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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

16 SPOOKY Things Sales Managers (and Their Team) Should Avoid

spooky things sales teams should avoidIt's easy for sales teams to get busy, get into a rhythm, or to get on a roll, and just do things the way you've been doing them. Sales managers can wear a lot of hats, and it can be easy when things are working to just keep them going the way they are going. Hey... nothing's wrong, right? Wrong. 

Ensure you and your team avoid these SPOOKY things to ensure everyone is effectively utilizing their time and efficiently managing their prospects and accounts. 

Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales management coaching

Don’t Be Scared! Our Experts Share Their Top Tips to Perfecting the Sales Proposal

tips to perfect the sales proposal - no surprise proposalWe know what it takes. It takes a lot of work to get to the BIG day. It's time for the sales proposal. 

Prospecting was spot on. The needs analysis meetings uncovered a clear desired business result for the prospect. And now it's time to shine... proposal time! 

Don't be scared. Ensure your hard work (or your team's hard work) doesn't go wasted by following these tips gathered from our  sales experts when creating and presenting your proposal! 

Topics: Proposal sales performance sales process

The Greatest Businesses are the Greatest Story

company culture great businessDeepak Chopra was an interesting pick as Keynote speaker to open the Inbound 2018 conference. Deepak brings to mind meditation and alternative medicine more than cutting edge marketing techniques. But he had a few insights that we can apply to business within his message of consciousness and healing.

Topics: sales culture company culture

Weekly Roundup: Is Cold Calling Dead? + More

is cold calling dead

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"OPPORTUNITIES DON'T HAPPEN. YOU CREATE THEM." 

-CHRIS GROSSER

 

- 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: Wrap-up

Help! How Do I Coach a Millennial With Sales Talent?

coaching millennials with sales talentIf you have hired a salesperson that is younger than 36 years old, you hired a millennial. And you may sometimes feel like many of the other sales managers I talk to every day…

  • “They need lots of handholding.”
  • “They lack the drive of the generations before them.”
  • “They can be overly sensitive and more focused on making friends than making sales.”

As a Talent Analyst, I spend a lot of time identifying people’s innate sales talents and helping managers make smart selection decisions. Once each hire is made, I work with the sales manager to turn talent into ever-increasing performance by maximizing each seller’s strengths and working around their weaknesses.

So my attention is sharply focused on two things: Talent and Fit. 

Topics: sales management Talent coaching

A Sales Manager's Most Costly Mistake

target account brainstormPicture this. You are seven weeks into the quarter and pacing behind last year, and significantly behind your budget. Your manager and your manager’s manager are nosing around to find out what is going on and peppering you with questions about your plan to fix this. Your sales team is growing increasingly frustrated as orders get canceled and prospects fall through. This scenario is hypothetical, of course, but perhaps you have been there. So, how does a sales manager deal with this?

Topics: key account growth sales strategy sales performance sales management coaching account list management

How to Build a Proposal that Will Close

best sales proposal templateProposals come in all shapes and sizes. Some are highly-technical and data-focused, while others are more detail-driven. Some are filled with fluff, while others are pretty worthless. The best proposals are a combination of data, solutions, and detail.

Topics: Proposal sales performance sales process sales accelerator

John Wayne Need Not Apply: Coaching Your Sales Team

sales manager coaching teamI was listening to a sports radio station in town last week, and it had breaking news that the Major League baseball team had just fired their manager.

It wasn't a big surprise. The team had underperformed for the last couple of years, but what was surprising was the reason the club gave to the media.

His style wasn't connecting to his players.

What? His style? They didn't mention his performance, his attitude, or even lack of confidence by management. Nope, it was that his "old school" style didn't connect with his young(er) players. He didn't know how to connect with his millennial or Gen Z players.

One of the radio hosts said that he was too much like John Wayne. He was tough, to-the-point, and not very touchy-feely. He wasn't very caring, emotional, or even friendly with his players. To him, it was all business. They weren't friends. He was their boss!

