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The Future of Sales and Marketing

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Use a Sales Diagnostic to Improve Performance

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I recently wrote about the power of the 10,000 foot view and how it was more helpful than the 30,000 foot view. You can see that here if you missed it.  

This post got a larger response than anything I have written in a long time. Must have struck a cord.  

We use a process called the Sales Diagnostic to take the 10,000 foot view. It includes the following areas.

  1. The Numbers
  2. The Business
  3. Your Process
  4. Your Pricing
  5. Your Metrics
  6. Your Service

Let's look more closely at one of these: Your Process.

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Topics: sales management, Sales

The 4 Most Important Key Performance Indicators for Sales Managers

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Sometimes I wonder if our ability to measure almost everything is what gets in the way of us actually paying attention to what might be the most useful metrics. I’ve spoken with plenty of sales managers who are frustrated these days because someone upstairs has fallen in love with a new measurement, a new report, or a new way to look at familiar data. All these midstream changes result in plenty of heat and plenty of smoke, but not necessarily the light of new insight. Not much actually changes, especially at the bottom line.

Don’t get me wrong. I love numbers as much as the next person and I agree that measurement improves performance and is essential to success. But I also know we can’t keep changing the rules of the game. Performance improvement comes only when we focus on the same metrics over time. We need to follow the right measurements and stay focused.

What if you could only measure four things? Which would you choose?

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Topics: Management

Five Metrics to Measure the Success of Your Digital Marketing Efforts

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As websites become more and more important in the consumer path to purchase, the need to measure the efficacy of digital marketing also increases. This is a shared burden between those selling digital media and business owners/marketers who are looking to maximize their ROI. We know that “clicks” provide an incomplete picture into the impact of digital advertising, as most users do not click on ads but still find their way to a businesses website after being exposed to ads.  

So what should we look at? Here are five metrics to help give deeper insight into the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts:

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Topics: digital marketing, internet marketing, Digital, integrated media solution, SEO, inbound marketing

Email Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid When Sending Cold Emails

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If you think cold emailing is dead, you are wrong.

63% of B2B companies say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue. It's one of the most cost-effective forms of outreach that there is.

At the same time, you need to realize that you're not the only one sending emails. The average number of emails received by an individual in 2014 was 121, now, in 2017, it is at 147. Out of this 147, people typically reply to 12, and the remaining 135 are either deleted or marked as spam. 

If you want to get a response to your emails, you'll need to employ the magic of etiquette, one of the best ways to create a human connection with the reader.

In this post, I'll talk about a few common mistakes people make writing cold emails, and some advice on how to improve these areas.

Let’s dive in.

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Topics: email, Sales

7 Reasons Awkward Silences ... Are Actually Powerful Sales Tactics + More

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We hope you've had a great week! It's Friday, and today we're sharing what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

17 Reasons Awkward Silences ... Are Actually Powerful Sales Tactics  — HubSpot

In sales, awkward silences are actually good — that is, if you know how to use them to your advantage. Consider the following positive outcomes of awkward silences, and the negative ramifications of breaking them.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

5 Lessons I Learned as an Ad Salesperson and as an Ad Buyer

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I have had the rare pleasure of being on both sides of the advertising desk, both as an advertising salesperson and sales manager, and as an ad buyer at a marketing agency.

For 15 years, I sold and managed for radio stations in Dallas and Chicago and loved every single minute of it. Radio was my career, my hobby, my passion. I never thought that I would ever leave radio. Then one day, an “advertising guy” called me and wanted to take me to breakfast.

I spent the next 6 years as the Vice President of Business Development for a mid-size full-service advertising agency in the suburbs of Chicagoland. The ad agency side has been an incredible adventure. I had direct access to clients and had become the consultant that I was trained to be in radio. I worked hand-in-hand with the client as we grew their businesses together. No longer was I an adversary, but truly a marketing partner. 

Here are some of the secrets that I've learned from being on the “other-side-of-the desk”: 

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Topics: Needs Analysis, Sales, media

Coaching Salespeople: Handle with Care!

Coaching_SalespeopleHave you noticed that almost everything you interact with throughout the day comes with recommended care instructions? Some are simpler than others, but for the most part, there is a certain way that everything must be treated in order for it to thrive.

I may not always do it, but I know that I am supposed to:

  • Wash wool sweaters on cold and then lie them flat to dry
  • Change my AC air filters every 3-6 months
  • Wash my workout clothes without fabric softener in warm water and then dry on low
  • Run 48 ounces of undiluted white vinegar through my Keurig every 3-6 months
  • Feed my puppy ¼ cup three times a day, and make sure there are no meat by-products in her food
  • Keep my orchids in bright, but indirect, sun although they require some time in the shade

But, I’m the first one to admit that I have ruined more than one delicate garment by accidentally throwing it in on hot and drying it until it shriveled like a raisin. As a matter of fact, an unfortunate number of my possessions have passed through my hands as if disposable because I didn’t read the care instructions—or even more likely—I was just moving too fast to be able to give them the totally customized care they needed.

Of course I’m not writing this article to teach you how to wash your delicates. Let’s agree, a silk top is a silk top. It can be replaced. But what if we’re talking about a person? It’s not so easy, or inexpensive, or even humane to replace a person because you failed to know how to care for him. That’s a whole different league of handling with care!

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Topics: developing strengths, Talent, Sales

The Imperfections of Last Click Attribution

When it comes to digital marketing, there is a heightened focus on analytics to determine success. Many businesses continue to place a heavy reliance on last click attribution models to determine which of their digital marketing tools are driving results. Last click attribution gives 100% of the credit for a conversion or a sale to the last click a visitor made before he or she arrived on the website to complete that action. It's a model that has been used for years, but can be flawed if it's solely used to determine which digital marketing efforts are really driving results.

The Problem with Last Click Attribution

In theory, last click attribution seems to make a lot of sense, giving credit to the last source that drove a new consumer to a convert on a website, but we as consumers are not that simple. Consumers in today’s environment are usually exposed to a number of different sources before they visit a website. There are countless studies that show the synergy between various types media platforms—those that show how TV, newspaper, and radio drive someone online for more information or to purchase. There are even studies that show how display advertising has a direct impact on search activity—in other words, how consumers are more likely to search for a company and its products after seeing a display ad, even if they don’t click on it.

 Solely using a last click attribution model doesn’t account for any of the other sources that assist in getting the consumer to the website and converting.    

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Topics: digital marketing, Sales

Follow this Growth Formula to Increase Sales Performance

Talent_bank-3-12.jpgI spend hours a day talking about talent:

  • How to recruit talent
  • How to hire talent
  • How to develop talent

There is no doubt that talent is the foundation for success in any path we choose! But talent alone is not enough; the fit has to be right, too. We encourage hiring managers to consider fit as carefully as they consider talent because talent is a strength only when the fit is right.

If your job involves growing a department or organization, the only way you can do that is to grow each person on board. How do you do that? Follow this Growth Formula:

(Talent + Fit) x Investment = Growth

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Topics: Talent

23 Follow-Up Sales Email Templates to Send Instead of "Just Checking In" + More

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We hope you've had a great week! It's Friday, and today we're sharing what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

123 Follow-Up Sales Email Templates to Send Instead of "Just Checking In" — HubSpot

Salespeople shouldn’t send “just checking in” emails for one very simple reason: They don’t work. Buyers feel like the rep is virtually poking them, making them reluctant to answer. Not only do “checking in” messages rarely garner responses, they can even turn prospects against their senders. But reps still need a way to get in touch with buyers who’ve gone dark. Enter these 23 email templates.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up