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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Nov 24-27

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

 nov27

Topics: Digital Sales

Happy Thanksgiving from The Center for Sales Strategy

Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. It's my favorite holiday, hands down. The focus is on being together, and sharing a delicious meal, that took hours to prepare, and reflecting on the past year, with an emphasis on gratitude.

There's nothing to buy, no gifts to exchange, and no expectations except to be present and eat more than your fill.

Topics: Digital

Three Things You Should Stop Doing on LinkedIn

linked-inEveryone is telling salespeople to start doing things on LinkedIn, and they’re right. But first you need to stop doing a few things. Here are three things you should stop doing on LinkedIn:

Topics: Brand and Connect

How to Win at Twitter (at Least in the Short Run!)

winning-at-twitterI think I’m starting to understand the value of Twitter. For the week ending November 8th, I had 56 total views, picked up 21 new followers, and five of my tweets were favorited by people in my network. It’s a big increase, from even just one month prior. The week ending October 5th, I had 11 total views and 12 new followers (no favorites).

Topics: Digital

5 Things You Need to Know About Your Best Accounts

best_accountsWe've spent a fair amount of time recently on this blog talking about your best accounts... the ones you should be spending the most time with. One way to do so, we've suggested, is to fire your crappy accounts

Topics: Sales

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Nov 17-20

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

 nov20

Topics: Digital Sales

The Problem with a Team of Sales Champions

sales-championsWould you rather play on a championship team or be with a team of sales champions?

Topics: Management

Why You Should Fire Your Crappy Accounts

fire-crappy-accountsIs it okay if I use the word "crappy" here? Good.

Topics: Sales

Do Salespeople Really Need a Personal Brand?

PersonalBrandIt seems the push for individuals to have a personal brand is becoming the new black. It’s the cool thing to do. The message is that everyone, including salespeople, need a brand just like a big company or a pop star. Who’s got time for that? Sure, becoming the expert, the blogger, the “thought leader” in your industry sounds like a great idea. But it also sounds like an insurmountable goal. So why bother?

Does everyone need to become a thought leader?

First, don’t let me discourage you. Many of you, let’s say 2 in 10, are already running down the Personal Brand path, and it won’t be long before you are a thought leader in your field. If you are not one of those swimming in social media enthusiasm, what can you do to compete?  

First, focus just on your LinkedIn profile. Here’s why:

Topics: Digital Brand and Connect

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Nov 10-13

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

 Nov13

Topics: Digital Management inbound marketing Talent Sales

3 Ways to Drain Your Talent Bank

empty_talent_bankI work with managers to help them build their talent bank, so I understand the struggle, time, and effort that go into establishing, building, and maintaining a talent bank. It’s not easy and the time to roll up your sleeves and get started is always yesterday.

Imagine the added stress that occurs when you’ve built a great talent bank and it runs dry.

An initial full-court press is needed to develop your talent bank, but you can’t stop there. When you've found talent you’re not ready to hire (yet), it’s important to think about how you can keep those people engaged and interested in you.

Here are three big mistakes I see managers make that effectively drain their talent bank: 

Topics: Talent

How Personal Branding is Different from All Other Branding

"Who are you, and why should I care?" 

That simple question is at the crux of the challenge salespeople face when prospecting. The advice used to be to perfect your elevator pitch. Today we don’t meet prospects on elevators; we meet them online. And specifically, the great business-oriented platform for meeting people is LinkedIn. So what you need to perfect now is your online personal branding. That's your LinkedIn presence.

Topics: Digital Brand and Connect

What Prepping for a Needs Analysis Meeting Means Today

needs-analysis-meeting-researchTruly professional salespeople have long known that it is foolish to squander valuable needs analysis time asking questions that could have been answered by scouring the target account’s website and other conveniently available sources. Years in business, origin of the company, number of locations—and other very fundamental information—can be easily found on most client websites. Spending any meeting time on these issues—aside from kindly acknowledging the organization’s heritage—is not only a waste of time, it can be taken as an insult by the prospect. It signals that you did not find this meeting worth diligent preparation.

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales

On What Date Will You Be Replaced By A Computer?

replaced_by_a_computerIf you read any of the advertising trades these days you are seeing strong evidence that programmatic buying is making significant strides in the media sector. Programmatic buying allows advertisers to have direct access to the publisher’s (and now the broadcaster’s) inventory, and transactions are completed in nanoseconds with very little human interaction. In the online display advertising sector, programmatic is already accounting for nearly half of all transactions and predictions are being made that over 83% of display advertising will be bought and sold programmatically by the year 2017. Advertisers and publishers are building out trading desks to accommodate this huge flow of business.

So far, those selling traditional media have felt some degree of insulation from this wave, but that is changing as well. Last week Media Post ran an article about the rise of “programmatic TV” and this week Inside Radio featured an article on how Strata has put together a platform and an agreement that allows advertisers direct access to inventory on a number of media platforms including radio. The future is now, folks.

Topics: Sales

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Nov 2-6

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

  • Tuesday, Greg Giersch gave us a list of questions we should ask to build our personal brand, and make our LinkedIn profiles look better than they do.

 Nov_5

Topics: Digital Management inbound marketing Talent Sales

Magic Happens When You Spend More Time With Your Top Performers

Magic_Happens_When_You_Spend_More_Time_With_Your_Top_PerformersIt seems somehow intuitively appealing for a manager to spend more time with those salespeople who need more help. People are almost invariably amazed when we explain to them that the opposite is true. To really see ROI on your sales team, you must spend more time with your top performers.

Topics: Sales

How to Hire Great Business Developers in Higher Education

How_to_Hire_Great_Salespeople_in_Higher_EducationLet’s face it: Colleges and universities are not accustomed to hiring salespeople. They hire educators, administrators, technicians of various sorts, and clerical staff of nearly every type. But they don’t hire great salespeople or what they call “Business Developers.”  And yet, increasingly these institutions find themselves hiring people who are setting appointments,  providing need assessments, solving problems and delivering customized solutions that are addressing the business challenges of rapidly changing technology, employee performance and customer satisfaction.

Hiring salespeople is different. Of course, they need the qualities you look for in every hire—integrity, intelligence, focus, energy, and readiness to execute. But business-to-business salespeople also need at least these four additional traits as well.

1. Empathy

Successful salespeople identify with their customers and pick up on their feelings. They understand their needs and pressures they’re under; they get how business works and can wrap their heads around the challenges faced by each prospect. Yes, they represent the college and its specific B2B offerings, and yes they want to drive revenue for the institution. But the best ones—the ones you want—are geniuses at balancing the interests of the college and the interests of the customer as they assemble a tailored solution.

Topics: Talent

Personal Brand Questions to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Your_Personal_Brand_Directs_Your_LinkedIn_ProfileGood salespeople are asking questions all day long. They ask clients Will you meet with me? What are your challenges? and Will you invest in this solution? They ask their managers and coworkers Can we deliver this solution? 

The question salespeople are not asking enough is How am I trusted and valued by my clients?

Your best clients have shown they trust and value you when they reorder. Prospects have found some reason to trust and value what you might have to offer when they give you that first appointment.

Knowing how you are trusted and valued by your clients is the essential element, or sin qua non, of your personal brand. The struggle to write your LinkedIn profile becomes easier when you’ve asked others to help describe you, to identify what makes you you.

Here are questions you can ask of your manager, your coworkers, and your clients about your personal brand: 

Topics: Digital Sales

How to Get Your Email Opened: Subject Line Best Practices

Frustrated that your email open rates are so low? Or are you happy that your open rates are above average, but you want to boost them further?

Topics: Digital