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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Language In Your Proposal Might Be Holding You Back


Recently I had a conversation with a manager where she was expressing concern about the language she was seeing in their proposals. In reading them over, the words were crisp and highly descriptive. The problem was, the language and terms were those they use in their own internal discussions—their industry jargon. This is a problem. 

Topics: Proposal Sales

Great Sales Managers Understand the Power of Restricting Freedom


If you open an underwater door and let a fish out of an aquarium into the ocean, he is free. Free to swim around the sea! But if you let him out of the water completely, he is not really free. The fish needs water to live — this restriction is a good one. The fish also needs room to swim — the restriction that keeps him caged is not a good one.

Topics: Sales leadership

5 Not-So-Obvious Ways Sales Can Leverage Content Marketing to Close Deals + More


We've come to the end of the 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.

1. 5 Not-So-Obvious Ways Sales Can Leverage Content Marketing to Close Deals — Content Marketing Institute

Content can be leveraged to not just create the potential for deals, but to actually help the sales team close deals. Here are five challenges that keep deals from closing that your content can fix.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Sales Wrap-up

12 Things Great Sales Managers Do


If you want to know what great sales managers consistently do to achieve their greatness, you’ve come to the right place. But, before we can tackle that mighty subject, we must first agree—there are two types of sales leaders: those that manage the numbers and those that develop the people.   

We could take this time to discuss how great managers always get the job done and done right, or how they beat budgets, watch the bottom line, or make sure they are not going over in expenses.  But this article is going to focus exclusively on what great sales managers that are focused on developing people do.  

Topics: Sales

How to Find the Quality Salespeople You Need in an Employee's Market


Topics: hiring salespeople Sales

Can Your Clients Live Without You?


Have you ever thought about changing banks? I’m guessing most of us have. Either because of a poor experience, or relocating, or because of better rates and lower fees at another bank. If you are like me, you quickly realized what an incredible and daunting task that would be. Auto drafts, direct deposits, checking accounts, savings accounts, home equity lines, home mortgages and the list goes on and on. So, what did you do? You stayed put. Well, I did anyway. I couldn’t bear the time and the energy it would take and the fear of forgetting to transfer something like my electricity bill (aka my internet bill).

Topics: sales strategy Sales

5 Steps in Creating a Winning Sales Culture


There have been pages written, executive leadership training given and coaches hired all to help sales leaders build winning cultures. And yet the ability to build such a culture confounds many because it isn’t easy.

Topics: Sales

The Secret to High Performance + More


We've come to the end of the week, so it's Friday and time for us to share what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

1. The Secret to High Performance That Deloitte Teaches Its Employees — Inc.

Your skills aren't enough to help you perform at your best. There's another element critical to high performance: how you use your strengths. Strengths are often assumed to define what a person is good at. This is only part of the truth. Strengths are also what energize you: It's work that lights you up when you get to do it. This article explains how strengths propel people to high performance, and how to harness that energy for yourself and for your team.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Sales Wrap-up

What Kind of Caddie Does Your Sales Team Need to Improve Sales Performance?


I had the opportunity to sit on the number 6 tee box at The Masters Golf Tournament recently, and as golfers and caddies made their way to the tee box, I noticed that the interactions between each one were different. One caddie simply reported the distance to the green, another caddie discussed wind direction and pin placement, and another caddie talked the golfer through the entire shot.

Topics: Sales

How to Make Your Weaknesses Irrelevant


Weaknesses. We all have them. But we all have strengths as well. Which do you focus on? 

Human nature leads us to naturally focus on our weaknesses, but it is a proven fact that we can be significantly more effective when we do the exact opposite! 

In sales coaching, you can get a 10x lift from a salesperson if you focus on their strengths. This is the most highly effective use of your coaching time when you consider that you will only be able to improve people in an area of weakness by about 10%.

Yes, easier said than done at times, so here are some suggestions on how to accomplish that.

Topics: sales performance Sales

Sharpen Your Content Marketing: 4 Ways to Model the Buyer’s Journey + More


We've come to another Friday, and it's time for us to share what we've been reading online this week. Here are our "best" from around the web.

