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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Lewis Carroll's Thoughts On Digital Communication

digital-communicationThis was another great week of stories told on the internet.

Topics: Wrap-up

How You Can Increase Performance of Your Salespeople Today

increase-performance-of-salespeopleMy job as a Talent Analyst and coach often allows me to be the fly on the wall within our client organizations. I am able to observe the performance of highly talented salespeople and sales managers and witness the milestones and potholes on their journey to success.  One of my greatest takeaways has been the value of effective performance feedback.  It is often the difference-maker between those that achieve greatness and those that don’t. 

Topics: leadership

6 Keys To Know Which Prospects Are Worth The Dip

justice_manIn sales we often feel that if a prospect doesn’t buy from us we’ve somehow failed. Some sales managers reinforce this belief. The truth is that not all prospects are created equally. As with your active clients, some prospects are clearly better than others.

Topics: Sales sales process

Use Priority Management to Delegate Tasks and Get More Done

priority-managementI’ve got you at a 10 and I need you at a 5.”

I say that to my youngest son sometimes… when he is coming at me full-steam and talking to me a mile a minute. Of course I say it in a joking way, and he knows what I mean—that I need him to slow down a little bit so I can actually understand what he is trying to tell me.

Do you Sell Building Blocks or Bundles?

building-blocksLast week, my daughter-in-law arrived at our house with two really enthusiastic grandkids after a stop at the mall. My granddaughter was carrying a brand new Build-a-Bear. And my grandson was all fired up about a new bag of Legos he was allowed to buy… and couldn’t wait for help from Grandpa in building something really cool.

Topics: Sales sales process

5 Unexpected Storytelling Lessons from the CMO of GE

Is it just me, or have you noticed an increase of quality writing on the internet? I hope the trend continues.

Here's what piqued our interest this week:

1. 5 Unexpected Storytelling Lessons from Beth Comstock {From Rohit Bhargava}

Beth Comstock is the Chief Marketing Officer of General Electric, and she had great insight about how to use storytelling to create an emotional connection. Her tips include discussing a brand's history, bringing visibility to an invisible topic, and hiring the right people.
Topics: Wrap-up

Why You Should Never Listen to Digital "Experts"

digital-expertsPrior to the holidays, the trades were publishing articles and digital pundits were posting blogs on what they felt would happen at the digital cash register over the largest consumer purchasing time of year. Many exploited Target’s and Home Depot's infamous 2014 data breaches in predicting that these chains would experience the worst holiday retail season ever, citing lack of consumer confidence in identity protection as the reason why.

Topics: Digital

5 Things You Can Do in 2015 To Make Your Sales Quota

Markets ebb and flow, and it seems a greater number of variables than ever before can impact one’s performance in a quarter or a year. Certainly there are things that happen beyond your control, so let’s look at what’s within your control—what you can do to ensure that you will deliver on your sales quota this year?

1. Get Closer To Your Key Accounts


Unless you are in a business where you sell something once and move on, the work you do on behalf of your Key Accounts has more impact than anything else you can do when it comes to delivering your quota. You’ve heard of the Pareto Principle, aka the 80/20 rule. It’s true. In most businesses, between 75% and 80% of the revenue comes from only 25% of the customers they do business with. And it’s very likely true for your own book of business. The last thing you want to do is lose a Key Account, and most of them have untapped potential for new business.

So for each of your Key customers you should set a goal to renew your needs analysis at least quarterly, perhaps more often. New needs require new solutions, so knowing those changing needs helps make sure you are part of each new solution. Work to increase the number of decision influencers with whom you have contact within the account. Not only does this help you keep your current business in place, but also new influencers often have new problems that need to be addressed. Can you help?

