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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

7 Powerful Persuasion Techniques to Use In Your Next Sales Email + More

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Here we are at the end of another week (Where did it go??), 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. 7 Powerful Persuasion Techniques to Use In Your Next Sales Email — HubSpot

The sales email is a special breed of writing. You only have a very small window of opportunity to capture your reader’s attention and convince them to move one step closer toward a purchase. Use these writing techniques to ensure your emails have the best chance of success.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Three Ways to Test Your B2B Brand’s North Star

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When you look up in the night sky, there are millions of stars. So many that it’s sometimes hard to find even the easiest constellations. But one star everyone knows is the North Star. Why is that? It's different in a few signficant ways.

Topics: professional branding Sales personal brand

What is the Most Powerful Punctuation Mark?

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Undoubtedly it’s the question mark and should be the salesperson’s best friend. Understanding how to use the question mark can unlock the keys to the kingdom for a robust dialogue.

Topics: Sales

6 Leadership Questions Sales Managers Must Ask + 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. 6 Leadership Questions Sales Managers Must Ask — SalesForce

What does it mean to be a sales leader that adds value to your organization—both the leadership above you, and the salespeople below? Here are six questions to get you thinking about how sales leaders can measure and improve their effectiveness.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Are You Doing What You Were Born To Do?

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Most of us spend a lot of time trying to figure out what we are supposed to be doing with our lives. We wonder whether we are on the right path and if we are using our strengths as we should.    

Although some discover their passion and their purpose at a young age, for most, this is part of a life-long journey. Regardless of your age or experience, it may be easier than you think to spot the tell-tale signs of talent and figure out what your strengths are! Then, once you have pin-pointed your strengths, it’s just a matter of seeking additional opportunities to use them.

Many years ago I had the opportunity to hear Marcus Buckingham speak. He explained the difference between a strength and a weakness in a way so simple that a small child could understand—yet it was powerful enough to change how grown adults think. Don’t quote me here, but essentially what he said was that when you do something that uses a strength, you feel strong. Even after hours of practice, although you may be tired, you are left feeling energized and eager. When you do something that is a weakness for you, you feel weak. At the end, you feel depleted, disengaged, and you are ready to stop.

Topics: developing strengths Talent

What Are the Odds? Use Inbound Marketing to Get Your Prospects to Come to You

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I am one of the Managing Partners here at The Center for Sales Strategy. I shift back and forth between working in the business and working on the business. I am working in the business when I am interacting with my team members while we all strive to serve clients well. But every week, I also carve out time to step back and think about the ways to improve the business. Like any small business, one of the key things we are continually trying to do is improve sales. This is more interesting for us in some ways because our business is sales. We get hired by B2B companies and non-profits to help them improve sales. We work with some of the smartest people around because it takes a smart person to know that they will be better with outside perspective, outside help. That’s where we come in.
 
When it comes to improving sales, you need to think marketing as well as sales. From a marketing standpoint, we need to have clarity on the problems we solve and be good at articulating that on our website and other branding materials. If we do that well, it will lead to sales opportunities.
Topics: inbound marketing Sales

Learn What "Buzz Wedge" and 4 Other Digital Buzzwords Mean, in Plain English

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A co-worker of mine recently posted a fun quiz on our employee Facebook page, called “Are These Marketing Buzzwords Real or Fake?” While taking the quiz, I couldn’t help but think some of the words I correctly answered were in reality just made up for fun, so I did little digging to investigate and found lots of buzzwords worthy of defining in plain English! Digital terms went from being a bunch of illusive acronyms to being a combination of words made up to define the new digital landscape. To help clear the muddy waters of digital marketing buzzwords, here are 5 defined in plain english: 

Topics: digital marketing Sales

Are Your Sales Meetings Punitive or Positive?

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Take a minute to think about all of the sales meetings you’ve attended or facilitated. Were you disappointed or delighted? Maybe you felt bored or even punished. Did the facilitator, AKA Sales Leader, drone on, pontificate, lecture, demean, or all of the above? Was it a one-voice meeting? What was the general engagement quotient of the participants?

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales

Best Practices for Lead Response Management + More

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

1. Best Practices for Lead Response Management — InsideSales.com

When are the best days/times to make contact with your leads? How many attempts should you be making? Learn what the most successful companies are doing to connect with and convert their leads in this infographic.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

How to Close Sales Faster Than Ever Before

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Everyone knows that sales is a numbers game, right? Of course! The more you have out there, the better off you are, so I’ll agree that sales is a numbers game. But, today I am going to argue that you may be looking at the wrong numbers.  

