Starting with the Sales Management Team - Is it a Bad Decision?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 @ 16:08 PM

Sales Management Team

The CEO said, "We really like what you do, your sales force evaluation is exactly what we need, the information, data, science and intelligence that you provide is perfect for us.  This is the right time to move forward, and we're ready to go."  

Waiting for the other shoe to drop, I said, "But..."  

And he said, "But we don't want to evaluate everyone right now.  We want to start with our sales management team."  

I hate being right.  

Small and mid-market companies don't usually request this particular approach because their management teams are usually quite lean and it doesn't make sense for them to take this approach.  But large companies tend to start all of their initiatives with the sales management team, and when that has been completed, move on to the salespeople.  If we were talking about training, I would agree with that approach.  It makes absolutely no sense to train salespeople until the sales managers are on board, bought in, and can expertly coach to the process, methodology, strategies and tactics.  Always start with sales management.

[-Related Promo - Absolute last chance to register for my September 10-11 Sales Leadership Intensive in the Boston area where you can learn to expertly coach just like that.]

Companies typically have 5 reasons for starting with the sales managers:

  1. It's how they always do it (my favorite).
  2. To make a smaller investment up front.
  3. To pilot a program and see if they like it.
  4. To begin with a smaller, more manageable group.
  5. To give the managers a head start.

Those reasons all make sense - for training.  But we weren't talking about training, we were talking about the crucial step that precedes training, defines training, tells us who can be trained, what it will take, and how much improvement we can expect.  It tells us where the skill gaps are, where Sales DNA gets in the way and why we lose business.  We were talking about OMG's legendary sales force evaluation.

[-Another related Promo - request a free sample sales force evaluation]

It's wrong to perform a sales force evaluation with only the managers for just as many reasons as it's correct to begin training that way:

  • We get only sales management data. 
  • We get only one part of the sales management data at that - the part provided by the sales managers.
  • This limited data cannot fully explain how the sales force is dealing with the challenges they face.
  • It does not answer the questions as to whether the company is hiring the right people, changes they need to make to their sales selection criteria, if their people are coachable and trainable, and where the skill gaps are.
  • It does not answer the questions as to whether they can sell more consultatively, whether they are capable of finding and closing more new business, shortening their sales cycle, or becoming more effective selling value.  And lots more.

A better way to start a limited sales force evaluation is to begin with a region or team.  Let's review the 5 reasons for starting with the managers again.  Only this time, let's see if we can meet those conditions while including the salespeople.  

  1. It's how they always do it. - Gulp. They'll need to change that!
  2. To make a smaller investment up front. - That still works.
  3. To pilot a program and see if they like it. - That works too.
  4. To begin with a smaller, more manageable group. - That still works.
  5. To give the managers a head start. - That works too.  All the managers can learn from this initial experience.

Are you familiar with the expression, "Life is like a sewer - You get from it what you put into it"?  That analogy won't work here.  But this one will:

sales force is an apple pie

The sales force is like an Apple Pie.  The sales management team is the crust, and the salespeople are the apples and the filling.  If you evaluate only the sales managers, you get crust!

When you evaluate a region or a team - you take a slice of the sales force.  You get the good stuff - apples and filling!

That is always more satisfying, more valuable, and leaves a better taste in everyone's mouth!


image Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales performance, omg, Personality Tests, sales assessments

Sales Blogging - Do As I Say, Not as I Do

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, May 01, 2014 @ 10:05 AM

hipocriteIt's a big problem with many of the sales blogs you read.  One-person sales consulting firms, self-appointed experts, telling, but not doing, what they say.

If you were to read through each of the 1,150 articles I have posted on this blog since 2006, and organize, sort, create a flow and edit it all into a Sales Management Bible, we would have one enormous how-to guide.  Although that was the original plan in 2006, it is no longer on my radar.  I have introduced, questioned, preached, urged, and forced a lot of issues, but I always check myself to make sure that my words do not fall into the "do as I say, but not as I do" trap of many consultants.

Keeping that in mind, Objective Management Group (OMG) held its quarterly Rockefeller Habits meeting this week.  We go to market through a global network of certified partners - our channel - and we spent considerable meeting time talking about them.  As we always do, we further refined our criteria for what constitutes a good partner, redefined our cut-offs and set the wheels in motion to say our goodbyes to those who don't make the cut.  OMG is not a company that has tolerance for non-performers.

