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Sales E Books

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

21 Habits to Become a More Effective Salesperson + More

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We hope you've had a great week! It's Friday, and today we're sharing what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

121 Habits to Become a More Effective Salesperson — HubSpot

What behaviors makes for an effective salesperson, and by extension, a team of effective salespeople? This list, gathered from observing the habits of top salespeople, will help you improve your game.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

Quickly Determine What’s Helping or Hindering the Sale

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Some sales go from step to step and lead smoothly to an agreement and an order. Other times, things stall and you’re not sure why. It might happen at one of the three tipping points in the sale process. There are many reasons a stall can happen, and there’s a quick way to determine what is helping and what is hindering the process.

At some point in our life, we’ve had someone tell us to draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper, and write all the pros for a decision on one side and the cons on the other. The formal name is a “decision balance sheet.” Ben Franklin was known to use them. What makes this simple exercise effective is that it helps us put on paper what we already know — but haven’t thought enough about. 

Another variation of this process is a force-field analysis. It’s used in social science. Our founder Steve Marx applied it to the sales process. The force field approach looks at the forces that are influencing a situation. It looks to see if they are driving movement toward a goal (helping) or blocking momentum toward a goal (hindering). 

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Topics: Sales, sales process

4 Things to Do If You Want to Increase Your Closing Percentages

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If you’re in sales then you know its extremely important to close deals, right? That’s kind of an easy question, but I ask it only because it seems as though many salespeople think their job is to have a lot of business in “pending.” When I ask salespeople how things are going, what I typically here is "I got a lot out there.” While I get why having "a lot out there" feels good, it's not the most important thing and may or may not be a good indicator of the customers you will earn. Closing the deal, earning customers, and helping them to have success is far more important. 

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Topics: Sales

9 Strategies for Using Customer Testimonials in Your Content + More

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We hope you've had a great week! It's Friday, and today we're sharing what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

19 Strategies for Using Customer Testimonials in Your Content — Content Marketing Institute

We look for and act on (even if subconsciously) social proof in all areas our life – including how we behave and the purchasing decisions we make online. Testimonials are a type of review and social proof. They serve the same purpose (guiding potential customers and helping overcome objections), but they’re different in one big way: Testimonials are sought and selected by you. This means you have full control over which testimonials are used, as well as where and how they are displayed. Here are nine ways to leverage testmonials in your content.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

Three Industries Well-suited for Inbound Marketing

3-Industries-for-Inbound-MarketingInbound Marketing has proven effective for just about every kind of business. Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C). Companies with simple solutions or ones with complex multi-decision-maker sales processes.  

Just about every business type representing multiple segments has had success generating leads and improving sales performance by deploying inbound marketing best practices. As Director of Client Solutions at LeadG2, I provide guidance to organizations who are exploring the potential impact inbound marketing can have on their growth objectives. Recently, a lot of my discussions have been with executives from three specific industries – Media, Staffing & Recruiting, and Professional Services. They are particularly well suited for inbound marketing.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can’t Make Him Buy It

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Salespeople are hired to sell. When a salesperson can’t close a deal with a prospect, it can seem as if they’ve failed. The often-quoted idea that a good salesperson can sell anything to anyone is rooted in one of those lingering old-school, outdated ideas that the selling process is a contest to be won at any cost.

It’s true that in every sales process, someone is going to be convinced to say "yes." Either the prospect will say, “Yes, I’ll buy this” or the salesperson will say, “Yes, you’re not going to buy this.” But what gets so many salespeople off-track and spinning their wheels on lousy prospects is the belief that the only right answer is the prospect saying "yes." 

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Topics: sales management, Sales

How to Win Against the Competition + More

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We hope you've had a great week! It's Friday, and today we're sharing what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

1How to Win Against the Competition — HubSpot

Salespeople and prospects rarely want to talk about the same things. You want to talk about the buyer’s budget, timeline, and role in the decision making process, while the buyer wants to talk about pricing and the nuts and bolts of the product. This conflict is especially clear when your prospect brings up the competition. It would be great to keep the focus elsewhere, but if you say too little (or nothing at all), you’ll miss an opportunity to differentiate. Say too much, and you typically come across as insecure or desperate. To walk this line and ultimately win the deal, follow these six guidelines.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

The Hottest Way to Capture the Attention of a Prospect

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Nearly everyone agrees it’s tougher than ever to get prospects to respond to your approaches, and all sales professionals know that if there is no appointment there is no chance for a sale. In today’s world, salespeople have many means and methods to try to get a quality appointment and all have a place. In fact, we strongly recommend you use multiple messages in multiple media to break through. We outline that in our Don’t Give Up process.

But, let me point out a tool seldom used, which is proving to be very effective in the appointment setting process: sending a letter – in the mail. Yes, I am talking about snail mail. You may be chuckling right now, but before you dismiss the idea think about it for a minute. How many emails do you get a day? (Most people have a three-figure number here.) What happens if you don’t spend time cleaning out your inbox? You know, you are deluged quickly. And when you clean out that inbox, how much time do you spend with emails from people you don’t know, especially one who looks like a salesperson? I thought so.

So, here is another question for you. How many pieces of mail do you receive at your office every day? Hmm. That’s what I thought. Now you can see why something sent in the mail can stand out, right?

But, it’s not as simple as sending a letter. Content matters. Here are some suggestions:

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Topics: Setting Appointments, Sales

Selling to Learn: New Knowledge Makes You More Competitive

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When you first start out in sales, you spend a lot of time learning to sell. After you have been in sales for a long time, you need to flip that and focus on selling to learn. I encourage you to be on the lookout for ways to learn. All the time.

John Wooden once said, "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." In the fast-paced, always-changing world we live in today, you need to take this seriously. 

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Topics: Sales