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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Secrets To Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions + 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 Secrets To Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions— FastCompany

If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’re probably thinking about making a New Year’s resolution. From losing weight to getting organized, spending less/saving more, and enjoying life to the fullest (last year's top four resolutions), we often make grand plans every January. Unfortunately, just 8% of us will be successful, according to Statistic Brain. But your odds don’t have to be so disheartening. Here are some proven tips that can put you in the 8% that make it happen. 

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Traction… Whose Job Is It to Make Sure the Next Step Gets Taken?

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Maybe it's because I live in the great Pacific Northwest (the really cold part) that has me thinking about getting traction—both on the road and in sales. I talk a lot about traction when I'm coaching people through the selling process because it is the metric for how we move through the process.

If You Want Success, You Have to Take the Wheel

You can tell that you are moving the process forward when you get the traction to turn the wheels to move to the next step. Your prospects are not going to do this for you. You must take the wheel. They aren't going to be doing the contracting and partnering to move to the next step—that responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders. And amazingly it can be as easy as making sure you are at the same stage in the process and agreeing on what the next steps will be.

Take charge of the sales process with our How Selling Process.

Contract the Next Step

What does that sound like? How about this… "Thanks for meeting with me today Ms. Decision-maker. I learned a lot about what you do. I'm thinking my next step should be to review the information we've discussed and start to put together some preliminary ideas. I'll then bring those back to you so we can review them together. Would you agree that's the path I should take?"

Without clear contracting, you sit idle or even worse, start sliding out of control.

Download How Selling Steps

Topics: setting expectations sales strategy Sales

Speed Up Your Sales Cycle With Focus And Preparation

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You're only as good as your last great sale. Are you getting your next one fast enough to reach your goals? Many salespeople approach their next big win like it will take months. That's a bad assumption to make if you want to accelerate your sales cycle. With the right focus and preparation, one salesperson I work with got her "next great sale" in a short amount of time. Here's how:

Topics: Setting Appointments new business development sales strategy Sales

Balancing Time and Performance with Sales Enablement

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Today we have a guest post from Rachel Davidson. Rachel is a content specialist for Highspot, the sales enablement industry’s leading platform for content management, customer engagement, and analytics.


As sales teams grow, it can be challenging to make sure each team member has quick access to resources needed to do the job: case studies, email templates, product sell sheets, whitepapers, etc.

When huge amounts of content are fragmented and spread throughout multiple systems and platforms, reps can spend more time searching than selling. This is where sales enablement technology comes into play. By using a smart sales enablement tools that allow reps to access content and automate tasks, sales teams put themselves in better position to save time and engage customers more effectively.

At its heart, sales enablement creates more opportunities for reps to do what they do best: sell. Today we’re going to share ideas on improving the bottom line of your business by achieving faster conversions and higher sales via sales enablement.

Topics: sales management sales enablement

The 5 Most Popular Posts from 2016

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We publish a lot of posts on our blog in our effort to help sales managers and salespeople get better results. Every so often, we look back at our analytics to see which posts were the most popular, so we know what's of interest to people (and what we need to focus on with upcoming posts). 

Topics: Sales blogging

Four Easy Ways To Make A Memorable First Impression + 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.

1Four Easy Ways To Make A Memorable First Impression— FastCompany

That firm handshake is great, but it's what you say next—and how you say it—that matters more. Here are four ways to make a great impression.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Is it Wrong to be Friends with the People You Manage?

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This is one of the coaching questions I am asked most often, so chances are high that you’ve wondered the same thing. My short-and-sweet answer to this question? No, it is not wrong. Not even a little bit.

I’ll even go one giant step further by saying that in most cases, it is actually imperative that you are friends with the people you manage.

Topics: Management Talent Sales

Are We Past the Personal Brand Thing Yet?

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When a fad reaches saturation, it’s often ready to start dying out, or at least transition into something else. Since it seems that everywhere you turn, someone is talking about the mistakes and must-haves for your personal brand, has this fad run its course? Are you a skeptic or fanatic for personal branding?

Where do you stand on personal branding?

  • Do you read the hype about a personal brand and roll your eyes?
  • Or are you an established thought leader in your industry?
Topics: Social Media Sales personal brand

How to Cast the Net for Millennial Salespeople

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In an article in Time Magazine describing the new generation of workers, many summarizations were made. Here are a few quotes from that article: “They are thought of as the entitlement, me, me, me generation,” “Want to postpone growing up,” “Overly sensitive at best and lazy at worst.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Which generation do you think this article was about? You may be quick to jump on Millennials for your answer, but you would be wrong! This article was written about 16-year-olds and is dated from a 1990 Time issue on Generation X!

Every older generation views the younger ones with that “What is up with the kids these days?” mindset. Scary to say, but you have become your parents! Millennials are the new YOU!

We hear that word often, but who exactly are Millennials? Let’s look at a quick breakout of your workforce by category:

Topics: Talent Sales

Why Post-Sale Service Matters to a B2B Salesperson's Success

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Today we have a guest post from Danny Wong. Danny is a marketing consultant, sales strategist, and writer. He does marketing at Tenfold, a seamless click-to-dial solution for high-performance sales teams. Connect with him on Twitter @dannywong1190.


