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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Weekly Roundup: Four Ways to Get Video Right for Social Selling + More

Business Strategy on the Mechanism of Metal Cogwheels.

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CRAZY ENOUGH TO THINK THEY
CAN CHANGE THE WORLD ARE THE ONES WHO DO."

-STEVE JOBS

 

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

Four Ways to Get Video Right for Social Selling  SellingPower

When LinkedIn revealed that video posts now get three times the engagement of text posts on their platform, it sent shockwaves through the social selling community. Knowing that video provides such a significant engagement advantage means creating more video – and creating video with the best possible quality – is critical to making social selling initiatives effective.

Topics: Wrap-up

Get Out Of Your Own Way: Asking For Referrals

Ask-for-Referrals

When was the last time you asked for a referral? Go ahead and fill in the date here ______________.  If the answer is yesterday, congratulations. If you can’t remember any time recently, you should stop and figure out why you are not doing this.

Think about it. When you are looking to hire a professional what do you do? Of course, you ask people you know and trust who they would recommend, right? Well, a referral is an implied recommendation. Clients who give you the name of someone to contact feel comfortable about the expertise you bring to the table and its potential to help the business or person they are referring. So, again, how often do you ask satisfied customers for a referral? I bet you are thinking, “Not often enough.”

Topics: referrals sales strategy Sales

Know Your Talent "Must-Haves"

talent bankSCENARIO:

Your top-performing, seasoned seller just turned in their notice. You are prepared because you were diligent and have a full talent bank with well-qualified candidates. But even with all of this prep, you realize how overwhelming the task of examining the candidates in your talent bank can be.

Where do you start? The job title is the same, but the challenge is different each time.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent

Elite Prospecting: 7 Tips For More Face Time + Established Credibility

elite prospectingTechnology has disrupted the traditional techniques we have used to approach prospects. Today, the most successful developers of new business have a smart and focused prospecting strategy.  They concentrate their efforts on a disciplined strategy that provides more appointments and more revenue. 

The shotgun approach of yesteryear is dead. Before technology disrupted our approach, we could sit down and call 100 prospects and get ten appointments. Any mention of not having enough appointments was met by your manager with “This is a numbers game! Sit down with the phone and don’t quit calling until you get ten appointments.”  Today that strategy is total folly. 

Topics: sales performance prospecting

Do You Onboard New Sellers Like The Cleveland Browns Onboard New Quarterbacks?

footballAs I’ve mentioned before in previous blog posts, I’m a long-suffering fan of the Cleveland Browns. My team loses more games than they win. The Browns are also infamous for something else: the team has started 28 different quarterbacks since 1999! Many of these poor souls were drafted by the Browns and then thrown into the fire before they were adequately prepared, only to fail. 

Topics: sales management sales training onboarding

Weekly Roundup: If You Abandoned this Sales Tactic, You've Been Misled + More

sales tactic engagement communication

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"DIFFICULTIES BREAK SOME MEN BUT MAKE OTHERS"

-NELSON MANDELA

- DON'T MISS THIS -

<< FREE LIVE WEBINAR AUGUST 29TH>>

How Inbound Can Turbo Charge Your Outbound Sales Efforts — LEADG2

Outbound sales tactics are alive and well. The key is that your sales organization can't survive relying solely on this alone. That's where inbound comes in... In this webinar, we'll explore how inbound and outbound efforts work together to help your salespeople improve sales performance and reach revenue goals. We'll also explore tactical inbound sales strategies that you can start implementing right away. REGISTER HERE.

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

If You Abandoned this Sales Tactic, You've Been Misled  Inc

Don't stop selling solutions -- just change the way you do it. Customers still need help solving problems, but they won't waste time with salespeople who don't understand the bigger picture or haven't done their homework.

In this post, Matt Sunshine, Managing Partner at The Center for Sales Strategy, shares how to approach this stage of the sales process.

Topics: Wrap-up

Prospecting is Dead… Long Live Prospecting

inbound marketing prospecting funnelDid you know that your chances of making a sale go up a gazillion percent when the prospect actually asks to be contacted by you? Of course you knew that! So how do you make this happen?

Topics: content marketing lead nurturing new business development inbound marketing

The Best New Hire Gift: Clear Expectations + Realistic Goals

new hire expectations and goals for onboardingWhen onboarding new hires, managers have a lot of things to think about. What is the onboarding plan? Will there be pre-boardingWho will train them? Who do they need to meet and who will show them around and introduce them to the office, co-workers, etc.?

But just as important, what is your new hire’s onboarding plan? If they walk in and have no plan and no goals, chances are they will struggle to find success in their new role. Some new hires will start day one with a clear plan or will have a plan and goals set within a few weeks, but some will need help and guidance in this area.

