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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

In A New Business Slump? Try Getting the Rats Out of Your Head!

new business sales slumpI was recently working with a group of sales managers on helping their sales teams develop more high-potential accounts. After listening to some of the challenges they feel their salespeople are faced with day-to-day, I added, "They need to get the rats out of their head!" One sales manager looked at me inquisitively and questioned, "The rats out their head?" So let me explain...

In our fast-paced sales environment, it's easy to let distractions get in the way. These distractions can sometimes hurt our sales performance and almost always get in the way of developing high-potential accounts. Then it's a domino effect... so many issues feel as if they need to be addressed immediately and almost always end up taking the place of the productive new business development activities that you know will help you improve performance. It gnaws at you and feels as if you can't get away from it - like rats, invading your space and eating up your time.

I have felt this way myself many times. A single working mom with three kids with an active career built on helping others improve sales performance is a constant juggle, and sometimes, I too let rats get in my head. Here's how I quickly re-group and get back on track:

Topics: business development new business development sales performance sales management salespeople sales training

Don’t Forget this Proven Sales Strategy to Get an Appointment

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Anyone in sales knows that it can be tough to get that first appointment with an ideal prospect. You might have to leave a voicemail, send an email, try to connect on LinkedIn, show up at their house, or volunteer to clean out their garage!

When trying to stand out, don’t overlook the option of sending a business letter. 

You know what we’re talking about right? A short message on your letterhead, placed in an envelope and sent via the Post Office.

If you decide to use this as one way to get in front of prospects, here are some guidelines to follow:

Topics: business development valid business reason Setting Appointments sales strategy Sales

One Solution to the Biggest Problem in Sales: Setting Quality Appointments

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Research with our client base, practical experience, and many years of consulting sales organizations of all sizes makes one thing abundantly clear: the biggest single problem salespeople experience is securing high-value appointments with key decision makers. If you agree, keep reading.

Topics: business development Management Decision Makers appointment lab Sales

Three Steps to Generating Quality Case Studies

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The need for quality case studies has never been greater than it is right now. B2B salespeople are encountering more competition than ever before, and they are working harder to earn the business and attention from both their prospects and their current clients. There’s a lot of information out there online, and businesses are increasingly conducting their own research and independently garnering information that allows them to evaluate your products and services. 

Topics: business development case studies business relationships new business development Sales

Six Ways to Help You Get That First B2B Sales Appointment

sales strategyGetting that first b2b sales appointment can be one of the most difficult steps in the entire sales process. Having a referral or industry success story can make this task a little easier (so, use them if you have them!). But, what do you use if you don’t have either at your disposal? 

Topics: business development Needs Analysis Sales

Does Your Sales Strategy Include Surprising Your Clients?

Sales StrategyFor the last couple of months I’ve been in the market to upgrade my home audio system. I’ve talked to a number of companies and one of them got me very excited to do business with them. They came to my home, assessed my current system, asked me a lot of great questions, uncovered some needs I hadn’t considered, and had some really interesting solutions. Not only was I getting everything I was hoping for, but the estimated verbal quote they gave me during this meeting was in-line with my budget! A couple of weeks later when I went back to the store to see a demo of the product and have them present their recommendations, guess what?  

Topics: business development Needs Analysis Sales

Your Best Decision After You Lose a Customer or Client in B2B Sales

describe the imageAnyone who’s ever participated in sports, coached sports, or watched sports knows the object of the game is to win! We keep score throughout the game, because when the game is over we want to know who played the best and who deserves to be crowned the winner!  Salespeople in B2B sales are pretty much the same. They keep score by evaluating their new business conversion rates, by regularly analyzing their budget vs. goal numbers, by measuring renewals, and by consistently making sure they’re meeting their customer’s goals and ROI. When all of these things are positive… they consider that a win.  

Topics: business development motivation sales performance Sales

Lessons from the 4th of July: Victories Deserve Celebrations!

describe the imageDuring the American Revolution, July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved and signed by the Second Continental Congress setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom with the resolution of independence from Great Britain. Two days prior, John Adams wrote these words to his wife Abigail:

Topics: business development holiday sales culture Sales

A Tough Question Every B2B Salesperson Should Ask Themselves

a tough question every salesperson should ask themselvesHow’s your “Surprise/Enterprise” ratio these days? When you get right down to it, there are only two types of new business you can write as a b2b salesperson:
  1. Surprise Business! – This is new business that comes your way because of your company’s great reputation, your connections in the community, or simply “being in the right place at the right time.”
  2. Enterprise Business! – This is new business that you developed from scratch, business that would not have existed anywhere but for your efforts. These are prospects you specifically selected and then worked hard to get in front of. Once in front of these prospects, you nailed an important assignment during your needs analysis meeting, which led to the development of a tailored solution.

We all work hard and deserve a few surprises over the year, but if we don't have some enterprise accomplishments too, are we really selling?


Topics: business development new business development sales strategy Sales

Happy Birthday! Today, the Recovery Turned Four Years Old

happy birthday recoveryIf you’re in sales, it is not unusual to run into people (prospects) who tend to focus on the negative. In fact, some of us still run into people who consider the economy to be on the shaky side… as if we are still in the grips of the Great Recession. 

Topics: customer focus business development setting expectations Management Sales