Sales E Books

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Problem is Not in the Proposal or the Sales Funnel


Frustration 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

Call Prep Beats Winging It Ten Times Out of Ten!


After 40 years of sales managing, sales consulting, and sales training, I have seen nearly everything. But I never cease to be amazed at those salespeople who pound their chest like Tarzan, have supreme confidence in their ability to wing it, and therefore don’t prepare adequately for upcoming meetings with prospects. They must think good prospects abound, that if you bust an opportunity there’ll be another one just as good right around the corner.

In the real world good prospects are precious, and blowing it because you weren’t prepared is unforgivable. A capital sin because it’s so preventable. The kind of mistake that should prompt your boss to show you the door.

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Topics: successful sales meetings, Sales

How to Remain Relevant in a World of Automation


With the ever-growing desire for data-driven marketing and automation there’s equally an ever-growing abundance of people giving away their preferences and information. Businesses can take what used to be tasks delivered by people and offer up those same tasks delivered by technology. For example, the buying and selling of media inventory as well as the delivery of targeted offers at checkout are automated tasks that were once delivered by people.

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Topics: digital marketing, Sales, automation

Can the “7 or Higher” Rule Drive You to Greater Success in Sales?

Success in SalesAnyone who has ever brought a first baby home from the hospital knows how it changes your life. The days of being a childless couple suddenly seem distant, almost alien. You may have thought you were busy back then, but with a new baby in your life, you have discovered what busy really is!

The "7 or Higher" Rule

This very scenario popped on a TV show I was watching recently. The new parents were finding themselves pulled in a thousand directions and unable to give as much attention to their friends as in the past. To try and explain this to their friends, they would tell them about their “7 or higher” rule. If something wasn’t a 7 or higher (on a 10-point scale), they probably wouldn’t even consider carving out time for it. And if a friend were to approach one of them wanting to discuss something or seek some of their wise counsel, that friend was likely to be greeted with the “7 or higher” question: My time is really limited these days, but if you tell me this is important, that it’s a 7 or higher for you, I’ll make time for it.

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Topics: time management, Sales, success

Nielsen Gives TV Reason to Smile and 100 Best Places to Work for Millennials

iStock_000036160628_Small_blogThere's so much content published every week that a person can never read it all themselves. That's why we're here, bringing you the weekly wrap up.  

Here are the five articles that piqued our interest:

1. These 10 Tips From a CEO Can Take Your Career From Average to Awesome {Inc}

This question was answered by Nelson Wang, CEO of Collide on QuoraWhat is the single greatest piece of career advice you've ever received?

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Topics: Wrap-up

Your People Are Watching Your Every Move (and non-move)

newMy colleague Jim Hopes wrote recently about the importance of expectations, explaining our lever analogy . People learn and grow in response to the expectations set by others—parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, mentors, and in the workplace, most especially managers who know how to do their job.  Expectations are most effective when they’re individualized, tailored to the unique strengths of each person you manage and to where they are in their growth curve.

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Topics: sales management, Sales

Two of the Most Important “To Do” Lists for Salespeople are Hidden in Plain Sight

Needs Analysis and The Critical PathThere is a seemingly endless variety of business books out there that promise to reveal the next profound truth, invent the next strategic angle, or inspire the next great idea. Most focus on some exciting concept that makes for a great read, but fail to address the major problem most salespeople face: Figuring out what’s important and getting it done.

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Topics: sales management, Sales

The "Buy Now" Button Comes to Pinterest and Instagram

Why_Did_You_Buy_ThatAs Social Media continues to mature, they continue to search for new ways to engage consumers and drive revenue. Two weeks ago, Pinterest and Instagram introduced similar features aimed at accomplishing both goals and these new options could be game changers for businesses and consumers.

The first "buy now" button is the Buyable Pin that was introduced by Pinterest on June 2nd. The new feature will allow users to purchase products without ever having to leave Pinterest—when they see a blue Buy It button. If you live in the United States and use an Apple device, you will begin seeing the new feature in a couple of weeks. According to the company’s blog, you should be able to discover over 2 million Buyable Pins on your iPhone or iPad by the end of June. Android users will have to wait a little longer to see the new Buyable Pins. 

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Topics: Digital

What I Learned Again about Sales—from the Guy Who Poured My Wine

learning-about-sales-from-the-guy-who-poured-my-wineAnybody who knows me knows I enjoy a glass of red wine. I am not a connoisseur by any means, but I do love a good glass of Cabernet. 

While traveling recently, I requested a glass at dinner and the server went above and beyond the call of duty. Instead of serving me the house Cabernet (honestly, I would probably have been fine with that), he immediately asked what I liked. Full bodied? Heavy? And then he proceeded to pour me three samples to choose from. The dollar-per-glass charge for samples became a moot point. I knew what I was getting and that I would enjoy my vino with dinner. What service!

This server also called most customers by name when they entered, poured their “usual,” and asked about their kids and pets. Oh, to have more servers like this….

What was the sales lesson I was reminded of as I watched this genius server in action?

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Topics: Sales, sales process