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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Keep from Being a Buzzkill Boss

freelance-writers-help-with-contentThis was another great week in terms of content. We found a lot to love.

Here are the five articles that piqued our interest:

1. The Buzzkill Boss {strategy+business}

How can you avoid being a buzzkill boss? It's easy -- have a more rewarding home life. According to a study, when leaders feel a work-life imbalance, they're more likely to feel exhausted and cynical on the job.

2. Mozart on Creativity, and the Ideation Process {Brain Pickings}

Mozart writes about the creative process, flow, and how his music sounds uniquely his the same way his nose is hooked in its own way.

3. What Coke Can Teach McDonald's About Love {IMG}

Topics: Wrap-up

12 Essential (and Mostly Free!) Digital Resources for Salespeople

The ever-evolving world of digital media can be challenging to stay up-to-date with all of the changes, but if you are selling digital media and want to do it effectively, it is a challenge you must take! 

So where you do you start? There is so much information available and it can feel overwhelming. I would recommend that you find a handful of different resources that you turn to on a regular basis. I like to think about resources in categories – those that help keep me up to date on what is coming and what is changing in digital media, tools to gain insight about a company’s website and those that help me stay current on consumer trends.

Below are 12 of my favorite digital resources:

Websites:

websites

Topics: Digital

A Weekly Sales Planning System that Really Works

weekly-sales-planning-systemMost of us don’t head to the supermarket without a list in hand, without knowing exactly what we intend to come home with. I needn’t explain why.

Likewise, most of us wouldn’t start driving to an unfamiliar destination without first finding it on our GPS and clicking for directions. Doing so gets us to our goal with the least hassle and the most efficiency.

In a prior post, we shared the story of the Harvard Class of 1953, and the powerful lesson they told us twenty years later, in 1973, about the importance of, not just having goals, but writing them down. The act of committing them to paper gives them heft, significance, and attention. And they give you focus. (Yes, even in our paperless-trending world, something as important as your goals probably deserve to be printed out.) 

Topics: sales strategy

Sometimes Leaders Must Provoke a Crisis

leadershipI’m reading a book called “The Leadership Wisdom of Solomon,” by Pat Williams, Senior VP of the NBA Orlando Magic.

Topics: leadership

Leadership Lessons from George Washington

leadership-lessons-from-george-washingtonThere's so much content on the internet that we can't even begin to consume it all. That's why we started curating some of the best pieces of writing we find each week.

Here are the five articles that piqued our interest:

1. Lessons in Leadership: How George Washington Abandoned His Ambitions and Won Big {Inc.}

What stood out is the challenge for leaders not to just rely on passion and drive because that alone can cause you to miss opportunities or drive you crazy while you blindly pursue a path you have in mind. The encouragement here is to blend that drive and passion with a surrender to what you see going on around you.  In other words, keep focused on your end game and vision and don’t easily give up, but watch for clues that tell you you might need to shift course or take a different route to get to your ultimate goal.

2. Cause Marketing Lessons from Mercedes {Karen Post}

This is a great story about how Mercedes made a lasting impression on the author by not only providing a luxury experience in the showroom but by partnering with a nonprofit that employs people on the Autism spectrum.

3. What do Kate Spade and J.R.R. Tolkein Have in Common? {strategy+business}

Topics: Wrap-up

10 Tips for Getting Past The Gatekeeper

10-tips-for-getting-past-the-gatekeeperIn the B2B sales process, the gatekeeper is typically a receptionist or an executive assistant or a designated person who is trained and responsible for keeping a prospect from being bothered by irrelevant callers.

Topics: appointment lab Sales sales process

Do You Wash a Rental Car? Thoughts on Ownership in a Sales Department

no-one-washes-a-rental-carMaybe you’ve heard the saying that no one washes a rental car. Think about it. Does anyone try to budget time on the way back to the airport to run through the car wash? Of course not. Even if they’re OCD and are obsessive about cleanliness, they still don’t wash that rental. They know someone at the rental car company will do it, and the thought won't even cross their mind.

Topics: Management leadership

Proof That Old Saw About ‘Failing To Plan’ is Really True

planning-for-success“Those who fail to plan are guilty of planning to fail.”

Topics: Management leadership

Does the Twitter/Google Partnership Bring Back Social Search?

twitter-googleA few years ago, Google began setting a stage for users to be able to receive relevant search results based on content from social networks such as Twitter, Blogger, and Google Reader, along with other social networks that no longer exist. Google named this new content delivery Social Search and aimed to engage users by offering content from friends they knew and people they followed.

