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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Personality Traits of Top Sales Performers

 Personality Traits of Top Sales Performers

When a successful salesperson is questioned on what makes them stand out above the rest, most don’t have specific answers.

The reason seems to be because these high performers are doing what comes naturally to them. These are not skills that can be taught or learned. It’s about behaviors that “fire naturally” in client-facing sales situations.

Specific traits are sales accelerators.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales performance

Weekly Roundup: Fix Post-Pandemic Sales Turnover, Zoom-to-Face + More

Modern gadgets in interior of coworking office during COVID-19 epidemic


"Quality performance starts with a positive attitude.”

-Jeffery Gitomer


<< If you only read one thing >>

Take Action to Fix Your Post-Pandemic Sales Turnover Problem Top Line Leadership

Suppose for a moment that 25% of your sales team quit before the end of 2021. Recent polling suggests this is possible.

This article explains the research behind the prediction that voluntary turnover will increase as we exit the pandemic and prescribes specific things managers can do right now to prevent good salespeople from saying “I quit” to you and your company. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

6 Pro Tips to Turn Sales Talent into Performance and Develop Your Sales Hunters


This article on how to hire a great sales hunter stirred up great conversations about how to coach and develop those hunters once they are onboard. Great stuff, so we want to share it!

The best way to grow an organization is to grow each of the people within that organization, including your sales hunters. Great managers do this by keeping the natural behaviors of these people top of mind and committing to a handful of strategies to maximize their strengths. 

Topics: sales performance sales talent

Improving Sales Performance - Making an Impact on Your Sales

Esp 21 Impact-1

Kicking off the new season of the Improving Sales Performance series, John Henley, Managing Partner at The Center for Sales Strategy, gives viewers an overview and behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Impact Leadership System: why it was created, who it was created for, and how sales leaders can make an impact on their sales performance by focusing on 4 key areas.

Tune in now to hear the Live broadcast or keep reading for a brief overview.

Topics: sales performance IMPACT

Don't Identify Problems, Solve Them!

Dont Identify Problems, Solve them

Excuse me, while I pull out my "soapbox", I'm about to go on a rant!

Nothing irritates me more than when people confuse activity with productivity. We have created an environment where checking off our to-do list every day, attending meetings, and responding to emails means that you were productive.

That's just wrong. 

You were not productive. You were busy. Busy does not equal productivity.

Topics: sales process sales leadership

How Much Time Do Your Salespeople Spend Selling?

How Much Time Do Your Salespeople Spend Selling

How much time do your salespeople spend selling?

It’s been our observation that it’s probably less than you think. Data suggests that it's as little as 30% of their time. And when you talk to salespeople all the time, as we do, they confirm that. 

So, to get a bead on just how much time your salespeople actually spend selling, you should start with a definition of selling.

Topics: sales process IMPACT

Weekly Roundup: Sales Challenges Facing Salespeople, Voicemail Script Examples + More

Sales Challenges Facing Salespeople, Voicemail Script Examples


"Your job as a leader is to stay as close in touch as possible with those closest to the action.”

-Kat Cole


<< If you only read one thing >>

6 Sales Challenges Facing Salespeople in 2021 [Expert Tips + Research] HubSpot

It's not exactly mind-blowing to point out that the sales landscape has shifted radically in these past two or so years. A shift to remote interactions, the trend away from physical workspaces, and a host of other changes have left sales reps, managers, and leaders in a bind.

Even as we move toward some semblance of normalcy, sales — as a field — is still fundamentally different than it was just a few years ago. And that kind of adjustment comes with its share of challenges.

So in the interest of helping salespeople identify and meet those issues, we reached out to some sales experts and conducted some research to show you six of the main challenges facing salespeople in 2021 and offer some perspective on how to address them. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Stop Spending Time with Lousy Prospects: 3 Criteria to Help Qualify Your Prospects

don't waste time when sales prospectingMany sellers struggle to develop new customers. Often this has less to do with the seller’s ability to sell, and more to do with the seller’s ability to select quality prospects.

