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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

What a Little Green Monster Taught Me About Sales Talent

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Today we have a guest post from Allison Delagrange. Allison is is a General Sales Manager for Federated Media in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She’s a 2005 Taylor University graduate, coach to a team of top-notch sellers on 97.3 WMEE, mom to a little princess and twin boys, and wife to one handsome dude. Allison loves to help others succeed and share insights she’s learned over the course of her 10-year career in sales.


Sometimes great insights come from the most unlikely places. Just in time for Halloween, I’d like to share with you what a little green monster taught me about sales talent.

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent Sales

The 5 Biggest Ways Technology Has Transformed Sales + 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. The 5 Biggest Ways Technology Has Transformed Sales HubSpot

Modern salespeople have new tools, new techniques, and new resources at their disposal. And of course, they face new challenges. These changes require salespeople to adapt if they want to survive. This article explores the five biggest ways technology has transformed sales.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Three Essential Actions in Approaching a Whale of a Prospect

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Today we have a guest post from Sherrie Roberts. Sherrie has been crushing sales goals and breaking records for over 20 years from local broadcast to national networks and rep firms. Serving in roles as salesperson, sales manager, General Manager and Founder.


It’s tempting to approach all prospects with the same strategies and tactics—it’s much easier and quicker to use a “one-size-fits-all” approach. But no two prospects are the same, especially the big ones. 

I’ve had several opportunities to earn the business of “whales.” Two of those were company record breakers, and a few were against all odds. These experiences had three common traits that stood apart from the rest. 

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

Matt Sunshine to Speak at INBOUND 2016 on How to Find and Keep the Best Sales Reps

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In just a couple of weeks, the LeadG2 team will be heading to Boston for INBOUND 2016—the yearly marketing conference hosted by HubSpot. As a Platinum Partner of Hubspot, we appreciate how HubSpot continues to lead the industry in research studies, thought leadership, and educating marketers. We learn so much each year at the conference.

Over four days, five keynotes, and hundreds of workshop sessions, we’ll be increasing our knowledge so we can better help our clients, and we’re looking forward to that! 

Topics: lead nurturing lead generation inbound marketing

How to Stop Cold Calling and Get Your Salespeople Out Selling

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research study by McKinsey Global Institute reported that salespeople on average spend less than 13 hours a week actually selling.

Considering that going out and selling solutions is what salespeople actually are best at, and what is most profitable for them and the company they work for, it’s a little disheartening that so much time is spent doing other things like office tasks, answering emails, researching leads, and internal communication (I’m guessing this includes one too many meetings a week).

However, I’m not so sure we can eliminate those other tasks and give salespeople back another 20 hours a week. And even if they had that extra time, I’m not sure they’d be spending it in the most effective way. It’s not about how much time we have to actually sell. It’s about how much time we waste on trying to get to that point of the selling process.

Topics: Sales danibuckley

7 Ways Salespeople Can Improve Their Business Acumen + 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. 7 Ways Salespeople Can Improve Their Business AcumenHubSpot

Many salespeople fail to create or win new opportunities because they don’t know enough about business. They mistakenly believe it’s enough to know their product or service and how to overcome objections. But successful salespeople understand business and offer valued insight to their clients. This article shows you how to improve your business acumen.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Are You Using Your Sales Superpowers?

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Sales superpowers? Yes, really. To understand what I mean, please take a step back from the world of selling and focus instead on the process of buying.

The easiest way to wrap your mind around this is to consider a few common business-to-consumer (B2C) purchasing processes like buying a car, remodeling a kitchen, or selecting a college. Looking through that lens, it is easy to see how different the process of buying is today than it was only 10 years ago. I’m sure you would agree that the most notable difference is the amount of time the consumer spends researching in advance.

This sort of pre-purchase work is just as prevalent in the B2B world! Whether an individual is shopping for office space or office supplies, or selecting a bank, an accountant, a lawyer, or an insurance agent, chances are they will do a lot of pre-work before they ever engage in a significant conversation with a representative from any company. And when they do finally begin that conversation, they will come loaded with information and expectations.

Topics: Sales

6 Things to Consider When Selecting a Nonprofit Event Sponsor Prospect

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Nonprofit Development Officers are busy people who are often pulled in many different directions. How they spend their time is very important and is linked to the decisions they make.

Making a not-so-good decision leads to wasting time. Making great decisions leads to revenue development and a great ROI on task-to-time spent on a project.

Topics: Sales marketing strategies for nonprofits

Invest in Your Top Sales Talent

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As a sales manager, your time is valuable and managing your sales team tops the list of priorities. How much time and with whom you spend your time are critical to achieving sales goals. Most of us spend time on those we think need the most attention, those not meeting goals. But is this a good use of our time?

Topics: Talent Sales

8 Characteristics of a Winning Sales Coach

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There are tons of books, blogs, and articles about what it takes to be a great sales coach and manager of people. I often talk with managers who want to hire top-notch sales coaches and the list of their requirements is usually a long one—including experience, past successes, and “must have” talents. It’s definitely a hire you want to get right!