As an effective sales professional, you can’t just close the book on clients after they’ve signed the deal, even if the bulk of the work then shifts to other departments. How your colleagues execute the post-sale experience has important implications for the company as a whole, as well as your relationship with the customer. What occurs during this phase can result in the customer being even more satisfied than before (including with their experience during the sales process), or it can derail what was otherwise a well-executed marketing and sales strategy.

Topics: customer satisfaction sales strategy Sales

How to Use Psychological Biases to Sell Better, Faster + 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 Use Psychological Biases to Sell Better and Faster— HubSpot

Psychological biases are part of us, so those whose job it is to persuade can benefit from learning how to spot and play to them. This article digs into a few biases that relate to decision making and helps sales reps use these brain quirks to sell better.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Stand Out or Sit Down: Improve Your Sales Strategy

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I frequently meet with salespeople who are working on creative ways to approach prospects that they're having difficulty getting in front of. One salesperson had a particularly difficult challenge, as she had been trying to get an appointment with a key prospect for over eight months with no success, and all of the traditional methods had been exhausted.

Topics: brainstorming sales strategy Sales

Top 10 Ways to Decrease Turnover on Your Sales Team

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Every sales manager has been there. You spend time and effort selecting just the right candidate. You get your “perfect” AE hired and trained, and they’re doing well. But then you get their two-week notice. Your heart sinks. You have invested time, energy, and most importantly money into this person, only to have them take their talent to another company. What happened?!

We have all heard the phrase, an employee joins a company but leaves a manager. So how can you keep your top talent? How can you become a manager whose people stay?

Topics: sales management Talent salespeople

Tips to Make Sales Meetings Meaningful Instead of Meaningless

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When you think about sales meetings you’ve attended over the years, were you delighted or disappointed? Were you engaged or enraged? Was your time spent in the meetings worthwhile or wasted?

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management Sales

Avoid These 8 Common Business Blogging Mistakes

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Blogging is no longer just for personal use. Businesses, including B2B companies, use blogs as a platform to connect with their target audience and increase awareness about their brands. If you are running or managing the sales department of a B2B company and you don’t have a blog for your business yet, you may want to consider starting one due to its various benefits.

Topics: content marketing blogging

Attention Marketers and Sales People: Take No for an Answer + 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.

1Attention Marketers and Sales People: Take No for an Answer + More — Medium

Every time a salesperson contacts a potential lead, the salesperson is at an automatic disadvantage. The prospect always starts out on the defense. It’s not because they hate being sold to. They’re defensive because, in their experience, it’s going to take an enormous effort to make the salesperson accept a simple “No.” Here are five reasons why the best response is to actually take "no" for an answer.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Get Serious about Lead Generation

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If you're blogging to generate leads, developing an effective lead generation strategy is something not to be taken lightly. If you are expecting your business blog to generate leads, rank higher on Google and increase traffic to your website, you probably want to spend as much time focusing on why you are blogging as you spend on what you are blogging about.

Topics: content marketing content strategy thought leadership inbound marketing

Three Ancient Leadership Insights to Motivate Your Sales Team

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A leader’s success or failure is dependent on the actions of those they lead. Good sales mangers understand that actions begin with attitude and motivate their team to direct their talents to selling and delivering effective solutions for their clients. The insights of military leaders often apply in business, which is why Sun Tzu’s Art of War is popular reading within the ranks of management.

Success or failure is a result of what people think, feel, and then do. Xenophon was an ancient Greek warrior and philosopher who observed that what soldiers think and feel will affect their actions.

Let’s look closer at three observations he made and how they apply to sales management:

Topics: sales management Sales

Top-Tier Service: 6 Ways to Improve Your Customers' Experience

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Customers aren't going to want to do business with a company that doesn't offer a great buying experience. No matter the type of business you run, you need to treat your clients right if you want them to remain in business with you and spread the word about your good reputation. Below are a few ways that you can improve the way your company interacts with customers.

Topics: customer satisfaction Sales

The Job of the Salesperson is to Help Prospects Navigate Their Buying Journey

 

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You may have heard it said that the best way to approach selling is to make buying easier for the buyer. That saying has been around a long time. But a new twist on that is the notion of helping buyers navigate their journey. The journey in B2B buying has greatly changed over the last several years.  

Smart salespeople think about the “things” along the buyer journey—and consider how they can help the buyer navigate that journey.  

Topics: Sales Buyer's Journey

5 Highly Effective Email Time Management Hacks + 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.

15 Highly Effective Email Time Management Hacks — HubSpot

Most salespeople spend hours in their inbox every day: Writing emails, scheduling them, reading them, and organizing them. If you could save just 10% of this time, you’d have more time for actual selling. To shrink your email investment by 10% (or more), try these five effective email time management hacks.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

The Magic Behind a Successful Key Account Growth Plan is You!

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‘Tis the Season! The Walmart countdown displays in the seasonal section of their stores were up and counting down before Halloween was over. That irks me for a number of reasons, but it also motivates me. I need to finalize my growth plans for next year… and so do you!

Topics: customer satisfaction key account growth Needs Analysis annual planning sales strategy Sales