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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

4 Things Sales Management Should Do to Improve Sales Performance

Recently, I spoke to a sales management group on four things that they can do to improve sales performance, and this is what I shared with them.

1. Recruitment

Always be recruiting. 24/7. 365. The battle for top sales talent these days has never been harder. You always have to be recruiting. Not just when you have an opening.

Topics: sales performance sales management coaching

A Step-by-Step Guide to Coaching Salespeople

sales-coaching-in-fieldThe best managers know spending time in the field coaching sellers is an important part of developing salespeople (and improving sales performance). Here’s a step-by-step guide to use the next day you are in coaching mode.

Topics: sales management coaching

How to Engage Employees in a Cross-Generational Workplace

Engage Employees in a Cross-Generational WorkplaceMany organizations have multiple generations represented in the workplace and with that, a plethora of stereotypes that come along with each generation. While it may not be intentional, individual bias can have a significant impact on employee engagement. Bias can sometimes provide a false direction on how to lead a team, so be sure you aren’t using generational stereotypes to influence your decisions. 

For example, the now current largest generation at work, Millennials or Gen Y, are often characterized job hoppers, lazy and entitled. When you take bias out of the conversation, we know that Millennials seek career progression, can work well independently or in groups, and feel accomplished when contributing to something meaningful at work.  

Millennials aren’t the only generation with stereotypes. Bias also crosses over into Gen X and Baby Boomers. Gen X has been characterized in the workplace as control freaks, so they work best alone and aren’t team players or Boomers who have been stereotyped as set in their ways and uncompromising to change.  

2019 State of Media Sales SurveyYou can probably imagine the conflict and lack of productivity that might arise in an organization if cross-generations are asked to collaborate amongst all the bias that surrounds each generation. As Gen Z begins to come into the fold, more bias could, too. Or, maybe you’re not imagining this scenario because it’s your reality and you are living it every day! 

Either way, increasing employee engagement ultimately helps you reduce regrettable turnover, increase productivity, and can help you retain and grow your best customers.

Topics: sales management company culture

Weekly Roundup: 75 Key Sales Statistics That'll Help You Sell Smarter + More

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- MOTIVATION -

"OUR GREATEST WEAKNESS LIES IN GIVING UP. THE MOST CERTAIN WAY
TO SUCCEED IS TO TRY JUST ONE MORE TIME."

-THOMAS EDISON

 

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

75 Key Sales Statistics That'll Help You Sell Smarter in 2019 — Hubspot

2019 State of Media Sales SurveyEvery time we think we've gotten a grip on the weird, wonderful world of sales, we learn something new that forces us to change our perspective and question our beliefs. Like just 17% of salespeople think they're pushy -- compared to 50% of prospects.

And along similar lines, only 3% of buyers trust reps. The only professions with less credibility include car sales, politics, and lobbying. Ouch. Luckily, not all sales-related data will bum you out. This list of sales statistics has invaluable nuggets of wisdom on everything from which words to avoid in your email subject line to the optimal number of questions to ask during a discovery call.
 
>>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

8 Steps to Improve Your In-Field Coaching

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I know about coaching. 

When my twin daughters were learning to drive, I spent countless hours working with them as they practiced behind the wheel. I owed it to all of you to do my job well!

On my quest to mold them into great drivers, I learned one certain truth: this kind of coaching can only be accomplished from inside a moving vehicle. You cannot teach someone how to drive a car by handing them a book, suggesting an informative video, or lecturing them on safe driving techniques.

(The same is true for sales, but more on that later…)

Our learn-to-drive boot camp did begin with some classroom-style learning. The girls read the information booklet provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles from cover to cover and they attended formal driver’s education classes to ensure they obtained the knowledge required to pass their written exam. They squeaked by on that exam which then earned them a driver’s permit so they could legally join the rest of us on the road as long as they have a family member in the car. Me.

Another certain truth: just because someone passes a written test does not mean they drive well. 

Topics: sales management Talent

To Confirm or Not to Confirm? That is the question.

confirm appointmentsWe all know how difficult it can be to set an appointment with a prospect these days, and the last thing we would want to do is let that appointment slip away after making multiple contacts in order to secure it.

The question always seems to come up about whether a salesperson should confirm that appointment before making the call or not. I have sales professionals who argue on both sides of the question.

So, let’s compare the reasons for confirming or not confirming.

Topics: Setting Appointments sales process

Four Engagement Elevators You Can Use to Improve Your Company Culture

improve company cultureCulture is powerful, and like brand, you’re going to have one whether you like it or not. The best organizations to work for are the ones that recognize this and actively strive to push the right buttons every day to build a positive climate and a culture of engagement.

Topics: company culture

A New Way to Solve the Revenue Challenges Facing Media Sales Organizations

iStock-468438195In the past media sales organizations employed a tried and true approach to solving dips in revenue. Here’s a summary of the approach: 

When revenue is down, develop a product, service, or tactic, and sell more!

Unfortunately, these days this approach is more tired and untrue than tried and true.

Selling more is not the solution to the current challenges faced by media organizations because it’s a new day, and it is not filled with rainbows and unicorns. The declines faced by media sales organizations today are consistent enough to be called the new reality!

Topics: lead generation sales management sales process

Weekly Roundup: Disqualifying Prospects, High Performing Sales Teams + More

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- MOTIVATION -

"THE MOST UNPROFITABLE ITEM EVER MANUFACTURED IS AN EXCUSE"

-JOHN MASON

 

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

Disqualifying Prospects: 50+ Sales Leaders Share Their Best Methods — Sales Hacker

Deals aren’t qualified just the one time and then locked down as golden opportunities forever more; they need to be constantly tested and retested, with the goal of exiting (either one direction or the other) as soon as possible. 50+ sales leaders at companies like Dell, Workday, Oracle, and Cornerstone were interviewed, and based on what was learned, it’s clear the best sales teams practice proactive disqualification (DQ). >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Curiosity Killed the Cat, but Saved the Sales Rep

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Have you ever noticed how many questions little kids ask? Every parent has a story to tell about the funny or embarrassing questions their kids have asked at the most inopportune times, all those occasions their child has scrunched up their little face and asked, “Why is Grandma so wrinkly?" or "Why do we have to go to school every day?" or "Why do I have to eat those gross green things?” If you don’t take control of the conversation, the third degree can go on indefinitely—because the curiosity in children is limitless!

Somewhere on the journey from childhood to adult professional, though, much of that unfettered curiosity gets left behind. I would argue that we have become a society of head-nodders where people are often afraid they’ll look dense if they ask a question. You’ve seen it—people nodding in agreement, as if they completely understand, when you are certain they don’t. Their fear of losing the respect of others actually keeps them from learning. 

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis Sales