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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Elevate Employee Engagement— Engagement Elevator: Shared Mission

Elevate Employee Engagement— Engagement Elevator Shared Mission

As 2020 unfolds, we see that Glassdoor’s prediction of a culture-first decade is upon us. Company culture and employee engagement are differentiators for organizations. This rise in popularity is largely due to a long string of well-respected experts, with studies in hand, pointing to a solid link between employee engagement and company productivity, revenue, and key customer retention. More than ever before, leaders understand that to grow the bottom line, they must start by creating a culture of engagement.

Topics: company culture employee engagement

8 Tools That Support a Great Needs Analysis

8 Tools That Support a Great Needs Analysis

A conversation about desired business results (needs, challenges, and opportunities) is an essential part of the sales process. When engaging new business prospects as well as current customers, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. Aside from the right questions, other tools can help a seller discover core needs quickly and succinctly.

Needs analysis is a central and critical part of making the sale. Sellers work hard setting appointments; the end result should never be a botched needs analysis. Here are eight tools—along with some thoughts about each—that sellers can use to make the most of a needs analysis meeting.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process

Weekly Roundup: State of Sales 2020, Hire Great Sales Talent + More

State of Sales 2020, Hire Great Sales Talent

- MOTIVATION -

"Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect."

-Clement Stone

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

Introducing the State of Sales 2020–LinkedIn

In their fourth annual LinkedIn State of Sales report, U.S. edition, they've identified some of the sales trends that have emerged in these challenging times. They have also found that many trends that were present before the arrival of coronavirus—such as the embrace of sales technology and the reliance on data —are in fact accelerating in the current environment. 

The State of Sales report examines both the emerging and enduring trends impacting sales. The report also offers insights into how sales organizations can position themselves to leverage these trends in the economic recovery.>>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

A 5-Step Campaign Recap Template to Keep Customers Coming Back

campaign recap templateYou sold the campaign. You executed the campaign. Now get the credit you deserve! 

Creating a successful digital campaign designed to deliver desired business results takes time and expertise—not to mention a great deal of work! It makes sense to present a recap during the campaign—to make sure it is on track—and after the campaign, to get credit for a job well done.

The best way to do this is to create a campaign recap and present this to the customer. This process allows sellers to get the credit they deserve for a job well done as well as open the door to the next sales opportunity with a satisfied customer.

Topics: sales strategy sales process sales accelerator

Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the DISCOVER Step

Coaching the Sales Process Overlooked Points in the DISCOVER Step

The third step of our sales process is often the most tedious. Discover—also referred to in other sales process steps as “define,” assessment,” or “needs,” all share the same goal of meeting with a prospect or client to uncover their desired business results.  

The key part of this stage is understanding each prospect's challenges and needs and establishing how your product or service can help. We find that sellers rush through this step, but by taking their time in the Discover phase of the sales process, they will actually accelerate the sales cycle and increase their odds of closing the deal.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process sales accelerator

8 Characteristics of a Winning Sales Coach

8 Characteristics of a Winning Sales Coach

There are several resources readily available with information on what it takes to be a great sales coach and manager of people. We often talk with managers who want to hire top-notch sales coaches and the list of their requirements is usually a long one—including experience, past successes, and “must have” talents. It’s definitely a hire you want to get right!

There are many natural behaviors and characteristics that make a sales coach great, and it's important to uncover the intensities of these talents before you hire someone.

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent Sales

5 Ways to Stay Connected While Working Remotely

5 Ways to Stay Connected While Working Remotely

Telecommuting, flexible work environments—both fancier terms for working remotely—is the new normal for many of us. By now, you’ve gotten a taste for what working from home entails. And whether you choose to admit it or not, some of you have decided that remote work isn’t as great as it sounded just a few weeks ago.

At first, working quietly in your pajamas seemed enticing—even productive—then the silence set in, and you missed all the chaos. Most people do! Knowing how important socializing is, how do you keep that feeling intact with your team in a time of social distancing?

Topics: company culture COVID19 Resources

Weekly Roundup: More Productivity Predicted in 2021, Accelerate Virtual Selling + More

More Productivity Predicted in 2021, Accelerate Virtual Selling

- MOTIVATION -

"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If your run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."

-Michael Jordan

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

Workers Will Be Way More Productive in 2021 Than in 2019–Inc.

As The New York Times pointed out, allowing employees to work from home and creating a quieter and more private workplace will result in happier workers, which means they're more likely to remain engaged and even get more oomph (for you and for them) out of every hour that they work.

Regardless of how you feel about social distancing, it will make office workers far more productive than they were before the pandemic. How? By reducing, or even eliminating, three huge productivity sinkholes. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

5 Metrics to Measure the Success of Your Digital Marketing Efforts

content marketing metrics

As websites continue to become more important in the consumer journey, the need to measure the efficiency of digital marketing also increases. This is a shared burden between those selling digital media and business owners and marketers who are looking to maximize their ROI. We know that “clicks” provide an incomplete picture into the impact of digital advertising, as most users do not click on ads but still find their way to a business's website after being exposed to ads.  

So what should we look at? Here are five metrics to help give a more in-depth insight into the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.

Topics: digital marketing SEO inbound marketing

Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the CONNECT Step

Coaching the Sales Process Overlooked Points in the CONNECT Step

While technology and buyer behaviors have caused businesses to modernize their sales process, basic principles such as qualifying prospects, defining needs, and understanding buying patterns haven’t changed that much. Every business is different, but most follow a progression with comparable sales stages.

Recognizing the need to humanize the sales process, our Sales Accelerator series is known for being more in-step with how real selling is done today while applying basic fundamentals.

