The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Oct 13-16

What a great week! There are some great gems from our writers here, and wonderful news from around the web. Read on!

The Center for Sales Strategy Weekly Wrap-Up

  • Monday, Mike Anderson asked if you were really in love, or just fooling around... with customer-focused selling, that is.

 oct16

 

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Topics: Digital, Management, inbound marketing, Talent, Sales

The Connection between Training and Sales Culture

The_Connection_between_Training_and_CultureFor as long as I can remember, clients of The Center for Sales Strategy have been saying that one of the great benefits they derive from working with us is a sales culture, a culture that provides the foundation for success in their organization. We love hearing that compliment, but just what does it mean? What is a company culture, anyway? And why is it important?

According to Wikipedia, “Organizational culture is the behavior of humans within an organization and the meaning that people attach to those behaviors.” Author F. John Reh says it in fewer words: “Company culture is the shared values and practices of the company's employees.” It’s not complex or difficult to understand. The culture of a company or a department is simply what most employees do most of the time. While the people help form the culture by their behavior, it’s equally true—and ultimately, more important—that the culture communicates values and sets expectations that determine how people behave.

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Topics: Management, sales management, Sales

How to Deal with a Weakness

How_to_Deal_with_a_WeaknessNo one ever became successful because of their weaknesses.

Think of any successful person and you’ll realize they became well-known for a single area of strength in spite of the many more weaknesses they had to manage and work around on the way.

When we maximize our talents we find success, and in order to do that we need a very clear understanding of what those talents are. Only then can we match talent to task and put people in the position to do the things they are naturally good at in their job.

Our partnership with Talent Plus— and their extensive research of top performing B2B salespeople and sales managers— has allowed us to clearly define the specific behaviors that separate the best from the rest. This allows us to guide our clients to make smart selection decisions, and then to coach those they hire to maximize their talents and continually increase performance.

But those darn weaknesses… they won’t just go away.

But don't worry! There are three ways to effectively deal with a weakness:

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Topics: Talent

How to Prevent the Sales Belly Flop

belly_flop-1Belly flop. The phrase itself conjures painful memories. You start off with the best intentions... and somehow, along the way, something derails you. Instead of a dive with a tiny splash, you end up landing flat, with a huge splash, and welts on your belly.

Belly flops aren't just for swimming holes. Think of the last really great idea you had. Now, was the execution flawless? Maybe. But if not, you need some guidance. Even if your manager focused more on empathy than accountability, you need to make sure your next great idea doesn't flop. Below is the critical path document that helps big ideas become polished products.

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Topics: Sales

Are you in Love with Customer Focused Selling, or Just Fooling Around?

“There is no disguise which can hide love for long where it exists, or simulate it where it does not.”

-Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Are_you_in_Love_with_Customer_Focused_Selling,_or_Just_Fooling_AroundI sincerely believe that most of the salespeople we work with aspire to be truly customer-needs-focused in everything they do with or for clients and prospects. Recognizing the Key Account potential of a given prospect, they realize the relationship should be taken very seriously, and every move should be thought-through well before taking action. Just as with an authentic romance, they realize that instead of talking about themselves (or their company, products, and services), they should get the other party to talk about their interests, aspirations, and needs.

But temptation can be very strong. When another quick sale might help the seller get to budget, or when they’re being pressured to bring in one more deal to help the sales department meet a quota… it can be very easy to allow one’s focus to shift toward the immediate transaction rather than the long-term relationship they started out looking for.

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Topics: Sales

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Oct 6-9

This week, we discussed medicine, stealing, wasting time, and personality tests. Oddly, they all go together. Read on to see how.

The Center for Sales Strategy Weekly Wrap-Up

 oct-9

 

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Topics: Digital, Management, inbound marketing, Talent, Sales

A Personality Test is NOT a Validated Talent Instrument

A_Personality_Test_is_NOT_a_Validated_Talent_InstrumentPersonality tests are all the rage!

I recently read that 60-70% of Americans today will take a personality test as part of a job application process. Gaining in popularity, personality tests are even used in career planning for those not in the workforce yet as well. Just last week my daughter was given a personality test by a college professor hoping to help his students better understand their potential and how they might match up with a variety of journalism career paths. 

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Topics: Talent

Do us all a Favor and Stop Wasting the Decision Maker’s Time!

Do_us_all_a_Favor_and_Stop_Wasting_the_Decision_Maker’s_TimeI began my sales career in August 2001. I was young and neon green (kind of like Howie!) with visions of six-figure commission checks dancing through my head. After being on the job for six months or so and closing a few deals, I felt as if I was a master of sales and deserved an established account list that would get me closer to my six-figure goal. I would vent to my friends and family about how everyone else had all the good accounts and how unfair it was that one of the managers carried a list. Hindsight is 20/20; I almost cringe thinking about the impression I left on the many prospects I stalked to land meetings—only to push the latest sales package and talk excessively about how great my organization was and why they should buy its products. Candidly, it wasn’t until I went through a formal sales training program that I understood why I wasn’t being handed a six-figure account list. Although I was closing deals, I wasn’t getting any renewal business. I was selling like the stereotypical used-car salesman.

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Topics: Sales

How to Stop People from Stealing Your Business: Key Account Retention

6_Ways_to_Stop_People_from_Stealing_Your_BusinessThere are only two kinds of customers: The ones that you know other salespeople are trying to steal, and the ones you don’t know other salespeople are trying to steal. But rest assured—or rest uneasy, as is more likely—someone out there is gunning for the business that’s now yours. 

So what are some steps you can take toward Key Account retention?

1. Don’t wait until it’s a problem.

Assume that every account you have is one that a competitor would like to have. Serve the account accordingly.

2. Turn your needs analysis into an ONA

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Topics: Sales

The Best Medicine for Healthy Sales

The_Best_Medicine_for_Healthy_SalesYou’ve seen those pill-box organizers right? When I was visiting my parents this summer, I noticed my dad was using one of these organizers so he wouldn’t forget which medicine to take when. We are all thankful for advanced medicine and the quality of life it affords, but it won't do you any good if you forget to take it.

Imagine if salespeople had a sales-box organizer to help them remember to serve their customers well every day. You can immediately think of the potential in this idea. One of the toughest parts of being in sales is making daily decisions about how to spend your time. You could spend 100% of your time each day handling transactional details and service requests on current accounts, along with moving your best prospects through the sales funnel.

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Topics: Sales