inconsistent with how they are motivated.
  • Fear of Failure - When salespeople are afraid of failing it causes a sort of paralysis as they ask themselves, what if I fail?
  • Rejection - Similar to the failure issue,  they are worried about being rejected and when they try to avoid being rejected, the results don't follow.
  • Lack of Desire - Their desire for sales success isn't strong enough to get them to do what needs to be done.
  • Lack of Commitment - They aren't willing to do whatever it takes when what it takes is more difficult, scary or inconsistent with their beliefs.
  • Compensation - Their comp plan is weighted heavily toward salary so they are already being paid - whether or not they do what you need and expect them to do.
  • Perfectionist - Perfectionists don't do anything until they are certain it will be done perfectly.  In the mean time, they procrastinate.

Would you like to suggest a 10th possible reason?

Topics: urgency, closing, police, Pipeline, follow-up calls, Dave Kurlan

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About Dave

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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