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.

  • Companies Surprised by Unexpected Remote Selling Challenges
    by Dave Kurlan on April 9, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Forget Consultative Selling, Value Selling and Sales Process - the things I talk about most often.  The inability to sell that way is nothing - and I mean nothing compared with what I'm going to explain today! For most salespeople and companies, the last three weeks has been an absolute roller coaster. Most companies expect their sales teams to be not only active, but proactive; to replace face-to-face meetings with virtual meetings; and to continue pipeline building so that there is business to close when we return to work.  But is that what's happening?  In today's article, I'll blend my usual mix of statistics with some personal observation from the clients I have been helping for the past three weeks.  I also included three videos that I extracted from a sales training session earlier this week.  You'll be surprised!

  • 15 Lessons Learned from Converting a Multi-Day Conference to a Virtual Online Event
    by Dave Kurlan on April 6, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    What a month it's been!  Not only how the Covid-19 virus has changed our lives and sent us to work from home, but how we are conducting our businesses from home.  Green screens, virtual backgrounds, video calls and meetings, team chats, video team huddles, a blur between days, working hours and relaxing hours, and more.  In today's article I'm going off topic so that I can share how we converted Objective Management Group's (OMG) 4-day Boston International Sales Experts Conference for OMG Partners, to a 3-Day Virtual Event on short notice, as well as the lessons learned so that you might be able to accomplish the same things that we did.

  • Why You Will Finally Pay the Price of Not Selling Value
    by Dave Kurlan on March 17, 2020 at 3:41 am

    Given the current circumstances - a Global Pandemic and an economy where so many industries have been shut down or compromised - selling value will be more important than ever.   The result of selling value is that you are able to win the business despite not having the best price. But when we talk about selling value, what does it really mean? One sales expert who reached out to me last week was worried that when we are focusing on the Value Selling Competency, uninformed salespeople interpret that as an invitation to present the company's value proposition.  They see it as an opportunity to show and tell and talk about capabilities.  He's right.  Most salespeople will seize on an opportunity to share what they know because it is so much easier than asking lots of tough, timely questions.  Let's take a look at the science.  

  • 3 Steps You Must Take Today to Save Your Company From This Economic Downturn
    by Dave Kurlan on March 12, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    You know the stories of the Three Stooges, The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears, and baseball fans have just heard about The Three Batter Minimum (how stupid!).  We're not going to discuss any of those threes today but we will talk about the three things companies must do, right now, in this quickly disintegrating economy, to drive revenue.

  • The New York Times' Misleading Article on Assessments and Their Use Cases
    by Dave Kurlan on March 3, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    I'm not usually late but I'm really late on this topic! Back in September The New York Times, which is often accused of publishing fake news, published an interesting article comparing personality tests to astrology.  The story included specific assessments like The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, The Hartman Personality Profile (Color Code), Plum, and DiSC.  Myers-Briggs reports on sixteen dimensions of personality, the Hartman Profile has four dimensions of personality, Plum uses AI to predict cultural awareness, teamwork and communications, and DiSC has four dimensions of behavioral styles. I had so many reactions to this article and I have attempted to collect and assemble them into a coherent article that I believe will be worth your while.

  • How Companies Choose Sales Training Companies is Backwards
    by Dave Kurlan on February 11, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Do you partake of dessert prior to eating your appetizer?  Do you eat your dinner in the morning and have breakfast at night?  Would you prefer to have the builder complete the finish work on your new house prior to framing it and installing the roof?  Would you back your car out of the garage before opening the garage door? (I've actually done that by accident - twice!)

  • New Data Reveals a Finding That Correlates to Sales Success
    by Dave Kurlan on January 29, 2020 at 11:00 am

    We had a request for some data from one of our longtime partners.  My knee-jerk reaction to her request was that it would be a big nothing burger.  She asked for data that would show the difference between salespeople who are goal oriented and those who are not.  I did not expect much of a difference except in the area of Motivation but I was wrong.  Very wrong!  Check out some of the profound differences this data mining uncovered!

  • Is Your Sales Force More Like a Dunkin', Starbucks or Panera Drive Thru?
    by Dave Kurlan on January 21, 2020 at 11:30 am

    On a frigid New England morning, I pulled into a Dunkin' drive thru and noticed that there were only ten cars ahead of me and that meant that it shouldn't take more than five minutes to get through the fast-moving line.  Contrast that to the Starbucks drive thru.  There were five cars ahead of me and that could take from ten to fifteen minutes because of how long it takes to prepare beverages at Starbucks.  That ten to fifteen minutes is a freakin' dream come true compared to Panera Bread.  I don't know if you have Panera Bread where you are but I love the food at Panera.  However, if there was ever a restaurant chain that shouldn't have a drive thru window, Panera, at least the one in my town, fits the bill.  When I pull into the Panera line, I see that there are two cars ahead of me and I know for certain that it's going to take twenty minutes to get through their line.  At lunch time I order ahead using their app but on that cold New England morning I'm not getting out of the car so I'm going to live or die by the drive thru.  Yet despite the intolerable wait times and ridiculously bad customer service, I return time and time again.  All it takes is to reset my expectations so that I no longer get upset with the twenty-minute wait. This all begs the question, is the sales force at your company more like the Dunkin', Starbucks, or Panera drive-thru?  Today's article will explain how to answer that question.

  • The Science Behind One Company's Top Sales Performers and Why They're So Much Better
    by Dave Kurlan on January 16, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    There are comparisons of apples to oranges, red or green, black or white, stop and go, and the most relevant and current of all, liberals to conservatives. In today's article, I'll share a hot/cold comparison of my own, but this one is about sales candidates.  Back on January 9, my article about why 3 good salespeople failed and 3 so-so candidates succeeded, used the results of a top/bottom analysis to identify the reasons why.   Those results were unusual because many of  the differentiators came from outside the 21 Sales Core Competencies.  What does it look like when the differentiators come from within the 21 Sales Core Competencies?  Take a look at this top/bottom analysis and you'll quickly see the difference!

  • The Deal Breaker That Prevents you From Hiring a Great Salesperson
    by Dave Kurlan on January 13, 2020 at 11:00 am

    One of the questions we are often asked by HR Directors is, "Can people game the OMG assessment?"  Of course they can try, but we have a very effective algorithm that smokes out those who attempt to cheat.  It doesn't happen very often that somebody attempts a big cheat but when it does, it's almost magical in the way we uncover them. There is a very small percentage of salespeople who attempt an all out cheat.  This unethical group can usually be found in the category of weak salespeople - the bottom 50% - which explains why they think they need to cheat.  But what happens if a good salesperson attempts to game the system?  What would that look like?