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The Future of Sales and Marketing

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Beth Sunshine

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Recent Posts

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.

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Topics: hiring salespeople, employee retention

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:

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Topics: sales management, Talent

Why Sales Talent Isn’t Enough

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Have you ever heard music that was so brilliant, you couldn’t even carry on a conversation while listening? I had a friend in college who played like that. Her audiences would be nearly silent as she played, mesmerized by the sound, until her last note when they would go nuts!

She practiced both the piano and the guitar often, simply because she loved it, and she often played for us upon request. I’m not much of a musician myself, and I don’t know a lot about the business, but those who did were certain that she could be one of the few who actually made a career for herself in music. 

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Topics: sales management, Talent

3 Ways to Reduce Your Sales Staff Turnover

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Sales staff turnover may be the most expensive and frustrating thing a sales manager has to deal with these days. You know the cost of making the wrong hire extends far beyond their salary and commissions, but did you know that their compensation probably only accounts for about 28% of your total loss? A recent study determined that managers waste about 150 hours of time on each wrong hire on top of the additional costs from soured client relationships, additional disruptions, and opportunity costs. Your mis-hire could cost you as much as 15 times their annual income!

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Management, Talent

One of the Most Important Ways You Can Define Yourself as a Great Sales Coach

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Great coaching is hard to find.

Most people aren’t born to coach, but those that are, the ones who are great at growing and developing people, can forever change the lives of those around them.

I talk about coaching in sales and management all the time, but the same lessons can be drawn from and applied to sports, education, really everything. People do not grow in a vacuum.  They only grow in relationship to another person.

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Topics: Sales, coaching

Sales Coaching: Don’t Let Your Weaknesses Get in the Way of Your Success

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I am really good at showing up on time, coaching people, planning jam-packed vacations, coming up with creative gift ideas, and breaking down something complicated into the key points that everyone needs to understand. Those are my talents—the things that I do well. Maybe even better than others. And, if I really thought about it, I could probably even think of a few more things to add to my short list.

Now, ask me to make a list of things I’m not very good at—the things I’ve worked hard at but never seem to be able to do as well as others…. Well, that could go on all day! Playing tennis, building budgets, writing in straight lines on a white board, singing in tune…. Seriously, I could fill the page!  While practice might make me a bit better, I will never achieve greatness.

And as much as that bugs me, it’s pretty normal. We all have strengths but we have MANY more weaknesses than we have strengths. And that’s okay, because no one succeeds based on their weaknesses.

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Topics: key account growth, sales management, Talent, Sales

How to Attract the Very Best Sales Performers? Game On!

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Our research shows that the very best salespeople out there are highly competitive, focused, passionate, and good at solving problems. So it would make sense that these same people would be excited about the opportunity to experience a virtual version of what it’s like to work for a company while scoring badges, earning points, and competing to win. It also stands to reason that highly competitive organizations would want to set themselves apart from the competition by turning to unique forms of recruitment to attract the most high-potential hires.

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, Sales

Ten Ways to Retain Top Performers and Improve Performance

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After spending over a decade helping sales organizations select highly talented employees and coaching those salespeople and sales managers to turn talent into performance, I have discovered what I believe are two undisputable truths:

  • A shockingly high number of people are not engaged at work.
  • Talented people who leave their jobs usually point to their manager as the problem.

The latest numbers from Gallup tell us that 70% of our employees are disengaged in their jobs and a recent study by SAP and Oxford Economics revealed that one in five of our top performers are likely to leave their jobs in the next six months!

This means it’s not enough to hire highly talented people into your organization and it’s not even enough to put them in the right positions so they can effectively use their talents (although both of these things are critical!).

Once hired, these talented people need much more from their manager in order to consistently feel engaged and fully realize their potential.

So what can you do to increase employee retention and maximize the performance of your people?

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Topics: sales performance, Talent, Sales