Take Away the Risk of Failure

Take Away the Risk of Failure

The Objective Management Group Annual Partners Conference took place this past weekend. It was a memorable event, one, because it was held as a virtual conference for the first time, but more so because of the Kobe Bryant video interview OMG CEO, Dave Kurlan (@KurlanAssoc), presented.

Kobe’s Legacy in a Quote

The interview was powerful for all the reasons you might imagine. My main takeaway, however, explains why his legacy will loom large for a long time. It was Kobe’s statement, “If you aren’t nervous about the risk of failure, you’ll be able to focus on what you need to do.”

Simply put, […]

Too Dependent on the Sales Manager to Close Business? Time to Sharpen the Saw

Too Dependent on the Sales Manager to Close Business? Time to Sharpen the Saw

As I work from my home office, I hear the buzzing of saws cutting down tree limbs on behalf of the electric utility. I guess it is considered essential…but that is another topic. The noise does make me think about sharpening the saw. And, especially what a great time it is to help salespeople improve their skills to become independently successful.

Don’t Repeat History

Taking a lesson from the last recession, there are many salespeople out there who are successful in strong economic times but suffer in downturns. Frequently they lack the selling competencies that will support their sales efforts, but more […]

More Coaching, Even Poor Coaching, is Better than None

More Coaching, Even Poor Coaching, is Better than None

I cannot impress enough the importance of sales manager coaching and doing it a bunch. I have stats to back me up. Check out this data curated by Objective Management Group on about 5,500 managers and their teams.

Ineffective coaching still yields significant improvement.

You can see, even if the manager isn’t effective at coaching their team, just spending 50% of their time doing it will increase seller effectiveness. And this increase is greater than what effective coaches can produce with their ability alone (without coaching at least 50% of the time). Crazy, huh?

So exactly what do I mean by coaching?

Think of […]

Depend on Recurring Revenue? Here’s How to Contain Creation Costs

Depend on Recurring Revenue? Here’s How to Contain Creation Costs

This article is written with field sales teams in mind. However, if you run an inside sales team exclusively, don’t despair, you may still find a nugget or two of helpful information as well.

Containing costs is important in every business. But for businesses where the costs of creating new customers are measured by lenders to determine the health of that business, they are especially important to manage.

In the electronic security industry, as well as SaaS, telecom and other recurring revenue businesses, customer creation costs are a key component which determines the company’s ability to borrow for expansion.

Conference Panel Insights

While attending […]

Some Gloomy, But Fixable, Selling Stats

Some Gloomy, But Fixable, Selling Stats

We have known for years that the percentage of salespeople who hit quota is pathetically low. Regardless of what statistics you check, all entities that track and report on it show the quota achievement around or below 50%.

In 2018, CSO Insights reported that 54% of all sales reps met their quota. And for the same year, Forbes stated that 57% missed their quota.

Regardless of which information you believe, the fact remains that quota attainment is low. If given a letter grade, it would equate to an “F.”

What’s causing it to happen?

Are leaders setting quotas too high? Or are […]

Four Reasons Your Sales Training Fails

Four Reasons Your Sales Training Fails

Have you spent money on sales training without seeing rewards? Are its promises of increased revenue and the vision of stress-free management evaporating? Well, you are not alone. And here are four reasons why:

1. Methodology Only

Many sales training organizations focus on tactics and strategies only. They teach a repeatable process which in and of itself is fine. In fact, getting everyone to use a repeatable process is essential and it absolutely will increase revenue some. Mapping out who the stakeholders are is also important. And establishing a sequential flow to any sales conversation is critical. These all make complete sense […]

The Harder the Questions; The Easier the Sale

The Harder the Questions; The Easier the Sale

Have you ever left a sales appointment and wished you had said something else? Or have you ever debriefed a sales rep’s call and find they didn’t ask the next logical question, and now critical information is missing?

Unfortunately, it’s a common problem. Most salespeople don’t ask enough questions.

Let’s examine some statistics. Only 11%* of salespeople ask the next, most important question when necessary. Further, the typical questions most salespeople ask are garden-variety ones; surface questions that are easily answered. Salespeople tend to accept too much at face value.

When the prospect says something like “This sounds great. Send me a proposal […]

Adapt or Die

Adapt or Die

I recently spent two days with about 40 sales leaders from across the country who primarily lead outside sales teams. It was exhilarating, intense, fun and, yes, I was exhausted!

Our theme was “Adapt or Die.” And for sales leaders this can be difficult – for they have tried and true ways of doing things.

Generally, sales managers come from the ranks of the sales staff. They know what worked for them when they were in the trenches. But, guess what? The marketplace, the people being hired, and the technology are no longer the same and will continue to change into the […]

Is the Pendulum Swinging Back?

If it isn’t obvious from my many posts using the Objective Management Group’s database, I love to mine facts on salespeople. I’m fortunate to have access to this large database and all the information it provides. And recently I’ve noticed a slight trend shift regarding how salespeople are motivated that needs to be shared.

Motivation Changes

In February 2019, the breakdown looked like this:

And as of November 2019, it looked like this:

To break it down, in just nine months’ time our data on over 550,000 salespeople indicates a 60% increase in the number who are motivated by rewards, recognition, and money from […]

Sales Effectiveness: Nature or Nurture?

Sales Effectiveness: Nature or Nurture?

There are no perfect salespeople born into this world.  At least I haven’t met any.

Sure, there are numerous “natural born” salespeople. You know the type. They had a paper route growing up and by age thirteen had numerous other kids doing the route for them while they slept in and counted their profits. Or they were the cub scout or girl scout that sold the most popcorn or the most cookies (unaided by their parents).

The Benefits of Getting Help

I tend to believe that one’s natural behavior type or personality is not an indicator of success in sales. Sure, nature has […]