The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Oct 20-23

What a great week! There are some great gems from our writers here, and wonderful news from around the web. Read on!

The Center for Sales Strategy Weekly Wrap-Up

  • Monday, Mike Anderson reminded us that lead generation was useless without need generation. What good are your leads if they don't need anything from you?
  • Tuesday, John Henley told us to kickstart 2015 by holding a Twitter drive with your team today. What's a Twitter drive? Find out.



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Topics: Digital, Management, inbound marketing, Talent, Sales

Go Viral Inside Your Key Accounts

Going viral.

It's what a lot of people online want to do. They want a piece of their content to hit the right notes with the right people, propelling them, even for a minute, to internet fame status.

But what if you could go viral inside your key accounts?

The result would be even better than getting a million hits on a cat video. It would connect you with the people your key accounts trust and value, which would, in turn, increase the number of key accounts.

Which would increase your sales.

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Topics: Sales

The Problem is Not in the Proposal or the Sales Funnel

The_Problem_is_Not_in_the_Sales_Proposal_or_the_FunnelFrustration sets in when you look at all the pending business you have sitting in your sales funnel and realize that a good portion of it has been there for weeks! Those prospects you were sure were going to sign-off on your proposal right away are instead sharing reasons why they’re not ready or telling you they need more time to think it over. You know that with every week that passes, the chances that any of them will turn into a sale diminishes greatly and you’re kicking yourself because you are now reduced to emailing your prospect with the subject line Checking in since you really have no other options left.

Are you experiencing this uncomfortable, bloated feeling right now?

That bloated pipeline isn’t just uncomfortable… it’s frustrating and ultimately very expensive. Yes, it can sometimes feel rewarding to say you have “a lot out there,” but we all know that pending business is only good if it ends up closing. 

Spoiler alert: This is not an article on how to close your pending deals. It’s way more valuable than that. 

The problem is not in the proposal or the funnel, but rather with the process.

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Topics: Sales

Start a Twitter Drive Now to Increase Business in 2015

Start_a_Twitter_Drive_Now_to_Increase_Business_in_2015As we head toward the end of the year, it’s natural to start looking to 2015. Where will you find new prospects next year?

They could be on social media right now without you realizing it. Get your team to increase their use of social media (for more than just cat videos) this quarter by implementing a Twitter Drive, in order to increase business next year.

How to Start a Twitter Drive

  • Have a meeting on Monday where everyone notes the number of Twitter followers they have. Some may have 100, some may have 5,000. Some, umm, may not have any.
  • Set a follow-up meeting for four weeks from Monday to see what progress everyone made.
  • Brainstorm ways to find the right kind of new people to connect with.

What are You Tracking?

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Topics: Digital

Lead Generation is Useless Without Need Generation

Lead_Generation_is_Useless_Without_Need_GenerationLead generation and inbound marketing are two (of the many) hot topics in the marketing industry right now. But to make lead generation a smart strategy instead of just another marketing buzzword, it is critical to understand its role in the marketing process.

We used to live in a purely “push” world, where sales organizations would shove their product information and sales presentations toward the customer. Now, we’ve moved into an era where “pull” is just as important as push. Your company no longer controls access to the information about a product or service; that information is readily available online (from your company, from a competitor, or from some third party). The customer has the power, the will, and the skill to find that information on their own. Lead generation could be thought of simply as your company’s effort to be the prospect’s chosen information source and resource.

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Topics: Sales

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Oct 13-16

What a great week! There are some great gems from our writers here, and wonderful news from around the web. Read on!

The Center for Sales Strategy Weekly Wrap-Up

  • Monday, Mike Anderson asked if you were really in love, or just fooling around... with customer-focused selling, that is.



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Topics: Digital, Management, inbound marketing, Talent, Sales

The Connection between Training and Sales Culture

The_Connection_between_Training_and_CultureFor as long as I can remember, clients of The Center for Sales Strategy have been saying that one of the great benefits they derive from working with us is a sales culture, a culture that provides the foundation for success in their organization. We love hearing that compliment, but just what does it mean? What is a company culture, anyway? And why is it important?

According to Wikipedia, “Organizational culture is the behavior of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviors.” Author F. John Reh says it in fewer words: “Company culture is the shared values and practices of the company's employees.” It’s not complex or difficult to understand. The culture of a company or a department is simply what most employees do most of the time. While the people help form the culture by their behavior, it’s equally true—and ultimately, more important—that the culture communicates values and sets expectations that determine how people behave.

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Topics: Management, sales management, Sales

How to Deal with a Weakness

How_to_Deal_with_a_WeaknessNo one ever became successful because of their weaknesses.

Think of any successful person and you’ll realize they became well-known for a single area of strength in spite of the many more weaknesses they had to manage and work around on the way.

When we maximize our talents we find success, and in order to do that we need a very clear understanding of what those talents are. Only then can we match talent to task and put people in the position to do the things they are naturally good at in their job.

Our partnership with Talent Plus— and their extensive research of top performing B2B salespeople and sales managers— has allowed us to clearly define the specific behaviors that separate the best from the rest. This allows us to guide our clients to make smart selection decisions, and then to coach those they hire to maximize their talents and continually increase performance.

But those darn weaknesses… they won’t just go away.

But don't worry! There are three ways to effectively deal with a weakness:

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Topics: Talent

How to Prevent the Sales Belly Flop

belly_flop-1Belly flop. The phrase itself conjures painful memories. You start off with the best intentions... and somehow, along the way, something derails you. Instead of a dive with a tiny splash, you end up landing flat, with a huge splash, and welts on your belly.

Belly flops aren't just for swimming holes. Think of the last really great idea you had. Now, was the execution flawless? Maybe. But if not, you need some guidance. Even if your manager focused more on empathy than accountability, you need to make sure your next great idea doesn't flop. Below is the critical path document that helps big ideas become polished products.

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Topics: Sales

Are you in Love with Customer Focused Selling, or Just Fooling Around?

“There is no disguise which can hide love for long where it exists, or simulate it where it does not.”

-Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Are_you_in_Love_with_Customer_Focused_Selling,_or_Just_Fooling_AroundI sincerely believe that most of the salespeople we work with aspire to be truly customer-needs-focused in everything they do with or for clients and prospects. Recognizing the Key Account potential of a given prospect, they realize the relationship should be taken very seriously, and every move should be thought-through well before taking action. Just as with an authentic romance, they realize that instead of talking about themselves (or their company, products, and services), they should get the other party to talk about their interests, aspirations, and needs.

But temptation can be very strong. When another quick sale might help the seller get to budget, or when they’re being pressured to bring in one more deal to help the sales department meet a quota… it can be very easy to allow one’s focus to shift toward the immediate transaction rather than the long-term relationship they started out looking for.

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Topics: Sales