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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Weekly Roundup: Great Visionaries, Signs You're a High Achiever + More

Visionary Leaders, Signs youre a high achiever


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

- Warren Buffet


<< If you only read one thing >>

Great Visionaries Use Decade Thinking To Achieve Great Success — And You Can Too Forbes

Decade thinking can be a game-changer for your life and your business.

A new decade just began. How much time did you give to pondering the decade ahead? Are we better or worse off for not pausing to ponder the new decade and all its possibilities? I'd say considerably worse off.

Here’s why: The period of time we think most about has an enormous impact on our lives. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Track These 4 Activities to Help Your Salespeople Grow Their Sales Performance

sales-manager-help-salespeople-through-sales-processAs a sales manager, how often do you struggle with the line between being a supportive and understanding manager, and holding your sales team accountable?

After hearing excuse after excuse about why so-and-so wasn't going to buy such-and-such, you throw your hands up and ask yourself, "If all of this feels so out of my control, what is in my control? What can I focus my team on that ensures we win where we need to win?"

Topics: sales performance sales metrics leading indicators

Improving Sales Performance — Impact Your Sales Performance: Performance Tracking


How many performance metrics are you currently tracking? How many should you track?

We can all agree that measurement improves performance, and it’s essential to success. But you can’t keep changing the rules of the game. Performance improvement comes only when we focus on the same metrics over time. We need to follow the right measurements and stay focused.

In this episode, Matt Kiger, Regional Vice President at Townsquare Media, discusses how sales leaders can make an impact on their sales performance through performance tracking.

Tune in now or keep reading for a brief overview!

Topics: sales performance IMPACT sales metrics

Are You Settling for Less in Your Sales Prospecting?

Are You Settling for Less in Your Sales Prospecting

Many believe prospecting for new clients is the most difficult stage in the sales process.

Working at the top of the funnel is certainly filled with more rejection and dead ends than you’ll encounter once you connect and are into the discovery and advise stages.

With all the challenges in the early part of the sales process, it’s not surprising that many salespeople settle for less than desirable new accounts. These accounts often ending up spending less and wanting more. They may not be the best product fit, their results are mediocre, and they doubt the effectiveness of your solutions. They take precious time away from working with more ideal targets and key accounts. And they can suck the life out of your passion for being in sales.

Topics: prospecting

Leadership Development–Developing Managers Into Leaders

Leadership Development

Promoting someone to a manager doesn't make them a leader.

While managers have power, they too often lack the skills to use that power effectively. What you want is a strong sales leader, but how do you get there?

That question is why we've written this guide to people management and leadership development. We'll review the core difference between a manager and a true leader and how to train managers to get there.

Topics: sales leadership leadership development

Weekly Roundup: Outdated Sales Techniques, Retain Top Talent + More

Outdated Sales Techniques


"Lightning makes no sound until it strikes.”

- Martin Luther King Jr.


<< If you only read one thing >>

It’s Time to Ditch these Outdated Sales Techniques LinkedIn

If a salesperson from 20 years ago suddenly showed up in a DeLorean and tried to dive right back into the art of selling today as they knew it back then, they wouldn't be likely to have much success.

Not only has the rise of the internet and digital transformation changed the mechanics of buyer/seller interactions, but also the very fundamentals that drive them. Increasing vendor competition and access to information over the past two decades have placed buyers in control, meaning that the same sales tactics of yesteryear for outreach and engagement will fall on deaf ears here in the 2020s.

Topics: Wrap-up

Improving Sales Performance — Impact Your Sales Performance: Pipeline Management


As a sales manager, how much better would your life be if you had access to better forecast accuracy and improved sales performance?

In this episode of the Improving Sales Performance series, Trey Morris, VP / Senior Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy, discussed how sales leaders can make an impact on their sales performance through effective pipeline management.

Topics: sales performance IMPACT sales pipeline pipeline management

Positive Feedback Examples (And a Few Negative Ones Too)

Positive Feedback Examples

Imagine this scenario: You’re managing a seller who is excellent at developing close relationships with their clients, but you’ve noticed they've been running late to several prospecting meetings in recent weeks. You want them to be on time for their meetings and are preparing to give them feedback on this issue. 

Which style of feedback do you think would motivate them to be more punctual? 

Option 1: “You are so good at connecting; I bet you could utilize the 5-10 minutes before your meeting starts to get to know your clients on a more personal level. What do you think?” 

Option 2: “Don’t be late for meetings; it’s unprofessional.” 

Most of us can agree that Option 1 is likely to feel better for both the manager and the seller, but will using this style of positive feedback lead to more on-time meetings?  

The answer? Yes, absolutely.

Topics: feedback sales talent

5 Reasons Managers Struggle to Develop Consistent Revenue

5 Reasons Managers Struggle to Develop Consistent Revenue

Driving, maintaining, and developing consistent revenue growth is a top concern in every organization.

Taking care of employees, meeting goals, trying to exceed goals, and keeping your business afloat during challenging times is a lot to manage. If your revenue growth remains stagnant or worse, slows down it's easy to lose focus and start panicking.

If you're struggling to develop consistent revenue, this article is for you.

9 Sales Leadership Qualities to Look for in Top Performers

9 Sales Leadership Qualities to Look for in Top Performers

Recruiting top-performing sales leadership for your organization is harder than ever. The quality of the sales organization is directly associated with the quality of sales leadership.

