Jonathan Farrington interviews friend and colleague, Dave Kurlan
JF: What prompted that question, Dave?
DK: There are literally thousands of sales and marketing experts, most of whom are regularly voicing their opinions on the best way, the right way, the perfect way, and the only way to sell.
In my opinion, most of the experts are right but only sometimes.
JF: Can you explain why it’s only sometimes?
DK: Sure. Inbound experts are right when they talk about what works for an inbound marketing group, but only for companies where inbound makes sense. If you work for an oilrig manufacturer with 12 potential customers in the world, inbound will not make much sense. If you work for a long-time local or regional industrial distributer in a defined territory, the only way to increase sales is to sell more to existing customers. Inbound doesn’t make sense.
Inside sales experts are right when it comes to inside sales, but only for companies where inside makes sense. When there aren’t follow-on orders, and there aren’t hundreds or thousands of prospects for a large sales team, inside sales may not have a place.
Social selling experts are right about all things social selling. It’s a Godsend for salespeople who fear the phone and won’t make calls. It gives them a chance to connect and schedule meetings that they otherwise would never have had a chance to book. However, social selling stops there and traditional selling takes over. Social selling doesn’t replace traditional selling.
Traditional sales experts are right when it comes to selling, but times have changed, traditional sales models have evolved, and for some companies, social selling, inbound marketing, and inside sales must be incorporated into the mix.
JF: None of what you say here sounds very critical. What’s the problem?
DK: People are confused. They read what the various experts say, watch videos, listen to podcasts and if they are to believe what everyone is saying, it is all very contradictory.
JF: So what do you suggest?
DK: We should have a panel discussion, perhaps at the TSW Conference in Philadelphia, with two respected experts from each of the disciplines: Sales, Inbound, Inside and Social. And we need to agree on when, where and how these disciplines fit together and stop trying to convince people that their way is the only way. We’ll end up like the Middle East, fighting, warring, blowing each other up, simply because as a group of Sales & Marketing experts we are doing a horrible job explaining where, when, why and how the various services fit, do and don’t apply.
JF: I like it!
DK: Let’s do it.
JF: I think we should ….
You can also listen to the audio version of this interview here:
Dave Kurlan is a top-rated speaker, best selling author, radio show host, successful entrepreneur and sales development industry pioneer. Dave is the founder and CEO of two companies, which between them, have been named four times to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies. Objective Management Group has been named the Top Sales Assessment Tool for 3 consecutive years. Kurlan & Associates is a global sales consulting firm. He has written two books, including the best seller Baseline Selling, and contributed to many others, including Stepping Stones, with co-authors Deepak Chopra and Jack Canfield. His Blog, Understanding the Sales Force, was named a Top Sales & Marketing Blog for 3 consecutive years, he was named a Top Sales & Marketing Influencer for 2012 and 2013, and was a 2012 inductee into the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame. Visit: kurlanassociates.com