Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan’s Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. You can find Dave’s blog articles here.

  • The Top 15 Sales and Sales Leadership Articles of 2019
    by Dave Kurlan on December 4, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Just when it seems that I don't have any more articles to write, another year has passed and I've now surpassed 1,800 articles on my Blog.  As with any other year, some are really good and some aren't as good but I try to inject my style of using analogies because everywhere I look I see a correlation to sales and sales leadership.

  • Only 11% of All Salespeople Do This at the End of a Sales Call
    by Dave Kurlan on December 2, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    This will be the 18th consecutive year that we attend the Boston Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker, and while it is the same performance every single year, it is a wonderful family tradition and we wouldn't miss it for the world. Traditions are important.  They ground us, give us a sense of stability and purpose, and provide something that we can look forward to.  Rituals are like traditions in that they serve the same purpose, but occur much more frequently.  Selling, is filled with rituals, from the sales process we always follow, to those specific questions we always ask to those specific talking points, comparisons, and stories we always share.  Why?  They work! So it is with that sense of tradition that for the 10th consecutive year, I republish my Nutcracker article which is always the most popular article each December.

  • What Sales Organizations Must Learn from the Impeachment Hearings
    by Dave Kurlan on November 22, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    This is not a political article but I will use the impeachment hearings as an example to set the stage for my insights.  Currently in the USA there are 3 major schools of thought relative to the impeachment hearings: Most Democrats and Liberals: "We hate Trump and we want to see him impeached." Most Republicans and Conservatives: "We love Trump and hate what they are trying to do to him." Most  Independents: "They should follow the facts and make an informed decision." Suppose that instead of the impeachment hearings we are analyzing a sales opportunity where we substitute "You" (Bob) and "Your Company" (ABC) for Trump, and substitute Your Customer or Prospect for "We". You'll quickly see how one of the same three scenarios plays out for each  opportunity. 

  • Are You Using This New Technology to Generate New Opportunities?
    by Dave Kurlan on November 13, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Do you have Rainbow flatware?  Biomagnetic ear stickers? A diamond-shaped ice cube tray? Baby feather wings?  Yah, these things exist here.  You don't?  Me neither.

  • Video Conferencing for Salespeople - To Zoom or Not to Zoom?
    by Dave Kurlan on November 6, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    No data or statistics today.  No sales training or coaching either.  This won't be a lesson for sales managers or sales leaders.  This is my rant of the day.

  • Good Sales Recruiting is Like Selecting Movies and TV Shows
    by Dave Kurlan on November 5, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Do you like movies and TV Shows?  I love them! How do you go about selecting the next movie or show you will watch?  Do you look for a specific show, watch the trailer and if you like the trailer, watch it?  Or, do you look at all of the new releases, or everything in a particular genre, narrow down the selections, watch several trailers, and finally choose one? Most people use the second scenario which, by the way, is a very good approach for selecting and hiring salespeople.  Unfortunately, that's not how most companies go about it. You need to cast the net as far and wide as you can to generate a large candidate pool.  Then you need to assess all of the candidates in the pool.  Most companies either don't use assessments, don't use the right ones, or wait until the final interview to ask candidates to take the assessment.  Improper use affects quota attainment and attrition.  See the stats below:

  • New Data Reveals a Magical New Score for Sales Effectiveness
    by Dave Kurlan on October 31, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Do you drive at the speed limit, the fastest speed you can get away with, the slowest speed you can get away with, or are you an 85th percentile driver?  The 85th percentile driver travels at the speed that 85% of the cars on that road are traveling, regardless of the posted speed limit. has data, illustrated below, proving that the 85th percentile speed is the ideal speed for safe travel.

  • A Tale of 3 Squirrels and Their Human Counterparts in Sales
    by Dave Kurlan on October 28, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    It was rainy and cool so the leaves are dropping from the trees, the peak color has passed and it's time to focus on something else.

  • How Sales Coaching Utilizes a Quid Pro Quo
    by Dave Kurlan on October 24, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Quid pro quo is all the rage.  The news networks are pointing to and from quid pro quo and arguing whether it was or wasn't implied.  Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you're on, you've probably heard it plenty more than you need to. 

  • Sales Process and Why So Many Salespeople Lose Their Way
    by Dave Kurlan on October 17, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Last night I was on Interstate 90, the MassPike, driving home from the airport in a wind-driven rainstorm.  It was so bad I couldn't see the white lines that divide the three lanes nor could I see the Jersey barriers dividing the eastbound from the westbound traffic.  It was almost as scary as the plane's rocky decent from 30,000 feet in gale-force winds last night or driving in a blizzard!