Some prospects are better than others, and qualifying them will help determine which of the prospects should be pursued and which prospects should not.

As you search for ideal prospects (future key accounts), use the following criteria to determine which current clients have the greatest potential for growth and deserve the most time and attention.

Topics: sales performance prospecting

Why Salespeople Find Meetings With Their Manager a Waste of Time

Why Salespeople Find Meetings With Their Manager a Waste of Time

Sales professionals are inherently focused on closing deals and increasing the number of accounts under their purview. As such, they are often impatient when it comes to their time and meetings with superiors are no exception.

One-on-one sales meetings need not be inefficient. Sales managers that want to maximize the effectiveness of their sales team can do so with Individual Focus Meetings. Far from your average sales pow-wow, these intense sessions will motivate your sales team to meet goals that may have seemed impossible before.

Topics: successful sales meetings Individual Focus Meeting

The Ultimate Guide to Using the Sales Process to Improve Sales Performance

Ultimate Guide to Sales Process

Some people are skilled at closing a sale. It's easy for them to build rapport with customers, gather information, pitch a product or service, and then close the sale. Others excel only in connecting with prospects and find it incredibly hard to present a product or close the sale.

Utilizing a sales process can help salespeople become better at what they do. In this article, we cover the basics of the sales process and teach you how to improve sales performance.

Topics: sales performance sales process

Why Your Current Sales Structure is Not Producing the Activity You Need

Why Your Current Sales Structure is Not Producing the Activity You Need

Without quality activity, sales teams fall short of their performance goals.

If it seems that more than a third, or even more than half, of your team is struggling with producing quality activity, it’s time to take a hard look at your sales structure, because your sales structure is perfect­ly designed for the results you’re getting.

To identify where you might have a problem with your sales structure, break the sales process into three key areas:

  • Generating Leads
  • Selling Solutions
  • Serving Clients

Is there one clear area that more than a third of your team is struggling with?

Topics: productivity sales structure

Weekly Roundup: Why Are Salespeople Afraid Of Change, Different Views on the Future of Remote Work + More

Why Are Salespeople Afraid Of Change, Different Views on the Future of Remote Work


"Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”

-Madam C J. Walker


<< If you only read one thing >>

Why Are Salespeople So Afraid Of Change? OpenView

It breaks my heart when salespeople are resistant to change.

We’ve seen it happen again and again: A new trend emerges. LinkedIn lights up with hot takes from thought leaders. Every vendor within a 100-mile radius tries to put their spin on it and turn it into a reason you need their product. We beat it to death and then you tune it out.

Remember when an entire industry of salespeople disregarded the account-based movement? We failed to think through the changes our marketing teams were going to make, how that would impact our pipeline, and then what behavioral change we should make as a result. We didn’t invest the time to help build our territories, we didn’t participate in writing the nurture drips, we didn’t react to the new lead intel, and so on. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

New Business Hack: Know Your Target Persona

identify target audience new business hackOur team coaches salespeople from markets across the country on tactical things they can do within their sales process to help them connect with a decision maker or decision influencer faster to grow their new business.

Many things can be done to accomplish this, but one that seems to be resonating with salespeople lately is identifying their target persona so they can clearly define WHO their target is and fine tune HOW they plan to approach a new business prospect.

This is not a new strategy, just one that is often overlooked.

Topics: Needs Analysis target persona sales process

Sales Leaders: What Tools and Tactics Are You Using to Grow and Develop Your People? [VIDEO]


At The Center for Sales Strategy (CSS), our mission and reason for being is to Turn Talent into Performance. Talent is foundational, but it’s not the only element.

It starts with talent, but you must also develop. After you’ve selected the person, you must commit to growing and developing them if you really want to turn talent into performance.

How do you grow someone?

