<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=585972928235617&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The 3 Most Important Metrics Sales Managers Should Track for High Performance

tracking-metrics.jpg

If you are a sales manager, there are probably a number of metrics that you look at or are asked to examine by your leadership in order to determine how your sales team is performing. At times, you can go overboard, looking at too many metrics and spending more time pulling numbers and reports than coaching your team out in the field. 

So where is the happy medium? Where do you draw the line of the important metrics to monitor in order to ensure high performance from your team without spending days to pull the numbers?  Ultimately, you want to identify those performance metrics that drive results and revenue production with your team. Here are my top three:

Topics: sales management Sales metrics

5 Ways To Get More Appointments

Sales-Appointments.jpg

When I talk to salespeople and look at data from structured sales campaigns, it’s clear that the number one bottleneck in the sales process is getting appointments. And it’s seemingly getting tougher, not easier, despite all the digital avenues available to most salespeople for pre-call research and preparation of a Valid Business Reason that should, in theory, evoke a response from the prospect. So, why is it so tough to get that appointment?  

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

Uncovering Real Needs Leads to Long-Term Client Relationships

questions-2.jpg

Every now and then it pays to stop and think about the big picture — why we do what we do and the importance of truly learning about our prospect and client’s needs. It’s so easy to talk about what we have to sell and why prospects should want to buy it, but taking the time to learn about the prospect will truly pay off in the end. 

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales

How to Develop a Great Sales Hunter

Develop-a-Sales-Hunter.jpg

My recent article on how to hire a great sales hunter stirred up great conversations about how to coach and develop those hunters once they are onboard. Great stuff, so I want to share it with you!

The best way to grow an organization is to grow each of the people within that organization, including your sales hunters. Great managers do this by keeping the natural behaviors of these people top of mind and committing to a handful of strategies to maximize their strengths. 

When we studied the very best new business developers out there, we found 6 specific behaviors that great sales hunters had in common. We also discovered the best ways to maximize these natural strengths and help them to turn raw potential, or talent, into performance.

Here are our Pro Tips on how to develop each of the 6 behaviors commonly found in the best new business developers out there:

Topics: sales management Talent coaching

7 Surprising Research-Backed Productivity Tips That Will Change the Way You Work + More

 

Increase_Productivity.jpg

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 Surprising Research-Backed Productivity Tips That Will Change the Way You Work — HubSpot

When trying to maximize our productivity, it’s easy to get caught up finding the next great tip or “lifehack.” But we often overlook the hidden psychology of productivity. Here are seven research-based productivity tips that you might not be aware of.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Happy Thanksgiving from All of Us at The Center for Sales Strategy!

ThanksgivingDay-1.jpg

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. and we're reflecting on the good things in our lives and enjoying time with family and friends. 

How to Hire a Great Sales Hunter

hunter.jpg

Simple life lesson: One of the best ways to find exactly what you need is to know exactly what you’re looking for.

We regularly work with hiring managers and recruiters to clearly define the role they are working to fill so they know exactly what they need for superstar performance. This morning I received an email from a sales manager asking which talents he should look for to hire a strong sales hunter. Great question! So good, in fact, I thought I’d share my response with you.

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent

Wash, Fold, and Digital Marketing

drycleaning.jpg

Everyone is selling digital marketing today.

Everyone says they are an expert in digital advertising. 

From pure digital agencies to traditional media, from digital publishers to full-service advertising agencies, everyone is pushing digital marketing.  I'm honestly shocked that when I drop off my laundry that my dry cleaner doesn't offer me an awesome new digital marketing package.

Ok.  So, not everyone is selling digital, but it does feel that way.

As a sales manager, you and your staff are facing competition from every angle. You've always had to deal with your traditional competitors, but in the digital realm, you, now, have to compete with those plus every digital media & firm in your market and around the country. 

Is your staff ready?

Here are 3 tips that can help prepare your sales team for the reality of the digital marketing landscape:

Topics: digital marketing Sales

Prepare Yourself AND Your Prospect!

