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The Future of Sales and Marketing

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

From Fiction to Fact: Dispelling Common Myths About Sales Calls

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Today we have a guest post from Danny Wong. Danny is a marketing consultant, sales strategist, and writer. He does marketing at Tenfold, a seamless click-to-dial solution for high-performance sales teams. Connect with him on Twitter @dannywong1190.


Sales calls get a bad reputation, but should you completely abandon sales calls? Sales calls have the reputation they do because there are more bad sales calls than good ones. Your prospects assume that a sales call won't be worth their time—because 9 out of 10 calls really are that bad.

These are tough odds to be up against, but sales calls are often the only avenue into the new business you crave. Dispelling the myths can help combat that fear or feelings of defeat.

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Topics: call reluctance, Sales

Nailing the First Five Minutes of a Business Conversation + 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.

1Nailing the First Five Minutes of a Business Conversation— Salesforce

If your sales organization is not prepared to sell into the C-Suite, you need to get there. Middle managers are no longer the only people you need to sell to—top-level executives are being brought into sales conversations more and more in today's B2B sales. This article offers insight straight from a corporate COO, who says that he gives a vendor less than five minutes to establish relevance and credibility. In those five minutes, he looks for three things.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

Sales Truth: You Need to Slow it Down, to Rev It Up!

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Can you remember the last time you went on a boat ride? A lot of us have some great memories out on the water. And we all know that when the boat leaves the harbor it must go slowly at first so it doesn't run into anything. This is a necessary step so it can speed up later. I really enjoy the part when the boat gets moving faster, but I understand that you need to take it slowly at first.  

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Topics: Sales

How to Ask Better Needs Analysis Questions

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Have you ever set a goal for yourself to run a race? Whatever the motivation, you decided to do it. It may have been on a whim, but nonetheless you realized there was more to it than showing up the morning of the race and running. You probably found a race that suited your ability, recruited a friend to join you in the adventure, set a training schedule, and off you went. By no means did you show up for registration the morning of with no prep at all. Well, I hope not anyway. If you did, it probably didn’t go as well as you would have liked. You may have looked back and asked yourself what you could have done differently to change the outcome. I’m guessing the answer is, almost always, more training so you were better prepared.

Running a race without adequate training is no different than showing up to a first time meeting with a new prospect unprepared. Yet, it happens. Preparing yourself to ask better needs analysis questions will help you not only finish the race, but to finish with the intended outcome: to get an assignment from the prospect.  

Where to start? Here are a few suggestions for how to ask better needs analysis questions.

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Topics: Needs Analysis, Sales

Sales Coaching Quick Wins: How to Boost Productivity

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You’ve hired the perfect sales professional. This AE is eager, jumped right in, and you know they are going to be a rockstar. Now what? How can you help your rockstar reach their full potential?

Sales coaching really is an art form. Intuitively knowing what your sales professionals need to maximize their growth doesn’t just happen. It takes a step-by-step coaching plan that is well-thought-out ahead of each new hire and that is continued throughout your employees' careers. A lot of work? Sure, but it’s well worth it. So let’s get started.

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Topics: Talent, Sales, productivity

6 Creative Sales Prospecting Ideas You've Never Tried Before + 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.

16 Creative Sales Prospecting Ideas You've Never Tried Before — HubSpot

Sales success largely depends on routines. There are only so many hours in a day to sell -- the more practiced salespeople are at completing everyday tasks, the more time they can allocate to high-value activities like meeting with prospects or learning new skills. But sticking to the same process isn’t always a good thing. If you rely on the same prospecting methods and never try anything new, you’ll miss out on valuable opportunities. Use these six ideas as inspiration.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

3 Things to Do When Getting The Appointment Seems Impossible

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Salespeople look for opportunity. Yet sometimes getting the first appointment or even connecting with the decision maker seems impossible. You might say you have “a snowball’s chance in hell” of moving the deal forward. Unless something changes, unless “hell freezes over.” Then your snowball’s chance doesn’t look so bad.

It’s the same way with certain clients and prospects. Your chances of getting that appointment may seem impossible. What could make your chances look better today than they did yesterday? What could make them look fantastic tomorrow?

How can you make the seemingly-impossible possible? 

By finding the valid business reason you need to move forward with the prospect, that’s how. Who you know and what you know will improve your odds of finding a really strong, door-opening, valid business reason. 

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Topics: Sales

How to Use a LinkedIn Group to Attract New Business Prospects

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Attracting new business prospects is accomplished more easily by genuinely connecting with them and sharing your thoughts, rather than blindly spewing a product pitch. Think about it—if you were considering buying a product or service which of the following selling styles would you prefer?

  • Have a salesperson cold call you and drone on and on, spewing facts and figures about their product—and ultimately try to power close you (even if you are not ready to buy).

                                                                  OR

  • Get to know the product/service and a salesperson at your own pace—ultimately controlling when to get into a serious dialogue with a salesperson.

Providing insight into how you think—and what you stand for—is called thought leadership. It’s a great way to allow a prospect to ease into a relationship with you. Starting a LinkedIn group is an easy way to get into the thought leadership game and start a dialogue with new business prospects. Here’s how to do it:

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Topics: internet marketing, thought leadership, inbound marketing