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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The #1 Way to Respond to Any Question from a Prospect + 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 #1 Way to Respond to Any Question from a Prospect— HubSpot

How do you respond to prospect questions? The most effective type of response isn’t an immediate one. Implement this technique, and you’ll stand out from your selling competition.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

How Do You Tantalize a Prospect?

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Is a prospect’s first impression of you a list of bold claims about your product and how superior it is to competing products? I hope not. It’s boring to the prospect. You see, dangling product in front of a prospect is usually ineffective for many reasons:

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis Sales

6 Ways B2B Marketing And Sales Leaders Can Take Collaboration To The Next Level

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Effective marketing and sales alignment doesn’t happen without the dedication of determined leaders. When you consider that a lack of alignment between marketing and sales can cost companies up to 10% of their revenue each year, it puts the severity of the issue front and center. However, the importance of collaboration between the units isn’t limited to financial performance. It impacts the way your employees work with each other, and the way they demonstrate your value proposition to customers. Marketing and sales leaders must make a commitment to come together to better serve their customers, their team members, and the company stakeholders.

Topics: content marketing Sales marketing strategy b2b

How to Know if You’re in the Right Job

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Recently I read an article by James Altucher, author of The Power of No in which he explained, “I’m going to be dead for about 9 or 10 trillion years. And only alive for the next 40 or so.” Pretty depressing stuff there, Mr. Altucher, but actually a little inspiring too. It puts things into perspective, right? We have a short window of time to make our mark on this world while at the same time, finding happiness.

I have a sure-fire way to help people maximize that time and I’m going to share it here with you. Don’t laugh at me for being simple. Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas and solutions that are the very best! So, here goes. If there is one thing I have learned over the last decade or so as a Talent Analyst, it is this: If you spend your time doing what you are naturally good at, you will be more productive and happier. On the flip-side, if you try to force yourself into a role that isn’t just right, it’s only a matter of time before you stop growing and find yourself overwhelmingly frustrated.

Topics: hiring salespeople employee retention

Adopt a Slinky Style of Management to Drive Sales

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Have you played with a slinky recently? Probably not. But you remember how it moves down a staircase. Play that video in your head, and as you do that, think about how adopt a slinky style of sales management.

Topics: Management sales management

5 Tactics Smart Reps Use to Get Stalling Deals Over the Finish Line + 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 Tactics Smart Reps Use to Get Stalling Deals Over the Finish Line — HubSpot

It’s the end of the month or quarter, and you’re running out of time to hit quota. A deal you were counting on to close is stalling. What do you do? Pressuring your prospect to buy before they’re ready is never wise, unless you want to lose their trust and potentially their business. But there are several non-manipulative ways to increase the buyer’s urgency, like these five ideas.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

5 Ways for Salespeople to Activate Lagging Prospects

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In our consulting practice we often talk with salespeople who are frustrated because a proposal they have in front of a prospect seems to be going nowhere. Typically, the prospect has said positive things about the plans in the proposal and seems to indicate they have interest in implementing the plan at some point, but still the decision wallows and there’s no sale. So how does one best deal with this scenario?

Here are five ideas to help you activate lagging prospects:

Topics: Sales

Nine Reasons Why You Should Always Start with Talent

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Talent, fit, experience. All extremely important factors to consider when you are working to fill an open position. But where do you start?

A strong talent bank will be filled with a wide variety of people. Rookies. Veterans. Unique personalities. Those much like you. What is the most important thing to consider when you have the golden opportunity to fill an open position?

Talent.

And here’s why:

Topics: sales management Talent

Why Managing Your Brand is Like Building a Music Playlist

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We’re at in interesting time in professional branding. Few are questioning that they need to work on building a personal brand, but most still want to know how. How do you suddenly become a master storyteller about the one thing that is hardest to talk about—yourself?

Let’s look at building a brand from the perspective of sharing the things you love, the things you care about, or the things you enjoy. For example, let’s look at how building a brand can be like creating and sharing a playlist of your favorite songs. 

  • Specific Tastes — Some of us have very specific tastes. We might only like rock, pop, or rap. We don’t venture far from our core tastes, but we know what we like, and we know it well. We’ve become sort of an expert on that genre, or favorite artist. We’ve identified the others that share our tastes. Seth Godin would say they are part of our “tribe.”
  • Eclectic Tastes — Some of us have more eclectic tastes in music. You might jump from Classical to The Cure, or Count Basie to Coldplay. For you, there is something they all have in common, but most may not share your interest for this much variety.
  • Casual Tastes — Some of you aren’t that into the details of music, but you still like to listen to music. You’re happy to let your others curate your mix. Your casual approach means you’re more likely to listen to what’s popular. You know what you like and there is often a channel or service to cater to you.
Topics: Sales personal brand

Great Bosses, Great Talent Retention

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“A good boss is a person who isn’t worried about their own career but rather the careers of those who work for them.”H.S.M Burns 

An article in The Huffington Post written by Dr. Travis Bradberry clearly articulates the above quote. How many times have you heard or read that “people don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad bosses”? You’ve probably heard it so many times that you don’t pay attention to its importance anymore. The critical takeaway is that it does matter. It matters to the bottom line and it matters to the talented people who are being driven away. A bad boss never has the opportunity to turn talent into performance. A good boss “sees more possibilities in people than they see in themselves and helps them see it too.”