We also spent some time identifying where our best Partners come from and I was surprised to learn that most of them had been reading this blog and either decided to add our suite of world-class Sales Force Evaluation and Candidate Assessment tools to their offerings, or start their own sales consulting businesses.  

If that describes you, please send me an email!

The rest of you should be doing the following at least on an annual basis:

  • Evaluate your sales force.
  • Identify the differences between top and bottom performers - request a sample Sales Force Evaluation.
  • Replace bottom performers who can't be coached up.
  • Commit to hiring people who are better than your current top performers - request a sales candidate assessment sample too.  Register for this free June 5, 2014,  11 AM ET, webinar on the Magic of OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment.
  • Constantly refine your onboarding process, expectations and execution.
  • Improve your sales coaching capabilities.
  • Get tougher about accountability.
  • Develop and refine strategies and tactics for improved effectiveness.
  • Train, coach, train and coach some more.

It's not very difficult to upgrade the quality of your sales force or channel.  But many find it difficult to start - to take action - to take the steps listed above that properly position them to upgrade the sales force or channel.  That's because most people find it difficult to have the tough conversations, deliver the tough messages and put the tougher policies in place.  Accountability.  Execution.  Not what most people are best at.  But it's never too late to start...

But before you can start, you need information - you need answers - you need to evaluate your sales force so that you know where your sales force could be more effective, how much more effective they could be, and what must change.  It means knowing whether you truly have the right people in the right roles, whether they are going about things in the right way, and whether the right things are in place to support a high-performing sales force.

Evaluate and thrive!

Image credit: photoman / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, evaluate the sales force, sales assessments, sales test, objective management group

The Biggest Mistake Executives Make about their Sales Force

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 @ 15:03 PM

Blood Test or Sales Force EvaluationYesterday, I had my annual physical and my doctor ordered the usual array of blood tests.  It didn't matter that I felt terrific.  It didn't matter that he observed my blood pressure, throat, eyes and ears to be perfect.  It didn't change his mind when he listened to my heart and lungs.  And he was still ordering those tests after he felt for things and didn't find anything.  The tests he can do in his office - basically the eye test - are observations.  How I report to be feeling is my version of the eye test - it's based on my own observations.  And the reason for the blood and urine tests is that we don't know what we don't know.  

Clearly, if you or I don't feel well and that feeling persists for a long enough period of time, we would seek out a doctor.  There would be symptoms.  The doctor's job would be to learn enough, from observations and tests, to identify the cause and make a diagnosis, recommend a treatment and provide a prognosis.

That is pretty much what we do at Objective Management Group (OMG).  In some cases, CEO's, Presidents, HR Directors and Sales VP's seek us out, complain about their symptoms (observations and eye test), we ask some questions and then conduct our sales force evaluation.  They know things aren't right, but they don't know why.  Our job would be to learn enough from the observations, tests and analyses, to identify the causes (diagnosis), recommend a plan of action (treatment), and provide a projected return (prognosis).

In some cases, an executive does not seek us out.  They may have stumbled upon us through what they found on the internet.  They may have read one of my thousands of articles or watched me on a video.  They may have been looking for something else and OMG came up in the search results.  They may have been introduced by a friend or colleague.  Regardless of how they found us, this plays more like the annual physical where they believe that their sales force is fine.  They are happy to talk with an expert, but don't have any symptoms that they can identify or report.  Sales are fine.  

And that, right there, is the single biggest mistake that companies make every single day.  They use revenue as the metric to determine whether their sales force is healthy. 

Sales are fine.  Compared with what?  Sales that aren't fine?  Others in the industry?  Other industries?  What they expected sales to be?  What they needed sales to be?  Their nut?  What sales could have been?  What was forecast?

Sales is always relative to an expectation and is never an accurate barometer of sales effectiveness.  One large sale or account can mask missed metrics, poor conversions, elongated sales cycles and lousy win rates.  Two large sales or accounts can mask a weak pipeline and an entire sales force of underachievers.  Renewals and residuals can similarly skew the numbers in such a way that executives have no idea how ineffective and inefficient their salespeople really are.  And today, with most companies generating inbound leads at a record clip, salespeople don't even have enough time to follow up on all of them.  That too masks the numbers because they certainly have a lot of activity taking place, don't they?

When sales are fine, there is no better time, because there is no pressure or urgency, to evaluate the sales force because it is at that very time that executives don't know what they don't know.

Use our complimentary Sales Force Grader.  Learn more about a sales force evaluation.  Read about a Sales Force Evaluation Case Study.

