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The Future of Sales and Marketing

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Mindy Murphy

Recent Posts

Increase Sales Performance With a Pat on the Back – Not a Kick in the Pants!

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I’m sure those of you who are parents can relate to my recent struggle to get my 8-year-old to clean her room. A messy bedroom is often a bone of contention between parents and children. I tried numerous tactics to get my daughter to clean her room, and I heard every excuse for why she couldn’t clean up including, “I can’t because my hands are tired.”

Then, it dawned on me! Why am I threatening her with unpleasant consequences like timeout or no TV time, when I know a little encouragement works like a charm?

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Topics: Management, Talent

How to Get the Most from a Sales Candidate Interview

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Do you ever tell horror stories about the worst hire you ever made? These bad experiences tend to stand out, don’t they?

High turnover is a big problem for many sales organizations and hiring the wrong people for the job can be a big contributor to that turnover. It’s extremely important that you hire people with the right talents for the position.

Do your due diligence before you hire someone so you are not surprised by mediocre performance later. Perfecting your interview process will help you to put the right people in the right positions.

Here are some tips on how to get the most from a candidate interview:

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, Sales

8 Characteristics of a Winning Sales Coach

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There are tons of books, blogs, and articles about what it takes to be a great sales coach and manager of people. I often talk with managers who want to hire top-notch sales coaches and the list of their requirements is usually a long one—including experience, past successes, and “must have” talents. It’s definitely a hire you want to get right!

There are many natural behaviors and characteristics that make a sales coach really great, and it is important to uncover the intensities of these talents before you hire someone.

Here are 8 characteristics of winning sales coaches:

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, Sales

5 Practical Ways to Help Salespeople Build On Their Strengths

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A new school year is right around the corner – time for back-to-school shopping and wrapping up summer reading. In preparing for the new year, I came across a poster that my son’s class completed at the end of last year. Each student took home a poster full of compliments from classmates and teachers. In reading through my son’s, I realized that many of the “compliments” were about his talents. For example his teacher wrote, “You are my little leader. You set the mood for the class. If you say ‘yes,’ everyone will follow.” 

I am already noticing that leader talent in my 11-year-old, and others are picking up on it as well. That’s because our strengths are hard-wired in us from a very early age, and when they are strong, people notice and appreciate them. 

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Topics: Talent, Sales, coaching

What Kind of Caddie Does Your Sales Team Need to Improve Sales Performance?

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I had the opportunity to sit on the number 6 tee box at The Masters Golf Tournament recently, and as golfers and caddies made their way to the tee box, I noticed that the interactions between each one were different. One caddie simply reported the distance to the green, another caddie discussed wind direction and pin placement, and another caddie talked the golfer through the entire shot.

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Topics: Talent, Sales, coaching

How a Holiday Party Can Help You Increase Sales Performance

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When you pay attention, a holiday party can tell you a lot about your team’s talents. And what you learn about each person could change the way you coach them, and make them more successful.

Recently, I talked with a sales manager who took his team on a bowling outing to celebrate the holiday season. It was a fun team building activity, and it also taught him a lot about each person’s strengths.

The organized, fun salesperson on his team planned the entire outing down to the bowling teams and the gift exchange. Everything was perfect, and everyone had a great time.  

The relationship seller got everyone to participate in a hilarious game where you eat disgusting flavored jelly beans. Everyone did what she asked and completely trusted her when she said, “it’s really not that bad.”

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Topics: sales culture, Talent, salespeople

Are You Crippling Your Sales Growth By Not Delegating Effectively?

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“That’s okay, I’ll just do it myself.” I have uttered those words many times in my life and regretted it because I put too much on my plate, or because I offended the person I said it to. 

It may seem quicker and easier to do work yourself because it takes time to ask someone for help, explain what you need, and hand off the responsibility to others. The problem is, over time, that way of thinking negatively impacts productivity and growth. 

Recently, I was talking with a sales manager who said, “By the time I explain how to do this, I could just do it myself.” That may be true, but I told him to think about how that impacts the development of his direct reports. People will not grow if you do not give them responsibility in an area of strength. If they’re not using their talents, they are not growing. It’s not just about getting the work done, it’s how you grow and develop people. 

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Topics: Talent

Why Can’t Sales Candidates All Wear Talent Labels So I Know Exactly What I’m Getting?

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I passed by a drink display at the grocery store the other day and one of the Coke cans caught my eye. In big bold letters it screamed out to shoppers the word, “Superstar.” You have probably seen the Coca-Cola can labels with the descriptions on them. The “Superstar” can was sitting between a can that said, “Friend” and one that said, “Dreamer.”

At first glance, all the cans looked exactly alike, but when you looked closer, they all had a different label.

It made me think about helping managers identify sales talent. Resumes today are often built using templates or professional assistance and they can make anyone look like a superstar. And, when you meet candidates in person, they look pretty similar on the outside, but when you look closer and ask the right questions, you can get a glimpse of how the person is wired, and whether or not he or she has a natural ability for sales. 

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Topics: Talent, Sales