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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Why Avoiding Disruption is Stalling Your Sales Career

building your account list Salespeople work hard to build an account list. Most clients on your list have been researched, painstakingly approached, and developed over time. Maybe a few just fell into your lap. But you value them all. Sure, some may be easier to work with than others, but you have no reason to change anything. Why would you?

Because the path that leads to a larger account list is not just more clients, but better clients.

I want to share some interesting lessons I heard at the recent INBOUND18 Conference. It was one of the last sessions on the last day. The one you debate about attending, because out the window the shuttle buses are already filling up with attendees leaving for the airport. I’m glad I stayed, and want to share some of what I heard in relation to building your account list.

Topics: key account growth sales performance sales process sales pipeline account list management

Are You Giving Key Accounts the Finger?

don't give your key accounts the fingerMany years ago, I talked with the owner of a specialty grocery store in Columbus, Ohio called The Hills Market. During this conversation, I learned about the term “giving customers the finger.”

This unfortunate situation occurs when a customer asks for help locating a product and an employee points in the direction of the product and sends the customer on their way. From a customer service perspective, this is a no-no! The best way to help a customer is to listen to their request (problem) and take them to the product (solution). 

Topics: key account growth sales strategy sales performance account list management

Weekly Roundup: Reduce Friction in the Sales Process + More

reduce friction sales process

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"SETTING GOALS IS THE FIRST STEP IN TURNING THE INVISIBLE INTO THE VISIBLE." 

-TONY ROBBINS

 

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

6 Ways Inbound Marketing Tactics Can Reduce Friction in the Sales Process  LeadG2

Reducing friction in the early stages of engaging the market will increase conversion rates and accelerate deals through the sales process. Implementing these ideas on a consistent basis will help cement your brand as “easy to work with.”

Topics: Wrap-up

What Sales Language Do You Speak? Avoid These Two Poisonous Sales Presentation Mistakes

sales appointment

There are two poisonous mistakes that will kill a presentation: using jargon and using stock phrases. Making either of these mistakes will drastically reduce the chance of getting a second meeting with a prospect.

Let's start with HOW NOT to start a presentation and finish with the HOW TO of communicating an engaging proposal.

Topics: sales strategy Sales

What If They Leave? 3 Ways to Better Train Your Sales Staff

sales-training-manager-265882-editedCFO asks CEO: "What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?"
CEO: "What happens if we don't, and they stay?"
 
I really LOVE this "fictional" exchange. It drives a stake right through one of the arguments against training and developing your salespeople. 
Topics: sales performance sales management sales training

The Comfort of Consistency

consistent sales managerMany of us seek new things in our lives to stay engaged and motivated, but even the most adventurous among us value certain things that are consistent. There are obvious consistencies we depend upon like gravity, the sun coming up in the east and setting in the west, or a manager who is very consistent in setting expectations. You probably didn’t see that third example coming, did you? But it’s true.

If you believe that most people want to do the right thing for their employers, the only thing that could trip them up is not knowing what the right thing is. For that reason, the best managers are boringly consistent about setting expectations their people can internalize and follow.

Topics: Management sales management coaching

A Guide to Turning NO into YES!

prospecting no into yes"No. No, no, no. No!" Have you ever had someone tell you "No" before? Whether you're a sales manager coaching your sales team to success, or a salesperson eager to reach your goals, you've more than likely been told "No." BUT... that doesn't mean it's over. It just became a challenge. Are you ready to take on that challenge?

The next time you present a proposal and hear “No,” try some of these tactics designed to change the outcome. 

Topics: Proposal prospecting sales accelerator

Weekly Roundup: 8 Habits of a Great Sales Manager + More

business-sales-manager-woman-edited

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"MOST PEOPLE THINK 'SELLING' IS THE SAME AS 'TALKING.' BUT THE MOST EFFECTIVE SALESPEOPLE KNOW THAT LISTENING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE JOB." 

-ROY BARTELL

 

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

8 Habits of a Great Sales Manager  LinkedIn

Like many sales managers, perhaps you landed in your leadership role based on your ability to sell. You were a fantastic salesperson who constantly hit (and shattered) goals and quickly rose to the top. You probably didn’t get your sales manager job by being a great manager. Many don’t know the first thing about how to manage a team. If this is you, you’re not alone.

Topics: Wrap-up

5 Ways to Improve Your Sales Process

arrow-process-378765-editedThis post was originally published on Startups.co

Ditch the "why" of your sales conversation and focus on the "how" to show prospects that you hear and understand their needs and can solve their unique problems.
 

If you’re looking to improve your sales process — look no further than the “2017 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report.“ Buyers want things to be easy. So easy, in fact, that 89 percent of survey respondents said that they chose vendors that made a return on investment easier to prove or that could be easily justified with a business case. They also preferred speed over price — with 80 percent of buyers citing deployment and ease of use as “very important.”

Your customers want to understand how to use your product — not sit through a pitch and wonder if it’ll actually fit their needs. Selling is less about explaining why buyers should buy and more about showing how an easy-to-use product or service will help them.

Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales management Sales sales process

Set Your New Hire Up for Success: Continuous Strength Development

providing detailed sales feedbackThis is the fourth and final post in a four-part series on how managers can set new hires up for success. You can click to view the previous posts on providing detailed feedback, building relationships that will lead to stronger sales performance and maximizing strengths and working around weaknesses. 

Ongoing coaching and strength development are key factors in retaining people long-term, yet statistics show employees often feel as though they don’t have a specific development plan. According to a Saba survey, 60% of leaders believe they provide employees with a clear career path, but only 36% of employees agree. The very best managers spend time coaching their people and have an individualized development plan for each person. 

Topics: hiring salespeople Management developing strengths sales management talent dashboard