Image credit: alexraths / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, evaluate the sales force, sales assessments, sales test, objective management group

What Would You Do? Sales Force Attempts to Maintain Status Quo

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jan 06, 2014 @ 04:01 AM

wrong stuffWarning - this story is disturbing and contains actual quotes from its participants.

The president of a small company, suffering from years of declining sales, asked us to evaluate his small sales force (3 salespeople and sales manager).  He hoped that our data would prove, both to him and his small sales force, that they could grow their revenue to the level of their peak years.

30 days later, when we met to review the findings from the sales force evaluation and answer his questions about potential performance improvements, there was some good news, but most of it was bad.

The good news was that with time (30 months), higher expectations, along with some training and much better coaching, his goals were achievable.  The bad news was that his salespeople were seriously among the worst we have ever evaluated and his sales manager, not much better than his salespeople, seemed disconnected and disinterested from anything other than managing his existing personal accounts.  Did I mention they were the worst we have ever seen?

We also produce individual sales and sales management evaluations for sales team members so that they can better understand their selling strengths and skills, and begin to overcome their selling challenges.  We always ask them to provide some feedback, some of which makes its way back to us.

Objective Management Group (OMG) has evaluated more than salespeople from more than 10,000 companies.  It isn't unusual or unexpected for a salesperson to disagree with a finding or two.  After all, if they were aware of their skill gaps and challenges, they might have attempted to work on them by now.  But in this particular company, everyone on the sales team believed that their sales and sales management evaluations were wrong.  According to this exceptional group of salespeople, all underachieving to the tune of more than 100%, OMG doesn't understand selling...but they do.

Here are just a few of their comments:

From the sales manager:

"First of all, management growth potential of 71%?...this is insulting and demeaning. I seem to have performed pretty well everywhere I have been employed for 44 years while providing pretty well for my family at the time. This is unbelievably pathetic."  [Note - 71% growth potential means he can improve that much and he is deflecting his and the team's pathetic results on our findings.  He also said the following:

"I don’t take responsibility? I do not handle joint calls effectively? How does he know? To my knowledge he has never been on a sales call with me or interviewed me. I do not have a selling system? Ever hear me talk about SIHBC which was taught to me by P&G over 40 years ago..."  [Note - this sales manager is still operating as if it was 1973 and that's what his salespeople were taught to do.]

From his salespeople:

"It's all crap" [Note - The strengths and skills that we identified must be crap too]

"You do not understand our industry.  I am the entire sales department, service department and customer service department for our company."  [Note - he is a bit overimpressed with himself.]

"My sales numbers could improve but my history has proven my abilities."  [Note - another one stuck in the past.]

"Too much talking - really?  Isn't this what we are supposed to do?"  [Note - like I said, stuck in the 70's.]

"The report said I do not have a “consultative sales approach”.  That is what we do every day.  We try to sell value and problem solve.  We do not sell “price” but we sell better results and we do save them money even if our [their products] cost more."  [Note - this salesperson believed that telling people what they should do and why they should do it equates to a consultative approach.]


This isn't normal or expected, so why did it happen at this company and what does the future hold for them?

This is what can happen when salespeople have zero concept of selling; when knowledgeable, technical people are moved into selling roles without being trained to sell; when the sales manager is more interested in selling than managing; when the president doesn't hold the sales manager accountable; and when there isn't a sales culture.

If the president of this company gets serious, replaces the sales manager with a motivated, committed and talented sales manager, and hires strong salespeople to work for the new manager, this company can thrive.  On the other hand, if he sits back and hopes for the same dysfunctional team to suddenly change their behaviors and performance, he will be extremely disappointed.

Was OMG wrong?  Yes!  We predicted that this group could be developed, trained and coached, but the sales manager-led rebellion against change from the status quo undid all of that.  Were we wrong about how bad this sales team was?  Not a chance.  They were statistically at the bottom of all sales teams.

What would you do if you were the victim of a sales manager-led rebellion against change?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales training, sales management, sales improvement, sales revenue, sales assessments

Science and the Length of Your Sales Cycle

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Oct 09, 2013 @ 07:10 AM

When Objective Management Group (OMG) evaluates a sales force, 1 of the 26 questions we answer for clients is, Can You Shorten Your Sales Cycle?" 

We have some science behind that and as part of the analysis we conduct on a sales force, we can determine whether they have the skills and sales DNA for that to become a reality.

There are 11 factors that contribute to determining whether a salesperson or sales force can shorten their sale cycle, not including the factors that determine whether or not a salesperson is trainable and/or coachable.

