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The Future of Sales and Marketing

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Use a Sales Diagnostic to Improve Performance

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I recently wrote about the power of the 10,000 foot view and how it was more helpful than the 30,000 foot view. You can see that here if you missed it.  

This post got a larger response than anything I have written in a long time. Must have struck a cord.  

We use a process called the Sales Diagnostic to take the 10,000 foot view. It includes the following areas.

  1. The Numbers
  2. The Business
  3. Your Process
  4. Your Pricing
  5. Your Metrics
  6. Your Service

Let's look more closely at one of these: Your Process.

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Topics: sales management, Sales

Email Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid When Sending Cold Emails

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If you think cold emailing is dead, you are wrong.

63% of B2B companies say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue. It's one of the most cost-effective forms of outreach that there is.

At the same time, you need to realize that you're not the only one sending emails. The average number of emails received by an individual in 2014 was 121, now, in 2017, it is at 147. Out of this 147, people typically reply to 12, and the remaining 135 are either deleted or marked as spam. 

If you want to get a response to your emails, you'll need to employ the magic of etiquette, one of the best ways to create a human connection with the reader.

In this post, I'll talk about a few common mistakes people make writing cold emails, and some advice on how to improve these areas.

Let’s dive in.

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Topics: email, Sales

7 Reasons Awkward Silences ... Are Actually Powerful Sales Tactics + 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.

17 Reasons Awkward Silences ... Are Actually Powerful Sales Tactics  — HubSpot

In sales, awkward silences are actually good — that is, if you know how to use them to your advantage. Consider the following positive outcomes of awkward silences, and the negative ramifications of breaking them.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

5 Lessons I Learned as an Ad Salesperson and as an Ad Buyer

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I have had the rare pleasure of being on both sides of the advertising desk, both as an advertising salesperson and sales manager, and as an ad buyer at a marketing agency.

For 15 years, I sold and managed for radio stations in Dallas and Chicago and loved every single minute of it. Radio was my career, my hobby, my passion. I never thought that I would ever leave radio. Then one day, an “advertising guy” called me and wanted to take me to breakfast.

I spent the next 6 years as the Vice President of Business Development for a mid-size full-service advertising agency in the suburbs of Chicagoland. The ad agency side has been an incredible adventure. I had direct access to clients and had become the consultant that I was trained to be in radio. I worked hand-in-hand with the client as we grew their businesses together. No longer was I an adversary, but truly a marketing partner. 

Here are some of the secrets that I've learned from being on the “other-side-of-the desk”: 

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Topics: Needs Analysis, Sales, media

Coaching Salespeople: Handle with Care!

Coaching_SalespeopleHave you noticed that almost everything you interact with throughout the day comes with recommended care instructions? Some are simpler than others, but for the most part, there is a certain way that everything must be treated in order for it to thrive.

I may not always do it, but I know that I am supposed to:

  • Wash wool sweaters on cold and then lie them flat to dry
  • Change my AC air filters every 3-6 months
  • Wash my workout clothes without fabric softener in warm water and then dry on low
  • Run 48 ounces of undiluted white vinegar through my Keurig every 3-6 months
  • Feed my puppy ¼ cup three times a day, and make sure there are no meat by-products in her food
  • Keep my orchids in bright, but indirect, sun although they require some time in the shade

But, I’m the first one to admit that I have ruined more than one delicate garment by accidentally throwing it in on hot and drying it until it shriveled like a raisin. As a matter of fact, an unfortunate number of my possessions have passed through my hands as if disposable because I didn’t read the care instructions—or even more likely—I was just moving too fast to be able to give them the totally customized care they needed.

Of course I’m not writing this article to teach you how to wash your delicates. Let’s agree, a silk top is a silk top. It can be replaced. But what if we’re talking about a person? It’s not so easy, or inexpensive, or even humane to replace a person because you failed to know how to care for him. That’s a whole different league of handling with care!

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Topics: developing strengths, Talent, Sales

The Imperfections of Last Click Attribution

When it comes to digital marketing, there is a heightened focus on analytics to determine success. Many businesses continue to place a heavy reliance on last click attribution models to determine which of their digital marketing tools are driving results. Last click attribution gives 100% of the credit for a conversion or a sale to the last click a visitor made before he or she arrived on the website to complete that action. It's a model that has been used for years, but can be flawed if it's solely used to determine which digital marketing efforts are really driving results.

The Problem with Last Click Attribution

In theory, last click attribution seems to make a lot of sense, giving credit to the last source that drove a new consumer to a convert on a website, but we as consumers are not that simple. Consumers in today’s environment are usually exposed to a number of different sources before they visit a website. There are countless studies that show the synergy between various types media platforms—those that show how TV, newspaper, and radio drive someone online for more information or to purchase. There are even studies that show how display advertising has a direct impact on search activity—in other words, how consumers are more likely to search for a company and its products after seeing a display ad, even if they don’t click on it.

 Solely using a last click attribution model doesn’t account for any of the other sources that assist in getting the consumer to the website and converting.    

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Topics: digital marketing, Sales

23 Follow-Up Sales Email Templates to Send Instead of "Just Checking In" + 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.

123 Follow-Up Sales Email Templates to Send Instead of "Just Checking In" — HubSpot

Salespeople shouldn’t send “just checking in” emails for one very simple reason: They don’t work. Buyers feel like the rep is virtually poking them, making them reluctant to answer. Not only do “checking in” messages rarely garner responses, they can even turn prospects against their senders. But reps still need a way to get in touch with buyers who’ve gone dark. Enter these 23 email templates.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

Lack of Leads Hurting Your Revenue? 5 Reasons Why You Need a Lead Generation Strategy

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The hardest job in sales these days is getting an appointment with a new prospect. As a sales manager, it's fairly easy to stand up in the sales meeting and tell your salespeople that they need to do a better job prospecting or that they need to just commit more time and energy to getting appointments. But they already know those things, and they're facing huge hurdles that their counterparts of a few years ago didn't face.

Here are five of those hurdles. Feel free to add to the list in the comments section below.

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Topics: lead generation, Management, Sales

Five Ways to Beat Cold Calling Boredom

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We know continuous and relentless cold calling can wear you down. It’s a numbers exercise at best, and unless you really enjoy leaving voicemail messages and constant rejection, the process can be boring and downright taxing. But, there are ways to spice things up so that you’re not only more engaged, but also way more productive. Here are five recommendations we have to help you:

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Topics: Social Media, Setting Appointments, Sales