1. Sharpen Your Content Marketing: 4 Ways to Model the Buyer’s Journey — Content Marketing Institute

An effective content marketing strategy starts with the buyer's journey. What does that journey look like for your prospects? This post considers four ways to model the buyer's journey, to help you better understand your own.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Sales Wrap-up

Sales Coaching: Why it's a Manager's Job to Give Tough Love


After a workshop recently, the sales managers and I strategized the best way to help reinforce the learning and training with their sales team. This is something I often do because a workshop is not a training event that stands on its own—it's just the start to what should be continuous learning.

Topics: sales performance Sales

The Media Salesperson’s Appointment Dilemma


Media salespeople struggle now more than ever to secure quality appointments with prospects that might actually be ready, willing, and able to do business. The fact is that media salespeople are typically at their best when they are in front of a prospect, finding needs, and selling solutions. The challenge is that most media salespeople, after spending many frustrating hours cold calling, only find themselves going on one or two quality appointments a week. The system is broken and it must be fixed before even the most talented sellers will see better results.   

Topics: Sales media

A 6-Step Process to Increase Your Media Sales Team's Productivity


You've probably seen umpteen lists of ways to increase a sales team's performance. Trust me, I know. I have probably written a half dozen of those myself.  

But the more I work with sales teams, the more I've realized that what a sales manager needs is not another list of productivity tips and tricks, but an integrated process for increasing their sales team's productivity. This is particularly true for media sales, where custom solutions can require more involved sales funnels. Here's the process I've developed and implemented with success.

Topics: Sales media productivity

Effective Coaching: Overcoming the Urge to Sell for Your Salespeople


I recently had a conversation with a manager who asked me: “What do I need to keep in mind when I, as a highly-competitive person, am managing a seller who is also highly competitive?” He was concerned that because they both had highly-competitive natures, he may have a tendency to want to compete with his own direct report, which he instinctively knew would work against them both in the end. I gave an analogy to the manager that I would tell any manager, competitive or not.

Topics: Sales

8 Small But Unforgivable Sales Email Sins + More


Here we are at the end of another week! It's Friday, and it's time for us to share what we've been reading online this week. Here are our "best" from around the web.

1. 8 Small But Unforgivable Sales Email Sins — HubSpot

Getting a response from prospects is hard enough. If you add an annoying email habit to the mix, your chances of a reply are almost nil. So open your “Sent” folder, and make sure you’re not guilty of any of these eight email sins.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Sales Wrap-up

How to Avoid Setting Too-High Expectations in Media Sales


Oops. In your enthusiasm to close the sale, did you promise the car dealer or medi-spa owner that the advertising for their grand opening will bring so many people that they will be lined up around the block? In your energetic attempt to close the deal, did you tell the roofing or HVAC company that their phone will “ring off the hook”?

What happens when there aren’t lines around the block and the phone doesn’t ring off the hook?

Your credibility has been destroyed along with trust. How can this all-too-often occurrence be avoided?

Topics: setting expectations Sales

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Account List


Staying organized is one of the keys to productivity. If we're going to accomplish our important goals, we need to have a method for knowing what our priorities are and organizing our to-do list around them. 

By now, you have probably heard about Marie Kondo’s tiny turquoise book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It has been published in more than 30 countries, and has spent the last 77 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. During that time, Kondo has launched a companion book, Spark Joy, which has joined her first book on the best seller list 15 weeks ago.

Perhaps you’ve read the books — or even been inspired to start your own decluttering binge! 

There is a certain freshness and energy that comes from sweeping away the unnecessary and unused clutter to reveal the meaningful, important items in your home and your life. The feeling of “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place,” is a reward unto itself, as so many have discovered through Kondo’s KonMari Method.

Topics: key account growth Sales

What Smart Sales Managers Understand About Vision


I was talking to a client last week who was feeling defeated because his team was not meeting every goal he had set out for the year. I get it, good sales leaders hate to lose and should be upset when they don’t deliver the number. But this is a very strong team, delivering strong performance. And they keep setting tough goals in lots of different areas. They have a big vision for where they are going! They aren't going to be able to hit every goal, every time.

Topics: leadership goals