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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Matt Sunshine

Matt Sunshine

Recent Posts by Matt Sunshine:

3 Keys to Sustainable Sales Performance

key to sales performance

Think of sales performance as a three-legged stool. When all three legs are strong, there is nothing sturdier. But if one of the legs isn’t holding up its weight, the stool can no longer do its job. Just as you need all three legs on that stool, so too must a sales organization have three solid legs to carry the weight of the expectations placed on it.

Topics: Management sales performance

The Aha Moment: How to Know When to Pivot Your Sales Strategy

how to know when to pivot your sales strategyAs a successful salesperson, you’ve probably spent years perfecting your strategy. But picture this: You’re going on three discovery calls a day, and suddenly there’s no follow-up, no next step, and no sale.

Topics: sales strategy

Improve Sales Performance by Changing the Conversation


If you really want to develop new business with prospects—or even existing clients—try changing your conversation from WHY they should be buying your product to HOW they should use your products and all your other resources to meet their specific needs. (Of course, you have to know what those are, so plan and execute an engaging conversation to discover those needs.) Prospects don’t really want to talk about your product anyway—it’s boring to them.

Topics: new business development sales strategy Sales

A Great Sales Story: Getting the First Appointment


After a workshop I was leading about earning a first appointment with prospects, one of the folks in attendance shared an incredible success story with me.

Topics: Setting Appointments new business development Sales

21 Bold Predictions for Sales in 2018


Here at the Center for Sales Strategy, we are constantly asked to look at sales, sales management, and sales marketing trends, and to make predictions about what the landscape might look like in the future. At the end of each year, we make what we consider to be our bold predictions for the following year. This year, several people from our team participated. Special thanks to Dean Mootheart, Alan Vitberg, Shannon Delmarle, Trey Morris, John Henley, Kim Alexandre, Matt Sunshine, Dani Buckley, Brad Ramsey, Greg Giersch, and Beth Sunshine for contributing.

Topics: Sales

"Follow Up Next Week" Does Not Mean You Have an Appointment


One of the leading indicators for sales success is to look at the number of appointments that a salesperson has each week. (This is not the only leading indicator that you should be looking at, but it is one of them.) The idea is that if a salesperson has a significant amount of appointments each week which involve finding needs, getting assignments, presenting solutions, or delivering a proposal, that this quality sales activity will lead to good solid revenue performance.  

I think it’s fair to say that everyone in sales or in sales management would agree with this, so I’m not really going out on a limb having made that statement. But here is where I think there might be a flaw. I think many salespeople are confusing "I'll follow up with you next week" with "I have an appointment." To be clear, "I’ll follow up with you next week" does not mean you have an appointment.

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

Tell a Story to Improve Your Sales Strategy


Don’t you love a good story? We all do.

Even before the days of romance novels, adventure movies, television shows, and Broadway productions, there was storytelling. The art of storytelling goes back thousands of years and served as the primary way for one generation to hand down knowledge and wisdom to the next. People learned about their culture, community values, and the most important life lessons through the meaningful stories shared by those who knew.

Stories help us to guide and teach, and they allow us to communicate our feelings in a way that can be very persuasive to others. So the question is, why do we not use storytelling in sales? It seems it would just make sense. 

Topics: sales management Sales salespeople

Sales Training: The Illusion of a Quick Fix


These days, you can find a quick fix for almost anything. There’s the 21-day fad diet, the 3-step skin care plan, and the 24-hour credit repair. We’re impatient by nature, and we want the kind of solution that turns everything around now. While some of these quick fixes may work in the short-run, most are not sustainable and they leave you in worse shape than you were before.

Ironically, the quick fix delayed the real solution.

The best sales performance solutions combine a jump-start plan to deliver immediate results together with a long-term plan to assure sustainability. And, the long-term plan must include three fundamentals: 

Topics: sales management Sales sales training

Do You Have These 6 Characteristics of an Industry Thought Leader?


In almost every industry, there are a few people or businesses that watch trends, see where the industry is headed, and share unique insights—thought leaders. These people and organizations are the ones that you check on regularly for innovation, market challenges, new initiatives, etc.

The thought leadership position is certainly an advantageous position to have, as it can help with generating sales, lead generation, recruitment and retention, and new business opportunities. While sometimes this thought leadership position will come about completely organically, many times it is part of an overall sales strategy and much time and consideration has been put in to developing the plan to make this happen. 

Topics: thought leadership Sales

5 Things Every Sales Manager Should Be Measuring


The great sales managers know that if you want to see an increase in performance then you have to set expectations. But just setting expectations is never enough. You need to put a system in place where you can measure what you expect. As the management saying goes, "Your salespeople will respect what you inspect… and you need to inspect what you expect."

Topics: Sales measurement