Why Reopening the Economy Won't Be Enough To Turn Things Around

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Apr 20, 2020 @ 10:04 AM


They will begin reopening the economy in three phases, but with some restrictions.  Sounds exciting, doesn't it?  It's sure as heck much better than what we have today, but will it work?  In this article, I'll explain why it won't work like they hope, and what must occur for the economy to thrive again.

When the economic light switch is flipped on, things are supposed to return to normal, but with appropriate social distancing and special protection of the at-risk population.  Money is supposed to start flowing again, but will it.  Trump is at his best when it comes to the economy but is he right this time? Let's take a look at the requirements for making the money flow.

Requirement #1 - Demand: People must start buying stuff from sources other than Amazon.com and the local grocery store.  Can you say retailers, restaurants and service firms?  Are people itching to buy or just itching to leave their homes?  Are people going to rush out and buy new wardrobes as many continue to work from home in their comfy clothes? Is there a pent-up demand for stuff? The biggest thing that people will need after this has ended is a vacation but the travel and tourism industry, as well as the industries that sell to them, are still shut down indefinitely.  I'm concerned that the demand won't be there when the economy begins to reopen.

Requirement #2 - Large business spending:  One of the first signs that the economy is heading for recession is when large companies initiate spending freezes so that they can conserve cash.  If big business doesn't immediately release their spending freezes, all of the companies who sell to those large companies will continue to suffer and we are unlikely to see another PPP get signed to help companies retain employees.  

Requirement #3 - Small business revenue: You've been hearing this for weeks now.  Small business is home to half of all the employees.  If small businesses aren't able to crank up their cash flows because other businesses aren't spending money, or there is a lack of demand from consumers, the economy won't recover for years.

In my opinion, opening the economy is purely a symbolic move. It will make people feel like we are moving forward, beating the virus, and returning to normal and in the short term it will be good for emotional well-being.  But without tremendous spending in the sectors unaffected by the pandemic, the recently robust economy will be the quicksand economy.  Stuck and unable to recover.

The government sent $1200 to qualifying American families to help pay for expenses while things were shut down.  Unemployment benefits were being paid at 100% and most of those who remained employed were still paid their normal wages.  That should have prevented people from going deeply into debt over the past 45 days. 

So what can be done now?

Requirement #4 - Buying Sprees! I think governments in all countries should send everyone a gift card to go on a buying spree.  500 or 1,000 to go out and buy stuff!  That would help retailers, the states (sales tax), distributors, manufacturers and consumers.  We just need to get some flow and in the US alone that would create $40 - $80 Billion worth of instant flow.

Image copyright 123RF

Topics: grow sales, revenue, Economy, reopen, stimulus, spending, freeze

The Ignorance Factor and Achieving Your Company's Revenue Goals

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Feb 01, 2010 @ 05:02 AM

I have nearly completed reading The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis. You may have already seen the movie, about Michael Oher, the absolutely huge kid who was simply born to play left end, and protect the quarterback's blind side.  The kid who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

According to Lewis, Michael Oher was ignorant, not dumb, and the Tuohy family and Oher's tutors spent several hours every night providing him with context and tutoring so that he could become familiar with the things in life that nearly everyone else understood and took for granted.

A dozen or so sales consultants and trainers will spend most of this week with us to become sales development experts. They will be learning how to evaluate sales organizations using our tools, the impact of our findings, and the steps they can take to rectify problems we identify.  In addition, four new clients will each spend about a half day as we review the results of their own sales force evaluations.

What do the 12 sales consultants and trainers and 4 new clients have in common with Michael Oher?

They are ignorant too.  Not about life or business as Oher was, but about sales forces.  The single greatest overall benefit from evaluating the sales force is to replace ignorance with knowledge, insights and understanding about what makes this sales force, or any sales force effective or, in about 95% of the cases, ineffective.  Most ignorant people don't walk the face of the earth knowing and understanding that they are ignorant.  They don't know enough to know that this huge gap in understanding exists.  The same is true for most sales consultants, trainers, business owners, Presidents, CEO's, Sales VP's and Sales Managers.  They just don't have any concept of all that they don't know, about what is under the hood of their, or any other sales force.

