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.

  • How to Achieve Sales Mastery - A Collection of Loosely Connected Thoughts
    by Dave Kurlan on July 6, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    During our first of its kind Independence Day weekend, I thought about a lot of things that loosely tied into sales effectiveness and while they could all be articles in their own right, I decided to write one article tying them all together. I've been writing articles for my Blog for fifteen years - since 2006 - so not only was I an early adopter, I've written close to 2,000 articles.   The five topics I have written most about are: The 21 Sales Core Competencies and the data from evaluating 1,988,673 salespeople.   Sales Process and the importance of having one that is customized, customer-focused, milestone-centric, staged, and optimized  Consultative Selling and why that approach will net better results than any other approach  Sales Coaching and its impact on revenue  Baseball and it's ties, connections, similarities and place in sales  Baseball?  There are lots of reasons for baseball being in the top 5 but in 2005, I wrote my best-selling book, Baseline Selling - How to Become a Sales Superstar by Using What You Already Know about the Game of Baseball. 

  • New Data Reveals Interesting Differences in Salespeople's Ability to Work From Home
    by Dave Kurlan on June 25, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    You wake up, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, you open the door and it's freezing cold outside.  Or there is the opposite of that, when there are thick clouds, it's drizzling, you open the door and it's hot and humid as hell!  Things aren't always what they appear to be.    In early April, during the earlier stages of the virus-required lockdown, I wrote this article about some of the remote selling challenges that companies were experiencing.  Since then, things have improved, especially around the use of video. However, things are far from perfect, especially around how suitable salespeople are for working from home.  John Pattison, COO of Objective Management Group (OMG), dug into OMG's remote seller data, and learned that similar to the weather, things aren't always what they appear to be.  The table below shows how this data changes according to sales experience.

  • How Much Has Video Impacted the Way We Sell?
    by Dave Kurlan on June 23, 2020 at 3:24 am

    Back in the old days, when you wanted to copy something, you would have said, "I'm going to Xerox this."  And for years when you needed a tissue you would have asked for a Kleenex.  And when you wanted to clean your ears you would have asked for a Q-Tip.  All three of these are examples where the brand and the product were one in the same.  We're getting to that same point with Zoom video, where more than half of all salespeople are now using Zoom! Video is becoming such an important part of selling, especially during the shutdowns and quarantines, that Objective Management Group (OMG) is creating a new selling competency called Video Proficient.  As part of the development process to identify the attributes for this competency, we test various questions in advance and examine the distribution of answers to make sure that they are within the norms we need to have.  We also ask more questions than we will actually use.  In the past week, nearly 2,000 salespeople answered 10 potential questions and I thought it would be useful to share some of the data we have already collected.

  • The Real Reason Why So Many Salespeople are So Bad at Selling
    by Dave Kurlan on June 8, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Would you like to start a business?  Can't figure out what business to start?  I have three ideas for you: In the past four weeks, I have tried and tried and tried to get a glass company to replace the tabletop for a large outdoor patio table after the glass exploded in an early April storm.  Four weeks laster, we still don't have the glass replaced. One of our garage door openers needs to be replaced because in every five out of six attempts to lower the door, the opener sends it back up again.  After calling six dealers in four weeks, I have not received a single return call.  We have a double swinging gate at the bottom of our driveway and the electronics are twenty years old and need to be updated.  After four weeks of calling dealers I have not received a single return call. In case you're thinking that it must be me, I have had success getting plumbers, stone masons, electricians, carpenters, power washers, and painters to the house but those other three categories are the outliers.  Start one of those three businesses today and you'll make a fortune! In today's article, I will explain why this problem exists and how it relates to a bigger problem in sales.

  • Definitive Playbook to Lead a Sales Force Out of the Current Crisis
    by Dave Kurlan on May 20, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    You might be aware that I'm leading a one-hour, live broadcast tomorrow (Thursday May 21) on How to Get Your Company's Sales Engine Roaring Again.  

  • One Thing Your Company Must Do Right Now to Increase Sales
    by Dave Kurlan on May 13, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Most in the cherry-picking news media are continuing to pound us with bad stuff: record unemployment, 80,000 dead, lockdowns into August, 30 trillion in debt, economy will be slow to recover, you'll be jailed if you open your business too soon, schools to remain closed in September, people will die, etc.  But there is good stuff going on that they aren't talking about because, for the most part, the media doesn't care about sharing the good stuff.  It's bad for ratings.    For example, since the 30 million who temporarily lost their jobs are receiving unemployment at more than 100% of what they were earning before, they aren't facing the hardship the media would lead you to believe and the money is there for a reboot when it comes.  But the really good news is for companies that are able to hire salespeople.  Consider this!

  • 10 Critical Best Practices for Your Sales Force in This Crisis
    by Dave Kurlan on April 27, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    We are in week 6 of lockdown, week 8 of voluntary work-from-home, while adapting, guiding and directing companies who still need to sell their products and services to generate revenue.  At this point sales is about so much more than generating revenue for profit or to keep employees working.  For most companies, sales is now about generating revenue to survive, as we stare down a whole new way of doing business.  Forget uncertainty!  Where we are right now is downright scary.  But if the past 6 weeks have taught us anything, it's that with the right tools, strategies, mindset and tactics, we can adapt and even thrive.  For those who may read this after May 1, 2020, the following best practices are based on where we are as I write this on April 27, 2020.  

  • Why Reopening the Economy Won't Be Enough To Turn Things Around
    by Dave Kurlan on April 20, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    They will begin reopening the economy in three phases, but with some restrictions.  Sounds exciting, doesn't it?  It's sure as heck much better than what we have today, but will it work?  In this article, I'll explain why it won't work like they hope, and what must occur for the economy to thrive again.

  • Why the Future of Selling Won't Resemble the Past
    by Dave Kurlan on April 17, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    It's April 17 and nearly every salesperson is selling from home.  It's just temporary, right? Maybe.  But what if it's not? According to the President, Vice-President, Scientists and some Governors, the economy will begin reopening in stages, perhaps as soon as May 1.  So it's back to the office and your territories, right?  Wrong.  You'll still be home.  Welcome to the future of selling where I'll share my top five reasons why.

  • 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!