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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Kurt Sima

Kurt Sima

Recent Posts by Kurt Sima:

Revenue Development Ideas to Transform an Annual Business Plan from Roadmap to GPS

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It is the time of the year for sales managers to finalize their business plans for the upcoming year. Plans will soon be approved by the cheese (boss) upstairs or the cheese (VP of Sales) in the tower miles away. Most agree that it’s smart to develop a business plan with details on how to exceed goals—some call them a roadmap to success.

By now, most business plans (encased in a binder) have made their way to a shelf, tucked away for safe keeping like a roadmap in a glove box. Roadmaps are pretty worthless these days, especially if they are tucked away in a glove box—kind of like a business plan in a binder on a shelf.

Travelers know there is a better way to keep from getting lost than a roadmap; it’s called a GPS. It’s about time managers figured out how to keep from getting lost by transforming their annual business plans from a roadmap to GPS. Following are 5 ways to help in this process...

Topics: Management

Close More Deals and Build Long-term Customers Using a No-surprise Proposal

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Surprises are fun when they are part of a birthday; not so much when they are involved in selling. Salespeople should do their due diligence to minimize surprises during the sales process, especially when presenting and closing proposals.

Salespeople can improve their closing ratio and improve customer results using a no-surprise proposal (NSP) technique by clarifying these five things before they build and present a proposal:

Topics: Proposal Sales

What is Your Sales Strategy—Pitching Proposals or Providing Solutions?

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The best B2B salespeople follow a sales strategy that includes the use of a needs analysis meeting with new business prospects or existing customers. Do you?

Without a needs analysis the sales process breaks down transforming salespeople into peddlers—pitching, hoping and praying… pitching, hoping and praying… pitching hoping and praying! 

A better approach involves a conversation with customers and new business prospects to uncover business problems or opportunities. 

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis sales strategy Sales

A Sales Strategy to Double Time Spent Selling

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When a colleague conducted a "time spent selling audit" for one of her clients, the data showed the organization's best sellers spent slightly over 20% of their time actually selling. Keep in mind, the audit included the best sellers in the organization! Here are five reasons why this happens:

Topics: Setting Appointments new business development lead generation Management Sales

Improving Sales Performance… It Starts with Recruiting!

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Many sales organizations miss revenue goals because they are understaffed and have open sales positions. This silent killer of productivity is a problem for many reasons: 

Topics: hiring salespeople sales performance Talent

How to Use a LinkedIn Group to Attract New Business Prospects

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Attracting new business prospects is accomplished more easily by genuinely connecting with them and sharing your thoughts, rather than blindly spewing a product pitch. Think about it—if you were considering buying a product or service which of the following selling styles would you prefer?

  • Have a salesperson cold call you and drone on and on, spewing facts and figures about their product—and ultimately try to power close you (even if you are not ready to buy).

                                                                  OR

  • Get to know the product/service and a salesperson at your own pace—ultimately controlling when to get into a serious dialogue with a salesperson.

Providing insight into how you think—and what you stand for—is called thought leadership. It’s a great way to allow a prospect to ease into a relationship with you. Starting a LinkedIn group is an easy way to get into the thought leadership game and start a dialogue with new business prospects. Here’s how to do it:

Topics: internet marketing thought leadership inbound marketing

6 Things to Consider When Selecting a Nonprofit Event Sponsor Prospect

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Nonprofit Development Officers are busy people who are often pulled in many different directions. How they spend their time is very important and is linked to the decisions they make.

Making a not-so-good decision leads to wasting time. Making great decisions leads to revenue development and a great ROI on task-to-time spent on a project.

Topics: Sales marketing strategies for nonprofits

Close More Deals Using a No-surprise Proposal

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Surprises can be fun when they are part of a birthday; not-so-much when involved in selling and closing a B2B deal. Salespeople should do their due diligence—via ongoing contracting and clarification—to minimize surprises in the sales process, especially during proposal development and presentation.

Too often proposals are met with the response, “Let me think about it," because the buyer is hearing many of the proposal elements for the first time during the proposal presentation. Ouch… these five words can really derail a sale! Salespeople can eliminate these words from the sales process and improve their closing ratio by using a no-surprise proposal technique that clarifies these 5 things before they build and present a proposal:

Topics: Proposal Sales

5 Questions to Ask During a Revenue Development Position Interview

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Most sales managers focus on three things when hiring a salesperson:

  • Experience (resume)
  • Gut feel (do they click with the candidate?)
  • Personality (are they outgoing?) 

Unfortunately, most overlook the missing ingredient—talent! Simply put, too many salespeople are hired without an evaluation of talent. This is one of the reasons that organizations experience high turnover levels and have trouble keeping people on the sales team.

Topics: Talent salespeople

Making the Most of a First Meeting with a New Business Prospect

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Getting that first appointment with a new business prospect is rarely an easy task. In fact, there is usually a direct correlation between how long it takes to get an appointment and the spending potential of a prospect. Simply put, quality prospects take more time! 

Because so many hours are spent persuading a prospect to meet, it makes sense to get the most out of the meeting. World-class salespeople use the first appointment to uncover business challenges that lead to cash, instead of wasting the opportunity pitching, pitching, pitching. 

After getting comfortable and socializing a bit with the prospect during the opening minutes of the call, try the following steps to get the most out of the opportunity:

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales