- June 15, 2010
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
As the primary researcher and analyst for Objective Management Group, I drive many of the enhancements, features and new product ideas for our industry leading, world-class sales force evaluations and sales candidate assessments. Today, we are very close to introducing some very powerful, new features to most of our assessments and while some will provide exciting new insights for clients, one is a fundamental change from our 1989 roots.
From the beginning, the two most important findings have been the amount of Desire for Sales (or sales management) success and the Commitment to do what it takes to achieve Sales (or sales management) success. Desire, or how badly they wanted it, was always the more important of the two and together, they formed the most important part of Incentive to Change or Trainable.
My recent analysis has shown that today, Commitment has overtaken Desire in importance and we will be reflecting that in assessments very shortly. But Why? What has caused this fundamental shift?
A comparison of selling today with selling over the past 20 years shows that selling is significantly more challenging today than ever before. Let’s take a look at 10 of the factors that explain this shift in difficulty:
- more competition for less business
- more difficult to reach decision makers
- prospects are much more educated when they meet with salespeople
- selling has become more sophisticated but salespeople have not kept up
- there is more resistance than ever before
- prospects are generally more skeptical
- prospects are placing more pressure on price
- companies are pressuring salespeople to sell value
- there is more pressure to perform without effective coaching to support it
- thanks to the recession, there is less money available to spend
There are certainly more reasons and I encourage you to suggest them in the comments below.
Commitment to Sales Success has become the single most important factor in determining what a salesperson can become. When it comes to sales candidates, it is the most important factor in our ability to predict success at a particular company, in their market, and with their set of challenges. Please don’t misunderstand. It is not the only factor and there are dozens of other factors that contribute to various degrees. But more and more, when we see salespeople who are struggling, failing to achieve and not adapting and changing, they often lack the commitment necessary for sales success. There are other reasons too, but Commitment is usually right there. I can’t tell you how we measure Commitment, but I can tell you that when salespeople don’t measure up, their sales won’t go up either.