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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

3 Ways to Accelerate Sales by Slowing Down

accelerate sales process by slowing downNo one likes to wait!

We don't like to wait in lines, on hold, or for Christmas morning. We want things now! As a society, we've become accustomed to instant downloads, on-demand programs, and same-day Amazon Prime deliveries.

Which is why sales organizations want to accelerate the sales process. For years, B2B sales were often seen as a long, complicated process where the salesperson could do very little to speed up the sale, but today you can speed up the process by simply slowing down!

Topics: Setting Appointments Needs Analysis sales process sales cycle prospecting

The Art of Asking Questions: 8 Surefire Tactics To Brush Up Your Skills

art of asking questionsWouldn’t it be nice if you had a list of ten surefire questions you could ask during a needs analysis meeting that would lead directly to cash? That would be sweet… show up, ask the questions, and leave with an order!

Too bad that list does not exist. There is a list of guidelines to follow that will elevate your questions and your method of questioning to a higher level… perhaps to Rembrandt level. Salespeople can reach this level by perfecting the art of asking questions! 

Topics: Needs Analysis salespeople sales process prospecting

Weekly Roundup: Guide to Target Markets, Get Meetings with CEOs + More

get-meetings-with-ceos

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"Don't let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning."

-ROBERT KIYOSAKI

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

The Straight-Forward Guide to Target Markets — Hubspot

Every sales team needs to know their customer. Who is the ideal fit for your offering? What are their interests and priorities? Answering these questions can help you prioritize the deals you’re most likely to win.

Topics: motivation inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

4 Winning Approaches for Writing a Cold Email

writing a cold sales emailYou found someone's email address online. Someone you've been looking to get in touch with for a long time. Now, it's up to you to write an email that'll get opened.

A cold email can be effective depending on your target audience's communication preferences. Follow these four approaches and you'll increase your chances for success:

Topics: email Setting Appointments Sales prospecting

Don’t Micromanage Me!

don't micromanage sales teamWhen we ask salespeople about how their manager can get the most out of them, we often hear something like, "I work best if they tell me what I need to accomplish, and then they give me the freedom to get it done. I don't like to be micromanaged!" 

Topics: Management sales management sales culture coaching

New Business Hack: Know Your Target Persona

identify target audience new business hackOver the last few weeks, I've been coaching a number of salespeople from markets across the country on tactical things they can do within their sales processes to help them connect with a decision maker or decision influencer sooner to grow their new business.

Many things can be done to accomplish this, but one that seems to be resonating with salespeople lately is identifying their target persona so they can clearly define WHO their target is and fine tune HOW they plan to approach a new business prospect. This is not a new strategy, just one that is often overlooked.

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis understanding target audience target personas sales process sales leads

Measuring Success: Your Renewal Depends on It

measure sales successDuring the sales process, it’s important to have open and upfront conversations about how advertisers measures success. Clients will make their decisions to buy again based on the success, or failure, of the campaigns and solutions you sell them. 

Questions about success and client expectations should take place throughout the steps of the sales cycle, and your questions will differ based on where you are in the sales process.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process measurement sales pipeline sales cycle

Weekly Roundup: Prospecting Strategies for Salespeople + More

prospecting strategies for salespeople

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

-WARREN BUFFETT

 

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

Is Cold Calling Dead? 17 New Prospecting Strategies Salespeople Should Use — Hubspot

Is cold calling dead? Let's be honest. That answer is "No." Cold calling used to be one of the best -- and only -- prospecting strategies salespeople could use. But in the past 40 years, a variety of more effective alternatives have emerged.

Topics: motivation inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

A Weekly Sales Planning System that Really Works

weekly sales planning systemThe following blog post was first published in 2015 by the late Steve Marx, founder of The Center for Sales Strategy, and has been one of the most popular posts in the blog’s history. Even though the text is updated, the message has never been more relevant. To learn more about Steve Marx, click here.

Most of us don’t head to the supermarket without a list in hand, and without knowing exactly what we intend to come home with. I needn’t explain why.

Likewise, most of us wouldn’t start driving to an unfamiliar destination without first finding it on our GPS and clicking for directions. Doing so gets us to our goal with the least hassle and the most efficiency.

Topics: sales strategy

The Secret to Sales Success (It's Not Enough to Hire Talented People)

building relationships for sales successAbout a year ago I conducted a sales talent assessment for an up-and-coming college graduate who had very little sales experience but was loaded with both raw talent and a passion for sales. We’ll call her Ashley. The hiring manager, let’s go with Brenda, was thrilled to be able to get someone with such potential “on the cheap,” so she made her an offer right away, which Ashley quickly accepted. 

Topics: Management sales management sales training coaching onboarding

Three Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

improve your linkedin profileIf you’ve wanted to update your LinkedIn profile, but each time you start, it feels like an overwhelming task, remember that the best profiles on LinkedIn were not written in one session, but layered in over time.

Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first signs of your professional brand that a prospect or potential business partner will find online.

Here are three things that you can do quickly, that will have an impact on the message that you’re sending out on your profile. 

Topics: Social Media LinkedIn salespeople personal brand

All The Good Accounts Are Taken — 6 Things That Bust This Myth!

finding quality leadsAs VP/Sr. Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy, I’ve worked with many customers over the past fourteen years. I would be a wealthier man if I had a dollar for every time I heard this line from sellers:

“All the good accounts are taken.” 

Topics: key account growth sales strategy salespeople prospecting account list management

Weekly Roundup: Tactical Guide on Setting the Right Goals for Sales Reps + More

setting sales goalsWe hope you've had a great 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.

Topics: lead generation inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up sales playbook

5 Movies that Teach Us about Talent Development

sales strategy lessons from moviesToday, we are taking our sales strategy lessons from the pages of pop culture, and we're talking movies. Grab your popcorn and find a comfy seat, because we’re heading to the movies!

Topics: Management sales performance sales management Talent Sales sales training coaching

Object This! Ways to Overcome 5 Common Sales Objections

overcoming sales objectionsEven when you are intentional about removing surprises and skilled at talking about price, you may still encounter objections during the sales process. Listening for objections along the way and handling each one as it comes up helps you avoid trying to address all the objections while you are presenting your proposal.

Topics: Proposal Needs Analysis salespeople sales process sales training prospecting

10 Gifs That Anyone In Sales Will Appreciate

sales motivation gifsSales can be fun. Sales can be stressful. Sales can be rewarding. Sales can be life-changing. Here are some gifs to bring a little humor into your week and get you on track to improve your sales performance (we hope you are as pumped as #5) and help your clients crush their goals with your solutions (see #7). And then, we hope you end up like #10. 

Topics: motivation sales management salespeople

In A New Business Slump? Try Getting the Rats Out of Your Head!

new business sales slumpI was recently working with a group of sales managers on helping their sales teams develop more high-potential accounts. After listening to some of the challenges they feel their salespeople are faced with day-to-day, I added, "They need to get the rats out of their head!" One sales manager looked at me inquisitively and questioned, "The rats out their head?" So let me explain...

In our fast-paced sales environment, it's easy to let distractions get in the way. These distractions can sometimes hurt our sales performance and almost always get in the way of developing high-potential accounts. Then it's a domino effect... so many issues feel as if they need to be addressed immediately and almost always end up taking the place of the productive new business development activities that you know will help you improve performance. It gnaws at you and feels as if you can't get away from it - like rats, invading your space and eating up your time.

I have felt this way myself many times. A single working mom with three kids with an active career built on helping others improve sales performance is a constant juggle, and sometimes, I too let rats get in my head. Here's how I quickly re-group and get back on track:

Topics: business development new business development sales performance sales management salespeople sales training

Weekly Roundup: How To Create a Sales Territory Plan + More

territory sales planWe hope you've had a great 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.

Topics: lead generation inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up sales playbook

Body Language Tactics For The Sales Pro

body-language-sales-prosIt's not just what you say; it's how you say it. In fact, I'd go as far to say that what you say matters a lot less than how you're perceived, especially in sales.

You have to exude confidence and calmness when calling on prospects. Because, if you don't, they'll pick up on it, and you won't be seen as trusted and valued.

If you can master eye contact (including eyebrow gestures), facial expressions, torso and arms behavior, and leg activity, you'll be on your way to a successful appointment.

Topics: new business development body language sales strategy Sales

How Do You Stand Out?

salespeople stand out with personal brandingAs a sales coach, I work with many salespeople at all different stages in their career. When we first start working together, we spend time talking about who they are, why they love what they do, and how their current and past experiences bring value to what they do today.    

I remember getting a very excited call from a salesperson that I had worked with. A big prospect in the market had reached out to her. They had searched her company via LinkedIn and discovered many of her sales colleagues. But it was her profile that caught their eye. Why?

Topics: Social Media sales strategy salespeople personal brand branding

"We're Ignoring You." (Don't Give Up!)

don't give up strategy for salespeopleWe're ignoring you. 

You know it's true. You've always thought it to be the case, but now you have confirmation. Prospects are ignoring you! And how I do know this? 

I'm a reformed client. 

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy salespeople sales pipeline sales leads prospecting

Technology Has Changed the Way Your Prospects Buy

technology-change-the-way-prospects-buyTechnology continues to advance at lightning speed. It’s these advancements that change the way we live our lives. It seems that new technology impacts just about every aspect of our life.

The way we communicate – from phone calls and letters to texts and social media.
The way we consume entertainment – from going to a theater to streaming content on multiple devices.
The way we travel – from hotels and taxis to Airbnb and Uber.

Our work life is not immune to these advancements.

Topics: using technology sales strategy sales performance sales process sales pipeline prospecting