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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Weekly Roundup: Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Hitting Quota + More

Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Hitting Quota + More

- MOTIVATION -

"Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going."

-Sam Levenson

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

The Ultimate Guide To Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator in 2020–Spotio

LinkedIn positioned itself as a distinct social networking site for recruiting top talents. Over 30 million companies use this platform for business. It consists of around 690 million users, with more and more organizations using LinkedIn marketing to network, connect, and sell every day. 

LinkedIn is playing a revolutionary role in B2B marketing. Studies show that 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute their content. And with the help of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, sales representatives are building better pipelines that ultimately lead to higher sales.

But what really is a Sales Navigator? And how do you use it the right way? >>>READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Corporate Culture Starts at the Top. But Who’s at the Top?

Corporate Culture Starts at the Top- But Who’s at the Top

Much is written every year about corporate culture. And yes, every corporation has a culture—they may not have built it purposefully, they may not be proud of it, it may hold the organization back rather than propel it to success—but there’s always a culture and it always impacts performance.

Don’t look to a mission or vision statement hanging on the wall to discern the culture of a given organization. Just watch what the people do. Despite what the pretty prose might say, the actual culture is revealed in how the company’s people interact with each other and with the outside world, minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

Say it either way: The culture—values, attitudes, beliefs, priorities, expectations, attitudes, taboos, unwritten rules—is demonstrated by the aggregate behaviors of its people. Or the people define the culture by how they act.

Topics: sales strategy sales culture

Is Lead Generation a Top Business Objective? Here’s Why We Think It Should Be.

Lead Generation Efforts

Whether you call it cold calling, prospecting, or new business development, lead generation is critical piece for the sales success formula. In many current sales structures, the salesperson in charge of lead generation also oversees setting appointments, finding needs, selling solutions, and ensuring contracts are fulfilled.

Sales managers are great at tracking pending business and placing accountability on the average number of new accounts. While these are important metrics to track, they’re also narrowly focused on the middle and end of the sales process. What if we placed greater accountability at the beginning of the sales process as well? Imagine placing more focus on lead generation efforts, whether through a specialist role or an inbound marketing agency, where qualified leads are regularly handed off to Account Executives.

Topics: lead generation IMPACT

How Leaders Can Use Storytelling to Activate Empathy

How Leaders Can Use Storytelling to Activate Empathy

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” — Henry David Thoreau

As children, we’re told many stories, some of which were created and passed down to help teach life lessons. Storytelling has been around for thousands of years, and there are many parables, fables, and legends that we share as a collective society.

Stories bring us together, bond groups emotionally, and connect them to their purpose. The use of stories also has an immense impact in the business world, increasing workplace empathy, strengthening leadership, and as a team-building strategy.

Topics: sales management sales culture storytelling

Rebuilding Your Company Culture

Rebuilding Your Company Culture

Culture is powerful, and you’re going to have one whether you like it or not.

Your company culture is the personality of your organization. It’s the vibe people feel when they work there and the way they describe your company to others. How is your company culture weathering the COVID-19 storm?

Topics: company culture

Weekly Roundup: Staff Reduction, Embracing Distributed Sales Teams + More

Staff Reduction, Embracing Distributed Sales Teams

- MOTIVATION -

"Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything for better or worse."

-Simon Sinek

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

COVID Caution: Staff Reduction in the Pandemic-era–CEOWORLD Magazine

A glimmer of hope flashed when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported U.S. job losses in May were in line with the months preceding the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, that hopeful glimmer is flickering. COVID-19 infection rates surged in July, reintroducing restrictions that had been eased in most states. Paycheck Protection Program loans and consumer spending are just two factors are expected to constrain hiring and instead prompt staff cuts.

In these circumstances, it is understandable that CEOs are considering staff reductions either by way of furloughs, layoffs or firings. Sometimes staff adjustments are necessary to manage costs and production to match declines in customer demand. CEOs must weigh many risks to achieve tangible benefits that can result from taking action. As they do, there are four important considerations that do not appear on a balance sheet that can have outsized impacts for long-term success.>>>READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Is the Needs Analysis Meeting Really the First Step?

Is the Needs Analysis Meeting Really the First Step

We often think of the needs analysis meeting as the beginning of the sales process, but, is it really? Today's buyers are complex. Their needs are perplex and they're hesitant to share information. When speaking with a prospect for the first time, you must ask the right questions. First, you have to know what questions to ask.

To conduct a great needs analysis meeting one where the client is anxious to participate and is really open with informationthere are two areas you need to work on before the meeting ever begins.

Topics: setting expectations Needs Analysis Sales

Is Your Organization Suffering Because of a Sales Structure Problem?

