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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How To Write To-Do Lists That Make You Happier At Work + 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.

1How To Write To-Do Lists That Make You Happier At Work Fast Company

A sense of purpose brings happiness in your work, and a well-written to-do list can help impart it. A big part of seeing your job as a calling is recognizing the significant contributions you make over the days, weeks, and months that make up your career. So your to-do list should ideally make that easier to see, not harder. Here's how to create a better to-do list.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

3 Keys to Sustainable Sales Performance

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Think of sales performance as a three-legged stool. When all three legs are strong, there is nothing sturdier. But if one of the legs isn’t holding up its weight, the stool can no longer do its job. Just as you need all three legs on that stool, so too must a sales organization have three solid legs to carry the weight of the expectations placed on it.

Topics: Management

Ten Ways to Retain Top Performers and Improve Performance

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After spending over a decade helping sales organizations select highly talented employees and coaching those salespeople and sales managers to turn talent into performance, I have discovered what I believe are two undisputable truths:

  • A shockingly high number of people are not engaged at work.
  • Talented people who leave their jobs usually point to their manager as the problem.

The latest numbers from Gallup tell us that 70% of our employees are disengaged in their jobs and a recent study by SAP and Oxford Economics revealed that one in five of our top performers are likely to leave their jobs in the next six months!

This means it’s not enough to hire highly talented people into your organization and it’s not even enough to put them in the right positions so they can effectively use their talents (although both of these things are critical!).

Once hired, these talented people need much more from their manager in order to consistently feel engaged and fully realize their potential.

So what can you do to increase employee retention and maximize the performance of your people?

Topics: sales performance Talent Sales

5 Ways to Create Sales Proposals That Close Deals

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Today we have a guest post by Mikita Mikado. Mikita is the Co-Founder & CEO of PandaDoc, a platform helping sales teams create, deliver, and track intelligent sales content to close deals faster. To learn more about simplifying your sales documents, connect with Mikita and the PandaDoc team on Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Topics: Proposal Sales

How to Get Results in Individual Meetings with Your Salespeople

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I've been asked a number of times by sales managers if I had any thoughts on how they might make the individual focus meetings with their salespeople more productive. What's interesting about this is that I get asked almost every week by sales people why they even need to have an individual focus meeting with their sales manager. As you can already tell, there seems to be an issue with this weekly meeting—neither side is getting what they want out of it. I think I understand why this is happening…

Topics: Management Sales

Why It’s Important to Update Your CRM During Lead Nurturing + 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.

1Why It’s Important to Update Your CRM During Lead Nurturing — Business 2 Community

Many salespeople are pretty good at entering new prospects into the CRM. But it's important to keep the CRM updated throughout the lead nurturing process. This article explains why.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Are You a Good Talent Detective?

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Recently, I watched a documentary on Russian ballerinas. The film highlighted the rigorous training and selection process that these aspiring dancers endure to become professionals. The instructors and directors of the Russian dance companies have very specific attributes and talents that they look for when selecting dancers. They look for and identify these talents as they watch the dancers in action because they know these talents are essential and often difficult to find. Unfortunately for these aspiring dancers, most just don’t have the talent to become a prima ballerina.

Similarly, not everyone has the talent to be a successful salesperson.

It’s very smart to use a validated talent interview to uncover the innate abilities of your sales candidates and predict their future success in sales. It’s like the final auditions the Russian ballerinas must nail before they are invited to join the company. But make sure you are scouting for talent long before audition day! You have plenty of opportunities to discover potential all around you as you observe other people in action. With consistent practice, you can sharpen your eye to spot signs of potential in these areas every day.

Topics: Talent

Bridging the Generation Gap

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We have all been there. The manager announces a new hire and someone says, “but they’re so YOUNG!” Or “Really?! They look like they’re 12!” As people are staying in the workforce longer, it's easy to have 30, 40, even 50 years separating Junior AEs from seasoned salespeople. So the question is, how can you get your team to all just get along?

Topics: Talent Sales

Selling Integrated Solutions is Easier With Inbound Marketing

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It seems like a lifetime ago, but I was once the Associate Publisher at Competitor Texas magazine, a 80,000 circulation endurance sports magazine. Most of my clients were either running, cycling, or triathlon events or retailers and had a website but hadn’t started to build up a sizeable presence on social media. Most hadn’t even considered using digital ads to get visitors from related fitness websites to their own site.

It was a great time to be in the media industry, and we were just beginning to see the potential of integrating digital, social, email, event marketing, grassroots campaigns and print all together into one campaign. But we had one BIG challenge: how to effectively explain this new way of thinking to potential advertisers when many of these race directors still had event registrants filling out paper registration forms and mailing them in. They were certainly not embracing new technology or uses of media very quickly and were quite resistant to any change. So how to get through to them and show them how integrated solutions work? That’s where inbound marketing came in.

Topics: integrated media solution inbound marketing media

Save Time by Distinguishing Between Prospects and Suspects

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Developing revenue for nonprofit organizations can be a challenge for many reasons. One of the main reasons is finding potential donors and sponsors who resemble your best partners and meet the following criteria:

Topics: Sales prospecting nonprofit

The 6 Secrets to Getting People to Say Yes + 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. 6 Secrets to Getting People to Say Yes — Inc.

