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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Loretta Lage

Recent Posts by Loretta Lage:

What Do Top Performers Have in Common?

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The results from the most recent State of Sales Survey conducted by Salesforce reveals some interesting insight into what the best salespeople do to close more deals and make lots of money. 280 salespeople as well as clients were surveyed.

Topics: sales performance Sales

Personality Traits of Top Sales Performers

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Reading the Harvard Business Review just makes you feel smarter, and you are because of the insights you’ve gleaned. An article written by Steve W. Martin, called “The 7 Key Personality Traits of Top Salespeople,” was published on June 28, 2011. 2011 seems like a lifetime ago, and many studies have been done since then on the subject of talent themes of of top performers. The results seem to be similar and timeless.

When a successful salesperson is questioned on what makes them stand out above the rest, most don’t have specific answers. The reason seems to be because these high performers are doing what comes naturally to them. These are not skills that can be taught or learned. It’s about behaviors that “fire naturally” in client-facing sales situations.

Specific traits are sales accelerators. Mr. Martin gave 1,000 uber-successful salespeople a personality assessment. The purpose was to measure five traits:

Topics: hiring salespeople sales performance

Increase Your E-mail Open Rates and Avoid the Trash with These 10 Subject Lines

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Okay, here’s the scenario. You’ve done your due diligence on a prospect and your extensive research tells you that:

Topics: email Sales

Great Bosses, Great Talent Retention

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“A good boss is a person who isn’t worried about their own career but rather the careers of those who work for them.”H.S.M Burns 

An article in The Huffington Post written by Dr. Travis Bradberry clearly articulates the above quote. How many times have you heard or read that “people don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad bosses”? You’ve probably heard it so many times that you don’t pay attention to its importance anymore. The critical takeaway is that it does matter. It matters to the bottom line and it matters to the talented people who are being driven away. A bad boss never has the opportunity to turn talent into performance. A good boss “sees more possibilities in people than they see in themselves and helps them see it too.”

Topics: sales management Talent

Sales Promotion or Sales Prevention?

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As a sales leader whose responsibility is generating revenue, you would most likely answer that you are a Sales Promoter. But are you? Has an obstacle course actually been created that prevents your sales people from selling? Sales Prevention sounds like an oxymoron, but it exists in many sales cultures.

Sales Prevention exists when there is a misalignment between the sales manager and salespeople's challenges and priorities. Jim Hopes, Managing Partner of The Center for Sales Strategy, conducted a study based on the responses of 400 sales professionals. The results showed that of the top four responses regarding challenges, only one intersected between the sales manager and salespeople.

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management coaching

Tips to Make Sales Meetings Meaningful Instead of Meaningless

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When you think about sales meetings you’ve attended over the years, were you delighted or disappointed? Were you engaged or enraged? Was your time spent in the meetings worthwhile or wasted?

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management Sales

When Pigs Fly: Really? Why You Should Focus on Your People's Strengths

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Sometimes the most revelatory meanings come from parables. Storytelling is an art and has been a part of the human experience since cave men started drawing pictures on cave walls, since troubadours roamed the countryside telling stories through their songs. Storytelling helps us make sense of the world.

One of the most effective ways of telling a story is through a parable. It’s a short, allegorical piece meant to teach a lesson. It’s told in words that convey images people can easily understand and often include animals and nature like "The Three Little Pigs" and "The Grasshopper and the Ant."

Topics: Talent Sales coaching

Why Did I Hire This Person?

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Sales leaders, like teachers and other influencers, have the power to develop or destroy, to mentor or marginalize, to coach or to crush.

That’s a significant impact on a business and the drivers of that business's success, its people. That power can be used to foster positivity or negativity.

Sales Leaders Can Make Or Break Their Organizations

Many sales leaders who have direct reports, such as a sales department, may be in their positions not based on their talents for coaching or developing and contributing to the bottom line, but rather because of relationships and quid pro quos. Or the hiring manager may have succumbed to the “Halo Effect” during the interview. The Neilson Norman Group describes this in this way: The Halo Effect is when one trait of a person or thing is used make an overall judgment of that person or thing. It supports rapid decisions. It’s based on subjectivity vs. objectivity. It’s a decision that can wreak havoc once that hire enters the building. If you have regrets over hiring the wrong person for a sales leader role please read on.

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent Sales

What Sales Language Do You Speak? Avoid These Two Poisonous Sales Presentation Mistakes.

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There are two poisonous mistakes that will kill a presentation: using jargon and using stock phrases. Making either of these mistakes will drastically reduce the chance of getting a second meeting with a prospect.

Let me start with HOW NOT to start a presentation and finish with the HOW TO of communicating an engaging proposal.

Topics: sales strategy Sales

5 Steps in Creating a Winning Sales Culture

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There have been pages written, executive leadership training given and coaches hired all to help sales leaders build winning cultures. And yet the ability to build such a culture confounds many because it isn’t easy.

Topics: sales culture Sales