Each of the six steps in the Sales Accelerator series offers important points you don’t want your salespeople to overlook. However, the second step—Connect—is where we teach sellers how to establish two vital fundamentals: establishing credibility and building trust.

Topics: Decision Makers sales process sales accelerator

Closing The Credibility Gap to Set More Appointments

Closing The Credibility Gap to Set More Appointments

Setting the first appointment with a new business prospect is not an easy task. Some argue it’s the toughest part of the sales process. Additionally, it’s something veteran sellers struggle with as much as new sellers.

The main reason this is a difficult task is the lack of credibility that salespeople are saddled with. Let’s face it; salespeople are usually met with skepticism and kept at arm’s length by prospects who don’t know or trust them. Building trust and closing the credibility gap from the onset of the sales process is a great way to set more appointments with new business prospects.

Topics: Setting Appointments sales process build trust

How To Drive New Business In Today’s Environment

How To Drive New Business In Today’s Environment

Everyone is looking for creative ways to drive new business—and we could easily provide a list of five hacks that would be helpful. But those five tips would not have the same impact that changing just one thing would have—your perspective.

There is a legendary story about a large American shoe company that sent two sales representatives to different regions of the Australian outback to scope out the business potential for the company.  The first reported, “No business here. The natives don’t wear shoes.”  The other wired back, “Huge opportunity! The natives don’t wear shoes.”

Same data, different conclusion. Which message would you have sent back?

Topics: new business development business growth COVID19 Resources

Weekly Roundup: New B2B Sales Practices To Adopt, How to Network Remotely + More

New B2B Sales Practices To Adopt, How to Network Remotely

- MOTIVATION -

"Start working with your prospects as if they've already hired you."

-Jill Konrath

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

New B2B Sales Practices To Adopt In The Midst Of A Global Crisis–Forbes

As unnerving as these times are, there are plenty of ways for startups to hedge against the current situation. In fact, by being agile and making changes to your company’s sales processes, you can even potentially turn current economic challenges into opportunities.

Here are five new practices to adopt in the midst of a crisis like the one we’re currently facing.>>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

How to Increase Productivity and Promote Teamwork with a Remote Workforce

How to Increase Productivity and Promote Teamwork with a Remote Workforce

Remote work statistics have consistently increased over the years. A special analysis conducted by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics found that from 2005 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. Based on the growing numbers, Upwork’s Future Workforce Report predicts that 73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028.

COVID-19 forced many teams into a remote workforce, and nearly 43% of full-time American employees say they want to work remotely more often even after the economy has reopened. The same survey reports that of the more than 1,200 employees surveyed, nearly 20% said their employer is actively discussing how they can make remote work more of an option in the future.

Topics: Talent culture COVID19 Resources

Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the IDENTIFY Step

Coaching the Sales Process Overlooked Points in the IDENTIFY Step

Routines, schedules, processes—they all make us more efficient, consistent, and accurate in our roles. A strong sales process helps the prospect along their journey but also acts as a roadmap for reps so that they can consistently close deals.

The strategic sales process that we teach at The Center for Sales Strategy is called Sales Accelerator. It's an updated look at the customer-focused sales process, addressing how the sales process has evolved, and more in-step with how real selling is done today.

There are six steps of the Sales Accelerator, each filled with several courses that goes deep enough to build an effective, tailored solution while moving fast enough to achieve acceleration. Sales managers take note; these are the things you don’t want your team to overlook in the first stepIdentify—of the sales process.

Topics: sales process prospecting sales accelerator

New Normal Tweaks on a Proven Sales Process

New Normal Tweaks on a Proven Sales Process

Sales managers and salespeople have discovered new ways of conducting face-to-face sales activity as a result of recent social distancing restrictions. Being creative and using video technology to stay connected with customers as well as propose and close business with new prospects has become the new normal.

World-class sellers know it’s time to move from playing defense to playing offense because customers and prospects need help. They need solutions. They need the problem-solving expertise that a quality salesperson brings to the table. Simply put, customers are more open to ideas and solutions than ever before because their level of pain is high.

Topics: sales process COVID19 Resources

20 Motivational Videos for Your Sales Team

20 Motivational Videos for Your Sales Team

Stressed? Anxious? Unmotivated?

Everyone requires motivation. And, your sales team is no exception as they strive to keep up performance, reach goals, and deliver results. The constant pressure (combined with adversity and uncertainty) is physically and mentally draining.

Motivation is crucial for performance. The real purpose of a motivational speech is to get the recipient, to do something differently, because the speaker has got you to think differently. Browse through our list of 20 motivational videos, watch a few, and share the list with your team.

Topics: motivation sales performance sales management COVID19 Resources

Weekly Roundup: What Buyers Want, Small Victories During Pandemic + More

What Buyers Want, Small Victories During Pandemic

- MOTIVATION -

"What we dwell on is who we become."

-Oprah Winfrey

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

What Buyers Want Right Now–LinkedIn

One of the great difficulties of being a salesperson right now is the uncertainty. Not the general "uncertain times" sense being felt across all industries and professions, but the uncertainty of how any given person is doing; where their head is at.

In a job that revolves around personal interactions, and striking up quick conversations with a purpose, we tread on challenging ground. Quality reps have a knack for getting to know someone and their circumstances ahead of outreach, via professional research, but this is different. From the outside, it's almost impossible to gauge how a business is faring against this crisis, let alone the human beings who run the organization.

There are no secret tricks for navigating each unique situation. Let your empathy, intuition, and genuine desire to help be your guide. But when it comes to getting a handle on the B2B buyer community at large, new research can help.>>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up