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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Developing Elite Employees Starts with an Elite Onboarding Process

sales onboarding by sales managerIf you want elite sales performance from your new hire, have an elite onboarding process. 

You breathed that sigh of relief after you received a signature from a new hire. Satisfying, right? Now, you must put as much effort into their onboarding as you did into the interview process because hiring elite performers is only part of the overall equation. You expect elite performance from them, but it is not guaranteed.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent sales training onboarding

Weekly Roundup: The Ultimate Guide to Active Listening in Sales + More

listenWe 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.

Active Listening in Sales: The Ultimate Guide — Hubspot

Salespeople don’t hold all of the cards anymore. With a quick Google search and some browsing, prospects can gather as much information about a product as a salesperson has. As a result, it’s harder for salespeople to demonstrate their expertise. So what should salespeople do? Simple: Invest in listening.

Topics: sales management Sales Wrap-up salespeople

How to Finally Align Sales and Marketing to Nab Great Leads

sales and marketing alignment to get more leadsThis article was originally published on Sales & Marketing Management.

Topics: sales strategy sales performance leads sales and marketing alignment marketing strategy sales leads

What Is Your Draft Strategy?

draft-recruiting-top-salespeopleThe 2018 NFL Draft will take place this week. I root for the Cleveland Browns. The team with the 1-31 record over the past two seasons. The team with one of the worst track records when it comes to evaluating and selecting talent. That’s my team!

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent

Track These 4 Activities to Help Your Salespeople Grow Their Sales Performance

sales-manager-help-salespeople-through-sales-processAs a former sales manager, I often struggled with the line between being a supportive and understanding manager, and holding my sales team accountable. One day, after hearing excuse after excuse about why so-and-so wasn't going to buy such-and-such, I threw my hands up and asked myself, if all of this feels so out of my control, what is in my control? What can I focus my team on that ensures we win where we need to win?  

Topics: sales performance sales management

Fixing Your Leaky Bucket: Account List Management Strategy

target-account-account-list-management-strategyHave you ever tried to fill a leaky bucket? Pouring water into the bucket while water leaks out from the bottom is a fruitless process and a waste of time. The net result is a partially-filled bucket!

Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales management account list management

Weekly Roundup: The 2 Letters Destroying Your Sales Pitch + More

Sales SlumpWe 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.

The 2 Letters Destroying Your Sales Pitch (& How to Stop Saying Them) — Hubspot

Do you think it's possible that two letters could be destroying your sales pitch? If they are, how can you avoid using them? Don’t let your sales pitch fall on deaf ears. Follow these four guidelines to eliminate these letters from your vocabulary and successfully engage your prospects. 

Topics: sales management Sales Wrap-up salespeople

How Those Typical Questions From Prospects Can Help You Generate More Inbound Leads

iStock-874031176-692953-editedEvery sales organization could probably use more quality leads for their salespeople to set appointments with. This is one issue we deal with day in and day out with our inbound marketing clients. We help them generate new traffic to their website and convert that traffic into qualified, sales-ready leads. 

What it (inbound marketing) boils down to is creating unique, compelling content pieces that solve a problem, entertains, teaches, or answers a question that your best prospects are searching for online, asking their colleagues/network, or simply wondering, and oftentimes not telling you, in the sales process. These blog articles are published to your website via a blog (typically) and then guide readers to access even more in-depth content (like eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, etc.) in exchange for a little bit of information about themselves via a form.  This is the simplest way that you generate a website visitor into a lead. 

Topics: inbound marketing Sales

What’s Your Account List Management Strategy?

account list management strategyToo many sales organizations do not have an account list management strategy (ALMS) or they have one that provides little strategic value. In mature businesses, the lack of a priority-based ALMS is often tied to the following:

Topics: sales performance sales management account list analytics account list management

How to Recruit and Retain an All-Star Sales Team

salespeople trainingThe Tour of Duty Framework

There are so many young people out there with innate talent and tremendous potential… but zero sales experience

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent training sales training

Automate Your Caring

sales managers use calendar reminders for talent managementFor some sales managers who are naturally very strong in relationship talent, doing things every day to invest in relationships with their direct reports comes naturally. For the rest of us, we could use a little reminder to make sure we are taking the right actions that foster strong relationships with our people, and today’s software and app selection can help. 

Topics: Management sales management talent dashboard

Weekly Roundup: Tips to Get an Unresponsive Prospect Talking Again + More

get an unresponsive prospect talkingWe 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.

Topics: sales management Sales Wrap-up salespeople

Did Your Needs Analysis Uncover A Need? One Need?

prospect needs analysis discovers desired business resultsCongratulations. You've conducted a needs analysis and discovered a need for a prospect (their desired business result) for a prospect. But, is that good enough? How many needs did you uncover? Surely a serious conversation with a prospect about current challenges, unrealized opportunities, hassles, and trends, would uncover multiple desired business results.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy Sales

#1 Reason Why Your First Sales Appointment Went Downhill Fast and 3 Ways to Avoid

using a valid business reason when getting the first appointmentHave you ever met with a prospect for the first time and felt like the entire conversation was like pulling teeth? Maybe they took a bunch of "Oh I need to get that," phone calls or answered some urgent emails while you were waiting to ask your next question. Maybe you had to have your meeting on the phone, and you could sense the person you were meeting with was distracted and not focused during the little time you had.

Topics: Setting Appointments Needs Analysis successful sales meetings Sales salespeople

Explorers Needed

salespeople explore needs of prospectsMarco Polo, Christopher Columbus, and Magellan.

These are legendary explorers who set out to discover the great unknown of our world! These men were brave, bold, and courageous. They feared nothing. They were willing to risk it all for the sake of discovering a new world!

Topics: customer focus Needs Analysis sales performance salespeople

3 Ways to Increase Productivity on Your Sales Team

increase productivity sales teamPeople who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged in their jobs, and they will have 12.5% higher productivity (Gallup.com).

Topics: sales management coaching

Weekly Roundup: Ways You're Projecting Insecurity Over Email + More

email-sales-enablementWe 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.

Topics: sales management Sales Wrap-up salespeople

5 Steps to a Precise Internal Sales Diagnostic

internal sales diagnosticThis article was originally published on Sales & Marketing Management.

Sales leaders are responsible for more than closing deals. Teams depend on them to see the big picture, measure current strategies, and evaluate new opportunities. Sales diagnostics help leaders see their operations from all sides so they can identify bottlenecks and keep revenue climbing.

Topics: sales performance Sales sales process sales diagnostic

Giving Sales People a Confidence Boost

sales management coaching salespeopleYou have a salesperson with loads of talent, and they have always been successful. Suddenly, they are underperforming, missing goals, and really off their game. Or, perhaps you have a new hire with a lot of talents. You are expecting a sales rock star, but they just aren’t doing well. What’s going on?! The answer may be hiding in past setbacks, and it takes sales management skill to help them start performing to their potential.

Topics: sales management Talent coaching

How Social Selling Can Damage Your Professional Brand

strengthen your personal brand with social sellingSocial selling is a powerful part of the approach in our now transparent sales landscape. I feel every salesperson should embrace LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook, as they plan to approach and attempt to engage with new business prospects. 

Topics: Social Media Sales Brand and Connect salespeople personal brand

How to Increase Productivity and Promote Teamwork with a Remote Workforce

promote teamwork with a remote workforceMore people than ever before are working from home. According to a Gallup survey, 43% of employees said they spent time working remotely in 2016. That number is up 4% since 2012.   

Topics: employee retention Management Talent