Topics: Digital

Get More Done by Focusing Less on Work

planning-for-successWhat an excellent week! 

Here are the five articles that piqued our interest:

1. Get More Done by Focusing Less on Work {From Harvard Business Review}

This was fascinating. And completely counterintuitive. Get more accomplished at work by spending more time with your family, not thinking about work. The idea is that increasing your hours at work doesn't actually help you get more done. So, if instead, you're spending less time at the office, you'll find more efficient ways to do your projects.

2. 23 Productivity Hacks {From Huffington Post}

Now that we're spending fewer hours at work, let's make them count. Turn off alerts, exercise in the morning, drink plenty of water, stop with perfectionism, and declutter your desk are among the productivity hacks Inc. magazine writes on Huffington Post.
Topics: Wrap-up

Why Do Sales Managers Wait Too Long to Make the Right Decision?

why-does-it-take-managers-so-longRecently we did an informal survey with some client sales managers asking them to tell us about those things from last year for which they wished they could have a “do over.”

Not surprisingly, the responses included a very broad variety of things they’d dearly love to do over. But 100% of the responses had a single characteristic in common—these sales managers told us they waited too long to make a tough decision. By the time they did, it seemed really obvious, not only to them but also to a lot of others in the organization who had been scratching their heads over the non-action for quite a while.

Managers are Optimistic But are Often Without a Process of Evaluation

That got me thinking about what causes this procrastination and how to prevent it. Part of it is the built-in optimism and the warm interpersonal relationships that we know characterize the best sales managers. But most of the blame goes to not having a clear process of evaluation. A clear process means the manager has:

  • Established the criteria by which success will be measured
  • Determined the intervals at which those criteria will be noted and evaluated
Topics: Management leadership

Are You Hearing Objections or Objectives?

objectives-vs-objectionsIn sales, it is easy to make self-defeating assumptions when a prospect pummels you with one objection after another. It is easy to think that for some mysterious reason that they’re not really telling you, the client doesn’t like you, your company, or the products and services you represent. The problem may be that you’re focused on objections rather than objectives.

If you’re spending too much time dealing with the prospect’s objections, it’s probably because you’ve lost sight of the objectives.

A thoughtfully executed needs analysis defends you against late-stage objections, because the right questions lead you to the prospect’s objectives. And by “thoughtfully executed,” I mean: 

  • Study everything you can about the client ahead of time, using commonly available sources like their website, news releases, location visits, their presence in social media, and even an inside coach or two if you can find them.
Topics: Sales sales process

Stretch Your Advertising Dollars by Including Users

tv-commercialA few nights before the Super Bowl, we were all gathered around the dinner table, discussing the upcoming “big game.” My daughter suggested that the Super Bowl should be a national holiday. I asked why and she said, “It happens every year no matter what, everyone pays attention, even if they don’t like football, because they want to see the commercials, and we watch the whole game just for the commercials. So we should get the day off of school, making it a holiday!”

Topics: Digital selling digital advertising

How to Stop Procrastinating

This week was excellent in terms of content found online.

Here's what piqued our interest this week:

1. How to Stop Procrastinating {From Barking up the Wrong Tree}

In order to get more done, you have to change your habits, turn habits into a ritual and make them collaborative. This reminds us of our How Selling course, where we teach salespeople to prepare for the meeting, prepare the prospect, prepare, prepare, prepare! Don’t burn your time asking questions that could have been answered by looking at the website! Change your habit, change your life.
Topics: Wrap-up

Are You a Salespeople Manager? Or Just a Sales Manager?

You know how it works at most car dealers.
Are-You-a-Salespeople-Manager---SS-1
The salesperson shows you the vehicle, does a "walk around" (that's their jargon for reciting the features and benefits), and then gets all mushy when it comes to how much you'll pay. That's because the salesperson doesn't actually negotiate the price. They're not trusted to do so. Every deal goes to the sales manager, and negotiations are typically handled with the salesperson doing a sort of "shuttle diplomacy" between the unseen boss and you, the prospective buyer.
Topics: Management

How To Target Sales Superstars On LinkedIn

finding-people-on-linkedinYou are not alone if you think it is difficult to find talented job candidates. 75% of managers struggle to attract and recruit the top people they need.

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent

Someone New Could Control the Money. Are you Ready for Her?

iStock_000034447556_SmallMore than anything else, I write about industry, economic, and consumer trends at The Marketing Mind Blog. But there is one trend that deserves some attention here on this sales-oriented blog: 2014 has been the best year for job growth since 1999. That’s according to a story from CNN Money, but it’s not hard to find other evidence of solid employment growth.

Topics: Sales