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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Tips on How to Close a Sale Faster Than Ever Before

close sale faster
Everyone knows that sales is a numbers game. The more you have out there, the better off you are, which is why we all typically agree that sales is a numbers game,right?

What are the numbers everyone is talking about? As sales managers, are you looking at the wrong numbers?

How many times have you heard or said, "Don't worry! I've got a lot out there pending!”  That's great! But, does anyone actually get paid on pending? That’s the catch, and that's also why you need to be aware of the numbers you're actually looking at.

Topics: Proposal sales strategy

Why Do Salespeople Hate CRM Systems — And What Can Sales Managers Do About It?

Why Do Salespeople Hate CRM Systems — And What Can Sales Managers Do About It

“CRMs are just another tracking tool.”

“I’ll spend more time trying to learn how to use it than actually using it.”

You’ve heard the complaints from your sales team about using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. And, chances are if you’ve considered implementing a sales enablement tool like a CRM into your strategic plan to drive revenue, you’ve read a lot of articles that discuss the various reasons why most sales CRM systems fail.

There’s even a strong possibility this is why you’re hesitant to commit purchasing a CRM. No one wants to invest in a tool that statistics show to fail (mostly) because a sales team is reluctant to use it. As a sales manager, what can you do to ensure your sales reps use a CRM to its full potential?

First, you must understand why they’re wary.

Topics: sales process CRM sales enablement

Is the Work From Home Environment Affecting Your Performance?

Talents Most Affected by Working From Home

Sales coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Each salesperson on your team offers a special blend of talent. As a leader, your responsibility is to coach based on a clear understanding of all their strengths and weaknesses. 

You know that coaching your team as individuals is essential to their growth and success. But for a remote sales team, coaching takes on a higher level of importance.

While the environment has changed, your rep’s talents have remained the same. Since moving to remote work, we’ve noticed a few talent combinations that are hindering salespeople from performing their best. Have you?

Topics: sales talent sales coaching

3 Ways to Boost Sales Performance with Effective Feedback

3 Ways to Boost Sales Performance with Effective Feedback-1

Sales leaders that commit to growing and developing their people through effective feedback boost sales performance, attract and retain top talent, and outperform other organizations that fail to make feedback and coaching a priority.

Recruiting and Selecting highly talented people for your organization is critical - but you can’t stop there. Innate talents cannot develop into strengths until your team members can use them consistently, confidently, and productively.

Providing consistent and specific feedback on performance is key in helping direct reports learn, grow, and maximize their strengths.

Topics: sales performance feedback sales talent

Weekly Roundup: SMART Sales Goal Examples, Annoying Myths About Salespeople + More

Smart Goals for Sales

- MOTIVATION -

"A goal properly set is halfway reached."

-Zig Ziglar

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

SMART Sales Goal Examples From 30+ Sales Professionals–Databox

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”

Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker who often speaks on goals as they relate to business success, once said this.

While true, setting meaningful and realistic sales goals can often be a challenge. Not sure where to start? We polled more than 30 sales professionals and asked them to share tips and real sales goal examples that use the SMART framework to help. Let’s dive in. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

The Link Between Healthy Habits and Healthy Pipelines

The Link Between Healthy Habits and Healthy Pipelines

Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Mark Cuban — all agree that one habit is a key ingredient to success.

Practicing good health habits by eating right and exercising each day is what these billionaires, and 21 others, agree helped create the foundation for their businesses and financial success. Your habits and routines determine your success and your future. In order to see the true benefits of any effort, you must be disciplined and consistent.

The same holds true when developing new business. It takes that same effort and discipline to consistently create a healthy sales pipeline.

Topics: business development Sales prospecting

Develop More New Business in 10 Minutes

Develop More New Business in 10 Minutes-1


From a management perspective, a properly deployed Customer Relationship Management (CRM) allows you to assign and reassign sales goals to your sales team, transfer responsibilities, and enhance the client and sales rep experience.

However, many organizations and sales teams are quick to dismiss CRM software’s effectiveness, and many stop using it for several reasons. Merely investing in a CRM solution will not help your business grow until your sales team effectively uses its functionalities.

Below is an example of a 10-minute strategy that will help put into perspective the effectiveness and value of the right CRM system.

Topics: business development CRM sales enablement

Rediscovering the Benefits of Internal Recruitment

Rediscovering the Benefits of Internal Recruitment

“More than ever, future hires will come from within the company. In an increasingly tight talent market, organizations will rediscover the benefits of internal hiring and work to better understand how their employees want to learn and grow.” 2020 Talent Magazine

Recruitment is all about finding and attracting the right employee to your company. But sometimes, the individual you need to fill a vacant position already works within your existing business structure.

At The Center for Sales Strategy, we’re firm believers in always searching for talent. However, we’re also advocates for using empathy to better understand how people want to learn and grow. This is why one of the top recruitment trends in the 2020 Talent Magazine is internal recruitment.

Topics: recruitment sales talent

5 Questions Sales Leaders Ask to Improve Sales Performance

5 Questions Sales Leaders Ask to Improve Sales Performance

Inquiry is a powerful motivator. We use it to fuel conversations, problem-solve, and, ultimately, improve sales performance.

High-value questions are a driving force to much-needed mental shifts — especially in today’s environment. When your mindset changes, so does your behavior. As sales leaders, we can’t control market conditions, but we can influence a few things like choices.

Below are five questions we challenge sales leaders to ask their salespeople every week if they want to improve sales performance, fill their funnel full of new prospects, and increase customer loyalty.

