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 9 consecutive years. You can find Dave’s blog articles here.

  • The Philosophy of the Red Sox and Gallop Will Lead to Increased Revenue
    by Dave Kurlan on March 30, 2023 at 8:20 pm

    Today, I read two articles that had some quotable copy which we can translate to sales.  The first article is about baseball and I'll translate what it says after the quote I pulled out.

  • Snowstorm & Weather Apps Explain Why 75% of Sales Forecasts are Wrong
    by Dave Kurlan on March 14, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    As a Nor'Easter barreled across Central Massachusetts today, a few interesting storm-related happenings were analogous to some sales-related occurrences. This article will explore two weather-related analogies:

  • Top 10 Keys to Determining and Improving Your Ideal Win Rate
    by Dave Kurlan on March 7, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    What kind of car should you drive? Answering that question with anything other than, "It depends," is irresponsible because there are so many variables.  Choosing a car depends on budget, family size, how much stuff you load into your car, the length of your drives, the logo/ego influence, fit and function, ergonomics, appearance, perceived value, reliability, cost to drive it (gas/electric/mileage), and so much more.    If that makes senses, why do companies struggle when I am unable to instantly tell them what their win-rate or closing percentage should be? There are many variables that can influence your sales win-rate and I am sharing my top ten keys to identifying appropriate ideal win rates:

  • What If Pay Equity Comes to Sales Teams?
    by Dave Kurlan on February 28, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    Today's article is different from most of my other articles because there is no opening analogy, very little data, and a complete lack of humor. It's such a serious article I was ready to delete it before I clicked the publish button. If you don't like the subject, the content or the writing, it's OK.  This needed to be written.

  • 4 Types of Sales Positions That Can Never Be Replaced by AI
    by Dave Kurlan on February 22, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    I began debunking sales articles when the first ones predicting the death of selling appeared circa 2008.  Back then, new digital marketing companies were telling everyone that salespeople would be replaced by inbound marketing.  "Inbound is King," they said. Later, articles predicting the end of selling became both more prolific and more specific including the certain death of: Solution Selling Cold Calling Consultative Selling Sales Process SPIN Selling and more. If you looked closely and skeptically at who was writing the articles and who the writers worked for, you could recognize that the articles were simply a narrative to create a need for their brand new, and at the time, unproven products.  Fifteen years later, their products have a place at the very top of the sales funnel.  Ironically, instead of replacing salespeople they said would become obsolete, they created a need for a whole new breed of salespeople - BDRs - to follow up on all of the crappy leads generated by their inbound marketing platforms.  And the very same companies who were claiming that their SaaS marketing platforms would replace salespeople actually required salespeople - lots of them - to sell their applications.  Back when Hubspot was scaling its sales team, they used Objective Management Group's (OMG) sales candidate assessments to identify the right salespeople for their various selling roles. There are two ironic byproducts of the inbound phenomenon: Account executives who benefit from the appointment setting provided by BDRs not only don't prospect; they don't know how!  Most BDRs are atrocious at making outbound calls, sending emails and LinkedIn reach outs, and following up on inbound leads. They average only 1.5 meetings booked per week! Like Kale salad, Cauliflower pizza crusts, and charred broccolini, the Death of Selling is about to become an unwelcome (to me) menu item in the form of AI. 

  • These 6 Keys and New Data Help Your Sales Team Outperform The Rest
    by Dave Kurlan on February 16, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    Four weeks ago, Marc Wayshak, Founder of Sales Insight Labs, an Allego company, emailed me a very insightful infographic. Returning from two weeks vacation, I was buried in work and filed the email until I had time to review it.  Today, a client was nice enough to postpone their training to next week and that provided me with two hours to dig into both the infographic and data from Objective Management Group (OMG) that might correlate to what he sent me.

  • The Difference Between Sales Competencies, Sales Capabilities and Sales Outcomes
    by Dave Kurlan on February 14, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    If you watched Super Bowl 57, you observed two teams that simply refused to give up or give in.  Sometimes, that's the feeling I get when I'm writing articles and I have solid data on my side, while dozens of competing authors just won't stop their constant barrage of articles using junk science, anecdotal evidence, and alternate facts.

  • This is What Would Happen if Bob Got Promoted to Sales Manager
    by Dave Kurlan on February 7, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    For those of you who are familiar with my series of articles about Bob - the worst salesperson ever - you can catch up by enjoying, laughing, and making fun of him here.  12 of the articles that show up on that page are about Bob! Today, I reviewed the worst OMG evaluation of a sales manager that I have ever seen.  It was literally the worst because he was in the 1 percentile, meaning that 99% of all sales managers are stronger than he is.   As I reviewed it, I said to myself, "If Bob were promoted to sales manager (I don't even want to put that thought out there), this is what it would look like." There are so many reasons as to why he is so bad and I'll share the most important reasons below.

  • Made Up Sales Statistics and Their Contrast to Real Data
    by Dave Kurlan on February 2, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    A sales consultant who knows that I geek out on sales data read that 84% of salespeople suck because they don't enjoy what they do.  A huge percentage of salespeople do actually suck but the actual number is closer to 75%.  Is it really because they don't enjoy selling? Most of the data I write about comes from Objective Management Group which has assessed more than 2.3 million salespeople.  OMG has around 250 data points on each salesperson so there is a lot of data to work with.  My plan was to mine OMG's data to see what might support the claim that 84% don't enjoy selling and to conduct a Google search to find the source of that claim. I began with Google and searched for "84% of salespeople."  While I couldn't find a reference to unfulfilled salespeople, I did observe that 84% must be the favorite made up statistic by all of the people (those who will benefit from selling you a service) who make up statistics!  

  • This Company's Best Salesperson was 2500% Stronger Than Their Worst
    by Dave Kurlan on February 1, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    It's been four months since the baseball season ended but college baseball begins in less than 4 weeks and it will be fun to watch our son play for his college team (while freezing our asses off!).  It's also been a while since the last time I shared a top/bottom analysis but I completed one this week that I had to share.