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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Is the Road Too Narrow or Are You Too Fat? Leadership from Twitter

road-too-narrowArjun Basu writes (very) short stories on Twitter. He calls them “Twisters.” You should follow him at @arjunbasu. Here’s one: 

The road narrowed. I said, Im too fat for this road. My wife laughed, but I was serious. I was not happy with my weight. Or the road itself. 

The road keeps changing, doesn’t it? In business, it seems as if at least half our roads are under construction or subject to detours—all at the same time. Has your road to success narrowed? Or are you just too fat to fit? Those are entirely different questions. Or should I say, those are entirely different ways of defining the problem or even of looking at the world. If you see the road as the problem, you let yourself off the hook—but you also condemn yourself to whatever the road has in store for travelers who are too fat for the new road. If you see yourself as the problem, even grudgingly (because you don’t have to love that new road to recognize it, acknowledge it, and deal with it), then success opens up for you.

Leadership Lessons from This Quote

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Topics: Management, leadership

Ten Ways to Increase a B2B Salesperson's Productivity

The job of a sales manager is a challenging one. One of the biggest challenges that they face is how to keep a team of sellers motivated and producing quality results.

Some of the best ways to make salespeople more productive don't include spending a fortune or sending them through another training class. A few of the best ideas are ones that help to reduce administrative burdens and increase time in the field or on the phones. 

The following are 10 ways to increase a B2B salesperson's productivity:

1) Make Sure They Have Up-to-Date Technology

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Topics: Management, developing strengths, sales performance

4 Winning Approaches for Writing a Cold Email

writing-a-cold-emailYou found someone's email address online. Someone you've been looking to get in touch with for a long time. Now, it's up to you to write an email that'll get opened.

Writing a cold email can be much more effective than picking up the phone to place a cold call.

Follow these four approaches and you'll increase your chances for success:

1. Create a Compelling Subject Line

The subject will determine whether your recipient will open your email (or whether they'll delete it immediately).

Here are a few that work:


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Topics: email, Setting Appointments, Sales

How to Protect Yourself From a Not-So-Great Valid Business Reason

How_to_Protect_Yourself_From_an_Idea_That’s_Just_Not_That_GoodThe other day, I was writing what seemed like a pretty smart piece for The Marketing Mind blog. That’s the site where we capture a wide variety of consumer and industry trends.

Our goal is to convert topical issues into valid business reasons to help sellers get appointments, and needs analysis questions that lead to meaningful challenges they can help their clients solve.

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Topics: valid business reason, sales process

How to Keep from Being a Buzzkill Boss

freelance-writers-help-with-contentThis 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 Buzzkill Boss {strategy+business}

How can you avoid being a buzzkill boss? It's easy -- have a more rewarding home life. According to a study, when leaders feel a work-life imbalance, they're more likely to feel exhausted and cynical on the job.

2. Mozart on Creativity, and the Ideation Process {Brain Pickings}

Mozart writes about the creative process, flow, and how his music sounds uniquely his the same way his nose is hooked in its own way.

3. What Coke Can Teach McDonald's About Love {IMG}

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Topics: Wrap-up

Selling Techniques for Getting that First Appointment

phone_callYou called. Left a message. "Maybe they're busy," you think. Or, "maybe they just don't return calls." Perhaps it's neither of these. Maybe it's on you.

Maybe you just haven't given them a compelling enough reason to call you back.

If you want people to call you back, you need to give them a reason. If the reason you are providing is something along the lines of, "I have a really great idea to share with you," then you sound just like the other 25 calls they've received.

Your prospect doesn't want your ideas. They want solutions to their problems.

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Topics: Setting Appointments, sales strategy, Sales

12 Essential (and Mostly Free!) Digital Resources for Salespeople

The ever-evolving world of digital media can be challenging to stay up-to-date with all of the changes, but if you are selling digital media and want to do it effectively, it is a challenge you must take! 

So where you do you start? There is so much information available and it can feel overwhelming. I would recommend that you find a handful of different resources that you turn to on a regular basis. I like to think about resources in categories – those that help keep me up to date on what is coming and what is changing in digital media, tools to gain insight about a company’s website and those that help me stay current on consumer trends.

Below are 12 of my favorite digital resources:



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Topics: Digital

A Weekly Sales Planning System that Really Works

weekly-sales-planning-systemMost of us don’t head to the supermarket without a list in hand, without knowing exactly what we intend to come home with. I needn’t explain why.

Likewise, most of us wouldn’t start driving to an unfamiliar destination without first finding it on our GPS and clicking for directions. Doing so gets us to our goal with the least hassle and the most efficiency.

In a prior post, we shared the story of the Harvard Class of 1953, and the powerful lesson they told us twenty years later, in 1973, about the importance of, not just having goals, but writing them down. The act of committing them to paper gives them heft, significance, and attention. And they give you focus. (Yes, even in our paperless-trending world, something as important as your goals probably deserve to be printed out.) 

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Topics: sales strategy