One of OMG's sales candidate assessment clients in Europe purchased two goldfish. In keeping with their tradition, the client named the two fish, Recommended and Not Recommended. Surprisingly, recruiting salespeople was not one of the topics addressed in the Richardson 2017 Selling Challenges Study. Meghan Steiner, from Richardson, was nice enough to send me a copy of the results. There were a number of interesting findings and of course I had some insights from the report.
Respondents said the following issues are challenges for their companies:
- 24% said gaining higher prices
- 20% said closing win/win deals
- 17% said maintaining profitability
- 24% said competing against a low cost provider
- 16% said creating a compelling case for change
- 19% said customers who continue to reopen the negotiation
- 15% said positioning a competing value proposition
The 7 findings I listed above came from two different chapters of the report. Higher prices, win/win deals and profitability came from the chapter on Negotiation. Positioning, reopening negotiations, competing against low cost providers and the case for change came from the chapter on closing.
It is clear to me that if you combine those 7 challenges, the real problem
these companies have is that their salespeople are unable to sell value!
The findings came from a survey where most of the 300+ respondents were from companies larger than $500 million, with sales quotas generally running more than $1 million each.
How do the findings compare with OMG's scientific data from the evaluation of 2 million salespeople from 30,000 companies? Let's compare!
The average score for the Selling Value competency is 56 which means that the salespeople in the 370,000 rows of data in my query have, on average, 56% of the attributes in the Selling Value competency. You can see that the top 10% are significantly more effective and the bottom 10% are significantly worse!
Another way of looking at this competency is to determine the percentage of salespeople who have selling value as a weakness.
68% of the salespeople I looked at were weak at Selling Value.
OMG's data shows that selling value is a much greater issue than the survey suggests. The likely reason for this is that respondents from large companies probably don't understand the reasons why they have the seven issues bulleted above. They only recognize the symptoms.
You can see the attributes of the Selling Value competency in this screen shot from a sales force evaluation.
When companies mistakenly believe that their problems lie in negotiating and closing, they tend to seek training on negotiating and closing! When the real problem is selling value, the training needs to be on what the selling conversations should sound like when you take a more consultative approach, sales process to support a consultative approach, a value-based pricing strategy, and training on selling value.
Here are four other things you should do:
1. See how your salespeople compare to others in your industry and to salespeople in general in any or all of the 21 Sales Core Competencies with OMG's complimentary stat finder tool.
2. Select only strong (16%) and elite (7%) salespeople with OMG's accurate and predictive sales candidate assessment.
3. Become more effective coaching your salespeople in all 21 Sales Core Competencies
4. Download the 2017 Sales Challenges Study from Richardson.