Robert Cialdini, the author of the classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, has released a new book with new insights into the art of winning people over. He talks about his insights in this video interview.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Football vs Sales – Key Elements in Coaching a Winning Team!

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Football. It is one of America’s favorite past times. Growing up in the South, football has been a part of my life since I was a small child. College football is literally in my blood, as my grandfather, father and brother all played football where they attended college. 

As an alumnus of Auburn University and a passionate supporter of the Auburn Tigers football team, I clearly remember the amazing turnaround from 2014 to 2015. In 2014, Auburn finished the season with a dismal record of 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the SEC, but those of us who love Auburn stood by our team and believed things would eventually get better. 

Who knew what a difference a year would make?  In one short year, head coach Gus Malzahn led the Auburn Tigers to a 12-1 overall winning record, clinching the SEC Championship title, and earning a trip to Pasadena to play in the BCS National Championship title game against undefeated Florida State University.  

A successful head coach of a winning football team can be likened to a successful manager of a winning sales team. A sales manager after all is “coaching” his or her team to success, wins, and GROWTH. There are three important areas that both a head coach and a sales manager should keep in mind when coaching their teams to success:

Topics: Management Talent

5 Things You Can Do to Get More Leads

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If you’re a B2B company, then it’s probably safe to guess that you are looking to generate more leads. Not just more leads of course, but better leads. The type of leads that you are excited to send to your salespeople, that your salespeople are thanking you for, and that are consistently converting into new customers.

However, sometimes your efforts can get a little stale. You're doing everything you're supposed to be doing: blogging two to four times a week, sharing on social media, and nurturing the leads you do have. But it’s not enough. While traffic might seem to increase, your leads aren’t.

Here are five things you can do today that will help you get more leads tomorrow!

Topics: lead generation danibuckley lead intelligence

The Link Between Cause Marketing and Client Needs

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Cause Marketing is a buzzword bantered about by many in the nonprofit sector. To some, the concept is a proven method to help organizations solve business problems via an association with a worthwhile cause. To others, it is merely a tactic designed to pitch and sell sponsorships to nonprofit events and initiatives.

Topics: Sales nonprofit

The 5 Worst Social Media Practices Brands Should Avoid + 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.

1The 5 Worst Social Media Practices Brands Should Avoid— Fast Company

Whether it's to avert a social debacle or maintain a growing following, three social media experts reveal some practices to avoid in this post.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Three Must-Know Social Media Practices for B2B Lead Generation

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There is a plethora of research out there on why social media is such an important component of your inbound marketing, but what I want to share with you today are some specific ways to get started engaging and connecting with your social media audience. These will help you increase your B2B lead generation, and ultimately convert more customers. 

Topics: Social Media digital marketing Digital integrated media solution inbound marketing

Attention and Adaptation in the Digital Era

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One, one thousand.

Two, one thousand.

Three, one thousand.

Where are you going with this?  

Four, one thousand.

Five, one thousand.

Ahem, I have more important things to do. 

Six, one thousand.

Seven, one thousand.

Get to the point!!! 

Eight, one thousand. Done!

The point is to illustrate—in words only—the interval of eight seconds.

Why? Because eight seconds is the average attention span of a North American, revealed last year in a study by Microsoft Corp.

Topics: Sales sales training

How to Get a Standing Ovation After Your Next Sales Meeting

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Is your sales meeting agenda something like this?

1) Housekeeping
2) Where we are
3) Where we need to be
4) Get there the way I tell you
5) Go do it  

All this in 45 minutes…. No wonder you haven't gotten a standing ovation yet! Talented salespeople want to be nurtured—they want to get better at what they already do well. The agenda above does nothing to support that. It's time for a new agenda.

Salespeople like to make good use of their time, and if they're not out selling, you better make it worthwhile for them to be in a sales meeting. Take topics 1, 2 and 3—listed above—and send them in a regular weekly email. And work one-on-one with your salespeople to help them each accomplish their sales goals individually. Then use 30-45 minutes a week as a team for small doses of training on topics that are timely and relevant to their sales success.

Topics: Management successful sales meetings Sales

Who’s On Your Personal Board?

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We all remember the cartoon image of a cat with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, getting advice on his (usually) bad decision. Hopefully we get better advice from our Personal Board of Directors. What are we talking about? Simply put, your Personal Board of Directors is the group of people who help you to make important decisions personally or professionally and that hold you accountable for those decisions. We all have one, whether we realize it or not. The question is, have you personally picked your Board?

Topics: Sales salespeople

Developing Employees’ Strengths Boosts Sales, Profit, and Engagement + 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.

1Developing Employees’ Strengths Boosts Sales, Profit, and Engagement Harvard Business Review

Gallup has found that there’s a lot more potential in developing what is innately right with people than there is trying to fix what’s wrong with them. Focusing on employees’ strengths does more than engage workers and enrich their lives: It also makes good business sense. This article reports the business benefits that the study discovered and outlines how to develop your employees' strengths.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Finding Qualified Prospects for Your Sales Team is Tough

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Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink. There are more businesses operating in America today than at any time in the past. Competition is sharper and the stakes are higher than ever, ensuring that marketing and sales challenges loom large for a great many of them. So why do both sales managers and their salespeople rate this the second-highest ranking item on their lists? Prospects shouldn’t be hard to find—there should be prospects everywhere they turn.

Topics: lead generation Sales