Is Your Organization Suffering Because of a Sales Structure Problem

Sales structures look different for all organizations depending on the industry, size of the team, product, and the sales process. As your company and people evolve or as things change in your business sector, your sales structure should change as well in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

Companies that identify the need to change sales structure continue to grow, while those who ignore it find themselves struggling to meet sales goals and stay competitive. According to the recent Media Sales report, 60% of sales managers don’t feel they have the right number of salespeople on their team. This leads to a couple important questions:

  • Is it the number of people on your team that needs adjustment?
  • Or is it the sales structure and expectations aren’t in line with sellers’ true talents?

Topics: sales process sales talent IMPACT

7 Ways to Pull Through a Summer Sales Slump – As Told by GIFs

7 Ways to Pull Through a Summer Sales Slump

Distractions, emails, and meetings are known to be leading factors in loss of productivity, but studies find that as temperatures rise, productivity drops by 4% per degree. In fact, 25% of workers feel less productive during June, July and August than in the rest of the year.

A summer sales slump happens in many industries, but the slowed pace of business doesn’t mean your sales team can’t be productive. Below are seven ways to motivate your sales team this summer – as told by GIFs.

Topics: motivation sales management

How to Crush Adversity with a Strong Sales Culture

How to Crush Adversity with a Strong Sales Culture

You hear it every day, “these challenging times,” “the new normal,” “the pandemic.” It’s no surprise that we are all facing adversity and uncertainty, but it doesn’t mean all doom and gloom. In fact, you can crush adversity and come out on the other side stronger, successful, and more skilled than ever. What is the secret to weathering the storm? Start with your sales culture as your foundation and proactively instill and foster resilience.

Topics: company culture communication work from home

Weekly Roundup: Sales Trends You Need to See, Jumpstarting Revenue + More

Sales Trends You Need to See, Jumpstarting Revenue

- MOTIVATION -

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it."

-Charles R. Swindoll

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

Pay Attention to These Sales Trends–Forbes

Today, sales tactics and consumer behavior have changed. What worked in 1995 would be very inefficient now. Entrepreneurs and business owners should be paying attention to current sales trends so that they can meet the needs of their consumers and turn a profit.

Here are some of the top sales trends you should be paying attention to in 2020.>>>READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Why 75% of Proposals Will Never Close, and 10 Ways to Improve

Why 75% of Proposals Will Never Close and 10 Ways to Improve

The market's uncertainty has left many companies with an uncomfortable and frustrating bloated feeling in their sales pipeline.

Even before the pandemic, you could have easily convinced me that compensation plans changed radically and that people in sales were getting paid based on pending business. Every time I asked a salesperson how they were doing, I received the same response: "I’ve got a lot pending!”

Pre-pandemic, I reviewed over 500 proposals from various B2B sales organizations over the course of six months. These were all legitimate proposals, actually presented to a prospect or client. Based on those proposals, and the bloated pipeline many of you are experiencing today,  here's some valuable insight on how to close more business.

Topics: Proposal Sales sales process

Are You Ready to Build a Sales Assembly Line?

Are You Ready to Build a Sales Assembly Line

Last week, we discussed why the sales industry needed a Henry Ford assembly line. We determined that while the technology that we use has changed over time, our sales structure’s foundation has not.

Before Ford's assembly line, auto manufacturers built cars one-at-a-time. They hired a skilled artisan who would build the vehicle from the ground up, which meant that Ford had to hire people who knew every aspect of the vehicle.  From connecting an engine to a frame, steering to the chassis, installing seats, builders had to know how to do it all.

It’s what we expect salespeople to do with radio and television stations. Don't we still expect salespeople to also do it all? 

Topics: sales structure IMPACT

Reinforce Positive Behavior in the Workplace Through Employee Recognition

Reinforce Positive Behavior in the Workplace Through Employee Recognition

The benefits of employee recognition are far-reaching. When employees receive recognition for a job well done, they want to repeat the positive behaviors that led to that success, increasing productivity and performance.  

This is because people are neurologically hard-wired to repeat positive behaviors when they receive praise.  “Meaningful recognition activates the brain’s limbic system, causes a rush of dopamine, and compels us to repeat rewarding behaviors,” explains Beth Sunshine, Partner at Up Your Culture.

Topics: company culture employee engagement

Common Issues for Key Decision Makers Amid the Pandemic

Common Issues for Key Decision Makers Post-Pandemic

Active buyers in today’s market have immediate and pressing issues that couldn’t be foreseen earlier this year. Business owners have more distractions than ever, and there’s no roadmap for dealing with the economic changes that are still occurring.   

Putting yourself inside the mind of these buyers will help you gain access to them. Understanding who they are post-pandemic is critical to understanding how you sell your products and services to them. We call this tactic defining your target persona. 

