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Sales E Books

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

3 Keys to Sustainable Sales Performance

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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.

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Topics: Management

Football vs Sales – Key Elements in Coaching a Winning Team!

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Football. It is one of America’s favorite past times. Growing up in the South, football has been a part of my life since I was a small child. College football is literally in my blood, as my grandfather, father and brother all played football where they attended college. 

As an alumnus of Auburn University and a passionate supporter of the Auburn Tigers football team, I clearly remember the amazing turnaround from 2014 to 2015. In 2014, Auburn finished the season with a dismal record of 3-9 overall and 0-8 in the SEC, but those of us who love Auburn stood by our team and believed things would eventually get better. 

Who knew what a difference a year would make?  In one short year, head coach Gus Malzahn led the Auburn Tigers to a 12-1 overall winning record, clinching the SEC Championship title, and earning a trip to Pasadena to play in the BCS National Championship title game against undefeated Florida State University.  

A successful head coach of a winning football team can be likened to a successful manager of a winning sales team. A sales manager after all is “coaching” his or her team to success, wins, and GROWTH. There are three important areas that both a head coach and a sales manager should keep in mind when coaching their teams to success:

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Topics: Management, Talent

How to Get a Standing Ovation After Your Next Sales Meeting

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Is your sales meeting agenda something like this?

1) Housekeeping
2) Where we are
3) Where we need to be
4) Get there the way I tell you
5) Go do it  

All this in 45 minutes…. No wonder you haven't gotten a standing ovation yet! Talented salespeople want to be nurtured—they want to get better at what they already do well. The agenda above does nothing to support that. It's time for a new agenda.

Salespeople like to make good use of their time, and if they're not out selling, you better make it worthwhile for them to be in a sales meeting. Take topics 1, 2 and 3—listed above—and send them in a regular weekly email. And work one-on-one with your salespeople to help them each accomplish their sales goals individually. Then use 30-45 minutes a week as a team for small doses of training on topics that are timely and relevant to their sales success.

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Topics: Management, successful sales meetings, Sales

Great Sales Managers Understand the Power of Restricting Freedom

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If you open an underwater door and let a fish out of an aquarium into the ocean, he is free. Free to swim around the sea! But if you let him out of the water completely, he is not really free. The fish needs water to live — this restriction is a good one. The fish also needs room to swim — the restriction that keeps him caged is not a good one.

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Topics: Management, Sales, leadership

12 Things Great Sales Managers Do

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If you want to know what great sales managers consistently do to achieve their greatness, you’ve come to the right place. But, before we can tackle that mighty subject, we must first agree—there are two types of sales leaders: those that manage the numbers and those that develop the people.   

We could take this time to discuss how great managers always get the job done and done right, or how they beat budgets, watch the bottom line, or make sure they are not going over in expenses.  But this article is going to focus exclusively on what great sales managers that are focused on developing people do.  

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Topics: Management, sales management, Sales

Are You Maximizing Your Own Natural Talents?

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When I was a kid, I was told I had a natural talent for playing the piano. In fact, about 20 years later I came across a piece of music I played at a recital when I was 10 years old. I was in a combination of shock and utter amazement that I had actually performed and played that piece of music.  However, there was a problem. I didn’t like to practice or play the piano. I wanted to be outside playing any kind of ball with my buddies. Trust me, I had no athletic talent at all. But I did have a natural talent to play the piano and I totally and completely wasted it.

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Topics: Management, Talent, Sales

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: 

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Topics: new business development, Management, Talent, Sales