I have been writing most of my recent articles about the latest findings from Objective Management Group (OMG) and the copious amounts of data it has amassed from evaluating and assessing nearly 1.8 million salespeople, sales managers and sales leaders. I go on LinkedIn and share links to the articles and in the case of the most recent articles citing this data, there have been 127,000 views, with 459 comments.
The comments are primarily from four distinct groups of readers:
- Other sales experts
- Professionals in sales leadership and sales management roles
- CEO’s and Presidents that the Sales Leaders report to
I’m thrilled that most of the sales experts have told me that the data finally provides them with tangible proof of their theories, mostly derived from their anecdotal observations with clients. They’ll share this data with their clients to help convince their clients to make decisions that they have previously resisted.
CEO’s and Presidents have weighed in saying that the findings are consistent with what they have experienced. Salespeople have contributed to the conversation and agreed that most of the sales managers they have reported to are useless.
On the other hand, I’m dismayed that so many sales managers and sales leaders don’t take the data as seriously as the others.
Here are examples of what we have been discussing:
- Most prospects don’t get past ‘nice to have’ when they should be at ‘must have’
- Most salespeople aren’t reaching actual decision makers
- Only 10% of all sales managers are effective at coaching their salespeople
- Most sales managers are completely ineffective in their roles
- Experience does not correlate to sales management effectiveness
- Only 1% of all elite salespeople (5% of the sales population) believe relationships are key to closing business
- Salespeople become emotional when other sales weaknesses act as triggers
In many cases, the sales managers weighing in on these conversations don’t understand what we are talking about, don’t understand the topic, weigh in with inaccurate or biased opinions, question the data, or defend themselves and/or their salespeople. In other words, their beliefs, thoughts, opinions and words prove that the findings are true and accurate. Most of the sales managers are pathetic!
That said, you’ve downloaded the magazine, chose to read the article, and are obviously interested in self-development. So that probably puts you on the positive side of the numbers and findings regardless of the title you have.
I don’t understand how professional salespeople, sales managers and sales leaders can remain in their little bubbles, oblivious to how selling has changed, continues to change, and requires best practices to consistently beat the competition.
OMG has measured 21 Sales Core Competencies for decades and not only have the competencies changed with the times, most salespeople and sales leaders are in shock when they see those competencies listed. They weren’t aware, didn’t know the 21 existed, didn’t have familiarity with some of them, didn’t know what some of them meant, etc.
Can you imagine an attorney not being familiar with the law?
Can you imagine an accountant not being familiar with the tax code?
Can you imagine a doctor not being familiar with anatomy and biology?
Well, that’s what we have in sales. By and large, the majority of people in the sales profession, regardless of their roles, have little to no knowledge of sales best practices, sales core competencies, sales process, or sales methodology. I heard an ad on the radio that claimed that 90% of all salespeople have never read a book on selling. I don’t know if that’s a fabricated statistic or a fact, but it can’t be too far from the truth!
Those of us in the sales consulting and training profession are doing all we can to pull and push companies out of the dark ages but it’s obvious we need some help because we aren’t making much of a dent.
What can you do to help?