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The Future of Sales and Marketing

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Jim Thompson

Recent Posts

Are You Maximizing Your Own Natural Talents?

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When I was a kid, I was told I had a natural talent for playing the piano. In fact, about 20 years later I came across a piece of music I played at a recital when I was 10 years old. I was in a combination of shock and utter amazement that I had actually performed and played that piece of music.  However, there was a problem. I didn’t like to practice or play the piano. I wanted to be outside playing any kind of ball with my buddies. Trust me, I had no athletic talent at all. But I did have a natural talent to play the piano and I totally and completely wasted it.

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Topics: Management, Talent, Sales

6 Ways Management Can Get the Most from the Talents of Their Team

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The most important job of managers is to coach, develop, and maximize the talents of their direct reports—sales managers developing salespeople and general managers developing sales managers. When people are maximizing the talents they have, sales and productivity will follow.

Here are my top 6 recommendations to improve sales culture and make sure management is getting the most from the talents of the team.

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Topics: sales culture, Sales

Insanity or Innovation? How to Navigate the Changes in Media Sales

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In case you haven’t noticed, things are changing in media sales. Almost faster than we can keep up with. More and more local accounts are now being handled by the national rep. Technical dollars, those that we have little control over and are basically bought just on your ratings, are declining. There is little a local staff can do with strictly technical dollars when the salesperson doesn’t even know what the out-of-town buyer looks like, much less have a relationship with him or her.

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Topics: Sales, media

What do Ordering Dessert and Selling Have in Common?

ordering-dessertI know you have been there. We all have. You go to any restaurant, and they are always trying to upsell you. Do you want a drink with that? How about a jumbo large fries? And even at nice restaurants they ask if you would like to see a dessert menu, or they just bring the dessert cart to your table without even asking.

Are they really doing that for you? Are they trying to solve your hunger problem after you just ate a huge meal or ordered a double meat cheeseburger? Of course not! They are trying to solve their problem, which is to grow their bottom line. (Drinks and desserts have the largest profit margins on most menus, but you knew that.) And we know we are being upsold because if we wanted or needed that pie, we would have ordered it!

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Topics: Sales, sales process

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Salespeople

get_the_most_out_of_your_salespeopleSales managers are so busy these days that it is easy to get caught in the everyday shuffle of dealing with all the tactical and urgent items on their to-do list. It makes it very easy to forget what your real job is: managing salespeople and maximizing the talents of your sales team.

Here are five strategic ways to get the most out of your salespeople:

1. Identify Their Talents

After working with your salespeople over a period of time, you probably have a pretty good idea of where they excel and where their limitations are. At The Center for Sales Strategy, we have a talent assessment that can tell you their talents without having to wait months to determine that on your own.

2. Talk to a Talent Analyst to Determine Ways to Maximize Those Talents

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Topics: Management

Don't Step Over a Dollar to Pick Up a Dime

Dollar-dime_blogAs a former Sales Manager and General Manager, December was always an interesting month. And the reason why: it was BONUS month. It was the month to prod, cajole, incentivize, and yes even beg the sellers to get out there and close the year strong!  

2013 is Over

There was only one problem with that. The year was over. Yes, I know, empathize, and frankly agree that if you are only a few dollars short of getting your year-end bonus, you should do everything within your power to do so.

However, the fact of the matter was most years I knew it was highly unlikely, improbable, and even impossible to reach that year-end bonus money. But even if that was the case, we should do everything within our power to squeeze every dime we can out of the year. Right?  Wrong!!

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Topics: Management

Not All New Business Is Created Equal

NOT_ALL_NEW_BUSINESS_IS_CREATED_EQUALWhen I first started selling media, I had a sales manager whose mantra was to always get new business. So one of his expectations was that each week, each seller would make 20 new business calls.  Even as a new seller, I knew this was not the best use of my time, so I asked how he would determine these calls would be completed. His solution was that we deliver a business card. Simple enough.

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Topics: Management, Sales