Interview with Dave Kurlan – Sales development.

Dave Kurlan Dave Kurlan is a best selling author, top rated speaker and was a finalist for the 2011 award for Top Sales & Marketing Thought Leader. He is the founder and CEO of the Objective Management Group, Inc. (OMG), the leading developer of sales force evaluations and sales candidate assessments.

He is also the CEO of Kurlan & Associates, a global leader in sales force development. He is an expert in all facets of sales, sales leadership, sales strategy, sales process, sales recruiting, sales training, coaching and consulting.

He’s also an Elite author on my website – you can check out his articles here.

We asked Dave his professional advice on sales development and here is the complete interview:

1) What is the most common sales development mistake that managers make?

This might be too obvious, but the biggest mistake is that sales managers don’t develop their salespeople! To be fair, some try, but 86% of all sales managers are ineffective at coaching and when the numbers are that bad, there isn’t much development taking place at all. The key to effective sales development is training and coaching. Training should be outsourced to a capable sales development firm but coaching must be conducted by the sales manager – every day, with every salesperson, for at least 15 minutes. And each coaching conversation should be impactful, leaving the salesperson wanting to come back for more.

2) Which sales development and management tools are a must have for every business? Why?

Every business should have a CRM or Pipeline Management tool. Not necessarily the most well-known or popular application, but the one that will best serve the business. From a management perspective, the application must do two things: 1) Provide the right, real-time, sales performance information required to forecast and coach; and 2) be salesperson-friendly so that salespeople will want to use it. From the perspective of the salesperson, the application must also do two things: 1) Be easy – as little data entry as possible; 2) integrate with the sales process to keep them on track; and 3) make them want to live in it instead of using it as a tool from time to time.

3) What is the single most important task for a sales manager?

Coaching. 50% of a sales manager’s time should be devoted to coaching!

4) Are there any sales related books that you can recommend for our readers?

There are a number of great books, although some of the best aren’t even sales books…I would start with Baseline Selling by me, Sales Shift by Frank Belzer, SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath and Linda Richardson’s brand new book, Changing the Sales Conversation.

5) How can Dave Kurlan help businesses improve their sales performance?

Honestly, we can’t help all businesses. The business must be committed to growth, have a President or CEO that is willing to drive change, and make difficult decisions about the people, systems, processes, and strategies of the sales force. Then, we can help them overcome any challenges they face, grow revenue and profit, and achieve it more easily.

About the Author

I #Believe in entrepreneurs.

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