Topics: motivation sales management sales culture coaching

Weekly Roundup: Sales Stats to Help you Sell Smarter + More

sales stats to help you sell smarter

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"YOUR ATTITUDE, NOT YOUR APTITUDE, WILL DETERMINE YOUR ALTITUDE." 

-ZIG ZIGLAR

 

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

73 Mind-Blowing Sales Statistics That Will Help You Sell Smarter in 2019  Hubspot

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.

Topics: Wrap-up

Five Ways to Create a Sales Culture

sales team cultureWhat is your sales culture? Do you even have one? I frequently hear from sales managers the need for a “sales culture,” but often they don’t really know what their own sales culture is or how to build one.

Topics: Management sales performance sales management sales culture Sales coaching

How the Consumer Journey Can Help You Sell More Integrated Solutions

integrated solutionsMedia sellers today have more capabilities than ever to drive results for their clients. With all of the potential options, you would think that it has gotten easier to build a solution that will drive results, right? Nothing could be further from the truth! If anything, the sheer number of solutions has made it more challenging to determine when to use what when. And with all of those capabilities, their presentations have also become longer – many filled with a multitude of product one-sheets and then a laundry list of recommended products in the recommended solution.

That is a struggle that I hear from salespeople that I work with all over the country. It’s not just determining what should be in the solution, but how to present it in a truly integrated format where it is clear why all of the components are critical to a successful result.

Topics: selling digital advertising integrated media solution sales performance Sales sales process

Why Avoiding Disruption is Stalling Your Sales Career

building your account list Salespeople work hard to build an account list. Most clients on your list have been researched, painstakingly approached, and developed over time. Maybe a few just fell into your lap. But you value them all. Sure, some may be easier to work with than others, but you have no reason to change anything. Why would you?

Because the path that leads to a larger account list is not just more clients, but better clients.

I want to share some interesting lessons I heard at the recent INBOUND18 Conference. It was one of the last sessions on the last day. The one you debate about attending, because out the window the shuttle buses are already filling up with attendees leaving for the airport. I’m glad I stayed, and want to share some of what I heard in relation to building your account list.

Topics: key account growth sales performance sales process sales pipeline account list management

Are You Giving Key Accounts the Finger?

don't give your key accounts the fingerMany years ago, I talked with the owner of a specialty grocery store in Columbus, Ohio called The Hills Market. During this conversation, I learned about the term “giving customers the finger.”

This unfortunate situation occurs when a customer asks for help locating a product and an employee points in the direction of the product and sends the customer on their way. From a customer service perspective, this is a no-no! The best way to help a customer is to listen to their request (problem) and take them to the product (solution). 

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

Weekly Roundup: Reduce Friction in the Sales Process + More

reduce friction sales process

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"SETTING GOALS IS THE FIRST STEP IN TURNING THE INVISIBLE INTO THE VISIBLE." 

-TONY ROBBINS

 

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

6 Ways Inbound Marketing Tactics Can Reduce Friction in the Sales Process  LeadG2

Reducing friction in the early stages of engaging the market will increase conversion rates and accelerate deals through the sales process. Implementing these ideas on a consistent basis will help cement your brand as “easy to work with.”

Topics: Wrap-up

What Sales Language Do You Speak? Avoid These Two Poisonous Sales Presentation Mistakes

sales appointment

There are two poisonous mistakes that will kill a presentation: using jargon and using stock phrases. Making either of these mistakes will drastically reduce the chance of getting a second meeting with a prospect.

Let's start with HOW NOT to start a presentation and finish with the HOW TO of communicating an engaging proposal.

Topics: sales strategy Sales

What If They Leave? 3 Ways to Better Train Your Sales Staff

sales-training-manager-265882-editedCFO asks CEO: "What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?"
CEO: "What happens if we don't, and they stay?"
 
I really LOVE this "fictional" exchange. It drives a stake right through one of the arguments against training and developing your salespeople. 
Topics: sales performance sales management sales training

The Comfort of Consistency

consistent sales managerMany of us seek new things in our lives to stay engaged and motivated, but even the most adventurous among us value certain things that are consistent. There are obvious consistencies we depend upon like gravity, the sun coming up in the east and setting in the west, or a manager who is very consistent in setting expectations. You probably didn’t see that third example coming, did you? But it’s true.