There are many natural behaviors and characteristics that make a sales coach really great, and it is important to uncover the intensities of these talents before you hire someone.

Here are 8 characteristics of winning sales coaches:

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent Sales

The Key to Adaptable Companies Is Relentlessly Developing People + 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 Key to Adaptable Companies Is Relentlessly Developing People — Harvard Business Review

Relentless focus on people, on developing everyone in the organization, leads to an organizational culture designed for adaptive change. This article explains.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

One Solution to the Biggest Problem in Sales: Setting Quality Appointments

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Research with our client base, practical experience, and many years of consulting sales organizations of all sizes makes one thing abundantly clear: the biggest single problem salespeople experience is securing high-value appointments with key decision makers. If you agree, keep reading.

Topics: business development Management Decision Makers appointment lab Sales

Becoming the Company of Choice

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In working with companies large and small and in cities large and small, the number one thing I hear most often from managers is how hard it is to recruit. There is no doubt that it can be challenging, especially if there isn’t a clear strategy in place to tackle it. Most managers don’t make recruiting a priority until when? Yep, you guessed it: when there is an open position. That is exactly the wrong time to do it (or to start doing it).

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent Sales

Three Easy Steps to Effectively Sell the Results of Your Campaign

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Campaign recaps are the norm when it comes to digital marketing. In an integrated marketing campaign, those results are usually separated out even though we design the campaign to work together. All too often, the digital portion of a campaign recap is simply a beautified spreadsheet or PowerPoint that includes creative images and a handful of metrics like impressions delivered, clicks, click-through rates, and sometimes view-throughs. These types of reports do very little to show how the campaign is actually achieving the goals of the client—and when that is the case, they can result in a cancellation or non-renewal.

The goal of a campaign recap is to sell the results back to your client so that you can retain and grow that piece of business. You want to make it clear that you are driving results—making the connection between the numbers and the emotions of your client. So how do we move beyond the simple delivery of numbers, to effectively sell the results of our integrated campaigns?

Here are three easy steps to get you there:

Topics: Digital selling digital advertising Sales

How to Attract the Very Best Sales Performers? Game On!

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Our research shows that the very best salespeople out there are highly competitive, focused, passionate, and good at solving problems. So it would make sense that these same people would be excited about the opportunity to experience a virtual version of what it’s like to work for a company while scoring badges, earning points, and competing to win. It also stands to reason that highly competitive organizations would want to set themselves apart from the competition by turning to unique forms of recruitment to attract the most high-potential hires.

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent Sales

7 Warning Signs Your Company Needs CRM Software + 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.

17 Warning Signs Your Company Needs CRM Software — HubSpot

If you're currently evaluating whether to commit to using a CRM, look for these seven warning signs that may indicate you need one.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Sales Strategy: How Preparation Speeds Up the Sales Process

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New business efforts are full steam ahead! As I am helping execute new business sales drives for different sales organizations from all over the country, I am uncovering a significant difference between how management feels this should be accomplished versus the salespeople charged with generating the revenue.

First, here's what management wants: to hit an aggressive new business goal in a specific amount of time from the very best prospects for their industry, which has been strategized to meet overall growth objectives. This is good; sales organizations need to think this way to grow and compete.

Now here's what salespeople want: to hit that number by calling on as many prospects as they can, so they hopefully get enough first appointments set, so they can complete the rest of the sales process, and hopefully close enough new business. This is NOT good because this philosophy leads to choosing and spinning your wheels on lousy prospects and hasty approaches to getting first appointments. Both of which will certainly impede any salesperson trying to hit their numbers.

Topics: Proposal new business development Needs Analysis Sales

Inputs vs. Output: Do You Know What’s Really Driving Your Sales?

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One of the most common debates in sales is how to best measure performance and other sales indicators. While some organizations prefer process-oriented KPIs, others have an outcome-oriented bias. Both ends of the spectrum are invaluable for powering your sales, but when it comes to prioritizing inputs vs. output, the “i’s” have it.

Topics: Sales metrics

How to Use Tension to Advance the Sale

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Salespeople often slow down a sale or lose it altogether because they are not willing to create tension. I am not talking about relationship tension. I am talking about task tension.  

You want to get to task tension as quickly as you can. This is what sales acceleration is all about. However, smart salespeople know you need to create a foundation of relationship—essentially reducing relationship tension so you can create task tension. You can’t rush to task tension until you remove relationship tension. You remove relationship tension by helping the prospect see that you are someone who can be trusted and could bring value.

Topics: business relationships Sales sales process

Put That Coffee Down! The New ABC of Sales

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The traditional ABCs of selling were "always be closing." Coffee was only for closers, and closing was a single, major event. The concept of "always be closing" is valid in that it’s important to always be moving the sale forward.

Too Many Pending Lists Give No Indication of the Last Move Forward

Before Google, LinkedIn, or social selling, Steve Marx, founder of The Center for Sales Strategy, taught that closing is a series of small yeses leading to the ultimate yes that confirms the sale.

Topics: Sales sales process conversions