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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Three Optimistic Thoughts That Will Hold You Back

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If salespeople are generally optimistic (I think we can all agree they are), then the words “sales manager” may as well be Greek for God of Optimism. We have to believe to achieve! In sales, the glass is always half full. But these three optimistic phrases will actually hold you back, so be careful not to let your optimism trip you up.

Topics: sales management Sales

The 17 Worst Sales Email Writing Mistakes + More

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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. The 17 Worst Sales Email Writing Mistakes — HubSpot

If the core of your email is an insight or resource, think of your writing as the packaging. Even if you’re an expert, it’ll be hard to build credibility if your online communication is riddled with spelling and formatting errors. Here are the worst errors that'll cause salespeople to embarrass themselves over email

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

21 Bold Predictions for Sales in 2018

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Here at the Center for Sales Strategy, we are constantly asked to look at sales, sales management, and sales marketing trends, and to make predictions about what the landscape might look like in the future. At the end of each year, we make what we consider to be our bold predictions for the following year. This year, several people from our team participated. Special thanks to Dean Mootheart, Alan Vitberg, Shannon Delmarle, Trey Morris, John Henley, Kim Alexandre, Matt Sunshine, Dani Buckley, Brad Ramsey, Greg Giersch, and Beth Sunshine for contributing.

Topics: Sales

INFOGRAPHIC: CSS By The Numbers

header-CSS-By-The-Numbers.jpgJust like an athlete, you can go it alone and get some occasional wins. To win a gold medal requires a clear plan, consistent discipline and constant improvement.

Topics: Sales coaching

7 Ways to Add Personality to the Sales Process + More

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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. 7 Ways to Add Personality to the Sales Process — HubSpot

Part of talking to real humans (and earning the right to sell to them) is proving that you yourself are human — by communicating in authentic ways and sending the kinds of emails even you might actually want to read. Tap into some basic human empathy, and borrow these tactics.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Are You, as a Sales Manager, Consistent and Predictable?

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I seem to regularly have conversations with sales teams where I hear managers talk about accountability, implementation, follow-up—all referring to a system, process, or new business development that is lacking. Most of the time, my response is: "let’s talk about your weekly meetings and your weekly sales plan."

Here is the tried-and-true guide to great one-on-ones.

Topics: sales management Sales

One Size Does Not Fit All

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Like it or not, the holiday shopping season is officially here! The shift of in-store retail sales to online sales gets all the buzz these days, but according to the U.S. Commerce Department online retail sales were just 8.1% of the retail total in 2016. I’m sure that number will be up a bit when the 2017 numbers are final, but the overwhelming majority of retail sales still happen the same way they always have: in the store!
 
My wife likes to say, “How did our moms survive without Amazon Prime?” But, the truth is there is a major value proposition in-store shopping offers that online shopping never will: the in-store experience. Take clothing for example — feeling the softness of the fabric, judging the thickness of that winter coat, asking customer service for another size of jeans from the back, trying it all on, comparing the price of the sweater you like in one hand with the one you love in the other hand.  And finally, you get to see it all, on you, right there in the mirror in real time. 
Topics: Needs Analysis Sales

"Follow Up Next Week" Does Not Mean You Have an Appointment

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One of the leading indicators for sales success is to look at the number of appointments that a salesperson has each week. (This is not the only leading indicator that you should be looking at, but it is one of them.) The idea is that if a salesperson has a significant amount of appointments each week which involve finding needs, getting assignments, presenting solutions, or delivering a proposal, that this quality sales activity will lead to good solid revenue performance.  

I think it’s fair to say that everyone in sales or in sales management would agree with this, so I’m not really going out on a limb having made that statement. But here is where I think there might be a flaw. I think many salespeople are confusing "I'll follow up with you next week" with "I have an appointment." To be clear, "I’ll follow up with you next week" does not mean you have an appointment.

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

Five Ways To Get More Case Studies

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Almost everywhere I go I hear managers and salespeople say, “Yeah, case studies are very valuable.  We need to get more case studies.” So why don’t more sales operations have more case studies? What’s holding them back? I can tell you what prevents most sales teams from having enough case studies:

  • Case studies require some level of client participation. While your client may indeed be pleased with what you have done, they are busy, and taking time out their busy day to write or even provide information to someone in your organization is not an “A” priority for them.
  • Your sales team probably doesn’t know who to nominate. Too often we are focused on making the next sale and not focused on what we did well in the last sale.  
  • While most people agree taking time to gather information for case studies is important, it’s not urgent. So it never gets done.

So, how do you address these problems?  Here are some ideas:

Topics: case studies Sales

5 CTAs Secretly Sabotaging Your Sales Emails + More

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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. 5 CTAs Secretly Sabotaging Your Sales Emails (& What to Use Instead) — HubSpot

Every call-to-action matters. Ask for the right things in the right way, and your relationships with prospects will grow stronger over time. Ask for the wrongs things in the wrong way, and they’ll stall — or even go nowhere at all. To make sure you’re not sabotaging your emails, take a look at the CTAs you should never use (and which ones to try instead).

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up