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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Replace HR with an HF Department


I wonder if we could all treat people better if we replaced human resources with a department focused on human flourishing (HF). People are certainly more human than they are resources, but I wonder if there is a better way to think of them than merely resources. One of the dictionary definitions of flourish is "to thrive or grow luxuriantly." Pretty cool way to think of your people.

Topics: sales management Talent salespeople sales training

How To Create A Ten-Year Experience In Two Minutes

delighting customers with lead acronymI think we’d all agree that long-term relationships are gold in the business arena, and long-term relationships begin with the very first interaction that delights a customer and are fed by every other interaction subsequently. 

Topics: salespeople sales training

Sales Training: The Illusion of a Quick Fix


These days, you can find a quick fix for almost anything. There’s the 21-day fad diet, the 3-step skin care plan, and the 24-hour credit repair. We’re impatient by nature, and we want the kind of solution that turns everything around now. While some of these quick fixes may work in the short-run, most are not sustainable and they leave you in worse shape than you were before.

Ironically, the quick fix delayed the real solution.

The best sales performance solutions combine a jump-start plan to deliver immediate results together with a long-term plan to assure sustainability. And, the long-term plan must include three fundamentals: 

Topics: sales management Sales sales training

3 Huge Objection Handling Mistakes Costing Salespeople Deals + More

handling objections.jpg
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.
1. 3 Huge Objection Handling Mistakes Costing Salespeople Deals — HubSpot
For many sales people, objection handling can be a difficult thing to navigate. But if you see it in a new light, it may be an opportunity for a longterm relationship. 
Topics: Social Media lead generation Sales sales process sales training

How to Turn Your New Hire into a Superstar in the First 90 Days


You made the perfect hire, one who is talented and eager to learn. He or she had a great first day. Now what? How do you turn that potential talent into a real-life superstar?

Just like the first day, your new hire’s first 90 days need to be planned out. Before the employee starts, you need to have a set plan of how to acclimate the new hire to your company, your team, and your style. In other words, onboarding. The most successful companies have a general onboarding path to follow that includes not just filling out paperwork and getting the grand tour, but a roadmap for training, available mentors, and lots of hands-on advice from managers. Statistics tell us that organizations with a standardized onboarding process have 54% greater new hire productivity and 50% greater new hire retention. Managers' job satisfaction increases 20% when their employees have formal onboarding training.

Not a bad return on investment for thinking ahead. So, how can set your onboarding apart?

Topics: sales management sales training onboarding

Attention and Adaptation in the Digital Era


One, one thousand.

Two, one thousand.

Three, one thousand.

Where are you going with this?  

Four, one thousand.

Five, one thousand.

Ahem, I have more important things to do. 

Six, one thousand.

Seven, one thousand.

Get to the point!!! 

Eight, one thousand. Done!

The point is to illustrate—in words only—the interval of eight seconds.

Why? Because eight seconds is the average attention span of a North American, revealed last year in a study by Microsoft Corp.

Topics: Sales sales training

The Compound Effect - Start With the End in Mind


In a former life, I was a professional triathlete and triathlon coach. I helped athletes with a wide range of athletic backgrounds accomplish one of the greatest physical tests of endurance known to man: completing the Ironman, a combined 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. When clients would first come to me and ask for advice about their training plan, they would inevitably ask, “What do I need to do to be able to finish the Ironman?” The answer was the same for each client: “You need to be able to swim 2.4 miles, ride 112 miles and run 26.2 miles in one day." That was a very definitive end goal, and the goal had a definitive date. The challenge then became how to take them from where they were physically on that first day, to that end point several months (or for some, years) away, ending at the Ironman finish line.  

Maybe I’m a little late to the party, but I have just been turned on to the book “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. I wanted to share a few thoughts on its relevance to sales managers and leaders—and how it relates to my story of someone training to complete an Ironman. You might not realize it, but some of the challenges that sales managers face when building a sales organization are similar to what triathlon coaches are up against when training an athlete for the challenge of the Ironman. These challenges are: defining the goal, creating the strategy to accomplish the goal, and taking the required steps needed to accomplish the goal.

Topics: Sales sales training coaching

"I Just Hired a Green Salesperson. Now What?"


Most strong managers, when searching for the right talents, skills, and experience, recognize that the talent piece is primary. If a salesperson doesn’t have the talent, he or she can’t be highly successful. Once you have someone who has talent, you can provide the right coaching that turns that potential into skill. So, that leaves only the area of experience where there may be some “give”—which is exactly why I know there is a good chance you have hired some pretty green salespeople.

Topics: Sales sales training coaching

How to Retain Your Millennials and Increase Their Performance


For years we heard that the Millennials joining the workforce were chasing adventure. They wanted to work for cool start-ups, collaborate with other Millennials, and change the world!

Surprisingly, a new Inforsys and Future Foundation study of 16-25 year olds shows that this may not be the whole story. It appears that a large portion of this group of fresh faces is craving security and stability rather than spontaneous adventure in their jobs.

Knowing this, you might wonder, "If they want stability in their work, why do we have a retention problem with Millennials in our workforce? Why aren’t these younger workers settling in for the long-haul?" Good questions! A 2015 Gallup Poll found that Millennials are the least-engaged cohort in the workplace, with only 28.9% saying that they are engaged at work.

Topics: Talent sales training

Does it Pay to Invest Resources in Bottom Performing or Top Performing Salespeople?


For most sales organizations, your sales team most likely represents a wide range of personalities, experience levels as well as performance levels. Organizations typically have top performers or “all stars” as well as those that struggle each month to meet their sales quota or budget for the month. If your organization has determined there are some areas where your sales team can perform better and resources of time and money are available, where do you invest these limited resources? Do you focus on coaching up your bottom performers, do you bring in new talent, or do you focus on maximizing the performance of your top performers?

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent sales training