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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Did Your Needs Analysis Uncover A Need? One Need?

prospect needs analysis discovers desired business resultsCongratulations. You've conducted a needs analysis and discovered a need for a prospect (their desired business result) for a prospect. But, is that good enough? How many needs did you uncover? Surely a serious conversation with a prospect about current challenges, unrealized opportunities, hassles, and trends, would uncover multiple desired business results.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy Sales

Does Employee Engagement Translate to Hard Dollars?

does employee engagement translate to hard dollarsThere has been considerable talk over the years about so-called soft measures, like employee engagement, which begs the question, is this a nice-to-have element or a must-have element?  I doubt any executive would say he or she doesn’t really care about employee engagement, but when you examine the time and money spent on establishing such an outcome, it would appear most companies and most managers don’t devote enough. 

Topics: sales strategy Talent

The Aha Moment: How to Know When to Pivot Your Sales Strategy

how to know when to pivot your sales strategyAs a successful salesperson, you’ve probably spent years perfecting your strategy. But picture this: You’re going on three discovery calls a day, and suddenly there’s no follow-up, no next step, and no sale.

Topics: sales strategy

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.

Topics: new business development sales strategy Sales

What Does “Sales Strategy” Mean Anyway?

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I hear managers and execs talk all the time about the importance of sales strategy. “Strategy” is one of the words that gets used a lot. (In fact, Webster’s Dictionary says it is in the top 10% of most popular words.) After all, who gets heat for talking strategy? C’mon!

The problem I see in the field is that most sales “strategies” are not really strategies at all. If you look at that definition of strategy, you see, “a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal, usually over a long period of time.” That means a strategy doesn’t change (or if it does change, this doesn’t happen very often), is long-term, and describes a set of consistent behaviors. Many sales strategies I see are more like tactics: making more calls in a defined period of time, approaching a new group of prospects, or introducing new offers to move the market forward. I am not saying these things are bad, but I am pointing out they are tactics, not strategies. Tactics can be helpful IF they support a strategy.

Topics: sales strategy Sales goals

Selling Techniques for Getting that First Appointment

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You called. Left a message. "Maybe they're busy," you think. Or, "maybe they just don't return calls." Perhaps it's neither of these. Maybe it's on you.

Maybe you just haven't given them a compelling enough reason to call you back.

If you want people to call you back, you need to give them a reason. If the reason you are providing is something along the lines of, "I have a really great idea to share with you," then you sound just like the other 25 calls they've received.

Your prospect doesn't want your ideas. They want solutions to their problems.

Topics: Setting Appointments sales strategy Sales

What is Your Sales Strategy—Pitching Proposals or Providing Solutions?

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The best B2B salespeople follow a sales strategy that includes the use of a needs analysis meeting with new business prospects or existing customers. Do you?

Without a needs analysis the sales process breaks down transforming salespeople into peddlers—pitching, hoping and praying… pitching, hoping and praying… pitching hoping and praying! 

A better approach involves a conversation with customers and new business prospects to uncover business problems or opportunities. 

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis sales strategy Sales

Pay Attention to Your Best Customers

Sales_Team2.jpgYour best customers are your competitors’ best prospects. At The Center for Sales Strategy, we have long said that it’s much easier to fill the bucket if it’s not leaking from the bottom. Many companies have an incredibly large need to go out and get new business every month—mainly because they are losing 33% or more of their current business.

It's true… and while new business is certainly one of the solutions for curing the problem of not retaining existing business, it’s really only a bandage. The problem of account attrition needs to be addressed and quickly solved. Churning through clients quickly and not getting any sort of renewal will fatigue your sales team. Over time, they will lose confidence in what they are selling. Just imagine the revenue growth you might be experiencing today if you did not have all that attrition—and you still had the same amount of new business coming in.

Topics: customer satisfaction customer focus Management sales strategy Sales

Magic Needs Analysis Questions

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Like buried treasure, salespeople have been looking for a short list of magic needs analysis questions forever. So where is that list, and what are the questions on it? Not sure where the list is, but here is an insight into which questions can really get the prospect talking and revealing the trouble or growth opportunities that you might be able to address: Ask questions early on that are relevant to their unique situation today. You can build these questions easily with just a little research. For example… 

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy Sales

The 10,000 Foot View Provides New Insights

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On my final approach into the Atlanta airport recently, I noticed how interesting the view was from 10,000 feet. The planes moving about, the cars arriving, the Porsche Experience Center, and all the surrounding hotels (the new Renaissance Atlanta Gateway is pretty cool by the way). So much to observe.  

This made me think about how the 10,000-ft. view is often more interesting and illuminating than the proverbial 30,000-ft. view. This is true when looking at a sales organization as well. The 30,000-ft. view that you tend to take with something like a SWOT analysis or other strategic exercises is good, but the 10,000-ft. view might be more appropriate.

Topics: Management sales strategy Sales