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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Track These 4 Activities to Help Your Salespeople Grow Their Sales Performance

sales-manager-help-salespeople-through-sales-processAs a former sales manager, I often struggled with the line between being a supportive and understanding manager, and holding my sales team accountable. One day, after hearing excuse after excuse about why so-and-so wasn't going to buy such-and-such, I threw my hands up and asked myself, if all of this feels so out of my control, what is in my control? What can I focus my team on that ensures we win where we need to win?  

Topics: sales performance sales management

Fixing Your Leaky Bucket: Account List Management Strategy

target-account-account-list-management-strategyHave you ever tried to fill a leaky bucket? Pouring water into the bucket while water leaks out from the bottom is a fruitless process and a waste of time. The net result is a partially-filled bucket!

Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales management account list management

Weekly Roundup: The 2 Letters Destroying Your Sales Pitch + More

Sales SlumpWe hope you've had a great week! It's Friday, and today we're sharing what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

The 2 Letters Destroying Your Sales Pitch (& How to Stop Saying Them) — Hubspot

Do you think it's possible that two letters could be destroying your sales pitch? If they are, how can you avoid using them? Don’t let your sales pitch fall on deaf ears. Follow these four guidelines to eliminate these letters from your vocabulary and successfully engage your prospects. 

Topics: sales management Sales Wrap-up salespeople

How Those Typical Questions From Prospects Can Help You Generate More Inbound Leads

iStock-874031176-692953-editedEvery sales organization could probably use more quality leads for their salespeople to set appointments with. This is one issue we deal with day in and day out with our inbound marketing clients. We help them generate new traffic to their website and convert that traffic into qualified, sales-ready leads. 

What it (inbound marketing) boils down to is creating unique, compelling content pieces that solve a problem, entertains, teaches, or answers a question that your best prospects are searching for online, asking their colleagues/network, or simply wondering, and oftentimes not telling you, in the sales process. These blog articles are published to your website via a blog (typically) and then guide readers to access even more in-depth content (like eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, etc.) in exchange for a little bit of information about themselves via a form.  This is the simplest way that you generate a website visitor into a lead. 

Topics: inbound marketing Sales

What’s Your Account List Management Strategy?

account list management strategyToo many sales organizations do not have an account list management strategy (ALMS) or they have one that provides little strategic value. In mature businesses, the lack of a priority-based ALMS is often tied to the following:

Topics: sales performance sales management account list analytics account list management

How to Recruit and Retain an All-Star Sales Team

tour of duty salespeople trainingThe Tour of Duty Framework

There are so many young people out there with innate talent and tremendous potential… but zero sales experience

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent training sales training

Automate Your Caring

sales managers use calendar reminders for talent managementFor some sales managers who are naturally very strong in relationship talent, doing things every day to invest in relationships with their direct reports comes naturally. For the rest of us, we could use a little reminder to make sure we are taking the right actions that foster strong relationships with our people, and today’s software and app selection can help. 

Topics: Management sales management talent dashboard

Weekly Roundup: Tips to Get an Unresponsive Prospect Talking Again + More

get an unresponsive prospect talkingWe hope you've had a great week! It's Friday, and today we're sharing what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

Topics: sales management Sales Wrap-up salespeople

Did Your Needs Analysis Uncover A Need? One Need?

prospect needs analysis discovers desired business resultsCongratulations. You've conducted a needs analysis and discovered a need for a prospect (their desired business result) for a prospect. But, is that good enough? How many needs did you uncover? Surely a serious conversation with a prospect about current challenges, unrealized opportunities, hassles, and trends, would uncover multiple desired business results.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy Sales

#1 Reason Why Your First Sales Appointment Went Downhill Fast and 3 Ways to Avoid

using a valid business reason when getting the first appointmentHave you ever met with a prospect for the first time and felt like the entire conversation was like pulling teeth? Maybe they took a bunch of "Oh I need to get that," phone calls or answered some urgent emails while you were waiting to ask your next question. Maybe you had to have your meeting on the phone, and you could sense the person you were meeting with was distracted and not focused during the little time you had.

In situations like this, you leave the appointment with little to no valuable information, no follow up direction, and what feels like a waste of your valuable time. Not all initial meetings go well, but did you know that the train wreck of a first appointment could have been prevented with better pre-planning on your part?

The frustration that comes from encounters like this are sometimes misdirected at the person being met with. Decision makers come in a variety of personality types. Label them as you will, but generally, you encounter the direct and assertive, the friendly and jovial, or the defensive and combative - and maybe even someone who's a little of everything above. Regardless, it’s not their personality that makes a sales appointment good or bad. It’s how you approach and prepare for the first meeting that makes it good or bad.

Preparing yourself and your prospect is a best practice. One of the most powerful free tools you can use to do this is Google search. There are a few ways you can search to find really valuable information you can use to help prepare for your meeting. Before we go there, I want to touch on the importance of using a valid business reason when you're working towards getting the first appointment initially.

Building rapport helps increase the comfort level a prospect has when meeting with you for the first time, and rapport building can begin before you even get the meeting. If you use a valid business reason that illustrates empathy, your expertise, and your ability to provide solutions, you are more likely to get an appointment. It also begins to establish your ability to be a valuable business partner. When done well, the prospect is likely to be more open and engaged during the initial meeting itself.

So, now we turn back to preparing for the meeting. It’s critical you don’t ask your prospect questions you could have found the answer to online before the sales appointment. Focus on taking the information you find online to help form questions that show you’ve done your homework and can relate back to their potential desired business results.

To start, there are three searches you should be sure to conduct before sales appointments: 

Topics: Setting Appointments Needs Analysis successful sales meetings Sales salespeople