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Lead Generation Toolbox

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Brian Hasenbauer

Author, Speaker and expert on all things digital including: social media, inbound marketing, online video trends, etc.
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Recent Posts

Does it Pay to Invest Resources in Bottom Performing or Top Performing Salespeople?

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For most sales organizations, your sales team most likely represents a wide range of personalities, experience levels as well as performance levels. Organizations typically have top performers or “all stars” as well as those that struggle each month to meet their sales quota or budget for the month. If your organization has determined there are some areas where your sales team can perform better and resources of time and money are available, where do you invest these limited resources? Do you focus on coaching up your bottom performers, do you bring in new talent, or do you focus on maximizing the performance of your top performers?

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, sales training

Measuring Sales Performance Starts with a CRM

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Recently I wrote a blog post about the importance of sales performance metrics and how keeping score makes sales teams more successful. After discussing this with colleagues and those in the sales performance industry, one thing became clear: you have to be using a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) in order to effectively track sales performance. Without it, you are just making guesses as to how your sales team is performing. If that’s you, you owe it to yourself and your organization to use one of the dozens of good CRMs you can choose from that works best for your organization.

Why a CRM Is Necessary to Measure Sales Performance

Measuring sales performance, by its very nature, entails gathering data about leads from multiple sources and being able to put that information into measurable, quantifiable and actionable information. In 2015, the year some have called, “The Year of Big Data”, there was an increasing interest in the ability to gather massive amounts of information about prospects and leads and use that information to make sales and marketing decisions. Regardless of how much data is collected on your leads or the financials related to your pipeline, without having a way to organize, track, and calculate your sales metrics, all is for naught.  

Having a CRM allows you to do many things that you could never do without—including tracking your leads' activities across your organization, calculating complex metrics, and the ability to add information to custom dashboards and management reports. Measuring sales performance isn’t an easy thing to do with the growing complexity of organizations. You'll need to track the performance of multiple salespeople, report different information to varying parts of the organization, and measure the overall performance of your sales team. Without a functioning CRM, all of this information is left to spreadsheets or disparate systems that don’t communicate with each other or have been abandoned by the sales team long ago.

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Topics: lead nurturing, Sales, brianhasenbauer

Sales Performance Metrics: Teams That Keep Track of the Score Are More Successful

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As a parent of two small children, I've coached my share of soccer teams over the years. I like to think that my teams learned something from my coaching and leadership, but I am starting to think that I learned more from them.

Many of the lessons I have learned can be applied to sales and specifically sales management: the team that keeps score does best, practice like you intend to play, and you are only as strong as your weakest player.

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Topics: Sales, sales training

How to Be a Super Salesperson

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If you are a superhero and comic book fan like I am, you will at one time have undoubtedly spent a few minutes thinking about which super powers you would want to have. Would you want to fly, have x-ray vision, read minds, or be invincible?

Of course all of these super powers are stuff made of fiction, but if you are in sales there are a few tools you can use that make you feel like you have super powers and give you an advantage over your competitors that are targeting the same prospects. Modern sales tools, often called "sales intelligence" or "sales enablement" tools, really do make sales people feel as though they have x-ray vision or have the ability to read minds.

How is it possible for a sales person to develop x-ray vision, feel invincible, or read minds? I thought you might ask that.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales

How Media Companies Can Co-Brand a Webinar and Generate More Sales Leads

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“Co-branding, also called brand partnership, is when two companies form an alliance to work together, creating marketing synergy.”

Who wants to be average? If you knew that the average webinar according to Clickmeeting.com had only 28 participants, wouldn’t you want to beat that average? (28 participants does not necessarily indicate only 28 people registered—this means that 28 people attended the webinar at the scheduled time. Many more probably registered, but those whose schedules don't allow live attendance will only watch the webinar recording.)

If getting 28 people to attend your webinar seems like a lot for the size of your company, or if you want to exceed that average number, you might want to consider some alternative methods to getting more registrants. One alternative to the common promotion techniques of social, email and advertising is to use some form of co-branding. 

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Topics: webinars

Using Webinars to Give Your Business a Voice

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Like many of you reading this, I would much rather read an email or visit a website to learn about a product or service than talk directly to a salesperson. And forget about meeting a sales representative in person. 

Nothing against salespeople—I was one myself at one time. We will truly never be able to replace salespeople in the sales process, but we need to adapt to the reality that most buyers aren't ready to talk with salespeople early in the buying journey. Yet we need to be present at the early stages of the buying journey. We need to give our marketing a real voice in order to build trust and deepen relationships that will lead to an in-person sales discussion.

It's often been said that people do business with people they know, like and trust, and I wholeheartedly agree. The challenge we have as marketers is how best to get people to know and like us and our company's products and services—and more importantly, how to trust us. 

Some of the most popular methods of communication that marketers use to help us get to know, like and trust a a company are videos, podcasts and webinars. 

Let's look at a few distinctions between videos, podcasts and webinars to see why webinars are becoming so popular.  

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Topics: webinars, sales leads

Leadership Lessons: Leaders Eat Last

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As the son of a Naval Commander, I heard my fair share of military wisdom and leadership advice from my dad as I was growing up at military bases around the world. We were stationed at the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in Rota, Spain, and when he wasn’t flying a reconnaissance mission I would regularly hear him say, “Wake up, it’s Zero-Dark-Thirty”, “What’s the sitrep on school?” and “Straighten up your quarters”. Most of the time it went in one ear and out the other as it would with any child or young adult. Now that I am older and hopefully wiser, when I hear retired military personnel like Admiral William H. McRaven (retired) give the commencement address at the University of Texas and provide leadership tips to recent graduates, it’s usually advice that I find worth listening to.    

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Topics: sales culture, leadership

3 Ways Technology Can Increase a Salesperson's Productivity

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about how sales managers could help their salespeople increase their productivity. It received some great feedback, and I wanted to follow up on a few of the comments it received and specifically address the role that technology plays in making sales teams more productive.

By embracing new technology such as lead intelligence, marketing automation, and effective use of a CRM, salespeople can waste less time doing data entry, understand more about their leads, and document all of this information to be shared across the organization. 

In this post, we'll review each one of these productivity-enhancing technologies, enabling you to be one of the companies that are gaining a substantial advantage over competitors and developing more productive sales teams.

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Topics: using technology, Sales, sales cycle

FOMO: Did You Miss the Get More Appointments, Waste Less Time, and Sell More Webinar?

Fear of missing out (FoMO) is "a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent." This social angst is characterized by "a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing."

If you were sitting at your desk on Thursday, October 29th, at 2pm and felt like you were missing out on something important but couldn't quite put your finger on what it was, here's the answer. You missed the LeadG2 webinar, How to Get More Appointments, Waste Less Time, and Sell More!, presented by Dani Buckley.

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Topics: Setting Appointments, inbound marketing, Sales

How Your Media Sales Team Can Get More Appointments, Waste Less Time, and Sell More!

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Being a media sales manager in 2015 is not an easy job. Chances are your sales team and every other media company you compete with sell some combination of digital solutions (search, social, mobile, video, display, etc.) in addition to your core products. To further complicate the sales process, lead generation strategies that worked well 10 years ago are now obsolete—the B2B buying cycle has changed.   

That being said, there are new strategies and tools that can be used to make media sales managers' lives (and their salespeoples') much easier. These tools help waste less time and lead to increases in revenue.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales