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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Step Out of that Comfort Zone: Embrace Technology that Speeds Up the Sales Process

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For many of you, the thought of relying on technology to grow your customer base may seem awkward and  uncomfortable. I get it! But I also want to remind you… not that many years ago, using a mobile phone and email for business communications seemed awkward and uncomfortable too. Imagine if you didn't jump on that bandwagon!

Often the things that make us uncomfortable are also the things that grow us.

It's a fact. Using technology to assist in acquiring new customers is effective. But even more importantly, if you are going to survive, it’s essential! 

Topics: lead generation marketing automation sales enablement

How to Create a Sales Culture Top Talent Will Love

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Sales managers often ask us how to create the kind of atmosphere where talented people want to be. To create a sales culture that attracts and develops top talent, jobs need to contain an element of fun. Fun isn’t all about ping pong tables and fluffy couches—there are so many other ways to create a fun and inviting culture.

Fun can be spelled out many different ways. Here are just a few.

Topics: sales management sales culture Sales

How to Take Advantage of LinkedIn's Updated Search System + 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 Take Advantage of LinkedIn's Updated Search System Social Media Today

LinkedIn recently announced that its updated desktop design will hit profiles worldwide within the next few weeks. And while the new look and updated functionality is interesting, the biggest takeaway is an improved ability for you to leverage any original content you publish on the platform as a gateway to new business. Learn more.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

5 Things Every Great Sales Manager Should Do to Turn Talented Salespeople into Performers

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I recently had the opportunity to be a part of our Talent Focused Management workshop, which is designed to help managers develop and coach their sales teams by identifying individual talents, providing guidance and developing coaching based on the defined talent and proven tactics to increase overall performance.

Topics: hiring salespeople Management Sales

Webinar: 8 Ways to Increase Your Sales Team's Productivity

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LeadG2 is hosting a complimentary webinar for sales managers that will teach practical tips to arm your sales team with the tools, resources, and information they need to strengthen and shorten the sales cycle, ultimately closing more business.

Topics: Sales webinars

Has Your Sales Content Library Come Out of the Closet?

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What does your sales content library look like? Back in the old days of selling (the 1990’s), the sales library was a janitor closet with a few shelves to store corporate brochures, product sheets, and other printed sales material. Prior to going into the field for their appointments, the sales team would stock up on materials to hand out to prospects. Back then it was a long and cumbersome process to produce new material. It was also expensive to print, so refreshing and replenishing supplies was rare. Consequently, the content was written and produced in a way to be applicable to a large diverse audience and last a long time. Or in other words, the content was relevant to few, meaningless to many, and rarely had any impact on actually advancing the sale.

Topics: content strategy crm sales enablement

3 Tips to Strengthen Your Sales Team and Reach Your Goals

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The business world becomes more competitive with each passing year. Be on the lookout for ways to innovate and excel if you want your business to stand out among your competitors. To help your business gain a competitive edge, follow these three tips.

Topics: sales management Sales

LinkedIn's Major Makeover Is Designed To Make You Want To Actually Use LinkedIn + 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.

1LinkedIn's Major Makeover Is Designed To Make You Want To Actually Use LinkedIn — Fast Company

This cleaner, faster desktop version of LinkedIn makes it easier to read news, connect with people, and spruce up your profile. Check out the details.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Increase Sales Performance With a Pat on the Back – Not a Kick in the Pants!

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I’m sure those of you who are parents can relate to my recent struggle to get my 8-year-old to clean her room. A messy bedroom is often a bone of contention between parents and children. I tried numerous tactics to get my daughter to clean her room, and I heard every excuse for why she couldn’t clean up including, “I can’t because my hands are tired.”

Then, it dawned on me! Why am I threatening her with unpleasant consequences like timeout or no TV time, when I know a little encouragement works like a charm?

Topics: Management Talent

Trouble is Your Friend

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Last weekend I set out on mission to Home Depot. Lately, I have found myself involved in a number of short projects around the house, and I had come to two conclusions:

  1. Having a portable light would be very handy.
  2. Even though I have a portable light, it requires a wall plug and I’d rather not haul around a bulky light with a large orange cord and then seek an outlet.

I knew from keeping a casual eye on technology that LEDs and even some of the new efficient fluorescent bulbs put out plenty of light on battery power that lasts a long time. Sure enough, I accomplished my mission. Ten minutes and $31 later, I had my problem solved. I have already used it twice and it works well!

I bet this story doesn’t surprise you at all. You set out to solve problems in your life all the time, and often find good solutions, right? So when it comes time to approach a prospect, why do so many of us forget one of the most fundamental rules about capturing someone’s attention? It begins with identifying a potential problem within the business that needs attention. Otherwise, why would the prospect pay attention to you? The bottom line is that people only buy when there is a discrepancy between what they need to happen and what is actually happening. Motivated prospects are usually in one of two modes:

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales prospecting

Top 5 Sales Challenges Companies Need Their Marketing Effort to Solve

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LeadG2 has been working with sales and marketing teams for the last five years to help them overcome important business needs. We've learned about the challenges of over 100 companies in the process.

We recently analyzed our data on these companies and learned that certain challenges rise above the rest as consistent and pervasive. Here's what we learned about these top five challenges that companies say they're facing in today's business environment. 

Topics: inbound marketing sales enablement

From Fiction to Fact: Dispelling Common Myths About Sales Calls

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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.


Sales calls get a bad reputation, but should you completely abandon sales calls? Sales calls have the reputation they do because there are more bad sales calls than good ones. Your prospects assume that a sales call won't be worth their time—because 9 out of 10 calls really are that bad.