In the screen shot below, this real sales force (names have been changed) has, on average, only 3 of the factors.

Shorten Sales Cycle Factors

One of the 11 factors, that has a great deal to do with the length of the sales cycle, is whether or not the sales force and/or the salespeople have an effective sales process.  As you can see from the image above, nobody was following an effective sales process.  Another really important factor is exactly what salespeople actually believe - what they think - relative to the sales cycle.  In the next screen shot, you might be able to read some of the beliefs that this sales force had around the sales cycle:

SLBeliefsThose two factors alone are enough to double the length of a sales cycle!  There are still 9 more factors that have an impact; however, just from what we've discussed and reviewed so far, it's obvious that this company's sales cycle is M-U-C-H longer than it needs to be.

That gives you a sense for how we go about answering questions for companies.  But there is an additional way!

At my sales consulting company, Kurlan & Associates, we use, love and strongly recommend Membrain as a sales pipeline tool.  They have awesome pipeline analytics that are available right out of the box.  Check out the next 2 screen shots that have to do with - you guessed it - sales cycle length!

Sales Cycle Age

This screen shot basically shows that this company has almost no chance of closing an opportunity beyond 51 days.

Sales Cycle Time in Phase

This screen shot shows that opportunities, that spend more than 10 days in any stage, rarely close.

Sales Science:  When you combine the contributing factors to a long sales cycle and then provide salespeople with actual statistics that show what happens when they allow the sales cycle to extend, we can change behaviors.  When we provide an effective sales process, milestones, qualifiers and effective sales strategies and tactics, we can change results.

Are you using all of the science that you can get your hands on to radically change the way your sales force performs?

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, crm, Sales DNA, pipeline management, sales science

Can Your Existing Sales Force Generate More Revenue?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Aug 01, 2013 @ 09:08 AM

dollar signOne of the questions, that I often field from clients who have had their sales forces evaluated, is, "Can you please explain the opportunity finding?"

In our Sales Force Evaluation, the Opportunity is our projection of how much additional revenue the sales force can generate.

This 1:45 minute video explains how we calculate the number.  If you have any questions or want to know whether we can calculate something similar for your sales force, drop me a line!


Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales management, sales leadership, omg, increase sales

The Great Migration to Inside Sales - Will You Get it Right?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 @ 11:07 AM

migrationThe Growing Power of Inside Sales appeared on the Harvard Business Review Blog on July 29.  Overall, the article was quite good with valid sources and statistics.  On the other hand, it was flawed in that, as usual with articles like this, it cited examples from only large companies (Astra Zeneca, IBM and SAP) leading most readers to come to one of two conclusions:

"This does not apply to us." or "We must follow because these industry leaders are doing it."

The authors listed four scenarios where a move to inside sales could be effective:

  1. By market segment,
  2. By stage of the buyer engagement process,
  3. By geography, and
  4. By product or service.
How about these:
  • By sales talent - What roles are your salespeople best suited for?
  • By location of the sales talent - Where can you find the ideal sales talent for your company?  It may not be where the territory is or where the company is located.
  • By location of sales management - Do you have managers where the sales talent is located?
  • By customer - Some customers want to see your salespeople - often - while others could not care less if they ever see your salespeople as long as they are getting their needs met.
  • By season - Some businesses are oriented around large, one-time, seasonal orders where it is very important for your salespeople to be visible.
  • By business model - Some businesses have a model where customers must be resold or renewed at the end of a contract period and, depending on the size and importance of the customer, a phone call may not be enough to justify the renewal.
  • By product - But this is different from the author's definition.  If a company is selling an expensive piece of equipment that must be demonstrated onsite, inside sales has absolutely no ability to execute on that milestone.
  • By project - Some projects necessitate a salesperson working hand-in-hand with the customer to ensure a successful outcome.  Most of these require salespeople to be onsite.
In summary, I agree that there is a significant trend toward moving salespeople to the inside.  But in general, every company needs to conduct a case justification and every situation should be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Making broad statements, that define the general scenarios where sales should be moved inside, simply won't work for most companies because there will be more exceptions to the guidelines than those that fit.
Should you consider moving some or all of your sales to the inside?  It's not a quick or simple answer.  Many factors must be considered and outside expertise is required to provide objective, non-biased perspective. Of equal importance is the necessary science and data about your sales managers, salespeople and their capabilities.  There is nothing worse than putting people in a role that doesn't position them for success.  Some on the outside would not do well on the inside while some would do much better.  Do you know which ones?
Take this change seriously!  It has the ability to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, increase effectiveness, and grow sales.  But only if you base your decisions on sound best practices, data and objectivity.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales leadership, move to inside sales, sales assessments

How Much Sales Development Can Leadership Do In-House?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 @ 23:07 PM

mowingYou can mow your own lawn, plant your own shrubs, paint your own house, repair your own car, and clean your own house.  You can do your own accounting, write your own agreements, and generate your own payroll too.  But you probably don't do most of these things.  Professionals do a much better job and save you a tremendous amount of time.