Think about the last time someone you know was ill, you heard the name for it and hopped on Google to figure out what it meant. You learned what it was, the symptoms, the severity, how to treat it, what the odds were, how long it could take and what to expect along the way.  The more you read about it, the more you understood something that was always there, but you were simply ignorant over its existence.  So it goes with the sales force.

What don't you know about your own sales force?  You can't answer that question because you don't know what you don't know.

What do you know about your sales force?  You know only enough to get the results you're getting today.

What kind of results would you like to get?  The gap, between where you would like to be, and where you are today, is your ignorance factor.  When you erase that ignorance and replace it with insights, knowledge and understanding, you can quickly close the gap and generate the revenue that you're looking for.

(c) Copyright 2010 Dave Kurlan



Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales management, Sales Force, revenue, michael oher, the blind side

Sales Cycles and Time - Is it Running Out?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jun 01, 2009 @ 09:06 AM

We are always focused on sales cycles.  Are they optimized?  Are they taking too long?  Can they be improved?  How many calls should they take?  Are we doing things that make the sales cycle take longer than necessary? For example, the sales cycle can be shortened in direct proportion to how high your salespeople call in the company. 

If we are have begun a sales development program, you won't see results from top line revenue until 6 months plus the length of the sales cycle have passed.

I have a couple of things to discuss today relative to sales cycle.

1) Even articles have a sales cycle.  I wrote this article around Christmas of 2007.  I just learned that it was nominated for article of the month for June of 2009 - an 18 month sales cycle.  For all the time that passed it might have well been a major account!  Anyway, as long as it was nominated, would you be kind enough to vote for it?

2) I was talking with Ed Kleinman, our director of channel development here at Objective Management Group.  He pointed out something, relative to sales cycle, that I hadn't realized and it's really important.  Here's what he said:

I have come to the realization that most top executives, whose companies have been struggling to survive, have overlooked that we have already reached the end of the 2nd calendar quarter. Our network of sales development experts are reporting that there is still a sizable group of frozen, numb executives who still haven't realized how important it is to focus on their sales organizations.  They must make sure they have people in place who can help the company thrive in this economic climate. Have they forgotten where the revenue must come from? Are they waiting for the world around them to change before they change?  Are they stuck thinking that now is not the time to do anything?


Suppose you evaluated your sales team to identify who will generate a return from a development initiative, who won't, and replace those who won't be able to improve and produce? It would take a few weeks and you would already be at the end of the second calendar quarter.

The money you save from thinning (do more with less) can be reinvested in your remaining salespeople - those who will step up and learn how to sell in this new, extremely resistant economy.  Your B players become A's from training, development, coaching, mentoring , and improved accountability. But, by the time these folks produce at the pace needed to thrive, you may be looking at the end of the 4thquarter - if you're lucky! Yes, they will grow and improve.  They will survive and thrive. Your company will return to its successful ways and more, but any start you make today, won't help until the end of the year.

The longer you wait and do nothing, the longer your flat or declining revenue continues. This is the real world. Can you afford to wait until next year to do something or are you finally fed up with what you have? What you are doing now is not working, so NOW IS THE TIME to make moves that will insure that next year with the right systems, processes, and people in place, will be a great year.

TIME is no longer on your side. If you do nothing, you will find yourself in a position that will take even longer to get to the survival stage, before returning to the thriving stage. CAN YOU WAIT?  Don't think too long, because the 3rd quarter is just four weeks away.

Assess your sales organization, hire the right people to replace those who won't get it done. Develop the sales organization by providing them with superior training and coaching to help them be more proactive, persistant and resistance-proof - skills they'll need in this economy.

There isn't much time - you know how it flies.  Commit to using your sales force to generate company changing revenue today.

Thanks Ed!

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales training, Salesforce, Sales Force, revenue, sales effectiveness, Economy, sales test

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

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