Topics: Sales sales process

What's Standing Between You and Your Clients?

standing-between-you-and-your-clientsI’m going to share an experience that I know every person reading this post has had. Recently, I was reaching out to my _____________ provider (insert healthcare, insurance, ISP, wireless, credit card, etc.), and had to run the gauntlet of their automated phone service. You know the one: Press 7 for this department, press 9 for that representative… mind-numbingly trying to navigate an automated phone menu simply to find a human who can help me with my issue. Even worse are the systems that invite me to “speak” my need—they claim to be able to understand me, but they constantly end up sending me to the wrong option.

Stop Obsessing About Your Shortcomings and Do This Instead

obsessing-about-shortcomingsNothing is more normal than obsessing about our shortcomings. It's a sign that you care about your performance, and that you wish you could be absolutely fabulous in every single aspect of your job. So naturally, you look to those ways in which you don't quite measure up to the best--and you try to figure out ways to fix those things. If only you could banish every blemish, you'd be beautiful.

But focusing on your shortcomings is also strategically stupid. And those who obsess about what they can't do risk real damage to their career.

6 Fundamentals of Using Twitter

There's great information in all corners of the internet. What did you read?

Here's what piqued our interest this week:

1. The Six Fundamentals of Using Twitter {From Bryan Kramer}

This was an interesting read because it covered simple, but smart ways to use Twitter (and reminded us of our online course to help you build your personal brand and connect with decsion makers, Brand & Connect).
Topics: Wrap-up

Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson Discusses Talent

Last weekend, I was watching the NFL playoffs, when I saw a commercial featuring Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. My ears perked up when he said something about talent. 

If you can’t watch the 30-second commercial right now, below is the transcript:

3 Ways To Increase The Value of a Click

value-of-a-clickLong gone are the days of dancing babies and pop-ups to entice consumers to click on display ads or sponsored content online. Gone also are the days when savvy marketers counted clicks as the only measure of value in an online ad campaign.

Topics: Digital

Keep Your Center Solid as You Continue to Evolve

The beginning of the year is excellent for reflecting on the year that passed us by (in a flash), and planning ahead for the year to come.

Before the holidays, I asked my colleagues what they read on a daily or weekly basis. Their answers were varied, and they were all excellent. We're a well-read bunch at The Center for Sales Strategy.

Here's what piqued our interest this week:

1. Seven Things Learned in Seven Years {From Brain Pickings}

This was lovely. Change your mind. Ignore extrinsic motivators. Be generous. Give credit. Be a celebrator, not a critic. When people tell you who they are, believe them. When people tell you who you are, ignore them. Don't worship at the altar of productivity. Remember, everything worthwhile takes a long time.

Topics: Wrap-up

Time Management is a Piece of Cake

piece-of-cakeDuring the holiday season, most of you consumed more than your typical share of desserts and goodies. That reminds me of something I think about whenever I cut into my holiday pie or cake: 

Topics: Sales

Hiring the Right Person Takes both Art and Science

art-and-scienceHiring the right person takes the perfect blend of art and science; you bring the art and we bring the science. Let me explain.

Topics: hiring salespeople

5 Attributes Great Athletes Have in Common with Successful Salespeople

athletes-salespeopleMany of us know people in our lives—whether at work, in our family, or among our circle of friends—who take their athletic pursuits pretty seriously. Whether they're amateur runners, swimmers, lifters, tennis players, or triathletes, they approach their workouts, their competitions, even their fun in a very methodical, purposeful, almost scientific way. They know it's the only way to grow and improve.

Surprisingly, many of these same people treat their chosen profession with a much less serious or methodical approach. They have much to learn—from themselves! In the brief slide show below, we share just five attributes successful salespeople have in common with successful athletes.  

Who should you be sharing this with?

Topics: Sales

Ability, Affinity, and Affirmation: Keys to Your Success in 2015

keys-to-successToday is the first day of a new year. Time to put the successes and disappointments of last year behind you and focus on the year ahead. If you want to be sure you have a happy new year, challenge yourself to improve your performance in at least one area. But which area?

Topics: leadership