These are tough odds to be up against, but sales calls are often the only avenue into the new business you crave. Dispelling the myths can help combat that fear or feelings of defeat.

Topics: call reluctance Sales

Nailing the First Five Minutes of a Business Conversation + 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.

1Nailing the First Five Minutes of a Business Conversation— Salesforce

If your sales organization is not prepared to sell into the C-Suite, you need to get there. Middle managers are no longer the only people you need to sell to—top-level executives are being brought into sales conversations more and more in today's B2B sales. This article offers insight straight from a corporate COO, who says that he gives a vendor less than five minutes to establish relevance and credibility. In those five minutes, he looks for three things.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Sales Truth: You Need to Slow it Down, to Rev It Up!

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Can you remember the last time you went on a boat ride? A lot of us have some great memories out on the water. And we all know that when the boat leaves the harbor it must go slowly at first so it doesn't run into anything. This is a necessary step so it can speed up later. I really enjoy the part when the boat gets moving faster, but I understand that you need to take it slowly at first.  

Topics: Sales

How to Ask Better Needs Analysis Questions

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Have you ever set a goal for yourself to run a race? Whatever the motivation, you decided to do it. It may have been on a whim, but nonetheless you realized there was more to it than showing up the morning of the race and running. You probably found a race that suited your ability, recruited a friend to join you in the adventure, set a training schedule, and off you went. By no means did you show up for registration the morning of with no prep at all. Well, I hope not anyway. If you did, it probably didn’t go as well as you would have liked. You may have looked back and asked yourself what you could have done differently to change the outcome. I’m guessing the answer is, almost always, more training so you were better prepared.

Running a race without adequate training is no different than showing up to a first time meeting with a new prospect unprepared. Yet, it happens. Preparing yourself to ask better needs analysis questions will help you not only finish the race, but to finish with the intended outcome: to get an assignment from the prospect.  

Where to start? Here are a few suggestions for how to ask better needs analysis questions.

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales

Sales Coaching Quick Wins: How to Boost Productivity

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You’ve hired the perfect sales professional. This AE is eager, jumped right in, and you know they are going to be a rockstar. Now what? How can you help your rockstar reach their full potential?

Sales coaching really is an art form. Intuitively knowing what your sales professionals need to maximize their growth doesn’t just happen. It takes a step-by-step coaching plan that is well-thought-out ahead of each new hire and that is continued throughout your employees' careers. A lot of work? Sure, but it’s well worth it. So let’s get started.

Topics: Talent Sales productivity

5 Things to Consider When Building a Digital Team

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A digital sales team has to know more than how to sell. They need to know how to put together integrated digital solutions that solve the challenges their prospects are facing. And they have to have the talent to be successful. Here are five things you need to consider when you're building a digital sales team.

Topics: hiring salespeople Digital What & Why Digital

6 Creative Sales Prospecting Ideas You've Never Tried Before + 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.

16 Creative Sales Prospecting Ideas You've Never Tried Before — HubSpot

Sales success largely depends on routines. There are only so many hours in a day to sell -- the more practiced salespeople are at completing everyday tasks, the more time they can allocate to high-value activities like meeting with prospects or learning new skills. But sticking to the same process isn’t always a good thing. If you rely on the same prospecting methods and never try anything new, you’ll miss out on valuable opportunities. Use these six ideas as inspiration.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

3 Things to Do When Getting The Appointment Seems Impossible

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Salespeople look for opportunity. Yet sometimes getting the first appointment or even connecting with the decision maker seems impossible. You might say you have “a snowball’s chance in hell” of moving the deal forward. Unless something changes, unless “hell freezes over.” Then your snowball’s chance doesn’t look so bad.

It’s the same way with certain clients and prospects. Your chances of getting that appointment may seem impossible. What could make your chances look better today than they did yesterday? What could make them look fantastic tomorrow?

How can you make the seemingly-impossible possible? 

By finding the valid business reason you need to move forward with the prospect, that’s how. Who you know and what you know will improve your odds of finding a really strong, door-opening, valid business reason. 

Topics: Sales

Resources to Help You Get More High-Quality Appointments

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You probably have some ambitious sales goals for Q1 of 2017. And to reach those goals, you've got to get more high-quality appointments. If you aren't sure how you're going to get there, check out these free resources.

Topics: Setting Appointments sales management Sales

How to Use a LinkedIn Group to Attract New Business Prospects

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Attracting new business prospects is accomplished more easily by genuinely connecting with them and sharing your thoughts, rather than blindly spewing a product pitch. Think about it—if you were considering buying a product or service which of the following selling styles would you prefer?

  • Have a salesperson cold call you and drone on and on, spewing facts and figures about their product—and ultimately try to power close you (even if you are not ready to buy).

                                                                  OR

  • Get to know the product/service and a salesperson at your own pace—ultimately controlling when to get into a serious dialogue with a salesperson.

Providing insight into how you think—and what you stand for—is called thought leadership. It’s a great way to allow a prospect to ease into a relationship with you. Starting a LinkedIn group is an easy way to get into the thought leadership game and start a dialogue with new business prospects. Here’s how to do it:

Topics: internet marketing thought leadership inbound marketing

Have You Chosen Your Professional New Year’s Resolutions?

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In this first week of 2017, most ofus are thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions and what we can change in the new year to make ourselves better. The usual list of suspects includes a promise to get into the gym more, quitting smoking, losing weight, spending more time with family and friends, getting out of debt, and getting organized. But what about your professional resolutions? Have you determined what commitments you plan to make to achieve your professional aspirations for 2017? 

Topics: professional branding selling digital advertising Sales