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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

3 Resources to Help You Generate More (and Better) Leads

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Without good leads, it's hard to have good appointments. Leads who fit your ideal client profile are golden. These 3 resources will help you generate more (and better) leads.

Topics: lead generation Sales

How to Help Your Salespeople Burn Strong, Not Burn Out

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As managers, we want to get everything we can out of our sales team. The harder they work, the more they will deliver, right? What if we looked at our sales teams differently? What if we asked instead, "What can we do to see results and stay on target, while keeping our team happy and ready to take on more?"

Topics: developing strengths Talent Sales

Three Essential (Often-Overlooked) Metrics Sales Managers Should Track for Better Performance

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I surely hear a lot of talk these days about success in setting new-business appointments. Sales managers often say with a degree of pride, “Our team set 28 appointments last week.” Or, “We had a very good appointment-setting session and got 31 new appointments in only two hours.”

These numbers are impressive, and the logical sequence of events from there would be a steady increase in new business volume. But, too often, when those new business metrics come in, the cause and effect doesn’t exist. New business does not spike as one would expect after four straight weeks of appointment setting. 

So, what is wrong?

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

4 Ways Your Sales Team Should Be Using LinkedIn (But Probably Isn't) + More

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We 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.

1. 4 Ways Your Sales Team Should Be Using LinkedIn (But Probably Isn't) HubSpot

Most salespeople use LinkedIn to connect, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The platform is also a relationship-builder, brand advocate, research tool, publishing platform, and marketing asset. If you don’t know how to utilize the power of LinkedIn in all of these areas, this post will help.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Three Steps to Generating Quality Case Studies

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The need for quality case studies has never been greater than it is right now. B2B salespeople are encountering more competition than ever before, and they are working harder to earn the business and attention from both their prospects and their current clients. There’s a lot of information out there online, and businesses are increasingly conducting their own research and independently garnering information that allows them to evaluate your products and services. 

Topics: business development case studies business relationships new business development Sales

How a Local Radio Station is Using Inbound Marketing to Generate New Revenue for 2016

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From the moment I started working with the team at Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group, I had a feeling they were going to do a stellar job with inbound marketing. Then, once I met with them at their office in Columbia, Missouri for our Inbound Marketing & Sales Strategy Workshop, which kicked off our partnership, I was convinced.

Collectively, they “got it” and understood that because the advertising buyer’s experience has changed, the role of the media salesperson had to change too. As a LeadG2 and The Center for Sales Strategy Consultant, it’s always exciting to work with a company who not only wants the results but is also willing to invest their time and money to get the job done. And in this case, not only because they want to grow new revenue, but also because they care about their advertisers and the people they work with. They believe in educating them and being a true partner to small and large businesses alike. They understood that inbound marketing is more than a campaign here and there or a great keyword strategy. It’s about creating a conversation with potential and current customers. It’s about being a thought leader, making an impact in their industry, and reaching buyers appropriately in the sales process.

I’m not writing this article to simply brag about my awesome client (though they are pretty awesome). I’m writing this to let other media companies know they can improve the way they communicate with prospects, and they can get real, tangible results by implementing the right strategy and the right tools.

Topics: case studies inbound marketing media

Close More Deals Using a No-surprise Proposal

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Surprises can be fun when they are part of a birthday; not-so-much when involved in selling and closing a B2B deal. Salespeople should do their due diligence—via ongoing contracting and clarification—to minimize surprises in the sales process, especially during proposal development and presentation.

Too often proposals are met with the response, “Let me think about it," because the buyer is hearing many of the proposal elements for the first time during the proposal presentation. Ouch… these five words can really derail a sale! Salespeople can eliminate these words from the sales process and improve their closing ratio by using a no-surprise proposal technique that clarifies these 5 things before they build and present a proposal:

Topics: Proposal Sales

What a Strong Talent Bank and PB2 Have in Common

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My words of wisdom for the day: When you love something, don’t set it free. Hold on tight and grab a back-up just in case! 

Topics: Talent Sales

9 Ways You're Losing Your Prospects' Trust (and the Deal) + More

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

19 Ways You're Losing Your Prospects' Trust (and the Deal) HubSpot

Sales and trust. Not exactly two words today’s buyers think of as synonymous. According to HubSpot Research, only 3% of people consider salespeople trustworthy. Here are 9 ways to build trust with your prospect.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

15 Things Every Great Sales Manager Knows

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I may have the greatest job in the world. Seriously! Here’s what I do every day: talk with people who are actively engaged in sharing important information with me, figure out what makes those people “tick,” work with sales managers to understand the talents of the people they are interviewing, help them to hire the very best people for the job, focus on the unique strengths of individuals, and help managers to coach their direct reports to become wildly successful. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

And best of all, I have the privilege to work closely with some of the greatest managers out there. After all these years, I can tell you that there are 15 things that every great manager knows. Here they are:

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent Sales

How to Create the Right Digital Solution for Your Client

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I am often asked by salespeople, “How do you know which is the right digital capability to pull into a solution?” or, “What is the right budget to recommend for a prospect or client?” The answers to both of these questions stem from the same place – understanding the client's challenge and their goals.

Topics: digital marketing selling digital advertising Sales

3 Resources to Help Turn Sales Talent into Performance

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Every sales manager has, at some point, come to realize that sales talent isn't enough to reach revenue goals. The key is to hire talented salespeople and then help them optimize their performance. 

