How Sales Has Changed in the Last Five Years and More

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 @ 10:04 AM

work together[1]Does everyone get to see your best work?  Probably not.

Your best work probably takes place when you are one-on-one with one of your salespeople, one-on-one with a client, or on the phone.  Chances are, your best work doesn't happen at the sales meeting, in front of your entire sales force, or in front of all of your customer's employees.

Just because most people don't see your best work, doesn't mean that what you are doing isn't important.  You may not get credit for the actual work, but as a result of your good work, a corresponding outcome occurs at a later date, and you'll get the credit you deserve then.

My most important work doesn't always get posted on my own blog.  Such is the case with this article I wrote for the Hubspot Blog on How Sales Has Changed in the Past 5 Years.  

Similarly, an article, in which I wrote about the Importance of Practicing Sales, was reworked for Gerhard Gschwandter's Selling Power Blog.

A third article, with a link to my latest white paper, was originally posted here last year and it has the results of my Trust Project.  It was published this week over at Robert Terson's Blog.  

Finally, if you want your best work to be even more impacting, and want to feel better about the work you are doing to attract, select, hire, on-board, retain, develop and coach great salespeople, attend my Sales Leadership Event next month in Boston.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, HubSpot, sales summit, sales leadership symposium, Gerhard, great sales management training, selling power

The Single Biggest Mistake that Salespeople Make

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Sep 28, 2010 @ 05:09 AM

Ask 10 people and you'll get 10 different answers about the biggest mistake that salespeople make.  Ask the question a bit differently and I will give you a different answer too.  But ask the question in the title - "What is the single biggest mistake that salespeople make?", with the key word being mistake - something they do incorrectly rather than something they do because of a weakness -  and I can provide data to back it up.  There are actually 3 mistakes that are almost always made but 2 of them occur as a result of the single biggest mistake. 

Objective Management Group has conducted nearly 9000 sales force evaluations and sales assessments.  The data clearly shows that in 84% of the cases, salespeople make inappropriately timed presentations.  What does that mean?

These days, the typical point of entry for a salesperson is AFTER a prospect determines an interest in purchasing a product or service.  The prospects think they know what they want and THEN the salespeople get involved.  Prospects ask for a presentation of capabilities and salespeople present their value propositions.  Prospects ask for pricing and salespeople create proposals.  Then the salespeople begin to follow up but the prospects have already disappeared when mistake #2 occurs - inappropriately timed follow up.

Let's use my Baseline Selling model to illustrate why the presentations taking place in the scenario above is inappropriately timed.

baseline selling model

In the baseball diamond, capabilities, value propositions, presentations and proposals take place between third base and home plate.  Yet, when a salesperson gets an audience with a prospect the salesperson has only reached first base.  It's inappropriate to run directly from first base to third base without touching second base on the way!  But 84% of all salespeople skip the valuable criteria that sits between first and second bases, as well as the criteria between second and third bases. 

A salesperson representing the industry leader or the low-price leader might get the business by being in the right place at the right time, but it's nearly impossible for everyone else to succeed in those scenarios. It is very difficult to sell without uncovering a prospect's compelling reasons to buy (spend money) and buy from you instead of your competitors.  That is just one of many criteria that must occur between first and second base.  It's nearly impossible to sell without learning how much money the prospect will spend and that is just one of many criteria that must be identified between second base and third base.  When a salesperson isn't aware of those two important slices of information, it isn't possible to differentiate (think decommoditize) your company from the pack nor can you present both a needs and cost appropriate solution!

What can you do about this problem?

I'll be presenting on this topic on October 6, 210 at 12 Noon ET, at the first annual Sales Edge One Sales Summit, a three-day on line event.  Over a span of three days, there will be a number of excellent presentations on a number of topics. And it's FREE! Click here for more information.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales summit, sales presentations, sales assessments

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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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