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.

  • There is More Than One Type of Bias in Hiring Salespeople
    by Dave Kurlan on December 4, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Biases drive decision making.  You have them.  I have them.  We all have them.  Most of the time those biases are fine but when it comes to hiring, and specifically sales hiring, bias can get you in a heap of trouble. While some biases simply cause bad hiring decisions, others have led to the growth of the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) role in companies. This article attempts to explain and make sense of the various biases, how they affect selection, and how that correlates to sales success.

  • Found! The Caliper vs OMG Comparison: Which Sales Candidate Assessment is More Predictive?
    by Dave Kurlan on December 1, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    When are you most likely to find the item you lost or misplaced?  Immediately after you purchase its replacement, of course!  I just found an article that I wrote in 2012 but forgot to click the publish button!  Almost nine years in the making, this article compares OMG with Caliper and I did update it so that the information on both assessments is current. I compared two assessments for the same candidate: one from Objective Management Group (OMG) and one from Caliper.  Not being one to pass up opportunities like this, I conducted another comparison where OMG recommended this person for the role and Caliper did not. 

  • 2020's Ten Must Read Sales and Sales Leadership Articles
    by Dave Kurlan on November 30, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    The year was 2020 and it was an unpredictable year.  There were surprises galore. For example, instead of only bank robbers and anarchists from ANTIFA wearing masks, we were all told to always wear masks.  Instead of forcing myself to be social among extroverts, I was given permission to be socially distant, a not so awful turn of events for an acute introvert like myself.  The stock market lost and gained more than 10,000 points in the same year.  Most companies pushed hard for the last six months attempting to generate enough revenue to offset their lackluster second quarter sales.  All because of the pandemic.  But there was one thing that didn't change.  I still managed to churn out around fifty articles and after 15 years of blogging and almost 1,900 articles to date, I feel like most of the articles from this year were among my best ever.  As has been the custom each December, today we name the top ten articles of 2020 and I hope you'll read every one of them.

  • Why I Can't Talk About This form of Rejection Anymore
    by Dave Kurlan on November 25, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    I want to ask for your help.  Please read these two rants and then comment - I really need your comments, inbound links and outrage to support my position.

  • Data Shows That Your Sales Team is No Different Than Your Lawn
    by Dave Kurlan on November 20, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    I just love it when our lawn looks gorgeous - thick, lush, and green, green, green.  Getting it looking that good requires fertilizing, aerating, thatching, over seeding, and frequent mowing, all things better suited to the landscaping company than me. Of course, some sun and water help too. And even with an irrigation system, by the middle of the summer, areas of our lawn begin to look like crap. Not to worry though. By mid fall, the lawn looks its absolute best.  Yup, my lawn never looks better than it does on November 1. Right before it snows and turns brown for the winter!  You have to admit, that's a lot of work and expense for a lawn that looks perfect for all of 6 weeks - 3 weeks in the spring and 3 weeks in the fall!                                                 Great looking spring lawn.                                                                                           Crappy looking summer lawn Because my lawn looks its worst on August 1 and its best on November 1, it has a lot in common with most sales organizations.  A sales team looks its best on January 1, when every opportunity in the pipeline is a possibility and forecasts predict a banner year.  It looks its worst just a week earlier, when on December 23, sales leaders defend the team's sub-par performance to the CEO and explain why 57% of their salespeople failed to hit quota - again!  It's easy to explain why the lawn fails, as dry, hot summers will do that.  But why do sales teams continue to fail, year after year, regardless of industry, and in every economy?  Why don't the numbers improve?  Why don't more salespeople jump from C's to B's?  From B's to A's?  From D's to C's?  The answers - and there are plenty - are evasive.  But let's try!

  • Selling Over Video - The Six Things You Must Do Next to Improve Your Look
    by Dave Kurlan on November 17, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    At this point, most salespeople have accepted that the majority of their sales "calls" will take place over Zoom or similar video platform.  However, accepting the reality of video selling, and maximizing that video selling for effectiveness, are two completely different things.  In today's article, we'll discuss the next set of steps you should take so that selling over video can be as effective as possible.

  • New Data - Most Sales Managers are a Disaster When it Comes to Coaching
    by Dave Kurlan on November 16, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    When your computer isn't functioning the way you expect you may notice how sluggish and unresponsive it is - a symptom of the real problem - so you need to look more closely.  I'm on a Mac so I open up the activity monitor to determine if a program or programs are using too much memory or utilizing too much CPU. If that's the case, I force quit those programs and if that doesn't work, I restart the device.  If the problem isn't resolved after a restart, I do a deeper dive and review what changed since the computer was running smoothly. My article about Crappy Sales Managers discussed the low recommendation rates for sales management candidates, why they are so low, and the bigger repercussions of the problem.  Speaking of deeper dives, today's article takes a deeper dive into one of the problems identified in the prior article; crappy sales coaching skills.

  • The Problem With Having Crappy Sales Managers
    by Dave Kurlan on November 11, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    The lettering above the dials of our LG washing machine (pictured above when new) have worn off.  I went online believing I could get a replacement decal and while LG does not provide replacements,  they will replace the entire front panel for $125.  While I was researching this stupid, preventable issue, I found that many LG owners have the same problem.  You see, the letters come right off if you are stupid enough to drape a stained baseball uniform (or any stained clothing) over the front of the washer and spray it with a stain remover like Shout.  How can the product managers for this machine be so bad? They're not the only professionals who are quite bad at what they do.  Sales Managers underperform at a mind boggling level.  Let me show you the degree to which most sales managers are unqualified.

  • First Steps to Generate More Sales Opportunities Today
    by Dave Kurlan on November 5, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    I experienced a number of firsts this week!

  • The Correlation Between Milestones, Sales Process and Sales Success
    by Dave Kurlan on October 26, 2020 at 11:00 am

    The shit show known as 2020.  Many of us have heard that term used to describe this uniquely strange year.  Despite everything unusual about 2020, there have been some normalcies too.  We celebrated births, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's and Father's Days, and we will all celebrate the upcoming holidays.  The gatherings might be smaller and more localized, but the holiday won't pass by without us.  These are all Milestones. Objective Management Group (OMG) celebrated some milestones this year too.  In January we celebrated our 30th Anniversary, in August we processed our 2 millionth sales assessment and in September we updated the industry standard 21 Sales Core Competencies.  Milestones are important.  How are they important to sales success?