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The Future of Sales and Marketing

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Is the New Amazon Checkout the Death of a Salesman?

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The job of a salesperson is one of the oldest job titles in modern business. It’s also a position that’s constantly changing due to technological innovations such as the Internet and e-commerce. While most changes happen slowly, such as the move away from printed catalogs to e-commerce, it’s only in retrospect that you notice the signs that were missed along the way.  

The most recent threat to a salesperson’s job is automation and the bypassing of salespeople entirely to purchase directly from a company. This trend started some time ago when companies started to put their products online and discontinued sending salespeople door to door or mailing catalogs each year. I can still remember the excitement that my brother and I had the day the Sears and J.C. Penney catalogs were delivered in the mail. We would bookmark pages, circle what we wanted with markers, and talk about it for hours. Things sure have changed, and one of the companies that’s at the leading edge of the innovations is Amazon.

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Topics: using technology, sales strategy

Traction… Whose Job Is It to Make Sure the Next Step Gets Taken?

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Maybe it's because I live in the great Pacific Northwest (the really cold part) that has me thinking about getting traction—both on the road and in sales. I talk a lot about traction when I'm coaching people through the selling process because it is the metric for how we move through the process.

If You Want Success, You Have to Take the Wheel

You can tell that you are moving the process forward when you get the traction to turn the wheels to move to the next step. Your prospects are not going to do this for you. You must take the wheel. They aren't going to be doing the contracting and partnering to move to the next step—that responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders. And amazingly it can be as easy as making sure you are at the same stage in the process and agreeing on what the next steps will be.

Take charge of the sales process with our How Selling Process.

Contract the Next Step

What does that sound like? How about this… "Thanks for meeting with me today Ms. Decision-maker. I learned a lot about what you do. I'm thinking my next step should be to review the information we've discussed and start to put together some preliminary ideas. I'll then bring those back to you so we can review them together. Would you agree that's the path I should take?"

Without clear contracting, you sit idle or even worse, start sliding out of control.

Download How Selling Steps

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Topics: setting expectations, sales strategy, 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:

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Topics: Setting Appointments, new business development, sales strategy, Sales

Why Post-Sale Service Matters to a B2B Salesperson's Success

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Today we have a guest post from Danny Wong. Danny is a marketing consultant, sales strategist, and writer. He does marketing at Tenfold, a seamless click-to-dial solution for high-performance sales teams. Connect with him on Twitter @dannywong1190.


As an effective sales professional, you can’t just close the book on clients after they’ve signed the deal, even if the bulk of the work then shifts to other departments. How your colleagues execute the post-sale experience has important implications for the company as a whole, as well as your relationship with the customer. What occurs during this phase can result in the customer being even more satisfied than before (including with their experience during the sales process), or it can derail what was otherwise a well-executed marketing and sales strategy.

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Topics: customer satisfaction, sales strategy, Sales

Stand Out or Sit Down: Improve Your Sales Strategy

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I frequently meet with salespeople who are working on creative ways to approach prospects that they're having difficulty getting in front of. One salesperson had a particularly difficult challenge, as she had been trying to get an appointment with a key prospect for over eight months with no success, and all of the traditional methods had been exhausted.

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Topics: brainstorming, sales strategy, Sales

Improve Sales Performance by Changing the Conversation

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If you really want to develop new business with prospects—or even existing clients—try changing your conversation from WHY they should be buying your product to HOW they should use your products and all your other resources to meet their specific needs. (Of course, you have to know what those are, so plan and execute an engaging conversation to discover those needs.) Prospects don’t really want to talk about your product anyway—it’s boring to them.

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Topics: new business development, sales strategy, Sales