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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How Do You Tantalize a Prospect?

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Is a prospect’s first impression of you a list of bold claims about your product and how superior it is to competing products? I hope not. It’s boring to the prospect. You see, dangling product in front of a prospect is usually ineffective for many reasons:

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis Sales

Speed Up Your Sales Cycle With Focus And Preparation

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You're only as good as your last great sale. Are you getting your next one fast enough to reach your goals? Many salespeople approach their next big win like it will take months. That's a bad assumption to make if you want to accelerate your sales cycle. With the right focus and preparation, one salesperson I work with got her "next great sale" in a short amount of time. Here's how:

Topics: Setting Appointments new business development sales strategy Sales

Sales Strategy: How Preparation Speeds Up the Sales Process

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New business efforts are full steam ahead! As I am helping execute new business sales drives for different sales organizations from all over the country, I am uncovering a significant difference between how management feels this should be accomplished versus the salespeople charged with generating the revenue.

First, here's what management wants: to hit an aggressive new business goal in a specific amount of time from the very best prospects for their industry, which has been strategized to meet overall growth objectives. This is good; sales organizations need to think this way to grow and compete.

Now here's what salespeople want: to hit that number by calling on as many prospects as they can, so they hopefully get enough first appointments set, so they can complete the rest of the sales process, and hopefully close enough new business. This is NOT good because this philosophy leads to choosing and spinning your wheels on lousy prospects and hasty approaches to getting first appointments. Both of which will certainly impede any salesperson trying to hit their numbers.

Topics: Proposal new business development Needs Analysis 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

Referrals—Just Try Them!

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The other day I was talking with a sales manager who was lamenting that his people were having a very tough time getting appointments with quality prospects. We talked about all the ways we recommend salespeople warm up otherwise cold calls, but we ended up focusing on perhaps the most powerful way to get a warm reception — a referral from a current, satisfied client. The problem is, most salespeople simply do not ask for referrals because they are not accustomed to doing it. So we decided we would instruct everyone to ask five clients for a referral in the next week. Simple, yet new! You know what is going to happen here.  

Topics: referrals new business development Sales

To Improve Sales Performance, Remember To Switch Your Hat!

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To improve sales performance, remember to switch your hat... and only wear one at a time! Let's talk about the difference between educating and presenting. There is no doubt you are aware of the products, or capabilities, you have to sell. Most of your clients are aware of your "heritage" products, but when it comes to some of the more complex products you are capable of delivering, your clients and prospects need to be educated about what they are and—more importantly—how they can use the products to achieve their business goals.

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis Sales

Think Spring! A Sales Strategy to Nurture Leads

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Lead nurturing is a bit like gardening. Most often leads or new business prospects are not ready to buy immediately. If you take the time to nurture the leads you generate now, they will bloom like daffodils in the spring.

Topics: Setting Appointments new business development lead generation Sales

Prospecting is Dead… Long Live Prospecting

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Did you know that your chances of making a sale go up a gazillion percent when the prospect actually asks to be contacted by you? Of course you knew that! So how do you make this happen?

Topics: content marketing lead nurturing new business development inbound marketing

Generate More and Better Sales Leads in 7 Steps!

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According to a State of B2B Procurement study from the Acquity Group, 94 percent of business buyers do some form of online research before they meet with a salesperson. Your prospects are looking online before they agree to an appointment. And if they're finding information and assistance from your competitors instead of you, who do you think they're going to meet with?

Topics: internet marketing Setting Appointments new business development inbound marketing Sales

5 Ideas for Running Successful Sales Appointments

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When a sales manager asks, “What does the client or prospect expect from this meeting?” too often salespeople say something like, “I don’t really know, but I definitely need to ask them some questions about their business.”

We spend so much of our time working to get the appointment, and then we fail to make sure the appointment will produce a successful sales meeting. What a missed opportunity! 

Topics: setting expectations new business development Sales