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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Movies that Teach Us about Talent Development

sales strategy lessons from moviesToday, we are taking our sales strategy lessons from the pages of pop culture, and we're talking movies. Grab your popcorn and find a comfy seat, because we’re heading to the movies!

Topics: Management sales performance sales management Talent Sales sales training coaching

In A New Business Slump? Try Getting the Rats Out of Your Head!

new business sales slumpI was recently working with a group of sales managers on helping their sales teams develop more high-potential accounts. After listening to some of the challenges they feel their salespeople are faced with day-to-day, I added, "They need to get the rats out of their head!" One sales manager looked at me inquisitively and questioned, "The rats out their head?" So let me explain...

In our fast-paced sales environment, it's easy to let distractions get in the way. These distractions can sometimes hurt our sales performance and almost always get in the way of developing high-potential accounts. Then it's a domino effect... so many issues feel as if they need to be addressed immediately and almost always end up taking the place of the productive new business development activities that you know will help you improve performance. It gnaws at you and feels as if you can't get away from it - like rats, invading your space and eating up your time.

I have felt this way myself many times. A single working mom with three kids with an active career built on helping others improve sales performance is a constant juggle, and sometimes, I too let rats get in my head. Here's how I quickly re-group and get back on track:

Topics: business development new business development sales performance sales management salespeople sales training

Technology Has Changed the Way Your Prospects Buy

technology-change-the-way-prospects-buyTechnology continues to advance at lightning speed. It’s these advancements that change the way we live our lives. It seems that new technology impacts just about every aspect of our life.

The way we communicate – from phone calls and letters to texts and social media.
The way we consume entertainment – from going to a theater to streaming content on multiple devices.
The way we travel – from hotels and taxis to Airbnb and Uber.

Our work life is not immune to these advancements.

Topics: using technology sales strategy sales performance sales process sales pipeline prospecting

3 Reasons You need an Annual Physical

annual sales checkupNo one likes going to the doctor. No one!
Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales culture sales training sales diagnostic

30 Songs to Pump Up Your Playlist and Help Boost Sales Productivity

sales productivity playlistI read a recent study that shared many interesting things about music and how much it does for humans. Some things noted in the study are that music:

  • Enhances intelligence, learning and IQ
  • Improves memory performance
  • Improves concentration and attention
  • Helps work productivity
  • Helps fight fatigue
  • Improves mood

Whether you're motivating yourself or your sales team, I think anyone in sales would like a little bit of all of those. So with that said, I've collected a list of songs from our team and compiled a list of motivational songs to help you boost your sales productivity! 

Topics: sales performance sales management leadership salespeople productivity

The Sales Pipeline is More Important Than Sales Activity

status of the sales pipelineIt seems like every sales manager I have talked to lately wants to talk about activity and how to enforce minimum activity expectations. It took a few of these conversations before a simple truth became obvious to me: Pipeline is way more important than activity.

Topics: sales performance sales management salespeople sales process sales pipeline

Know Your Numbers

salespeople know your numbers"If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business!"
-Marcus Lemonis 

My friend (and Managing Partner at The Center for Sales Strategy), Matt Sunshine, got me into the CNBC television program, The Profit. And I am absolutely addicted to it. And I mean addicted… I might have just finished watching 6 hours of the program this weekend. 

And you should be watching it, too!

Marcus Lemonis is the CEO of Camping World, and he uses his money to invest in struggling businesses that he features on his show. The stories are exciting, compelling, and full of drama! But, that's not why you should be watching the program.

Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales management salespeople

The 8 Talents Every Salesperson Needs to Succeed

girl scout cookie world record salesHave you ever heard about Katie Francis, who shattered the 30-year-old world record by selling 21,477 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in 2014? On weekdays, Katie put in about seven hours every day selling cookies. So she rested on weekends, right? Nope. She put in 12 hours a day on the weekends! Since then, she's sold a record of 100,100 boxes of girl scout cookies in her seven years as a girl scout. She’s certainly got stamina and focus.

"I actually decided last year I wanted to beat the world record, and at the beginning of my sale my goal was 18,100. When I got to that goal, I raised it to 20,000. And then when I got to that, I went on to 21,000," she explained to a national TV audience in 2014. So Katie’s a goal-setter—and reaching a goal just motivates her to set a higher goal.

To be successful in sales, Katie quickly learned you can't take "no" personally. So this young lady has a solid ego that rejects rejection along with an agile mind that readily learns and adapts.

If you think she was taught all that—all that stamina, focus, goal-setting, inner motivation, healthy ego, rapidly learning, not to mention that ability to persuade and close—it’s time to reset your coordinates. These are talents, and talents are innate. Katie was born that way, and fortunately, her talents were fostered not quashed. Katie is exceptional, as are all talented people.

No parent, no teacher, no coach can train someone to behave in those ways. Talent cannot be taught or learned, but it can be identified, measured, and fostered. That’s what the best managers do.

Topics: sales performance sales management Talent sales training

Burn Your Ships: A History Lesson About How to Be a Great Leader

ship at seaIf you are a history buff, you may know the story of Cortés and the burning of his ships. In the year 1519, Hernán Cortés arrived in the New World with six hundred men and, upon arrival, made history by destroying his ships. This sent a clear message to his men: There is no turning back.

Two years later, he succeeded in his conquest of the Aztec empire. 

As leaders taking our people into new territories as unknown and potentially hazardous as did Cortés, we need to ensure those we are leading that there is no turning back. He knew how to be a great leader. We need to be certain there is no off-ramp our people can use to avoid the challenges of our own new business worlds. We need to burn the ships.

What Does Burning the Ships Mean Today? 

We’re long past the days of conquistadors, but the story of burning the ships is as relevant as ever. I bet you’re already thinking of some aspect of your company that needs attention right now, that needs your leadership. If you leave the ships in the harbor, your people will see that you’re not fully committing to the transition needed. If you’re not fully committed, why should they be? By burning the ships, by removing any available path back to the previous way, your team will become as fully committed as you obviously are.

Topics: Management sales performance sales management

5 Tips to Help Prevent Burnout in Salespeople

prevent-salesperson-burnoutLast year, Harvard Business Review estimated the turnover in salespeople to be around 27%. In an industry that’s seeing almost double the turnover rate than the overall labor force, it’s essential for managers and leaders to not only know how to recruit great talent that’s an excellent fit for your team, but also how to retain sales talent and improve their performance over the years. 

Topics: hiring salespeople sales performance sales management sales training coaching