Combo Article Friday - Finding New Business and Sales

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 @ 06:01 AM

on the phone sellingI wrote an article for the Sales Blog over at Hubspot on how Inbound Marketing has really been around, like, forever.  

Mark Roberge, the Chief Revenue Officer at Hubspot, wrote an article there this week that has elicted one of the best discussions I've seen in the Sales Blogoshere - and not a single attack on any of the contributors (as of the last time I checked).  The article was about who should be your first sales hire.  I wrote my own article on the topic 3 years ago called Startups and the Dilemma of the First Sales Hire.  The inbound audience loves to engage in discussions, but not so much the CEO's, Presidents and Sales VP's who read these articles.  Chime in!

The February Issue of Top Sales Magazine was published yesterday and it includes an article with my latest thinking about using the phone for prospecting.  You can download the issue here This issue also announces a Top Sales Contest for Salespeople.  If there is a salesperson who you would like to nominate, instructions and guidelines are here.  

My article Tips for Great Keynotes and Better Sales Presentations was named a Top 10 Sales Article for the week over at

I'll be speaking near you over the next two months:

WEBINAR: Leading the Ideal Sales Force Part 1
Wednesday, February 5, 11 AM ET

The latest thinking about growing, developing, tweaking and managing the ideal sales force.  Part 1 will address:
  • Sales Process - Optimizing Conversions
  • Sales Methodology – Why It Matters
  • Sales Messaging - How to Get It Right
  • 3 Critical Conversations
  • Executing in a Changing Economy
  • Sales Model – Making It Scalable
  • Channels - Optimizing Your Traction
  • Sales Training - Critical Components for Maximum Impact 
WEBINAR SERIES - Baseline Selling Open Enrollment
Begins February 20 for 12 Weeks
More Information: 
WEBINAR - How to Get the Most from OMG's Sales Candidate Analyzer Tool
February 26, 11 AM ET
SALES 2.0 CONFERENCE IN PHILADELPHIA - What to Ask To Determine If You Need to Implement Sales Force Transformation
March 10 
ECSELL SALES COACHING SUMMIT IN CHARLOTTE NC - What Does Commitment to Sales Success Mean?
April 15
EO AUSTIN TX - How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle and Close More Sales
April 23
Email me 
Image credit: feverpitched / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, EcSELL Institute, Top Sales World, Sales 2.0 Conference, EO, Top Sales Article, Hubspot Sales Blog, Mark Roberge

What Does it Take to Become a Sales Manager?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

I was listening to a Boston Sports Radio Station, the same one I wrote about here.  Today's guests were Christian Fauria, former tight end of the New England Patriots, and Matt Chatham, former linebacker of the same New England Patriots.  They were discussing the very recent resignations of 3 coaches from this year's Patriots team and the co-hosts asked, "Would you like to coach?"

After his football career ended, Chatham went back to school and received an MBA from Babson in 2011.  With that in hand, he said that he would prefer a front office job and wishes to become a GM.  On the other hand, Fouria said that he would love to coach, but...

There were a lot of buts:

The long hours - Coaches stay behind long after the players are gone - usually until 2 AM during the season.

3 Steps Backwards - Former players have to start all over again as coaches.  High School or college jobs - as assistants - before getting high school or college jobs as head coaches before getting coaching jobs in the NFL.  

Low Pay - At the college level, the name of the game is recruiting - an extremely time-consuming, travel-centric job.  The college jobs don't pay particularly well or come with much recognition unless they are with the big-time schools.

It got me thinking about the road most often taken to sales management.

The hours are about the same, it's a step up, and it usually pays better.  Compared to the rocky road to coaching in the NFL, the road to sales management absolutely sounds like a road paved with gold!  Which explains why the road paved with gold leads to a dump.

You see, only 18% of all sales managers are any good at coaching and only 66% of them can be coached up.  Another 18% should not even be in sales management

Clearly, the problem is that it is simply too easy to go from sales to sales management.  If 50% of sales management is coaching and developing salespeople, then the new sales manager would need to have elite selling skills to support the necessary coaching skills which, in most cases, don't yet exist.  Only 6% of all salespeople have elite skills and only 7% of all sales managers have elite coaching skills.   

What if becoming a sales manager was more difficult - like in football - and it required sacrifice, putting in your time, developing new skill sets in a low-pressure environment?  I for one, predict that most salespeople would not go through all of that to become sales managers, unless THIS sales manager earned $500,000 instead of $125,000.  Would they do it then?

After evaluating more than 10,000 sales forces and 700,000 salespeople, it is clear that for all of the mediocre salespeople out there, the real reason for all the mediocrity is the mediocre sales mangers.

Companies need to find a way to raise the bar - way up - when it comes to selecting new sales managers.  And they must put their existing sales leaders through comprehensive, on-going training and coaching to develop their coaching skills.

What Does it Take to Become a Sales Manager?  Today, a new resume is all that's needed.  Tomorrow?  It should take the equivalent of an MBA program, credentials and certification.

Around the Bases:

My article, Inbound Marketing Has Been Around Forever, appears today on the Hubspot Blog.

I am leading a panel of experts in a complimentary Webinar on February 5 at 11 AM Eastern called Leading the Ideal Sales Force. Register.

I am also leading a Webinar introducing OMG's Candidate Analyzer, an awesome web tool available to users of OMG's Sales & Sales Management Candidate Assessments.  I'll be showing everyone how to access the tool and how to use it.  February 26, 11 AM Eastern.  Register.

I will be speaking at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Philadelphia on March 10.  Register.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, HubSpot, sales management, sales force evaluations, sales assessments, Sales 2.0 Conference, objective management group

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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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