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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Five Reasons Millennials Quit Sales Jobs

Millennials in SalesA client of mine recently told me about the departure of seven salespeople from his organization.  All seven of the sellers had been hired in the last year — all seven departed before their one-year anniversary. One other thing related to the departed seven; they were all millennials!

My client immediately came to the conclusion that there is something different about millennials that caused them to leave his organization. My client was partially correct and partially incorrect.

Below are five reasons millennials quit sales jobs:

Topics: Management sales management

Sales Recruitment and Selection Are Not the Same Thing

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Just like “sales” and “marketing” are not the same, “recruitment” and “selection” are fundamentally different as well. But I often hear managers use them interchangeably—an indication of a fundamental and expensive flaw in their approach to maintaining a talented sales force.

Topics: hiring salespeople Management

Stop Working so Hard! And Sharpen your Axe.

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Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe.” Honest Abe and I see eye-to-eye on this, but as I’ve often said, simply knowing what to do is never enough. It’s the matter of actually doing it that makes all the difference.

After speaking with a sales manager last week, I wondered, “How would Honest Abe’s philosophy apply to sales management today?” I’ll let you decide. Here’s what this manager said when she was talking about quality prospecting: 

Topics: new business development Management Talent Sales

Feedback: Your Most Powerful Sales Development Tool

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Feedback. It’s powerful, right? The people who work for us crave it. You like to get it from your boss. Studies show that employees who receive regular feedback (as opposed to intermittent or no feedback) are TEN times more engaged. Yet most managers don’t provide consistent feedback to their direct reports about their skills and achievements. In fact, in most business scenarios feedback is mostly confined to infrequent, formal reviews or budget attainment numbers generated by a computer.

Topics: Management sales performance sales management Sales

Sales Manager Gut Check

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As a student of Florida State University in the 90’s, I fell in love with the sport of football. It has been great to see my alma mater be relevant again in the world of college football, but I have always been a fan of the sport—whether it is college, professional, or even just well-done football movies. One theme that flows through all football successes is strong leadership, talented players, and a vision/philosophy that every person must believe in, to be a part of the team. 

Topics: Management sales management Talent Sales

Revenue Development Ideas to Transform an Annual Business Plan from Roadmap to GPS

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It is the time of the year for sales managers to finalize their business plans for the upcoming year. Plans will soon be approved by the cheese (boss) upstairs or the cheese (VP of Sales) in the tower miles away. Most agree that it’s smart to develop a business plan with details on how to exceed goals—some call them a roadmap to success.

By now, most business plans (encased in a binder) have made their way to a shelf, tucked away for safe keeping like a roadmap in a glove box. Roadmaps are pretty worthless these days, especially if they are tucked away in a glove box—kind of like a business plan in a binder on a shelf.

Travelers know there is a better way to keep from getting lost than a roadmap; it’s called a GPS. It’s about time managers figured out how to keep from getting lost by transforming their annual business plans from a roadmap to GPS. Following are 5 ways to help in this process...

Topics: Management

3 Things Great Sales Managers and Parents Have in Common

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It’s not uncommon for a salesperson to want to be a sales manager. In fact, one could easily see a promotion to sales manager as an indication that one has excelled in his or her sales career. If you’re thinking you should pursue a position in management because you are a successful salesperson, I’d like to propose an alternate idea: being a great sales manager has much more in common with being a parent of small children than it does with being a great salesperson.

At The Center For Sales Strategy, we have proof that not all salespeople are meant to be great sales managers. The talents required to succeed in each position are very different. It’s a big mistake to think that just because you have been with your company for a long time and have “paid your dues," you will be happier if you were suddenly promoted to manager.

Ask yourself: On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest), how do I rate my desire to do the following?

Topics: Management

Pay Attention to Your Best Customers

Sales_Team2.jpgYour best customers are your competitors’ best prospects. At The Center for Sales Strategy, we have long said that it’s much easier to fill the bucket if it’s not leaking from the bottom. Many companies have an incredibly large need to go out and get new business every month—mainly because they are losing 33% or more of their current business.

It's true… and while new business is certainly one of the solutions for curing the problem of not retaining existing business, it’s really only a bandage. The problem of account attrition needs to be addressed and quickly solved. Churning through clients quickly and not getting any sort of renewal will fatigue your sales team. Over time, they will lose confidence in what they are selling. Just imagine the revenue growth you might be experiencing today if you did not have all that attrition—and you still had the same amount of new business coming in.

Topics: customer satisfaction customer focus Management sales strategy Sales

The 8 Essentials to a High Performing B2B Sales Organization

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There is a lot to get right if you are trying to build a high performing sales organization. That's because sales organizations are complex systems, like the nervous system. The nervous system contains a network of specialized cells called neurons. Nerve impulses have a domino effect. Each neuron receives an impulse and must pass it on to the next neuron and make sure the correct impulse continues on its path. If something goes wrong in this process, you have problems.  

In a sales organization, there is the same domino effect. If you don't get all 8 essentials right, you will have problems.  

Topics: Management sales performance sales management Sales

The 4 Most Important Key Performance Indicators for Sales Managers

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Sometimes I wonder if our ability to measure almost everything is what gets in the way of us actually paying attention to what might be the most useful metrics. I’ve spoken with plenty of sales managers who are frustrated these days because someone upstairs has fallen in love with a new measurement, a new report, or a new way to look at familiar data. All these midstream changes result in plenty of heat and plenty of smoke, but not necessarily the light of new insight. Not much actually changes, especially at the bottom line.

Don’t get me wrong. I love numbers as much as the next person and I agree that measurement improves performance and is essential to success. But I also know we can’t keep changing the rules of the game. Performance improvement comes only when we focus on the same metrics over time. We need to follow the right measurements and stay focused.

What if you could only measure four things? Which would you choose?

Topics: Management