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


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 1831611 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, red sox, end of quarter closing, closing more sales, world series

Top 10 Ways Salespeople are Selling in the Dark

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 @ 18:11 PM

gravityDid you happen to see the movie Gravity?

Early in the movie, the two astronauts, played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, lose communications with Houston.  From that point on, they don't stop talking to Houston, they don't stop reporting in and they don't change protocol.  What they do change, is they add a phrase to the beginning of each message, "Houston, in the dark..."

They are moving blindly, without direction, without feedback, without certainty.  They are in the dark.  That's exactly how most salespeople go through each day, through each sales call and meeting, and through each sales cycle.  They are in the dark.

It's most obvious when salespeople don't know:

  1. The compelling reasons why their prospects would spend their money on what they are selling;
  2. The compelling reasons why their prospect would move their business to them; 
  3. Who they are competing against; 
  4. Where they stand versus their competition;
  5. If their prospect can afford what they are proposing; 
  6. If their prospect will pay their higher prices;
  7. Who the decision maker is; 
  8. Why they can't meet the decision maker; 
  9. The timeline;
  10. Whether or not they will get the business.

The thing is, even though these salespeople are in the dark (like the astronauts in Gravity), unlike the astronauts, they don't need to be in the dark.  They can get feedback, they can ask questions, they can get answers, they know that their version of Houston - their prospect or customer - can hear them and will respond if there is good reason.  So, why do salespeople continue in the dark?  They choose to!

They aren't asking the questions they need to ask and, when they are, their questions aren't the right questions at the right time and don't serve to demonstrate added value.

Who is holding them accountable and allowing this malpractice to continue?

It's their sales managers, who are almost as much in the dark as their salespeople.  Want an example of sales management being in the dark?

I wrote this article for SoldLab and it was posted there today.  End of Quarter Closing is a great example of sales management dysfunction!

Here is a link to a Sales Force Grader.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, sales leadership, end of quarter closing, sales operations

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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 medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for nine 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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