The Best New Hire Gift: Clear Expectations + Realistic Goals

Topics: sales management Talent training sales training onboarding

4 Habits of Highly Successful Sales Managers Who Retain Their Top Performers

habits of highly successful sales managers retain top performersSCENARIO: For the first time in a long time, you have sales positions open, but the most talented salespeople likely are already employed elsewhere. 

Well, this scenario is one managers often find themselves in. Even the most successful sales managers can find themselves in this situation if they aren't intentional with their management practices and focused on retention. Recruiting and filling your talent bank is important. Even so, don't lose focus on the effort it takes to retain top talent. There’s always a strain on your resources when you try to scramble to fill a vacant sales position, but it’s a double-whammy when the vacancy is left by your superstar performer. 

4 Habits of Highly Successful Sales Managers Who Retain Their Top Performers

Here are four things that highly successful sales managers consistently spend time and intentional energy on to retain their top performers.

Topics: employee retention Management sales performance sales management Talent sales training

Not Enough Appointments? You Must Whip It!

inbound marketing generate qualified leadsWhen a problem comes along, you must whip it.
When something's going wrong, you must whip it.
Now whip it into shape… shape it up, get straight, go forward, move ahead.
Try to detect it… it's not too late to whip it!
Whip it good!
-Devo, "Whip It"

Topics: sales strategy inbound marketing sales and marketing alignment inbound sales

Weekly Roundup: The Balancing Act Of Sales Management + More

lightbulb-055449-edited

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"When we tell people to do their jobs, we get workers.
When we trust people to do their jobs, we get leaders."

-SIMON SINEK

- DON'T MISS THIS -

<< FREE LIVE WEBINAR AUGUST 29TH>>

How Inbound Can Turbo Charge Your Outbound Sales Efforts — LEADG2

Outbound sales tactics are alive and well. The key is that your sales organization can't survive relying solely on this alone. That's where inbound comes in... In this webinar, we'll explore how inbound and outbound efforts work together to help your salespeople improve sales performance and reach revenue goals. We'll also explore tactical inbound sales strategies that you can start implementing right away. REGISTER HERE.

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

The Balancing Act Of Sales Management: Person Vs Process  LinkedIn

Sales management is the most important role in revenue generation for any business but how do you balance 'managing the person' with 'managing the process'? How do you love and encourage your people, yet hold them to account for doing what's necessary in creating sales and customer success?

Topics: motivation inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

How to Stop Cold Calling and Get Your Salespeople Out Selling

salesperson_on_phone2.jpg 

research study by McKinsey Global Institute reported that salespeople on average spend less than 13 hours a week actually selling.

Considering that going out and selling solutions is what salespeople actually are best at, and what is most profitable for them and the company they work for, it’s a little disheartening that so much time is spent doing other things like office tasks, answering emails, researching leads, and internal communication (I’m guessing this includes one too many meetings a week).

However, I’m not so sure we can eliminate those other tasks and give salespeople back another 20 hours a week. And even if they had that extra time, I’m not sure they’d be spending it in the most effective way. It’s not about how much time we have to actually sell. It’s about how much time we waste on trying to get to that point of the selling process.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales danibuckley sales and marketing alignment inbound sales

Set the Stage for Success: Prepare Yourself AND Your Prospect

prepare your prospect before a meetingIMAGINE THIS: After countless attempts to connect with a prospect, your persistence has paid off. You did it! You've got the meeting on the calendar, you are feeling great! Now, you have one chance to make a great first impression, and it needs to count. Luckily, you have a few days to prepare so you can ensure the meeting runs smoothly and the prospect views you as a trusted and valued partner.

While it’s important to prepare yourself for the meeting, you also want to prepare the prospect. This is one thing that salespeople often overlook prior to a meeting. Most prospects are going to expect you to come in and tell them why they need to buy your product or service. It’s up to you to go out of your way to be sure they know you are different and you are not going to do that. Don't just prepare yourself... also prepare your prospect.

Topics: Proposal Needs Analysis successful sales meetings sales strategy prospecting

Feedback. Feedback. Feedback. (Today, We're Talking About Feedback.)

sales coaching feedbackPeople crave feedback. We want to know if what we are doing is good, bad, or just plain ugly.

It starts when we are little kids. We all desperately wanted our parent's attention. We wanted them to "watch us" run fast, jump high, or sing a song. We wanted them to be proud of us, but also to give us feedback. Were we doing it "right?" How can we do it better? 

Well, not much has changed since we were children. We still want to know how we are doing. Yet, so many managers seem to think that their people don't need feedback or even want it. WRONG! Your people desperately want to know how they are doing. Feedback is a fantastic way for a sales manager to improve their team's sales performance by reinforcing good behaviors and improving upon weak behaviors.

Topics: sales performance sales management sales training coaching

Busting the New Business Myth

account list analyticsI get it. I know it is important, but I’m sick and tired of hearing about new business. Truth be known, most sellers are sick and tired of hearing about new business… and their managers are sick and tired of talking about it!