Topics: sales management Talent

The Online Ad Industry Is Undergoing Self-Reflection + 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 Online Ad Industry Is Undergoing Self-Reflection. That’s Good News. — The New York Times

Traditional and digital media haven't always connected, but the future of the ad industry is a combination of both. Making the leap from traditional to digital doesn't have to be a difficult one, but the online ad industry is also going to have to learn how to work with traditional media. The New York Times explains how both industries are going to have to learn that they need each other, and the best way to build those relationships (and skills).

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Show Me Your Portfolio Of Work

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If a prospect asked to see your portfolio of work, what would you show? Information about your product? Data about how it’s better than the competition? A brochure that shows you are attractively priced? If this is your portfolio of work, then your role in the sales process is mostly to provide access to the product. That’s a problem. The reality is that most of the information a prospect needs about your product is readily available online these days. 

Let’s rethink this a bit. If you were hiring a…

  • Graphic designer, would you look for a portfolio of the work they have done for other clients? Of course you would.
  • How about a landscape contractor? You know that answer. Show me the pictures!
  • How about an investment professional? Would you look for evidence that she or he has solved problems for other clients and produced better-than-average returns? Yes, you would.
Topics: Sales salespeople

Are Sales Meetings Really Necessary?

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I guess the answer depends on who you ask. I bet a lot of salespeople reading this are probably saying, “No!” Most of the managers reading this are likely saying, “Of course.” So, who is right? The answer is neither. All of the emotions and principles that underlie each group’s answer are very legitimate. So, when should a sales meeting happen?

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management

Help Your Salespeople Do More of What They Do Best

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The lone wolf salesperson doing their own marketing, lead generation, closing, and account management has been dying a slow death for years. Specialization, delegation, and outsourcing can help you increase your efficiency, but only if everyone is doing what they do best.

Topics: sales management Talent Sales

I Am a Rockstar Salesperson Because . . .

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Recently I was having a conversation with a client about what “ROCKSTAR” salespeople do day in and day out. The type of things that really separate them from the rest. As we were talking, I was reminded of all the different versions of the "I am" commercials I have seen over the years and thought it would be fun to do one for salespeople…

Topics: sales management Talent

3 Huge Objection Handling Mistakes Costing Salespeople Deals + 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. 3 Huge Objection Handling Mistakes Costing Salespeople Deals — HubSpot
For many sales people, objection handling can be a difficult thing to navigate. But if you see it in a new light, it may be an opportunity for a longterm relationship. 
Topics: Social Media lead generation Sales sales process sales training

What the Ancient Greeks Taught Us About Hiring for Talent

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You might be surprised to learn that someone who lived in the early 300s BC had something to say about the role that talent plays in productivity, and that someone was none other than the Greek philosopher Plato.
Here is what he said: 

“More will be accomplished, and better, and with more ease, if every man does what he is best fitted to do, and nothing else.” 

Topics: Talent

The Magic of Establishing Value

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One of the best things about spending time in the field coaching my account managers is that I tend to come away with some great lessons myself! With Andrew’s permission, I’d like to share one of my takeaways from an appointment on his in-field day, and that is this: 

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales

An Inconvenient Truth In Coaching Salespeople

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Most managers who have been around for a while understand that if salespeople are going to grow their skills they are going to need some coaching. If you think about it, every endeavor that involves performance against a standard, winning or losing, or rising to significance, begins with a talented performer coached by someone who provides accurate feedback and helpful coachingfrom athletics, to music, to business. If you watch how real coaching actually happens, you see the coach is always in a position to observe the performer first hand. Athletic coaches coach their people on the field, not in the office. The same goes with any other disciplineexcept for sales. 

Topics: sales management coaching

6 Daily Habits For Sales Leaders Who Manage A Remote Team

 

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Many sales managers have long led teams of traveling reps, but as technology has destroyed the barriers of communication remote-work situations have become increasingly commonplace. More employees are working home for a variety of different reasons, from cutting commuting costs to attending in-person sales calls on a consistent basis. According to research from Virgin Media Business, approximately 60% of workers in offices will be working remotely by 2022. Savvy managers have to learn how to properly motivate and monitor their off-site colleagues, and make them feel like they are as important to the company as the employees who work only a few feet away.

Topics: sales management