Prepare.jpg

You finally secured that all important meeting with a prospect you’ve been trying to reach for weeks.  Your carefully constructed Valid Business Reason along with persistence paid off and the prospect has agreed to meet with you. You are on an adrenaline high as you think about the possibilities.    Now what?! Give yourself a pat on the back and begin to prepare! Remember, the prospect is taking time out of their busy schedule to meet with you. They chose you over all of the other salespeople beating down their door. Make it count! 

17 Ways to Trim Down and Power Up Every Email You Send + More

 

sales-email-tips.jpg

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. 17 Ways to Trim Down and Power Up Every Email You Send Inc.

Today's reliance on email means there are a lot of messages coming and going. So your emails have to be agile and fast-moving. Here are 17 ways to get your messages in shape:

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Sales Training: The Illusion of a Quick Fix

Sales_Quick_Fix

These days, you can find a quick fix for almost anything. There’s the 21-day fad diet, the 3-step skin care plan, and the 24-hour credit repair. We’re impatient by nature, and we want the kind of solution that turns everything around now. While some of these quick fixes may work in the short-run, most are not sustainable and they leave you in worse shape than you were before.

Ironically, the quick fix delayed the real solution.

The best sales performance solutions combine a jump-start plan to deliver immediate results together with a long-term plan to assure sustainability. And, the long-term plan must include three fundamentals: 

Topics: sales management Sales sales training

Has Your Sales Content Library Come Out of the Closet?

Content-Library.jpg

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

What Are You Doing to Manage Your Reputation as a Sales Professional?

Manage_Your_Reputation

Do you read online reviews? Of course you do. Most people check out customer feedback before committing to buy a product or service these days. There is an entire industry dedicated to reputation management. The question is: what are you doing to manage your own reputation as a sales professional? Here is one simple method that can help you.

I have sat with hundreds of salespeople who tell me stories about what their customers have told them in various conversations. Things like how valuable their ideas were, how much they appreciate their outstanding service, how much they understand about their business, how valuable they are as a partner—the list goes on. The tragedy is that most often, those comments are never seen or heard by anyone else. Too bad. If only prospects who don’t know you very well knew what it was like to work with you, they might be quicker to accept an appointment.

Topics: Sales salespeople

Have You Noticed? Showing Appreciation Drives Performance

Show_appreciation_to_retain_employees

An Accenture study, written about in Forbes, found that 43% of employees who are about to quit their jobs cite lack of recognition from supervisors as the reason they would leave. Every time I read that stat I feel convicted that I don’t always show as much appreciation as I should. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the individuals on my team, it’s just that I have so many things fighting for my attention. It’s easy to miss this key leadership responsibility. Many times managers don’t think about showing appreciation until it’s too late—until someone on their team leaves for another opportunity.  

Topics: sales performance sales culture salespeople

How to Succeed in Sales as an Introvert + More

Marketing_Mix.jpg

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.

 — Salesforce

The stereotype of a sales rep is an effervescent extrovert who charms people into buying anything at any price. But introverts can sell just as well as their extroverted competitors. Here are three strategies and techniques that help introverts make sales and nurture customer relationships. 

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

To Fill Your Open Sales Talent Positions, Think of Recruiting Like Prospecting

Group_of_Salespeople-1

I was on the phone with a client the other day who was really struggling with many open seats across his sales teams. He mentioned that his company had tried many different things to entice potential employees, but nothing seemed to be working. 

I asked how full the talent bank was and he said, "running on empty." I suggested that he think of recruiting just like prospecting. It’s something that has to constantly be done, time dedicated each week. We tell our salespeople all the time that prospecting for clients is the only way to garner new business.

The same goes for managers. Prospecting for employees is also vital to new business development. 

Topics: hiring salespeople

Do You Have These 6 Characteristics of an Industry Thought Leader?

salesperson_at_laptop.jpg 

In almost every industry, there are a few people or businesses that watch trends, see where the industry is headed, and share unique insights—thought leaders. These people and organizations are the ones that you check on regularly for innovation, market challenges, new initiatives, etc.

