Are We Close to Having a Great Sales Culture?

Posted by Chris Mott on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 @ 09:09 AM

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What makes a sales culture great?  Is it the people, the expectations, their accomplishments, the leaders, the effort, sales selection, training, coaching, enthusiasm, commitment, motivation, focus, goals, or luck?

Companies invest significant time, money and effort creating and nurturing their overall culture.  Unfortunately, I rarely hear much about the importance of a company's sales culture.

CEO's often lack sales experience, so creating a great sales culture is a common challenge and they usually lack the attention and time required to create a sales culture of excellence.  In the video below, I discuss what a great sales culture should look like and suggest some ways that could help you determine if you have a great sales culture.

 

If you are brave enough, take the sales force grader below and we will help you identify specific areas which need attention in your sales organization.
Sales Process Grader  

Topics: Culture, recruiting better salespeople, attitude problems, bad sales behavior

Candidates Demonstrate Accuracy of OMG’s Sales Assessment

Posted by Chris Mott on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

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Over the years, I have found a mirror image correlation between a sales candidate’s open-mindedness and curiosity and the specific findings identified in Objective Management Group’s (OMG) sales candidate assessments.  It’s critical that new sales hires be moldable.  Far too many salespeople are resistant to change and struggle with introspection.

▪   60% Make Excuses

▪   8% are Proactive Hunters

▪   45% Are Not Self-Starters

Essentially, all of the best candidates want to work for a company that is very thoughtful about how they recruit salespeople.

When a candidate is asked to take the assessment, their responses frequently demonstrate how they will act in selling situations.  This is an unedited email we received recently from a candidate:

“Let’s just go with I find your methodology questionable and I have no interest in working for or with people who employ these sort of idiotic assessments”.

There are a number of ways that we could respond to this candidate, but why respond when we wouldn’t want him working for us?  What can we learn from his thinking?

If he had taken the assessment, it’s likely the assessment would show that he had no need to be liked, would have difficulty recovering from rejection, have difficulty controlling his emotions, be too aggressive and have very little desirable empathy.  He would probably overrate himself and lack the required amount of commitment to sales improvement. 

Those are just a few examples of findings that would correlate to his single sentence!  In this case, we get useful intelligence even from a candidate who refuses to take the assessment.  Assuming that most of your candidates follow the instructions and take the assessment, what other useful information would we get?

Click here for a 30 minute walk-though of the latest version of OMG’s Sales Candidate Assessment.

This kind of intelligence is vital in today sales recruiting world.  The good new is you don’t need to have great interviewing skills or dig very deep to see this.   You only need to use the Sales Candidate Assessment.

Topics: recruiting sales people, competencies for sales people, changing sales behavior, improving sales force effectiveness, recruiting better salespeople

Sales - People, Process, Alignment and Strategy

Posted by Chris Mott on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 @ 13:04 PM

describe the imageCompanies have spent significant amounts of money, time, effort and human capital on implementing processes to align their organizations on strategy.  This includes lean manufacturing, ISO certification, just in time inventory, optimization of delivery systems, and financial operations.  For a variety of reasons, this attention has not been consistently applied to the sales force.

Most CEO’s don’t rise through the ranks having come from sales.  They are most often experienced in operations, finance, engineering, technology and science.  The irony is that these disciplines emphasize data, analysis, strategy and process.  Yet close to eighty percent of the sales organizations which we have evaluated lack a clearly-defined, coherent sales process, and worse, there is insufficient inspection and accountability by sales leadership of what little process exists.  Despite widescale implementation of CRM systems, pipeline and forecasting, accuracy is a significant problem.  Look no further than the discounting needed to get deals closed. 

Human capital and its development is a tremendous challenge.  We have aging sales forces, fewer large companies investing in the training of new salespeople, and a seismic shift from account management to more proactive consultative sellers.  Sales managers tend to be untrained individual producers who have little patience for developing salespeople.

If one of your business strategies is to take market share, you need a sales process which aligns with that strategy, salespeople who are skilled at capturing business from incumbents, and sales leaders capable of coaching up presenters and turning them into proactive hunters.  Unfortunately, almost half of all salespeople are either untrainable (they don’t have the incentive to change), highly resistant to coaching or limited by their DNA (often non-supportive beliefs).

Recruiting for talent vs. knowledge is an absolute necessity if sales organizations are to address these challenges.  In addition to identifying talent, Human Resources and sales leadership must understand, be able to recognize, and select salespeople who possess the core sales DNA required for success.  

The most exciting aspect of this is that companies are beginning to recognize that sales must be a strategically-valued part of their business, and as such, requires investment, attention and strong sales leadership.

If you are curious about how well-developed your sales organization is, complete our short Sales Force Grader.

Do you and or your sales leaders need to have greater impact on your sales force? If so, Kurlan & Associates is holding a Sales Leadership Intensive this May in Boston. 

Topics: sales management, Sales Coaching, developing salespeople, recruiting better salespeople

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