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The Future of Sales and Marketing

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Measuring Sales Performance Starts with a CRM

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Recently I wrote a blog post about the importance of sales performance metrics and how keeping score makes sales teams more successful. After discussing this with colleagues and those in the sales performance industry, one thing became clear: you have to be using a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) in order to effectively track sales performance. Without it, you are just making guesses as to how your sales team is performing. If that’s you, you owe it to yourself and your organization to use one of the dozens of good CRMs you can choose from that works best for your organization.

Why a CRM Is Necessary to Measure Sales Performance

Measuring sales performance, by its very nature, entails gathering data about leads from multiple sources and being able to put that information into measurable, quantifiable and actionable information. In 2015, the year some have called, “The Year of Big Data”, there was an increasing interest in the ability to gather massive amounts of information about prospects and leads and use that information to make sales and marketing decisions. Regardless of how much data is collected on your leads or the financials related to your pipeline, without having a way to organize, track, and calculate your sales metrics, all is for naught.  

Having a CRM allows you to do many things that you could never do without—including tracking your leads' activities across your organization, calculating complex metrics, and the ability to add information to custom dashboards and management reports. Measuring sales performance isn’t an easy thing to do with the growing complexity of organizations. You'll need to track the performance of multiple salespeople, report different information to varying parts of the organization, and measure the overall performance of your sales team. Without a functioning CRM, all of this information is left to spreadsheets or disparate systems that don’t communicate with each other or have been abandoned by the sales team long ago.

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Topics: lead nurturing, Sales, brianhasenbauer

3 Ways Salespeople Can Stand Out Using Social Media

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Over the years, as sales and marketing has become more automated, it’s become increasingly important for salespeople to differentiate themselves from others and to provide value throughout the sales process. With control of the sales process having shifted from sellers to buyers, the B2B buyer now holds the cards, and does approximately 60% of his or her research before ever feeling the need to contact a salesperson.

Some of the ways that a salesperson can provide value throughout the sales process is by being seen as a thought leader and credible member of the industry that they are a part of. Social media has come to play a big part in establishing yourself as an expert in your field and having your profile elevated.

Here are three ways that salespeople can stand out using social media:

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Topics: Social Media, brianhasenbauer, salespeople

I Don’t Know, Let Me Get Back to You 

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You've spent weeks trying to get a meeting with an important prospect, you've gotten past the gatekeepers and have given him or her a valid business reason (VBR) to have a meeting with you. You're halfway through the presentation that you worked on for hours over the weekend, and your prospect stops you dead in your tracks with a question you have never heard before. What do you do? Do you fake it? Do you dance around the question and minimize it?

If you are truly looking to better yourself as a salesperson and to make a solid and lasting client relationship, you don’t do any of those things mentioned above. You stop and turn to your prospect and say, “That’s a great question and one I have never heard before. I don’t know, let me get back to you."

It might not work on a test in college or in politics, but admitting you don’t know the answer to a question in business can work to your advantage in 3 ways. The first way is that it gives you the opportunity to follow up with your prospect after the meeting with information the person is interested in receiving. Secondly, it gives you a chance to display your expertise in a well-thought-out manner. And lastly, it helps you build credibility and trust (especially if you follow up in a timely manner). Let’s look at how each of these ways can benefit you.

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Topics: Sales, brianhasenbauer, salespeople