The thought leadership position is certainly an advantageous position to have, as it can help with generating sales, lead generation, recruitment and retention, and new business opportunities. While sometimes this thought leadership position will come about completely organically, many times it is part of an overall sales strategy and much time and consideration has been put in to developing the plan to make this happen. 

Topics: thought leadership Sales

Do You Know Your Leading Indicators?

ChartsandGraphs.jpg

Last week was an exceptionally brutal soccer game for my girls. They played a team that preferred to play with aggression verses skill. There were many times the referee should have intervened with his whistle but chose not to. The opposing team got away with foul after foul, so guess what happened? 

The opposing team became more aggressive as the game went on, and by the end of the game, we had two girls with slashes on their arms that resembled a small animal attack and another girl with a snapped collar bone. All predictable outcomes based on the opposing team’s behaviors. With many sports, as you watch behaviors, you can start to anticipate the expected outcome, and this is also how it plays out in sales. 

Topics: sales performance Talent

4 Powerful Remote Team Management Tips for Success

Desktop.jpg

Remote working is commonplace in nearly every industry. This is especially true for sales and marketing. Knowing how to manage your remote working teams is an essential part of your company’s growth and success. 

According to The New York Times, “43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely, according to the survey of more than 15,000 adults.” 

The remote team approach has also increased in a majority of industries . . . 

Remote sales and marketing teams need to be efficient and highly productive to achieve company aims and goals. Luckily, there are a variety of best management practices you can employ to make your remote employees as productive as your in-house team. 

From finding the best remote workers, to ensuring they have clear goals in place, the following remote team tips will make management as seamless and painless as possible.

Topics: Talent Sales

Top 3 “I Wants" That Millennials Use

millennials-1.jpg

The impact of the millennial generation is making headlines everywhere! As a sales manager, you may have read a blog or two on how to manage or even hire millennial talent. But now the headlines are about how millennials are impacting business, from a consumer’s point of view. If you have a hand in marketing or sales, you may be experiencing disruption within this loosely-defined generation as well.  

Most commentators put a millennial between late teens and early twenties to late thirties. That’s why it's loosely defined. But what is clearly defined is how much they have to spend and how they choose to spend it. Millennials are coming of age—gaining ground in their jobs, starting families, and making first major purchases. What they are not doing are taking risks. They’ve seen all too well the impact risk-taking has had on preceding generations, including Generation X and, in some cases, Baby Boomers. So what does this mean for business?

Well, it means there are 3 expectations (or promises) a millennial expects:

Topics: digital marketing Sales

5 Highly Effective LinkedIn Summary Templates for Sales Reps + More

man_at_computer_-_webinar.jpg

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.

5 Highly Effective LinkedIn Summary Templates for Sales Reps — HubSpot

The summary is one of the most important parts of your profile, since it’s a space to showcase your passion, enthusiasm, and most importantly, your track record of results. However, many reps leave their summaries blank for a very simple reason: They don’t know what to write. If you’ve got writer’s block, good news. These five LinkedIn summary templates will help you flesh out your profile in no time flat. Next thing you know, the number of opportunities in your pipeline will be soaring.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Sales Recruitment and Selection Are Not the Same Thing

sales_people.jpg

Just like “sales” and “marketing” are not the same, “recruitment” and “selection” are fundamentally different as well. But I often hear managers use them interchangeably—an indication of a fundamental and expensive flaw in their approach to maintaining a talented sales force.

Topics: hiring salespeople Management

Sales is About Teaching

Sales_is_about_teaching

I recently overheard a telephone conversation when traveling, and it concluded with the person saying, “Sales is all about teaching.” Well, having been in outside sales, sales management, or consulting sales organizations my entire adult career, I stopped and pondered this. My gut reaction, was "No it isn’t," but then I thought, "Well, it is." I concluded, it’s both. It depends on what filter you are looking through.