From time to time, clients want to handle some of the services we provide in-house.  "Why can't we do the sales process ourselves?"  They can, but a few questions come to mind.  If they didn't have an effective, efficient, optimized, formal, structured sales process for the last 20 years, where would this expertise suddenly come from to create this process tomorrow?  What if they get it wrong?

"Daily huddles sound simple enough.  Why can't we do that on our own?"  They can, but there is also the matter of getting the salespeople to participate, embrace the huddles and find them useful and important.  Much of that is dependent upon getting the metrics and the huddle format right.

"We have people who can provide sales training and we expect them to do it."  Most companies with in-house trainers often don't realize that while their trainers' expertise is training, the subleties and nuances of selling, and the sales weaknesses that must be overcome, require skills and experience that in-house trainers usually lack.

Beyond these obvious challenges exists a 600 pound gorilla.  The reason that any of these examples would be implemented at a company is usually to improve the sales culture, generate additional revenue and improve sales effectiveness.  Salespeople usually resist efforts to change things up.  When you combine resistant salespeople with homegrown solutions and don't get it correct the first time (right out of the gate and I mean nail it), you'll have an even bigger problem on your hands.  You won't get a second chance to tweak and get it right.  You get one chance to state your case, introduce the changes and get salespeople to embrace them.  If you don't know what you're doing, can't back it up with science, or fail to make a case and impress your salespeople, you're dead in the water, in a worse place than where you started, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Don't risk it.  Leave sales force evaluations, sales process, recruiting process, selection criteria, sales and sales management training, CRM selection, sales management coaching, and sales culture change to the experts.  You'll be glad you did.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, sales force evaluation, sales training, sales management, sales leadership, sales strategy

The Latest and Greatest in Sales Force Effectiveness

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 @ 21:04 PM

Spoiler Warning:  This article is about my company and its new product.  Stick around though and I think you'll realize that it's just as much about your company as it is mine.

One of the proudest moments of my professional career occurred Sunday, April 21, 2013, when my team at Objective Management Group (OMG) introduced our brand new Sales Force Evaluation product to 120 OMG Partners from around the world.  That we were in Boston, just one day after the second bombing suspect was captured, made it even more incredible!

OMG's New Sales Force Evaluation Tool Introduced on April 21, 2013

Partners getting their first look and using their phones to vote their approval.

OMG's New Sales Force Evaluation Tool Introduced April 21, 2013

We have introduced our share of evaluation and assessment tools during the past 23 years, but this introduction was completely different.  My team worked tirelessly for nearly an entire year on our latest gem and our Partners received it, with even more enthusiasm than we felt, when we completed the project just 48 hours earlier.

Why all the excitement?

Forget for just a minute how incredibly impressive the product looks.  It's the information that sets it apart from, well, even our previous sales force evaluation product, which was already the best on the planet.  Of the many differences between our new and old products, the one I like the most is this one:  While our old product was findings-centric; the new product is answer-centric.  Why should you care about any of this?

Our Sales Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis answers 4 critical questions about your company:

  • Can our sales force be more effective?
  • How much more effective can we be?
  • What will it take to accomplish that?
  • How long will it take to accomplish that?

If you don't care about the answers to those 4 questions, then you must have already cashed out or retired.