Topics: sales performance sales talent growth guide

How To Immediately Improve A Salesperson’s Performance

How To Immediately Improve A Salesperson’s Performance

When you focus on a natural strength, magic happens. They say that when you spend time practicing and honing a strength you have, you can grow in that area by as much as 10xs!

Investing that same effort in an area that’s not a natural strength pays little return.

Imagine the improvement that a salesperson could see if they had the innate ability to ask probing questions and uncover meaningful information—and then spent time practicing and developing that ability! The potential would be huge!

But what if they were too busy to spend any directed time or energy developing that talent? Or even worse, what if they were simply unaware of their incredible potential for growth? That is a wasted opportunity that keeps us awake at night.

Topics: sales performance sales talent

How to Make Sure New Hires Know Their Stuff

How to Make Sure New Hires Know Their Stuff

Only 12% of employees agree that their organization does a good job with employee onboarding — a process where new hires acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in order to become effective and efficient employees.

When it comes to onboarding employees, first impressions last forever. It's your opportunity to introduce the company's mission, value and personality. If you fail to fully communicate everything a new hire needs to know, they’ll likely leave the company. 26% of American workers have quit a job simply because they were unsatisfied with either the training or the onboarding process. 

To retain quality employees and maximize their productivity, it's imperative that you take the onboarding process seriously. Make your new hires feel welcome in your company by properly discussing their new roles, the company's mission and vision, and everything else they need to know.

Topics: onboarding pre-boarding

Weekly Roundup: How to Climb the Ladder, The Best Question is the One You Never Ask + More

How to Climb the Ladder


"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”

-Stephen Covey


<< If you only read one thing >>

How to Climb the Ladder, Even When the Ground is Shaky Medium

As we approach what is typically “performance review season” many high performers are faced with two seemingly competing inner voices:

  • I should be grateful I even have a job
  • I still want to climb the ladder

It’s not a false dichotomy. You should be grateful. And you should also continue to build your career, even if seemingly nothing this year went “according to plan.” Here are five tips for climbing the ladder, even if your ladder seems to be resting on quicksand. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

5 Reasons Why CRM Should Matter to Sales

5 Reasons Why CRM Should Matter to Sales

For as long as there have been Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools in existence, salespeople have been suspicious of management’s motive for insisting their sales teams use the software.

Sure, when everyone on the team is using a CRM, the sales manager’s job can be made easier, but what’s in it for the rank and file salespeople?

If you're a manager trying to get your salespeople on board with using a CRM, below are five reasons you can give them that convey what's in it for them.

Topics: sales process CRM sales enablement

Close This Performance Gap, Get More Appointments [VIDEO]


Even your best sales reps aren’t immune to sales performance gaps.

There are common gaps like not following the sales process, poor listening skills, not properly preparing for calls, not identifying valid business reasons (VBR) early in the process… the list continues.

However, one of the most common sales performance gaps that you need to close in order to boost revenue is right at the very beginning of the sales process. Do you know what it is?

Topics: sales performance sales process

Sales Managers: Start Focusing More on Top of the Funnel Prospects

Top of the Funnel Prospects

When it comes to the sales pipeline, a good rule of thumb is — having nothing in the top of your sales funnel today, means nothing to close in the future.

This means it is important to add prospects to a sales funnel, as well as ongoing engagement to move them through the funnel. Simply put,  just because a prospect enters the top of the sales funnel, it’s not guaranteed they’ll move to the middle of the funnel.

Topics: Lead Nurturing sales process sales pipeline

Why Sales Coaching Matters, Plus 3 Ways to Get Started

Why Sales Coaching Matters

To achieve your sales targets, it's imperative to effectively train the sales reps so they become more productive. Sales coaching can highly improve their skills as they become better salespeople. They can help generate more revenue for the company and help achieve business objectives. 

While sales experience is essential, it's equally important to train the sales managers to maximize sales productivity. Effective sales coaching coupled with good training and management can help skyrocket sales and build a stronger sales team.

Topics: sales coaching sales management