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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Secret to Sales Success (It's Not Enough to Hire Talented People)

building relationships for sales successAbout a year ago I conducted a sales talent assessment for an up-and-coming college graduate who had very little sales experience but was loaded with both raw talent and a passion for sales. We’ll call her Ashley. The hiring manager, let’s go with Brenda, was thrilled to be able to get someone with such potential “on the cheap,” so she made her an offer right away, which Ashley quickly accepted. 

Topics: Management sales management sales training coaching onboarding

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

Object This! Ways to Overcome 5 Common Sales Objections

overcoming sales objectionsEven when you are intentional about removing surprises and skilled at talking about price, you may still encounter objections during the sales process. Listening for objections along the way and handling each one as it comes up helps you avoid trying to address all the objections while you are presenting your proposal.

Topics: Proposal Needs Analysis salespeople sales process sales training prospecting

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

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

Failing To Do This One Action Stalled The Sale

stalled sales processI vividly remember early in my sales career meeting with a business owner of an up-and-coming beverage company. We met several times, and I was getting excited about the opportunities that seemed to be unfolding. We had built great rapport, he had shared his challenges with me, and I developed a solution that I thought was perfect. He loved my idea! We were on our way until I heard…

Topics: sales management Sales salespeople sales process sales training prospecting

5 Ways to Breathe Life Back Into Your Weekly Sales Meetings

weekly-sales-meetingThis post was originally published on SalesHacker.com.

The weekly sales meeting — you know the one. The whole crew gets together for what amounts to an hour-long discussion around menial housekeeping items or which sales rep got a little closer to nailing a sale.

Certainly it’s important information in its own right. But, it’s not worthy of eating up an hour that could be better used securing leads. The substance of the old-school sales meeting, in essence, belongs in a weekly email.

Topics: Management successful sales meetings sales management leadership sales training

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

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

Building Strong Relationships: Can You Teach That?

salespeople building relationshipsYou have hired your next great seller. You have a strong on-boarding plan, a great training schedule, and amazing people in place to help with training. They are prepared to hit the street, right?

Topics: training salespeople sales training coaching