In order to answer those 4 questions, we answer these additional 19 questions along the way: 

  • How Does Sales Leadership Impact Our Sales Force?
  • What Are Our Current Sales Capabilities?  (here is an image of the summary page of this chapter)
OMG Sales Force Evaluation
  • How Motivated Are Our Salespeople and How Are They Motivated?
  • Can We Generate More New Business?
  • Can We Be Better at Reaching Actual Decision Makers?
  • Can We Shorten Our Sales Cycle? 
  • Can We Sell More Consultatively? 
  • Are We Selling on Price and Who Can Become a Value Seller? 
  • Is Our Value Proposition Consistent? 
  • Can We Close More Sales? 
  • Do Our Systems and Processes Support a High Performance Sales Organization?
  • Can We Be More Consistent with Our Sales Process? 
  • How Well Are Our Sales Leadership Strategies Aligned? 
  • Do We Need to Change Our Selection Criteria?
  • Can We Improve Ramp-Up?
  • Can We Improve Our Pipeline and Forecasting Accuracy?
  • Can We Improve Our Sales Culture?
  • Who Can Become More Effective in Their Roles?
  • What Are the Short-term Priorities for Accelerated Growth?
Each thoughtful explanation is supported by plentiful data points.  It's all about the science and if our science can explain the sales performance taking place at your company and how you can improve it, you would have to be an overconfident know-it-all not to be excited about this turn of events.
Speaking of science, if you weren't already following me and OMG, our highly accurate and predictive sales specific tools are legendary.  Our "old" tool won the Gold Medal for Top Sales Assessment Tool in 2011 and 2012.  Our sales-specific evaluations and assessments have been used to evaluate and assess more than 1831615 salespeople and sales leaders in more than 10,000 companies.
If you would like to get in line and explore whether it makes sense to have your sales force evaluated in the 2nd quarter, click here and I'll have the appropriate partner follow-up with you.
Thanks for reading today - I appreciate it.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales improvement, omg, best sales assessment, top sales assessment, sales development tool

Top 5 Insights From Latest Sales Organization Studies

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Feb 06, 2013 @ 22:02 PM

66 Crazy Sales FiguresThe folks over at IKO Systems were nice enough to send me a collection of infographics which they call 66 Crazy Sales Figures.  I finally had a chance to read through it and found 5 sales figures which, after I combined them, are quite interesting:

  1. Only 63% of salespeople made quota last year.
  2. Only 6% of new reps exceeded expectations and 48% failed.
  3. 75% of salespeople believe that their approach differentiates them, but only 3% of their customers agree.
  4. Top-performing companies invest 63% more on sales training. 
  5. The top 2 sales initiatives for companies were access to more information (42%) and CRM (40%).
Do you see what I see?
Is it any wonder that only 63% of reps made quota (#1) when companies are focused on better access to information (think customer research) and CRM instead of hiring the best salespeople (see insight #2), aren't investing in sales training (see insight #4) and don't provide their salespeople with the required skills to differentiate and sell consultatively (see insight #3)?
Objective Management Group (OMG), has evaluated sales forces and salespeople and sales managers.  Its data shows that the average score is only 34 out of 100 on the Sales Posturing Index (a collection of attributes which suggests how effective salespeople are in differentiating themselves).  One of those attributes is the ability to Sell Consultatively (the primary skill required for differentiating, building and selling value).  The average salesperson possesses only 21% of the Consultative Seller skills.  Is it a surprise that only 3% of salespeople are able to differentiate?
When companies use OMG's legendary, accurate, predictive, customizable sales candidate assessment, they realize the following results:
  • 75% of sales candidates not recommended by OMG's assessments, yet hired by the client anyway, failed within 6 months.
  • 92% of sales candidates recommended by our assessments and hired by the client rose to the top half of their sales force within 12 months.
  • OMG's clients achieve this hiring consistency in just 25% of the time that it takes using traditional methods.
You can request a sample here.  You can register for my live webinar on March 12 here.  And you can get a 72-hour free trial here.
All of this leads us to this problem:  Salespeople aren't making quota partly because they aren't differentiating, should not have been hired and aren't getting the required sales training.  So, why are companies focused on CRM and research information instead?
The fact is that most CEO's, Presidents, Owners, Sales VP's and Directors don't know the real, contributing factors as to why their salespeople fail to perform and meet quotas.  They guess, attempt trial and error, and hope that CRM initiatives will solve the problem.  But, it's always something else.  Don't get me wrong.  CRM is very important.  But it's not a stand alone solution as much as it's a tool which must be tightly integrated with sales process, sales pipeline, sales strategies, sales methodology, sales training and sales coaching.
It's not really that hard to get to the root of most sales performance problems.  OMG's Sales Force Evaluation can get you there very quickly.  You can learn more about that here.

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales training, sales performance, omg, sales white paper

Content not found
Subscribe via Email

View All 1,850 Articles

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

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile


Receive new articles via email
 to the Blog on your Kindle 



Most Recent Articles


Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blogs 2021

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee




Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers


Hubspot Top 25 Blogs



Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader