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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Is Your Organization Ready to Work from Home Permanently?

Is Your Organization Ready to Work from Home Permanently

It’s been quite a year of change for many salespeople and managers. What at first seemed like a temporary situation has slowly evolved into the potential for a new reality — working from home.

There are many benefits to working from home, such as no commute, which leads to greater productivity, better work/life blend, and looking professional from the waist up... just to name a few! Gartner's recent study shows that 74% of companies plan to shift some of their employees to working from home permanently.

In the past, many deals were built from the foundation of in-person relationships. The pandemic has shifted the sales cycle, and many salespeople have been forced to adjust. Mastering the art of both in-person selling and virtual selling is now a skill seller's must obtain.

As a sales leader, it’s important to ensure your sales team shifts their mindset and has the tools needed to perform at their best no matter what the situation holds.

Topics: COVID19 Resources Remote Team virtual selling

Weekly Roundup: Sales Leadership Stats, Virtual Recruitment + More

Sales Leadership Stats, Virtual Recruitment

- MOTIVATION -

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

-Melody Beattie

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

37 Sales Leadership Stats to Know in 2020HubSpot

Sales leaders, be honest — you're curious about what your peers are up to.

This year has been unconventional (to put it lightly) and leaders have been faced with challenges that they likely haven’t seen at other points in their careers. The ability to share information with other leaders, or to ask "how are you managing?" is invaluable.

However, that’s far easier said than done when you’ve got work to do. If you don’t have the time or resources to commission your own data, you’re in luck because we’ve compiled a list of important data points sales leaders need to know. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed. Happy Thanksgiving from The Center for Sales Strategy

2020 CSS Holiday Video

Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the United States who celebrate! We know this year has been rough, but we see your strength and wish you all the best this Thanksgiving.

Even with all the chaos 2020 has presented, there’s still so much to be thankful for this holiday season. One of the greatest gifts this year has given us is a new perspective on the things we’ve been taking for granted all this time. A new perspective on just how grateful we are for the simplest of things.

And while many are still struggling this Thanksgiving, we hope you’re able to take a moment and practice some gratitude for all the lessons 2020 has brought us.

Topics: holiday

The 8 Talents Every Salesperson Needs to Succeed

The 8 Talents Every Salesperson Needs to SucceedHave you ever heard about Katie Francis, who shattered the 30-year-old world record by selling 21,477 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in 2014?

On weekdays, Katie worked seven hours a day selling cookies. On weekends, she put in 12 hours a day. What started as a goal of selling 18,100 boxes, quickly raised to 20,000, and then to 21,000. Katie’s a goal-setter — and reaching a goal just motivates her to set a higher goal. She sold a record of 100,100 boxes of girl scout cookies in her seven years as a girl scout.

To be successful in sales, Katie quickly learned you can't take "no" personally. This young lady has a solid ego that rejects rejection along with an agile mind that readily learns and adapts.

Topics: sales performance sales training sales talent

Improving Sales Performance: Business Performance and Culture

Improving Sales Performance Business Performance and Culture

Your role as a leader is to drive your people toward your ambitious culture. How do you do that? You must connect with people!

When COVID-19 closed gyms, 58% of trainers lost some of all of their income, and 23% were furlough or laid off (PR Newswire). How did one gym manage to gain more members now than pre-COIVD?

Episode 4 of the Improving Sales Performance series with Tony Hartl, founder of Crunch Fitness Austin and Planet Tan, provides listeners with a few secrets of how he’s getting new members and keeping existing ones amid the pandemic. He also discloses how he keeps his team focused and energized.

Topics: sales performance company culture

Predict the Success of Your Sales Team with Leading Indicators

Predict the Success of Your Sales Team with Leading Indicators

"If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business." — Marcus Lemonis

"It's a numbers game, but I don't know which numbers" — Average Salesperson

Okay — I made-up the last quote, but it's still true. Too many times, I meet with sales managers and salespeople who firmly believe that sales is a "numbers game", but they have no idea what numbers they need to know or even what numbers they should be tracking.

Most sales leaders focus on KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) and while they are important, they do not help produce sales improvements. KPI's are like your scorecard after a round of golf, fun to see how you played, but they can't help you play better for the round you just finished. 

Rather than focus on KPIs, it’s time to concentrate on Leading Indicators so that we can effect change during the game that will help you and your team win. Think of leading indicators as data that allows you to make "in-game" adjustments, so that your team can keep scoring.

Topics: sales performance sales process

Weekly Roundup: Organizational Change, Conquer the Chaos + More

Organizational Change, Conquer the Chaos

- MOTIVATION -

"Your failures make your successes so much more meanginful."

-Guy Raz

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

Organizational Change Can Successfully Transform Your BusinessOutreach

Organizational change has, historically, required meticulous planning across teams. As executives, we like to have all the moving parts in place before a major shift.

Leaders who oversee go-to-market teams understand better than anyone. You have transitioned from working with an in-house team of reps to managing people remotely. The events and in-person meetings your teams relied on for leads or relationship-building were canceled. Instead, your reps have to rely on technology to make those connections. Everyone now belongs to the “inside sales” team. The learning curve for leaders has been steep. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Set Your Team Up for Sustainable Sales Performance Going into 2021

Set Your Team Up for Sustainable Sales Performance

Think of sales performance as a three-legged stool. When all three legs are strong, there's nothing sturdier. But if one of the legs isn’t holding up its weight, the stool can no longer do its job.

Just as you need all three legs on that stool, so too must a sales organization have three solid legs to carry the weight of the expectations placed on it. As we get closer to 2021, ensure your team is strong in all three areas and set your team up for improved sales performance in the new year.

Topics: sales performance sales training sales talent

Concerns and Considerations When Downsizing Sales Staff

Concerns and Considerations When Downsizing Sales Staff-1

Working with sales leaders and managers through a crisis like the pandemic is full of twists and turns and new discoveries!

Significant transformations such as downsizing and restructuring because of things like COVID can disrupt the flow of a sales team, however, done properly, they can improve sales performance. Many sales organizations are discovering that removing unproductive sellers (and not replacing them) creates a more productive team.

Since early this year, many changes have been implemented, but an emerging hot topic among sales leaders now is sales staff size. As a sales manager, is this something you have been thinking about?

Topics: sales structure IMPACT

Improving Sales Performance: Create a Winning Company Culture

Improving Sales Performance Create a Winning Company Culture

How do you define culture at your company?  How does culture tie directly to business and sales performance? And, what’s a fun brigade?

Episode 3 of the Improving Sales Performance series with Jay Bailey, founder and CEO of Reatro Ventures, was engaging, enlightening, and motivating. Host Matt Sunshine asks the right questions that tells you how to make company culture work, and Bailey provides three free and easy tips on what you can do right now to improve your company culture.

Topics: sales performance company culture

Virtual Onboarding: Examples, Advice, and a Checklist

Virtual Onboarding Examples, Advice, Checklists

Creating a culture of engagement is more important than ever as we work in a virtual world.

Showing that you care and are invested in the growth of your people matters. And it’s important to remember that the relationships you develop with your people will directly impact productivity and profit. One fact found in the 2020 Talent Magazine states, “Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.”

When should your relationship with people start? Before they walk in the door for their first day on the job.

However, if you’ve transitioned to a remote workforce and never conducted virtual onboarding, you may find yourself challenged on how to develop these relationships and help new hires get started off on the right foot.

Topics: sales performance onboarding company culture

Weekly Roundup: How Sales Jobs Will Change, Take Risks Now + More

How Sales Job Will Change, Take Risks Now

- MOTIVATION -

"Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better."

-Bill Bradley

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

How Sales Jobs Could Change in the Next DecadeHubSpot

Whether we're talking about the pre-internet days or the distant future, one thing is clear: There is a gap between businesses and their customers, and sales reps function to bridge that gap. This has been true since the pre-internet days, and it will remain true as long as that gap exists.

Chatbots, AI, machine learning -- sales, like other industries, is changing rapidly thanks to technology. But, at the end of the day, you still need to nurture prospects, close deals, and hit your quota.

So, what does that look like in 5 years, and where has it already changed the most? We asked a few of the industry’s most innovative minds what they think is in store for sellers. Here are their answers. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

What Does Sales Strategy Mean?

What Does Sales Strategy Mean

We hear sales managers and execs talk all the time about the importance of sales strategy. “Strategy” is one of the words that gets used a lot. In fact, Webster’s Dictionary says it's in the top 1% of most popular words. After all, who gets heat for talking strategy?

The problem is that most sales “strategies” are not really strategies at all. If you look at that definition of strategy, you see, “a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal, usually over a long period of time.That means a strategy doesn’t change (or if it does, it's not very often), is long-term, and describes a set of consistent behaviors.

Many sales strategies are more like tactics making more calls in a defined period of time, approaching a new group of prospects, or introducing new offers to move the market forward. These things are not bad, but they're tactics, not strategies. Tactics are helpful IF they support a strategy.

Topics: sales strategy prospecting

Improving Sales Performance: Sales Calendars and Sales Planning

Improving Sales Performance Sales Calendars and Sales Planning

Many large-scale surveys routinely find time management skills are among the most desired workforce skills, but also among the rarest skills to find.

It comes as no surprise that one of the biggest challenges sales leaders face is time management. And while there are many articles and time management tools readily available, there’s also the old-fashioned sales calendar.

In case you missed Episode 2 of the Improving Sales Performance series, here’s a breakdown of the conversation that host, Matt Sunshine and guest, Trey Morris had on what a sales calendar is and how it can help improve sales performance.