Topics: sales performance sales process

Weekly Roundup: Get Salespeople to Use the CRM, Sell Anything to Anybody + More

Get Salespeople to Use the CRM, Sell Anything to Anybody

- MOTIVATION -

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right."

-Henry Ford

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

6 Ways to Get Salespeople to Actually Use the CRM–LinkedIn

What’s in it for me?

If sales could be boiled down to a quintessential question, this might be it. Throughout our careers, we’ve been taught to examine “What’s in it for me?” from the perspective of each sales prospect we work with.

According to Aberdeen Group, effective sales organizations are 81% more likely to consistently use a CRM or system of record. But like a state-of-the-art security system that’s rendered useless when turned “off,” every CRM has a critical shortcoming: To do what it’s supposed to do, it requires real people, especially salespeople, to regularly feed it accurate, up-to-date data.

So if your sales team’s reluctance to use your CRM is severely limiting its power, or you want to make sure your team embraces your next CRM, here are a few ideas that might make it easier for your sales team members to see “What’s in it for me?” >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

How Do I Know Where My Prospect is on the Buyer’s Journey?

How Do I Know Where My Prospect is on the Buyer’s Journey

Your clients and prospects are on a predictable journey to making a purchase. You have a much better chance at success if you understand their buyer’s journey. The model we present to clients expands on the traditional Awareness-Consideration-Decision stages. This helps us look at things from the mind of your client or prospect.

B2B sales professionals must understand the buyer’s journey. It’s an important framework for strategy, but a common question is, how do I know where my prospect is on the buyer’s journey, and how do I get them from step one to closing?

Topics: Buyer's Journey

Is Your Revenue Problem Really a Culture Problem?

Is Your Revenue Problem Really a Culture Problem

Employee engagement, collaboration, talent retention, and client satisfaction are all essential elements of company culture. And studies show that each has a significant impact on revenue growth.

When performance numbers aren’t where expected, where do you default your thinking? Most sales managers agree that when sales performance suffers, they think more activity is needed, the right people aren’t on the team, or the processes are broken. Rarely does company culture come to mind.

What happens to revenue when your team lacks clarity and engagement?

Topics: company culture employee engagement

Maximizing Virtual Selling for Prospects and Clients

Maximizing Virtual Selling for Prospects and Clients

Remote selling, virtual selling, more communication via emails, and phone calls it’s all the new normal. And these new normal tactics require a significant shift in skills to create a more engaging buyer experience.

Conducting business over Zoom is tricky. Rather than shaking hands and reading body language, salespeople must learn how to limit distractions, make virtual sales demos more like traditional presentations, and learn to communicate as effectively online as they do when they’re physically with prospects and clients.

Being a sales professional in 2020 is very different than it was just last year. Buyers, who used to prefer meeting face-to-face prior to making a purchasing decision, have changed too.

Topics: sales process Remote Team virtual selling

15 Things Every Great Sales Manager Knows

great sales managerWhat do you consider the greatest job in the world?

Maybe I'm biased, but I'm convinced I have that job. Why? 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

And best of all, I have the privilege of working 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

Weekly Roundup: Employees Want Bosses To Do This, What Prevents Virtual Selling Success + More

Employees Want Bosses To Do This, What Prevents Virtual Selling Success

- MOTIVATION -

"We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are are, we cannot help but change."

-Sherly Sandbrg

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

7 Things Employees Wish Bosses Would Start Doing Immediately–Inc.

Great organizations are built by great bosses. (That's why identifying and attracting talented people is almost as important as developing talented people.)

How do you become a better boss? You could take a page from the Google book and match your skills to what Google determined are the key behaviors of top managers. Or you could check out the following blog where Contributing Editor, Jeff Haden asked one million-plus LinkedIn followers a simple question: 

"If you could cause every boss in the world to start doing one thing, what would it be?" >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

How to Get Results in Individual Meetings with Your Salespeople

How to Get Results in Individual Meetings with Your Salespeople

Sales managers often ask us how to make Individual Focus Meetings (IFM) with their salespeople more productive. What's interesting about this, is that salespeople also ask us (on a weekly, if not bi-weekly basis) why they even need an Individual Focus Meeting with their sales manager.

As you can already tell, there seems to be an issue with this weekly meeting — neither side is getting what they want out of it. And we understand why this is happening.

Topics: successful sales meetings sales performance sales coaching

How to Use a Sales Playbook with Your Sales Team

How to Use a Sales Playbook with Your Sales Team

Before we get into the how to use a Sales Playbook, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to answering what is a Sales Playbook.

In its simplest terms, a Sales Playbook is a key piece to a winning sales enablement strategy that outlines your sales process and aligns it with the buyer’s journey. It provides salespeople with a collection of resources like best practices, insights into their buyers, how to approach specific sales scenarios, talk tracks, email templates, ways to handle objections, competitive intel, and more.

Topics: sales enablement sales playbook IMPACT

Interviewing Techniques and Trends for 2020

Interviewing Techniques and Trends for 2020

Because of recent events, unemployment rates are much higher than we’ve seen in recent years. However, don’t let that fool you; it’s still a very competitive job market out there.

Why? In part, because smart companies are examining their talent and prioritizing their top performers. When they know it’s time to let someone go, you can guarantee it’s not going to be their top people. However, while unemployment is higher, top talent is still scarce.

How can you structure your interview process to let top talent shine through? And beyond that, how can you change your traditional interviewing process to show top talent you have an adaptable, strong company culture?

Topics: company culture recruitment sales talent