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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Inputs vs. Output: Do You Know What’s Really Driving Your Sales?

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One of the most common debates in sales is how to best measure performance and other sales indicators. While some organizations prefer process-oriented KPIs, others have an outcome-oriented bias. Both ends of the spectrum are invaluable for powering your sales, but when it comes to prioritizing inputs vs. output, the “i’s” have it.

Topics: Sales metrics

One Hot Tip to Connect with Target Accounts (VIDEO)

 

Need some help connecting with target accounts when prospecting? Do you know the decision maker you need to connect with at a company, but don't have their email address? Have no fear. Trey is here... to share a hot tip that he uses regularly to connect with target accounts. 

Topics: sales strategy sales process prospecting account list management

The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Sales Professionals

linkedin checklist for sales prosThere are many benefits to using LinkedIn as a sales professional that include everything from personal branding and thought leadership to prospecting, lead nurturing, and recruiting. The problem is, often times, sales professionals don't have time to set up or update the basics of their LinkedIn accounts to best represent them and their company. 

You can't build a great building on a weak foundation, and the LinkedIn profile is just that: the foundation that could affect the success of your social efforts. Use this checklist to ensure your profile is updated and the best representation of your personal brand, the products you sell, and what you have to offer a prospect.

Topics: Social Media LinkedIn sales strategy prospecting

Are These Three Things Affecting Your Sales Revenue?

improve sales revenueMost sales organizations are dealing with some hidden constraints that negatively impact revenue and cash. Here’s a list of the three most common, plus solutions to eliminate them.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent

Weekly Roundup: State of Sales, Predictions, Trends + More

state of sales 2019

- MOTIVATION -

"DON'T BE AFRAID TO GIVE UP THE GOOD TO GO FOR THE GREAT."

-JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER

 

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

Calling All Sales Pros: The State of Sales Pocket Guide is Here LinkedIn

The only thing better than a comprehensive report is possibly all the “good bits” in said report being wrapped up in a handy pocket guide for on-the-go perusal. Review the annual 2018 State of Sales report in a condensed format because sometimes, you just need the cold, hard facts. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

5 Great Ideas for Sales Meetings Your Team Will Look Forward To

sales team meeting ideas for managers

Looking to climb out of that waste-of-time-sales-meeting rut and grab everyone’s attention with your highly productive and engaging meetings? 

It is no secret that the weekly sales meeting has plummeted to the bottom of the priority list for many salespeople. In many offices, it has become a routine exchange of housekeeping issues that could have been shared over email instead. Don’t get me wrong, you need to go over housekeeping issues from time to time, but taking an entire sales staff off the streets is a costly way to cover these items on a regular basis. Take a minute and do the math. How much does a one-hour sales meeting really cost you? That number will probably frighten you into ratcheting up the quality of your weekly get-together, so let’s get started.

Here are five powerful ways to jump-start your sales meetings and bring them to a whole new level:

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management

5 Reasons Sales Should Be Involved in Marketing Planning

involve sales team in marketing plannin

Many organizations have built barriers between the various functions of their business. Even groups that rely on and support each other’s goals (like Sales and Marketing) are “siloed” in their own worlds and rarely communicate. Breaking down those walls and aligning goals and expectations can be challenging, but there are tremendous benefits as well.

Topics: media deanmoothart sales and marketing alignment professional services

5 Ways to Show a New Business Prospect You Care

show a new prospect you careThe things you do are often more powerful than the things you say. 

New business prospects are more likely to increase their engagement level when they know a seller truly cares about them and their business. Think about your own buying habits—are you more likely to do business with someone who cares about you compared to a slick talking salesperson who only cares about making a sale? 

Here are five things to do before and during a first meeting with a new business prospect to demonstrate you care:

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy prospecting

Weekly Roundup: Micromanaging, Performance Reviews, + More

business-sales-manager-woman-edited

- MOTIVATION -

"OUTSTANDING PEOPLE HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON: AN ABSOLUTE SENSE OF MISSION."

-ZIG ZIGLAR

 

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

When does sales coaching become micromanaging?
 RingDNA

If you’re like Albert Einstein, and subscribe to the belief that experience is the best teacher, then you’d be reasonable to expect that millennial sales pros lag behind B2B selling veterans. We’re talking about a profession that benefits from deep business knowledge, an expansive network, and knowing how to navigate intimidating C-suites with nuance. But it turns out the opposite is true. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

5 Metrics that Should Matter Most to Sales Managers

metrics that should matter to sales managersEditor's Note: This post was originally published in Sales & Marketing Management.

As a sales manager, you spend serious time and care setting clear expectations; this is how you help your salespeople approach their work with purpose. But to see real improvement, you need a system in place that measures how those expectations are being met.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. You’ve got so much on your plate—there are so many threads and tangents crisscrossing your managerial path every day—that you risk spending all your time pulling reports and never being able to actually dive into the data you’ve collected.

Worse, metrics these days are like pop songs: They’re catchy for a while until a new one comes along and grabs everyone’s attention. A sales manager I once knew was in love with a particular metric: the number of calls each seller made in a day. While call volume certainly contributed to sales success, it shouldn’t have been this manager’s sole focus. What he ended up creating was a team that blustered through calls without making meaningful progress with sales.