If you believe that most people want to do the right thing for their employers, the only thing that could trip them up is not knowing what the right thing is. For that reason, the best managers are boringly consistent about setting expectations their people can internalize and follow.

Topics: Management sales management coaching

A Guide to Turning NO into YES!

prospecting no into yes"No. No, no, no. No!" Have you ever had someone tell you "No" before? Whether you're a sales manager coaching your sales team to success, or a salesperson eager to reach your goals, you've more than likely been told "No." BUT... that doesn't mean it's over. It just became a challenge. Are you ready to take on that challenge?

The next time you present a proposal and hear “No,” try some of these tactics designed to change the outcome. 

Topics: Proposal prospecting sales accelerator

Weekly Roundup: 8 Habits of a Great Sales Manager + More

business-sales-manager-woman-edited

- WHAT'S MOTIVATING US THIS WEEK -

"MOST PEOPLE THINK 'SELLING' IS THE SAME AS 'TALKING.' BUT THE MOST EFFECTIVE SALESPEOPLE KNOW THAT LISTENING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE JOB." 

-ROY BARTELL

 

- WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING THIS WEEK -

<< If you only read one thing >>

8 Habits of a Great Sales Manager  LinkedIn

Like many sales managers, perhaps you landed in your leadership role based on your ability to sell. You were a fantastic salesperson who constantly hit (and shattered) goals and quickly rose to the top. You probably didn’t get your sales manager job by being a great manager. Many don’t know the first thing about how to manage a team. If this is you, you’re not alone.

Topics: Wrap-up

5 Ways to Improve Your Sales Process

arrow-process-378765-editedThis post was originally published on Startups.co

Ditch the "why" of your sales conversation and focus on the "how" to show prospects that you hear and understand their needs and can solve their unique problems.
 

If you’re looking to improve your sales process — look no further than the “2017 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report.“ Buyers want things to be easy. So easy, in fact, that 89 percent of survey respondents said that they chose vendors that made a return on investment easier to prove or that could be easily justified with a business case. They also preferred speed over price — with 80 percent of buyers citing deployment and ease of use as “very important.”

Your customers want to understand how to use your product — not sit through a pitch and wonder if it’ll actually fit their needs. Selling is less about explaining why buyers should buy and more about showing how an easy-to-use product or service will help them.

Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales management Sales sales process

Set Your New Hire Up for Success: Continuous Strength Development

providing detailed sales feedbackThis is the fourth and final post in a four-part series on how managers can set new hires up for success. You can click to view the previous posts on providing detailed feedback, building relationships that will lead to stronger sales performance and maximizing strengths and working around weaknesses. 

Ongoing coaching and strength development are key factors in retaining people long-term, yet statistics show employees often feel as though they don’t have a specific development plan. According to a Saba survey, 60% of leaders believe they provide employees with a clear career path, but only 36% of employees agree. The very best managers spend time coaching their people and have an individualized development plan for each person. 

Topics: hiring salespeople Management developing strengths sales management talent dashboard

Prospecting - You Can’t Step in the Same River Twice

prospecting Early in my sales career, I got a call from a veteran Account Executive across the hall. He worked for one of our other properties and saw that I was working with a prospect he was calling on. He wanted to set up a joint sales call. I was skeptical, since I'd recently met with that prospect, and the manager made it abundantly clear that he had already placed his budget for the year, and he was not open to new ideas.

Topics: new business development prospecting account list management sales accelerator

31 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate Your Sales Team this Month

motivational quotes for sales successIt's the beginning of the month. You're ready to help your team crush their sales goals. Sometimes they need a reminder of why they love what they do or a little help to boost their morale after a lost sale.

Well, there are many things you can do to help your team improve sales performance and reach their sales goals, and here's something that can help boost morale, inspire, and increase productivity: motivation. 

We've put together 31 motivational quotes related to sales and business success. That's one for each day of the month!

Topics: motivation sales performance sales management sales culture