Facts Behind the Myth

The majority of sales organizations are obsessed with new business because of one reason: they do a terrible job of keeping and growing existing business (AKA: customers).

Not all customers are created equal. World-class sales organizations segment them like this:

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

Weekly Roundup: How Inbound Can Turbo Charge Your Outbound Sales Efforts + More

thomas-kelley-74096-unsplash-383497-edited

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up."

-THOMAS EDISON

- DON'T MISS THIS -

<< FREE LIVE WEBINAR AUGUST 29TH>>

How Inbound Can Turbo Charge Your Outbound Sales Efforts — LEADG2

Outbound sales tactics are alive and well. The key is that your sales organization can't survive relying solely on this alone. That's where inbound comes in... In this webinar, we'll explore how inbound and outbound efforts work together to help your salespeople improve sales performance and reach revenue goals. We'll also explore tactical inbound sales strategies that you can start implementing right away. REGISTER HERE.

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

How ABM Helps Sales and Marketing Work Together — LinkedIn

Marketing and sales should work together. It sounds so simple and obvious, in theory. In practice, however, many sales and marketing teams work independently, leaving them unaware of otherwise obvious opportunities. There’s a better way, and that way is account-based marketing (ABM). It’s a strategy that doesn’t just call for alignment between sales and marketing teams, but generates it.

Topics: motivation inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

Ten Ways to Increase a B2B Salesperson's Productivity

b2b salesperson productivity

The job of a sales manager is a challenging one. One of the biggest challenges that they face is how to keep a team of sellers motivated and producing quality results.

Some of the best ways to make salespeople more productive don't include spending a fortune or sending them through another training class. A few of the best ideas are ones that help to reduce administrative burdens and increase time in the field or on the phones. 

Topics: Management developing strengths sales performance

6 Ways To Ask The Perfect Question

ask the perfect question salesHave you ever come back to your office after a solid Needs Analysis meeting and shared the exciting news with your manager? As you sit down to recap, your manager starts to ask you questions about the prospect, and you realize you can’t answer them. Critical information that you need was never even discussed. The assignment that you uncovered and thought was strong is actually vague, and you begin to understand clearly that you are missing key pieces of information. You start to deflate as you realize this meeting wasn’t as good as you thought after all.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales performance sales process prospecting

Write Prospecting Emails That Actually Get Replies

sales prospecting emailGOOD NEWS: 80% of professionals prefer to use email for business communication. 
BAD NEWS: With over 269 Billion emails sent every day, there's a lot of fierce competition flooding your prospects' inboxes.

So how can you, the stealthy salesperson, craft a genius prospecting email that warrants a response? 

Topics: email sales strategy sales performance salespeople sales process prospecting

Two Words You Need To Understand To Set More Appointments

set more appointments

 "My sellers do not go on enough sales calls."

- Every Sales Manager

I hear this all the time from sales managers. I also hear a similar version from sellers: 

“I could sell more if I had more quality appointments.”

 - Almost Every Seller

Imagine if every seller had one additional call per week, every week of the year. That’s roughly 50 additional appointments per year.

Topics: sales strategy sales performance Sales salespeople sales process sales leads prospecting

Weekly Roundup: Sales Experts Share The Skills You Need to Raise Your Salary + More

raise-sales-salary

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.
Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better."

-JIM ROHN

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

4 Sales Experts Share The Skills You Need to Raise Your Salary — TalentDesk

Why should you pursue a career in sales? Hear from CSS Managing Partner, Matt Sunshine, as well as other industry experts as they speak to this topic and what skills a sales professional needs to increase their salary.

B2B Companies: Super-Serve Your Clients To Success— LeadG2

Not all clients are the same, and the best B2B companies know this and super-serve their clients however they can. By super-serving your clients with excellent communication, defined expectations, and focused efforts on their goals, you will assist your clients on their way to success, in turn setting the relationship up for future success and growth for your company.

Topics: motivation inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

15 Things Every Great Sales Manager Knows

great sales managerI may have the greatest job in the world. Seriously! Here’s what I do every day: talk with people who are actively engaged in sharing important information with me, figure out what makes those people “tick,” work with sales managers to understand the talents of the people they are interviewing, help them to hire the very best people for the job, focus on the unique strengths of individuals, and help managers to coach their direct reports to become wildly successful. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

And best of all, I have the privilege to work closely with some of the greatest managers out there. After all these years, I can tell you that there are 15 things that every great manager knows. 

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent Sales

10 Eye-Opening Email Statistics To Help Guide Your Sales Email Strategy

email statistics to guide sales email strategyRecently, I sat on a panel about sales and marketing, and during the presentation, another fellow panelist said, 'Email is dead! Social media is where to reach your people!' Well... I laughed (internally, of course)... but was he right? Surely not. 

Topics: email sales strategy sales pipeline sales leads prospecting sales playbook