Topics: sales management metrics

My 5 Coolest Performance Improvement Discoveries of 2018

sales performance improvementI’m a sales performance improvement geek, and I admit it!

I enjoy discovering, and sometimes creating, things that help sales organizations improve revenue performance. I encountered some really cool things in 2018 — here’s a list of my top 5.

Topics: sales performance sales management sales accelerator

Always Be Helping > Always Be Closing

sales-help-trust-closeIt's not out of character to hear a sales manager say, 'ABC: Always Be Closing.' Or to have a salesperson live out that phrase daily. But in reality, to close more business, you must sell less and help more. 

Topics: sales strategy sales process sales cycle

5 (More) New Year's Resolutions for Struggling Sellers

new year's resolutions for sellersRecently, I provided five options for New Year’s resolutions for struggling sellers and managers who had a less than awesome 2018. If none of these options seemed attractive, here are five additional things you can do to reset your sales compass for 2019—plus some information to help make these resolutions part of your sales routine to improve sales performance. 

Topics: sales strategy sales process

Weekly Roundup: CSS Listed as Top Blogs for Sales Managers + More

top sales blogs for sales professionals

- MOTIVATION -

"GREAT THINGS ARE DONE BY A SERIES OF SMALL THINGS DONE TOGETHER."

-VINCENT VAN GOGH

 

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

The Top 27 Sales Blogs Every Sales Professional Should Read Hubspot

As a busy sales professional intent on meeting your objectives and lead your team, you might wonder if you can afford to consistently read sales blogs. But the real question is: Can you afford not to read sales blogs?

We're excited and honored that the CSS blog made Hubspot's Top 27 Blogs Every Sales Professional Should Read! >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Have a Bloated Sales Pipeline? Here’s the Remedy.

iStock-1086352612Editor's Note: This post was originally published on Liveplan.com.

The longer a sales proposal sits, the less likely it is to convert to an actual sale.

The trouble with these stalled proposals is that you could have 100 potential sales stuck in limbo, but you can’t use those possible sales to pay your real bills. A bloated sales pipeline can start to have a real impact on your company’s cash flow if you’re not careful.

Topics: sales performance sales process sales pipeline prospecting

Books Our Team is Reading Now: One Book per Month for 2019

books to read in 2019Setting your New Year’s Resolutions?  Did you add exercise more frequently to your list? We are here to help you!

Many studies show that exercising your brain is a key to professional development. One of the best ways to do this is to read a good book. In this age of podcasts and blogs, it is still a good idea to set aside time to go deeper than surface information and picking up a good book gives you more in-depth insight and provides ideas for your personal growth.

Topics: developing strengths personal development company culture

One Thing You Can Do to Become a Better Leader

become a better leaderWhat if your greatest opportunity to grow as a leader was right in front of you every day? Your team may hold the key to unlocking new opportunities for your professional development, and there is one simple thing you can do to make sure you don’t miss out on information that could make you better. Ask for feedback.

The best leaders feel there is always an opportunity to grow, so they consistently ask for feedback on their performance. A study of more than 50,000 executives done by leadership development consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, found that "Leaders who ranked at the top 10% in asking for feedback were rated, on average, at the 86th percentile in overall leadership effectiveness." Bottom line – asking for feedback can help you become a better leader.

Topics: Management sales management Talent

The 5 P's of Selling (Don't Skip #3!)

5 p's of sellingProper preparation prevents poor performance! 

Take these five P's for a test drive, and your sale performance will improve. 

Topics: Proposal sales performance sales process prospecting

Weekly Roundup: 2019 Sales Trends, Predictions + More

2019 sales predictions and trends

- MOTIVATION -

"BEGIN BY ALWAYS EXPECTING GOOD THINGS TO HAPPEN."

-TOM HOPKINS

 

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

10 Critical Sales Trends That Will Define 2019 (And Predictions) Sales Hacker

This post reviews the recent 4th Annual Sales Enablement Study (2018) and the performance, impact, and trends of sales coaching and organizations this year. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

What Do Your Salespeople Think of You as a Sales Manager?

sales manager coaching sales teamDo other people really see you for who you are? Are you maximizing your natural strengths in your work? It’s often hard to know!

I recently worked with a sales manager in our Executive Coaching program and helped him get to the bottom of how he was perceived by his sales team. It was an incredible discovery, and I think you will find the story both interesting and useful.

Topics: sales management Talent

Management Secret: You Can Change the Behaviors of Others by Simply Changing Your Own

sales management secret - change behaviors of teamWouldn't it be great if you could snap your fingers and change the behaviors of those you manage? Well... maybe... but you can't. Since you can’t directly change the behaviors of others, it is vital that you concentrate on changing your own behaviors. This will make the biggest difference in your relationships with others and will help propel them to success. 

This isn’t some top-secret tip that we've been hiding all this time, but it is an important one to keep at the forefront as you move into a new year and evaluate your management style. Think about this, "Are you conscious of your own behavior and how it's perceived by those you manage?"

Topics: Management sales management Talent coaching

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Struggling Sellers

new year's resolutions for salespeopleA New Year's resolution is a tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.

Perhaps you, or a salesperson on your team, had a lousy 2018 and are ready to make some changes in 2019. A resolution might help reset the compass — here’s a list of options to help kick off the New Year and improve your (or your sales team's) sales performance: 

Topics: sales strategy sales process