The Sales Help Desk

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

8 Small But Unforgivable Sales Email Sins + More

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Here we are at the end of another week! It's Friday, and it's time for us to share what we've been reading online this week. Here are our "best" from around the web.

1. 8 Small But Unforgivable Sales Email Sins — HubSpot

Getting a response from prospects is hard enough. If you add an annoying email habit to the mix, your chances of a reply are almost nil. So open your “Sent” folder, and make sure you’re not guilty of any of these eight email sins.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

How to Avoid Setting Too-High Expectations in Media Sales

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Oops. In your enthusiasm to close the sale, did you promise the car dealer or medi-spa owner that the advertising for their grand opening will bring so many people that they will be lined up around the block? In your energetic attempt to close the deal, did you tell the roofing or HVAC company that their phone will “ring off the hook”?

What happens when there aren’t lines around the block and the phone doesn’t ring off the hook?

Your credibility has been destroyed along with trust. How can this all-too-often occurrence be avoided?

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Topics: setting expectations, Sales

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Account List

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Staying organized is one of the keys to productivity. If we're going to accomplish our important goals, we need to have a method for knowing what our priorities are and organizing our to-do list around them. 

By now, you have probably heard about Marie Kondo’s tiny turquoise book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It has been published in more than 30 countries, and has spent the last 77 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. During that time, Kondo has launched a companion book, Spark Joy, which has joined her first book on the best seller list 15 weeks ago.

Perhaps you’ve read the books — or even been inspired to start your own decluttering binge! 

There is a certain freshness and energy that comes from sweeping away the unnecessary and unused clutter to reveal the meaningful, important items in your home and your life. The feeling of “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place,” is a reward unto itself, as so many have discovered through Kondo’s KonMari Method.

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Topics: key account growth, Sales

What Smart Sales Managers Understand About Vision

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I was talking to a client last week who was feeling defeated because his team was not meeting every goal he had set out for the year. I get it, good sales leaders hate to lose and should be upset when they don’t deliver the number. But this is a very strong team, delivering strong performance. And they keep setting tough goals in lots of different areas. They have a big vision for where they are going! They aren't going to be able to hit every goal, every time.

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Topics: leadership, goals, vision

Focus on Keeping Up with Your Customers, Not Your Competitors + More

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It's Friday, and it's time for us to share what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

1. Focus on Keeping Up with Your Customers, Not Your Competitors — HBR

It's tempting to focus on what your strongest competitors are doing. After all, you're competing with them! But too often, companies focus on the competition when they should be focusing on their customers. How can you keep up with your customers? You have to start thinking like them. This article shows you how.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

What is Your Sales Strategy—Pitching Proposals or Providing Solutions?

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The best B2B salespeople follow a sales strategy that includes the use of a needs analysis meeting with new business prospects or existing customers. Do you?

Without a needs analysis the sales process breaks down transforming salespeople into peddlers—pitching, hoping and praying… pitching, hoping and praying… pitching hoping and praying! 

A better approach involves a conversation with customers and new business prospects to uncover business problems or opportunities. 

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Topics: new business development, Needs Analysis, sales strategy, Sales

Improve Your Millennials' Performance With Real-time Feedback

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We’ve been talking about the Millennial generation for years now. Discussing their behaviors, styles, and attitudes, we have debated how this group will likely affect our business moving forward and how we can best develop them to succeed.

This understanding is vital since they will soon fill half of our entire labor force, and Pew Research reports that 58% of them expect to leave their jobs in three years or less. That kind of turnover can be a killer to a sales organization, so we need to figure them out and connect with them in a meaningful way.

But how? It may not be as hard as you thought!

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Topics: sales performance, Talent, coaching

How Social Selling Can Get You in the Door

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Thanks to technology that enables people to learn just about anything in a matter of seconds, the buying process has become more personal. Thanks to the fact that every online buying experience is customized to the individual, people are starting to expect the B2B buying experience to follow suit.

A salesperson who hasn’t done their research and isn’t coming to the first appointment with very specific ideas on how to provide relevant value to a prospect isn’t going to make a sale.

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Topics: Social Media, Sales

How to Deal with Price Competition

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If you are in sales, you can’t avoid price competition altogether, but you can take steps to reduce the focus on price. You need to behave in such a way that you are working with the prospect to create specific value, using your product or service as part of the solution. The alternative is that you present general value by pitching your product or service as the solution—inviting the type of product comparisons that lead to price negotiation. 

Creating specific value for each customer BEATS presenting general product value to every prospect.

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Topics: discussing price, Sales