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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

When Pigs Fly: Really? Why You Should Focus on Your People's Strengths

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Sometimes the most revelatory meanings come from parables. Storytelling is an art and has been a part of the human experience since cave men started drawing pictures on cave walls, since troubadours roamed the countryside telling stories through their songs. Storytelling helps us make sense of the world.

One of the most effective ways of telling a story is through a parable. It’s a short, allegorical piece meant to teach a lesson. It’s told in words that convey images people can easily understand and often include animals and nature like "The Three Little Pigs" and "The Grasshopper and the Ant."

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Topics: Talent, Sales, coaching

3 Important Considerations When Your Sales Team Grows

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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.


Growth is good — it means that goals are being met and revenue is up. But hiring new team members brings challenges. The responsibilities of a sales manager change drastically as your sales team expands. Managing a modest team of five to 10 reps is easy when compared to overseeing a department with 30, 40, or 50 salespeople.

Here are three things you must keep in mind as a sales manager as your team begins to grow from small to large:

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Topics: hiring salespeople, sales management, Talent

How to Get the Most from a Sales Candidate Interview

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Do you ever tell horror stories about the worst hire you ever made? These bad experiences tend to stand out, don’t they?

High turnover is a big problem for many sales organizations and hiring the wrong people for the job can be a big contributor to that turnover. It’s extremely important that you hire people with the right talents for the position.

Do your due diligence before you hire someone so you are not surprised by mediocre performance later. Perfecting your interview process will help you to put the right people in the right positions.

Here are some tips on how to get the most from a candidate interview:

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, Sales

Are You Set Up to Recruit Top Talent?

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I’m in the midst of touring colleges with my son. There are so many choices and great things about all the schools. There are the big SEC football schools, schools in college towns and big cities, large campuses and small. So how will he choose? Finding the right fit when you are a senior in high school seems like such a concrete and monstrous decision.

The same can be true when graduating from college and looking for a job. What do millennials look for when searching for their “perfect” job? Many articles have been written about what they are searching for—collaborative work environments, recognition, opportunities for growth, flexible hours and a purpose to name a few. How does your company stand out to this group?

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, Sales

Sales Coaching: Don’t Let Your Weaknesses Get in the Way of Your Success

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I am really good at showing up on time, coaching people, planning jam-packed vacations, coming up with creative gift ideas, and breaking down something complicated into the key points that everyone needs to understand. Those are my talents—the things that I do well. Maybe even better than others. And, if I really thought about it, I could probably even think of a few more things to add to my short list.

Now, ask me to make a list of things I’m not very good at—the things I’ve worked hard at but never seem to be able to do as well as others…. Well, that could go on all day! Playing tennis, building budgets, writing in straight lines on a white board, singing in tune…. Seriously, I could fill the page!  While practice might make me a bit better, I will never achieve greatness.

And as much as that bugs me, it’s pretty normal. We all have strengths but we have MANY more weaknesses than we have strengths. And that’s okay, because no one succeeds based on their weaknesses.

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Topics: key account growth, sales management, Talent, Sales

Why Did I Hire This Person?

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Sales leaders, like teachers and other influencers, have the power to develop or destroy, to mentor or marginalize, to coach or to crush.

That’s a significant impact on a business and the drivers of that business's success, its people. That power can be used to foster positivity or negativity.

Sales Leaders Can Make Or Break Their Organizations

Many sales leaders who have direct reports, such as a sales department, may be in their positions not based on their talents for coaching or developing and contributing to the bottom line, but rather because of relationships and quid pro quos. Or the hiring manager may have succumbed to the “Halo Effect” during the interview. The Neilson Norman Group describes this in this way: The Halo Effect is when one trait of a person or thing is used make an overall judgment of that person or thing. It supports rapid decisions. It’s based on subjectivity vs. objectivity. It’s a decision that can wreak havoc once that hire enters the building. If you have regrets over hiring the wrong person for a sales leader role please read on.

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, Sales

What a Little Green Monster Taught Me About Sales Talent

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Today we have a guest post from Allison Delagrange. Allison is is a General Sales Manager for Federated Media in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She’s a 2005 Taylor University graduate, coach to a team of top-notch sellers on 97.3 WMEE, mom to a little princess and twin boys, and wife to one handsome dude. Allison loves to help others succeed and share insights she’s learned over the course of her 10-year career in sales.


Sometimes great insights come from the most unlikely places. Just in time for Halloween, I’d like to share with you what a little green monster taught me about sales talent.

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, Sales

Invest in Your Top Sales Talent

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As a sales manager, your time is valuable and managing your sales team tops the list of priorities. How much time and with whom you spend your time are critical to achieving sales goals. Most of us spend time on those we think need the most attention, those not meeting goals. But is this a good use of our time?

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Topics: Talent, Sales

8 Characteristics of a Winning Sales Coach

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There are tons of books, blogs, and articles about what it takes to be a great sales coach and manager of people. I often talk with managers who want to hire top-notch sales coaches and the list of their requirements is usually a long one—including experience, past successes, and “must have” talents. It’s definitely a hire you want to get right!

There are many natural behaviors and characteristics that make a sales coach really great, and it is important to uncover the intensities of these talents before you hire someone.

Here are 8 characteristics of winning sales coaches:

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Topics: hiring salespeople, Talent, Sales