Topics: Decision Makers target personas

Weekly Roundup: COVID-19 Impact on Q2 and How to Move Forward

COVID-19 Impact on Q2 and How to Move Forward

- MOTIVATION -

"A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn."

-Helen Keller

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

How COVID-19 Impacted Businesses in Q2–HubSpot

Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11, businesses have had to reckon with its economic impact for over a full quarter.

Now that businesses have closed the books on Q2, HubSpot took a step back and assessed where their customers are, four months later. How does the state of business compare today to where it was in March? How have teams changed their behavior to adapt to the new economic climate? What's worked, and what hasn't? And what changes are here to stay?>>>READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

4 Winning Approaches for Writing a Cold Email

4 Winning Approaches for Writing a Cold 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 — and your open rate.

Topics: email Setting Appointments Sales prospecting

Statistics That Will Help Convert Sales Leads Quickly

Statistics That Will Help Convert Sales Leads Quickly

How fast does your team move when a lead comes in? A lead response study of 2,241 US companies showed that the average first response time of B2B companies to their leads was 42 hours.

A quality lead degrades over time. Every aspect, from the channel you select to the amount of time you take to respond, impacts your prospect’s decision. Whether you conduct your sales outreach by phone, email, or social media, timing is crucial and here’s the data to back it up.

Topics: sales process sales leads

The Sales Industry Needs a Henry Ford Assembly Line

The Sales Industry Needs a Henry Ford Assembly Line1

History is fascinating! You can learn so much from the past. The History channel offers some amazing documentaries that can enlightening for those of us that want to learn from the past to improve our future. One of the most popular series on History is the "The Men Who Built America".  These epic documentaries tell the story of how great men and women shaped our country through their entrepreneurial spirits and built companies and brands that built America.

The latest series, "The Cars that Built America," obviously highlight stories of American auto manufacturers. And, you can’t talk about automobile history without telling Henry Ford's story. As a visionary, Ford was an entrepreneur that developed many of the best practices that companies still use today. The most famous of his designs was the assembly line.

Topics: sales structure IMPACT

Trust-Building Questions to Ask in the Workplace

Trust-Building Questions to Ask in the Workplace

Have you ever participated in a trust building exercise?  They have been the craze for years.  There have been a few fun ones, like Escape Rooms, but there have also been a few you wish to forget, like “trust fall.” Seriously, who enjoys blindly falling backwards hoping someone will catch us?!   

Team building exercises are a great way to form relationships and build reciprocity. But developing trust takes timemuch longer than one afternoonand activities alone are not how a foundation of trust is established. Building an effective team starts by asking thoughtful questions. Those questions spark conversation, providing team members an opportunity to share bits of information about themselves, and over time, leading to more trust and engagement—improving team productivity along the way.

Topics: sales performance company culture employee engagement

Weekly Roundup: Go Fourth with Knowledge

Weekly Roundup Go Fourth with Knowledge

- MOTIVATION -

"Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better."

-Albert Camus

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

7 Enduring Trends Defining the Future of Sales–LinkedIn

Sales organizations adapted quickly to the new reality brought by COVID-19. LinkedIn research showed that salespeople, suddenly working remotely, embraced virtual selling almost immediately:

  • 77% of salespeople said they were holding more video meetings
  • 57% said they were making more phone calls
  • 51% said they were sending more emails

With conferences and other opportunities for face-to-face meetings sidelined in the current environment, LinkedIn’s new State of Sales Report 2020 found that COVID-19 is having more than a short-term impact. Our research indicates that seven long-term sales trends that were already in motion are accelerating in today’s economic conditions. Read on for a closer look at these seven enduring trends.>>>READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Are You a Thought Leader? 6 Ways to Tell

Are You a Thought Leader? In every industry, there are people or businesses we think of as being thought leaders. These people and organizations are the ones that you check on regularly with regard to innovation, market challenges, and new initiatives.

Being considered a thought leader in your industry is certainly an advantageous position to have, as it helps with lead generation, sales, recruitment and retention, new business opportunities, and more.

Topics: content strategy thought leadership sales strategy inbound marketing

Do You Have a People Problem or The Wrong Sales Structure?

Do You Have a People Problem or The Wrong Sales Structure

How do you know if you have a sales structure problem? Too often, sales organizations are evaluated single-handily by their results. If your company isn’t hitting targets and sale goals aren’t being achieved, the blame falls on not having the right salespeople. But, is the source of lost revenue really a “people” problem?

Underperformance is easily blamed on salespeople because data often helps support the claims. However, while we always seek to improve the performance of sales teams, there are a few indicators that show you may have more than a people problem.

Topics: sales performance IMPACT