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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Two Unexpected Traits of Strong Leaders

follow-the-leaderThere are myriad ideas and theories out there about what makes a great leader, and many are useful. They give some insight into those characteristics that define effective leaders—strategic thinking, strong focus, a sense of mission, passion for customers, innovation, hard work—the list goes on. But there is one trait strong leaders often exhibit that is not often discussed. It is the innate ability to build powerful relationships with the people who work for them. It’s critical, and it correlates to long-term success for the leader for several reasons:

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Topics: Management, leadership

Don't Put Comfort Over Doing Good Work

the-right-way-to-argueThis was another great week in terms of engaging content. We found a lot that made us think.

Here are the five articles that piqued our interest:

1. Why arguing at work is okay, and the right way to to it {Inc.}

Brené Brown discusses the value of being uncomfortable when giving feedback, and why you shouldn't put comfort over doing good work.

2. How to write content that drives traffic for years {Top Dog Social Media}

Focus on your topic. What would your target persona find most valuable? This article also goes into the best kind of title/topic for evergreen content.

3. Be careful with email automation {SK Murphy}

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Topics: Wrap-up

Make Your Information Useful in Your Sales Appointments

be-more-usefulDon’t just inform. Organize. 

When was the last time you arrived at a sales appointment, and the decision maker said, “Glad you’re here! I know our appointment was scheduled for only 15 minutes, but as it turns out, I have an extra hour and a half today!” 

Doesn’t happen.

More likely is the meeting where you encounter this rushed greeting: “I know our appointment was for an hour, but something has come up so I only have about ten minutes.”

Happens all the time.

That’s why I want you to think of the daunting task of the Google mission statement: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Of course, Google has more than one singular focus, and serves more than just a user who wants to do a quick search to find a quick answer or fascinating fact. They serve consumers who are shopping, companies who are being shopped, and marketers who are into metrics. I get all that. But focus on that beautiful, simple idea: 

“To organize the world’s information… and make it useful.” 

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Blog Comments on Your Company Blog… And Comments on Comments

blog-commentsPart of my job has me visiting different websites every day. I am always impressed with those organizations that have an active company blog and use it regularly to influence, educate, and build their brand and their thought leadership position. But so often I notice there are no comments left on any of the blog posts I read, or if there is a comment it’s usually just one—and then there is almost never a response from the writer to engage the person who took the trouble to comment.

Why would a blogger go through the entire writing, editing, designing, linking process to publish something they thought would provide value and then ignore the people who took time to visit the site, click through to the blog, read a post, and comment? I hope you’re not that someone.

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Topics: inbound marketing

Why Every Salesperson Should Insist on an Inbound Marketing Strategy

calling-warm-leadsThe most successful sales and marketing organizations are ones that set their sales teams up for success. They give them the tools and resources they need to get the job done as efficiently and profitably as possible. The best ones actually solicit input from their salespeople, asking what they need in order to be more successful. 

If you’re a part of such an organization (and even if you’re not), you should insist that your company design and deploy an inbound marketing strategy. If they ask why, no problem! Here are a dozen reasons you can share:

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Topics: inbound marketing

Does Font Matter? Turns Out, Yes!

typeface-font-mattersThis was another great week in terms of content. We found a lot to love.

Here are the five articles that piqued our interest:

1. The Healthiest Typeface {The Atlantic}

If you're trying to convince people to do something, choose your font carefully. The font you choose to convey information is nearly as important as the information itself, according to these studies.

2. Turn Meeting Confirmations into Selling Moments {Spiro Technologies}

This one makes some great points about confirming upcoming meetings—not just to confirm, but to advance the sales process.

3. 7 Habits of Highly Successful Startup Entrepreneurs {Inc.}

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Topics: Wrap-up

Manage the Big Rocks: How to Become a Time Management Pro

manage-the-big-rocksIs it just me or does there not seem to be enough time in the day to get things done?

I knew it wasn't just me!

My life has been going 1000 miles an hour lately, and I've been asked how I get it all done.

Manage the Big Rocks

I have a method that I follow religiously to get things done, and it doesn't really have anything to do with time management.

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Topics: Management, time management, Sales

The One Question You Haven’t Asked (But Your Client Wishes You Would)

one-question-you-havent-askedLike many of you, I try to prepare very carefully for every client interaction. Your preparation will dictate whether you are granted face time for that first appointment (and subsequent appointments), and it will dictate how much information you are allowed to gather in a needs analysis meeting. But the nature of sales often leads us to focus on our own objectives when preparing; we want the appointment, or we want to learn about a specific objective a client might have that we know can translate into a selling opportunity.

If your customer-focused approach is sincere, there is one question—a simple question that can be asked a multitude of ways—that can help you gain even greater respect and revenue from this customer.

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Topics: Needs Analysis, Sales, sales process

Which Is More Important—Product Training or Sales Training?

Product focused training and sales skill training - both are important to increase the knowledge and expertise of a sales team, but which is more important? Which has the larger impact? Before I answer that question, let me define the differences between the two to make sure that we are all on the same page.

Product Training

product-training 

Product training focuses on the nuts and bolts, on educating your sales force on the features and benefits of what you sell. What the product (or service or solution) is, what problems it’s intended to solve, how it actually works, what it costs in its various configurations, how you handle it internally to ensure the client gets what they bought, and everything else you might need to talk about the product. Most product training is delivered in a classroom environment where the facilitator is doing most of the talking and answering questions along the way. 

Sales Training

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Topics: Digital, Training Topics