Topics: sales performance annual plannning

Recruit Top Sales Talent During a Hiring Freeze

Recruit Top Sales Talent During a Hiring Freeze

“Why interview if I can’t hire?” This is a frequently asked question this year and understandably so. Recruiting top sales talent takes time and energy, and it feels pointless if you’re a company experiencing a hiring freeze. Let’s pause there for a minute.

While not under a hiring freeze, college football teams are limited to the number of players that they can have on the roster. However, that doesn’t stop recruiters from scouting more players than their roster can accommodate in search of top recruits. They’re actively recruiting the best talent to build a winning team for future seasons to ensure the best replacement for this season’s graduating players. Plus, they know that not every player to whom they offer a position will accept.

In the business world, the same rules apply. Building a winning legacy depends on having top talent on your staff and top talent ready to join in a moment’s notice. Because we know turnover is inevitable. It isn’t a matter of if it will happen; it’s a matter of when.

Topics: sales performance recruitment sales talent

Financial Challenges That Are Top of Mind for Decision Makers

Top 5 Financial Pain Points of Businesses in Q4

At The Center for Sales Strategy (CSS), we’re big proponents of thinking like an owner — in other words, getting into the minds of the decision makers and decision influencers you call on. 

One of the many ways to do that is uncover and understand what financial challenges are top of mind for them, especially as we head into a new year.

Topics: sales process annual plannning

Weekly Roundup: Selfless Curiosity, Why Sales Training Fails + More

Selfless Curiosity, Why Sales Training Fails

- MOTIVATION -

"Great leaders don't set out to be a leader. They set out to make a difference. It's never about the role - always about the goal."

-Lisa Haisha

- AROUND THE WEB -

<< If you only read one thing >>

Selfless Curiosity–The Revenue GeneratorGAN

In many situations, our intentions are probably pure—we may believe that what we are selling is good and that our product will help make lives easier and better.

Yet, something is missing. In Daniel Pink’s book To Sell Is Human, he shared a study from the INSEAD business school in France showing that empathizers—those who take the time to truly understand what’s going on with the person they’re talking to— typically strike a deal 76% of the time. Just by authentically caring for the person you’re talking to and understanding what they’re going through, you’ll strike a deal 76% of the time.

So, how do we reorient our sales tactics around the customer? >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Improving Sales Performance: Sales Enablement

Improving Sales Performance Sales Enablement

With dozens of episodes coming to our brand-new Improving Sales Performance series, sales professionals will soon have a plethora of insights and tips at their disposal.

The Improving Sales Performance series is hosted by Managing Partner Matt Sunshine who speaks with guests that are thought leaders, experts, and industry gurus, to share their insight, tips, and knowledge on various topics that help companies improve sales performance.  

Episode 1 recently debuted on our newly-refreshed YouTube channel with guest, Dani Buckley, talking to Matt about Sales Enablement.

Topics: sales performance sales enablement

Sales Leaders: Set Realistic Goals for 2021

Sales Leaders Set Realistic Goals for 2021

Do you remember projecting 2009 revenue as we stared into the abyss of the Great Recession?

We all knew it was coming as it started with plenty of notice in the Fall of 2008. Many businesses projected negative sales growth, while others simply would not accept it. The organizations that intentionally gave their teams over the top numbers to hit lost a lot of ground on annual long-term business and blew Q1 because they demanded so much more than what the market would bear for them.

Setting clear and manageable goals is crucial for 2021.

Topics: goals annual plannning

How to Keep Morale High While Working from Home

How to Keep Morale High While Working from Home

For some, the benefits of working from home are plenty. However, working from home is not for everyone, and experts say there are potential negative side effects to consider, such as feelings of isolation, loneliness, and disconnect.

It’s estimated that 46% of employees don’t know what to do after a meeting — leading to confusion, frustration, and unproductivity. Additionally, 26% of employees feel pressured to respond to work emails outside of business hours — leading to more stress.

All of this contributes to morale, and morale is the driver for productivity and engagement. While your team is working remotely, you’ll have to find new ways to work together and communicate, ensuring your company culture thrives in the comfort of your team’s own home.

Topics: employee engagement Remote Team

Best Practices to Improve Your Telephone and Video Conferencing Etiquette

Best Practices to Improve Your Telephone Etiquette

Clients calls, webinars, team meetings, staff meetings, one-on-one's with a coworker, prospect meetings we're spending a lot more time online.

Video conferencing etiquette and attire are certainly not a new topic for many professionals, but it's a new reality for millions.

How you portray yourself, whether over the phone or on shared-screen calls, represents both you and your company. It’s important that we present ourselves just as well virtually as we do in-person. In an effort to improve your phone and video etiquette, and ensure the person on the other end receives an excellent experience, implement the best practices outlined below.

Topics: sales strategy COVID19 Resources Remote Team