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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Things Every Great Sales Manager Should Do to Turn Talented Salespeople into Performers

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I recently had the opportunity to be a part of our Talent Focused Management workshop, which is designed to help managers develop and coach their sales teams by identifying individual talents, providing guidance and developing coaching based on the defined talent and proven tactics to increase overall performance.

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Management, Sales

LinkedIn's Major Makeover Is Designed To Make You Want To Actually Use LinkedIn + 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.

1LinkedIn's Major Makeover Is Designed To Make You Want To Actually Use LinkedIn — Fast Company

This cleaner, faster desktop version of LinkedIn makes it easier to read news, connect with people, and spruce up your profile. Check out the details.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

Trouble is Your Friend

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Last weekend I set out on mission to Home Depot. Lately, I have found myself involved in a number of short projects around the house, and I had come to two conclusions:

  1. Having a portable light would be very handy.
  2. Even though I have a portable light, it requires a wall plug and I’d rather not haul around a bulky light with a large orange cord and then seek an outlet.

I knew from keeping a casual eye on technology that LEDs and even some of the new efficient fluorescent bulbs put out plenty of light on battery power that lasts a long time. Sure enough, I accomplished my mission. Ten minutes and $31 later, I had my problem solved. I have already used it twice and it works well!

I bet this story doesn’t surprise you at all. You set out to solve problems in your life all the time, and often find good solutions, right? So when it comes time to approach a prospect, why do so many of us forget one of the most fundamental rules about capturing someone’s attention? It begins with identifying a potential problem within the business that needs attention. Otherwise, why would the prospect pay attention to you? The bottom line is that people only buy when there is a discrepancy between what they need to happen and what is actually happening. Motivated prospects are usually in one of two modes:

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Topics: Needs Analysis, Sales, prospecting

From Fiction to Fact: Dispelling Common Myths About Sales Calls

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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.


Sales calls get a bad reputation, but should you completely abandon sales calls? Sales calls have the reputation they do because there are more bad sales calls than good ones. Your prospects assume that a sales call won't be worth their time—because 9 out of 10 calls really are that bad.

These are tough odds to be up against, but sales calls are often the only avenue into the new business you crave. Dispelling the myths can help combat that fear or feelings of defeat.

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Topics: call reluctance, Sales

Nailing the First Five Minutes of a Business Conversation + 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.

1Nailing the First Five Minutes of a Business Conversation— Salesforce

If your sales organization is not prepared to sell into the C-Suite, you need to get there. Middle managers are no longer the only people you need to sell to—top-level executives are being brought into sales conversations more and more in today's B2B sales. This article offers insight straight from a corporate COO, who says that he gives a vendor less than five minutes to establish relevance and credibility. In those five minutes, he looks for three things.

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Topics: inbound marketing, Sales, Wrap-up

Sales Truth: You Need to Slow it Down, to Rev It Up!

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Can you remember the last time you went on a boat ride? A lot of us have some great memories out on the water. And we all know that when the boat leaves the harbor it must go slowly at first so it doesn't run into anything. This is a necessary step so it can speed up later. I really enjoy the part when the boat gets moving faster, but I understand that you need to take it slowly at first.  

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Topics: Sales

How to Ask Better Needs Analysis Questions

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Have you ever set a goal for yourself to run a race? Whatever the motivation, you decided to do it. It may have been on a whim, but nonetheless you realized there was more to it than showing up the morning of the race and running. You probably found a race that suited your ability, recruited a friend to join you in the adventure, set a training schedule, and off you went. By no means did you show up for registration the morning of with no prep at all. Well, I hope not anyway. If you did, it probably didn’t go as well as you would have liked. You may have looked back and asked yourself what you could have done differently to change the outcome. I’m guessing the answer is, almost always, more training so you were better prepared.

Running a race without adequate training is no different than showing up to a first time meeting with a new prospect unprepared. Yet, it happens. Preparing yourself to ask better needs analysis questions will help you not only finish the race, but to finish with the intended outcome: to get an assignment from the prospect.  

Where to start? Here are a few suggestions for how to ask better needs analysis questions.

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Topics: Needs Analysis, Sales

Sales Coaching Quick Wins: How to Boost Productivity

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You’ve hired the perfect sales professional. This AE is eager, jumped right in, and you know they are going to be a rockstar. Now what? How can you help your rockstar reach their full potential?

Sales coaching really is an art form. Intuitively knowing what your sales professionals need to maximize their growth doesn’t just happen. It takes a step-by-step coaching plan that is well-thought-out ahead of each new hire and that is continued throughout your employees' careers. A lot of work? Sure, but it’s well worth it. So let’s get started.

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Topics: Talent, Sales, productivity