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 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?

  • An Inside Look at Why 3 Good Salespeople Failed and 3 So-So Salespeople Succeeded
    by Dave Kurlan on January 9, 2020 at 11:00 am

    You hired a great salesperson that didn't work out.  You hired a so-so salesperson that did work out.  You hired another great one that kicked ass, and another one that was so-so.  That's the story of hiring salespeople.  It's mostly hit or miss with an emphasis on miss. In this article I'm going to share an actual example that illustrates why this happens so frequently.  I'll show you tangible differences between three salespeople who succeeded and three who failed in the same role at the same company. Most of the time when we perform these analyses the differences are usually seen inside of the 21 Sales Core Competencies - the performers are strong in the necessary competencies and the failures are not. So let's dig into some data, shall we?

  • Salespeople in Small Companies are 43% Better at This and Other Salesenomics Insights
    by Dave Kurlan on January 7, 2020 at 1:00 am

    You seek out the best products, best stores, best websites and best experiences.  Doesn't it make sense to wonder about where you can find the best salespeople? I asked Objective Management Group's (OMG) COO, John Pattison, to dig into some of our data from the evaluations of 1,932,059 salespeople from  companies and provide me with some scores. I reviewed the data and have a number of very interesting and surprising Salesenomics conclusions to share.

  • Dave Kurlan's Predictions for Sales Organization in 2020
    by Dave Kurlan on December 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Before I can make any predictions for 2020, let's start with these ten simple truths about selling for proper context.   ONE:  Selling is not as difficult or as simple as many would have you understand.   TWO: While there are certainly nuances that influence how selling changes based on the target audience and complexity, selling is essentially the same whether it is technology, pharmaceuticals, capital equipment, financial services, cars, components, accounting or any of 200 other industries. THREE: Selling is about opening people's minds, changing people's minds, and getting them to take action. FOUR: Effective Selling requires a well thought-out sales strategy, sales process, sales methodology and appropriate sales tactics. FIVE: Salespeople can be easily sabotaged by weak Sales DNA. SIX: One skill that all salespeople must have is the ability to lower resistance. SEVEN: Salespeople must be likable and trustworthy. EIGHT: Salespeople must be willing work hard. NINE: Salespeople must be motivated enough to overcome challenges, competition, negativity and difficult prospects. TEN: Salespeople must be fearless. Regular readers know that my company, Objective Management Group (OMG), has evaluated  1,927,898 salespeople from companies.  We measure 21 Sales specific Core Competencies which you can learn more about here. With the context firmly in place, we can discuss my predictions for 2020.

  • The Most Successful Negotiation is The Negotiation That Isn't Needed
    by Dave Kurlan on December 9, 2019 at 10:34 am

    The last few years it seems that each time it snows, even a little, they cancel school.  Are school officials convinced that parents and bus drivers will put kids' safety in jeopardy because snow is falling?  They weren't worried about such things when I was growing up  and back then, we didn't have cell-phones, all-wheel drive, anti-lock breaks, traction control, all-weather radials, blind spot warning, collision warning or lane assist!  Winter drivers are better equipped to deal with snow than at any time in history so cancelling school every time it snows doesn't make any sense. Another thing that doesn't make any sense is the "Negotiate" step I see in the sales processes of most companies.  Why is it there?  Why are we negotiating?  What are we negotiating? How are we negotiating?  The only thing that's clear is when we are negotiating and apparently, it occurs just prior to closing.  Like cancelling school when it snows, it doesn't make any sense.

  • 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.