I’ll start by asking you, how many times have you heard or said: "Don't worry! I've got a lot out there pending!” C’mon—be honest! If you are like most people, you’re thinking that’s not so uncommon. 

I have to ask you, does anyone actually get paid on pending? Not anyone that I know. That’s the catch.

And that is also what tells me that you may be looking at the wrong numbers.  

Topics: discussing price Proposal sales strategy Sales

Plan Your 3 Words for 2016

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Chris Brogan recommends an exercise at the beginning of each year that he calls “My Three Words.” He uses these three words as a way to focus his energy and effort for the coming year—a creative twist on the new year’s resolution. I have seen Chris refer to this the last few years, but this is the first year I decided to take his recommendation.  

I created a first draft and set it aside a few days and then came back to put it in final form. My three words are Think, Decide, and Appreciate. Here’s what I resolve to do.

Topics: annual planning Sales

The Best Way to Sell Change to Management

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In business, change is necessary in order to adapt and grow to meet the needs of prospects and clients. Many companies and business executives tend to resist change, because change is hard and uncomfortable.

As a salesperson or a marketing professional, you probably have some good ideas that would help your company achieve its goals. Maybe you want to implement inbound marketing or add webinars or videos to your marketing mix. But how can you sell your ideas to management?

Proposing your change can be a daunting task, and rightfully so—only 54% of change initiatives succeed. To increase the chances of your idea for change to be successful, it can be helpful to use an organized change management system.

Topics: sales culture

Ugh. Another Boring Sales Meeting?

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Sales meetings are often seen as a necessary evil by both salespeople and sales managers—the salespeople often think they are a waste of time (and sometimes they are) and managers generally hate putting them together (and a are often not that good at it). So, here are five tips to help you produce a sales meeting people will want to be part of, with less work on your part to provide all the content:

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales

Peer-to-Peer Coaching: Your New Secret Weapon + More

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It's Friday! Hope you've had a good week! Now it's time for us to share what we've been reading online this week. Here are our "best" from around the web.

1. Peer-to-Peer Coaching: Your New Secret Weapon — SalesForce

Peer-to-peer coaching reinforces best practices and builds a deeper level of trust with your peers. This article examines the benefits that peer-to-peer coaching can bring to sales training. Think about what would be possible if each manager finished training with an unconditional commitment to proactively coach each other.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Sales Performance Metrics: Teams That Keep Track of the Score Are More Successful

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As a parent of two small children, I've coached my share of soccer teams over the years. I like to think that my teams learned something from my coaching and leadership, but I am starting to think that I learned more from them.

Many of the lessons I have learned can be applied to sales and specifically sales management: the team that keeps score does best, practice like you intend to play, and you are only as strong as your weakest player.

Topics: Sales sales training

A New Year’s Resolution That Will Increase Sales Performance

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Here’s a new year’s resolution I have: I am going to try to be more demanding in 2016! Demanding about the right stuff, that is.

We can all fall into the trap of being ok with good performance (from ourselves and others)—instead of demanding great performance. An example of this for our company is in the area of insights. Many of our clients count on us for insights related to specific categories of business or overall consumer trends that impact numerous business categories. Over the last few years, we've tried to do too much. As a result, we had a lot of average content in our business category insights. This year, we are going to narrow our scope and improve our content (and design). I am going to demand it from all of us.

Topics: sales performance Sales

How to Boost Morale for Better Sales

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Now that 2016 is here, how are you going to improve sales? With the arrival of each New Year we set personal goals, or resolutions. Do you set goals? These goals, hopefully, revolve around what’s truly important to you—what you value.

When it comes to sales, what do you value? If the answer to that question is hitting the numbers, then people are simply stepping stones. When you value people first, you'll watch the numbers stack up. The goal is to invest in people. The return on that investment is huge, because people account for a quality sales operation.

Topics: sales culture Talent Sales

10 Habits to Adopt Now to Be Better at Your Job in 2016  + More

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Happy New Year! We've collected our favorite posts and articles that we've read this week, and we're sharing them here with you. Get ready for a great 2016!

1. 3 Sales Tips to Pounce on Before the Ball Drops — Salesforce

Streamline your sales tasks with technology. This post from Salesforce explains how implementing three tips will help you be more productive in 2016.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up