These 3 resources will help you, as a manger, turn sales talent into performance.

Topics: sales performance Talent Sales

How to Increase the Quality of Your Sales Leads

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There are certain movies and shows that you have to watch if you want to be able to contribute to the water cooler talk on Monday morning or discuss the latest happenings on the show with a client. If you are in advertising, Mad Men was a must-watch for several years. For computer programmers, it might be Halt and Catch Fire. If you are in the business of sales or lead generation, Glengarry Glen Ross is that movie. If you are a sales manager or salesperson and haven’t seen it, you need to spend some time next weekend and catch up on this classic movie.

When I recently re-watched Glengarry Glen Ross, it made me think about how frequently the salespeople in the movie complained about the quality of the leads and made such a differentiation between the “good leads” and the “bad leads." If you are in sales or sales management, at some point in your career you have probably made a similar statement about the quality of leads being provided to you or your sales team. Soon after making a judgment on the quality of the leads, most sales managers start to focus on how to improve the quality of leads for their sales team.

Topics: lead nurturing Sales

7 Ways to Build Credibility When You're a New Leader + More

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

1. 7 Ways to Build Credibility When You're a New Leader — HubSpot

What creates trust, engagement, and confidence within the workplace? This article looks at seven ways new leaders can get off to a solid start, and how they can build essential credibility from the beginning.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Have You Conducted a Talent Check Up Lately?

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Our sales departments are filled with Sales Managers, Directors of Sales, VPs of Sales, and even Chief Sales Officers who are charged with generating sales and growing business. What we don’t typically find in a sales operation is a  “Talent Manager” or “Talent Coach" — even though the best sales leaders out there know that the best way to drive sales is to hire exceptionally talented salespeople.  

Topics: hiring salespeople employee retention developing strengths motivation Talent Sales

"Follow Up Next Week" Does Not Mean You Have an Appointment

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One of the leading indicators for sales success is to look at the number of appointments that a salesperson has each week. (This is not the only leading indicator that you should be looking at, but it is one of them.) The idea is that if a salesperson has a significant amount of appointments each week which involve finding needs, getting assignments, presenting solutions, or delivering a proposal, that this quality sales activity will lead to good solid revenue performance.  

I think it’s fair to say that everyone in sales or in sales management would agree with this, so I’m not really going out on a limb having made that statement. But here is where I think there might be a flaw. I think many salespeople are confusing "I'll follow up with you next week" with "I have an appointment." To be clear, "I’ll follow up with you next week" does not mean you have an appointment.

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

Could Chatbots Replace Sales Reps?

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If you’re the type of salesperson who focuses on maintaining existing accounts by being more responsive and service oriented, you may soon find yourself out of job. It’s the harsh reality (and opportunity) of the explosive expansion and use of chatbots.

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales automation

5 Practical Ways to Help Salespeople Build On Their Strengths

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A new school year is right around the corner – time for back-to-school shopping and wrapping up summer reading. In preparing for the new year, I came across a poster that my son’s class completed at the end of last year. Each student took home a poster full of compliments from classmates and teachers. In reading through my son’s, I realized that many of the “compliments” were about his talents. For example his teacher wrote, “You are my little leader. You set the mood for the class. If you say ‘yes,’ everyone will follow.” 

I am already noticing that leader talent in my 11-year-old, and others are picking up on it as well. That’s because our strengths are hard-wired in us from a very early age, and when they are strong, people notice and appreciate them. 

Topics: Talent Sales coaching

5 Signs Your Customer Is Ready for an Upsell + More

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

1. 5 Signs Your Customer Is Ready for an Upsell — HubSpot

The upsell might be the most underrated play in sales. Once you’ve built up a customer base, you can start farming — that is, mining your existing customers for opportunities to upsell or cross-sell. This article offers five signs to look for to know when you should go for the upsell.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

How Today's Superstar Salespeople Sell Differently

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Today's superstar salespeople aren't doing things the way they were fifteen years ago—they've aligned their sales process with the way that people buy today. Today’s superstar salespeople are also taking advantage of today's technology, which allows them to have a significant advantage over their sales counterparts who are still practicing the 20th century sales methods. These modern day sales warriors are using what we call lead intelligence to maximize their selling effort. This advantage is making an amazing difference in sales performance and it’s worth taking note.

While many of the sales fundamentals of the 20th century still apply, the fact is that with the advancement of technology, the use of email, social media, and the mobile phone, there have been some significant changes that have allowed salespeople to improve and deliver better performance. 

Topics: inbound marketing Sales

Are You Wasting Your Time on Social Media?

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There was a time when business people needed to be persuaded to get active online. Most of you are already active on social media. The big question now is how to use social media to build your business.

Topics: Social Media Sales

Managing Highly Talented Salespeople – Is It Worth the Trouble?

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After years of coaching salespeople, I firmly believe that those with extreme talent are much more challenging to coach! As a manager, are you willing to put in the time and effort to coach a talented candidate to greatness?

Topics: Talent Sales coaching

Sales Enablement Software Pairs With Training to Boost Productivity

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We recently spoke with Karen McCandless, market researcher at GetApp (a sales management software review company) about her latest study, which sampled 250 sales professionals and 200 consumers. The study sought to uncover today's key challenges for salespeople as well as what successful salespeople are doing to overcome those problems.

Topics: Sales sales enablement