When looking for top-performing sales leaders, you can’t just look for great salespeople. You need someone who can coach, go in the field, watch, and understand the sales process. Here are nine qualities to consider when you’re evaluating sales management talent. 

Topics: hiring salespeople leadership

Weekly Roundup: Win the War for Talent, Onboarding Nontraditional Talent + More

Win the War for Talent, Onboarding Nontraditional Talent


"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

- Winston Churchill


<< If you only read one thing >>

It’s Going To Take More Than Sign-On Bonuses To Win The War For Talent The Great Game of Business

The War for Talent is now in full swing. As the economy continues to reopen, companies have begun hiring again in earnest—driving the unemployment rate closer to pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, the number of open jobs in the U.S.—an estimated 9.2 million—is now breaking records. It’s one of those rare times in recent history where the number of job openings exceeds the number of unemployed people actually looking for a job.

While handing out one-time checks might drive some short-term results, it’s clear that firms will need to do more to keep their workers satisfied over the long run. After all, we’re also seeing what many are calling the “Great Quit,” where millions of workers who remained employed throughout the pandemic have decided to leave their existing jobs in search of better ones—even if it meant taking less money. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Improving Sales Performance - Impact Your Sales Planning: Sales Calendar


The Improving Sales Performance Series focuses on helping sales leaders make an impact on their sales performance through insight on four key areas: people, process, planning, and performance.

Each week, host Matt Sunshine speaks with guests on essential resources and tools that sales leaders should use to improve sales performance. In this episode, Victor Giacomelli, Managing Director, Ads + Research at SoCast Digital, discusses how sales leaders can make an impact on their sales planning with sales calendars.

Tune in now or keep reading for a brief overview.

Topics: sales performance IMPACT sales calendars

Why Sales Talent Isn’t Enough

Why Sales Talent Is Not Enough

Have you ever heard music that was so brilliant, you couldn’t even carry on a conversation while listening? 

I had a friend in college who played like that. Her audiences would be nearly silent as she played, mesmerized by the sound, until her last note when they would go nuts!

She practiced both the piano and the guitar often, simply because she loved it, and she often played for us upon request. I’m not much of a musician myself, and I don’t know a lot about the business, but those who did were certain that she could be one of the few who actually made a career for herself in music. 

Topics: sales talent assessment sales talent

Why Would Businesses Want To Do A Sales Diagnostic?

Why Would Businesses Want To Do A Sales Diagnostic

First, it was a phone call.

Then an email.

Finally, a text message.

Was my wife trying to get a hold of me? No, it was my doctor's office.  

It was that time of the year — time for my annual check-up. Ugh! Does anyone get excited to have a physical done by your doctor? It's uncomfortable, a bit invasive, and he's going to tell me all of the things that I've done wrong in the last year that I already know, but I don't want to admit to myself.

Topics: sales diagnostic

Why The Talent of Problem Solving is Essential for Sales Performance

Why The Talent of Problem Solving is Essential for Sales Performance

You have a salesperson who has a great, positive attitude. The clients love them and they do a great job at getting that first appointment and building a relationship with clients. 

BUT they tend to use the same few solutions over and over.

And when clients or coworkers come to this person with an issue, it ruins their day — it gets them completely off track, and they just can’t seem to find the way back. What’s the problem?! 

Is the individual's positivity not as high as it should be? Is discipline the issue? Actually, what you're witnessing may be their lack of ability to problem solve.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales talent

Weekly Roundup: Sales Training Games, Sales Forecasting Methods + More

Sales Training Games, Sales Forecasting Methods


"Sales is not about selling anymore, but about building trust and educating.”

- Siva Devaki


<< If you only read one thing >>

27 Sales Training Games, Activities, & Ideas To Ramp Up Your Team – HubSpot

There are over 13 million salespeople working in the United States, and they spend weeks or even months training for success in their role.

Given the different responsibilities, industries, and team structures salespeople encounter, it’s hard to recommend a one-size-fits-all approach to sales training. Your reps need to learn and retain all of the company-specific skills and knowledge in order to succeed in their jobs.

That’s why we’ve made a list of the best sales training ideas, activities, and games. Read through the list to determine the best tactics and programs to use when training your sales team. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

6 Ways To Ask The Perfect Question

ask the perfect question salesHave you ever come back to your office after a solid Needs Analysis meeting and shared the exciting news with your manager?

As you sit down to recap, your manager starts to ask you questions about the prospect, and you realize you can’t answer them.

Critical information that you need was never even discussed. The assignment that you uncovered and thought was strong is actually vague, and you begin to understand clearly that you're missing key pieces of information.

You start to deflate as you realize this meeting wasn’t as good as you thought after all.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales performance sales process prospecting

Improving Sales Performance - Impact Your Sales Planning: Target Drives


To set your organization up for long-term success, you need more than just a goal. You need a strategic plan, and that’s where target drives come in.

How do you do a target drive? Why do you need help with them? And a question many sales leaders want to know, what does "good" look like?

In this episode, Alina McComas, VP / Senior Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy, discusses how sales leaders can make an impact on their sales planning through Target Drives. Plus, she gives brand-new data related to top-performers!

Tune in now or keep reading for a brief overview.

Topics: sales performance IMPACT target drive

How Do You Improve Sales Performance?

How to Improve Sales Performance

It's obvious why sales performance is a crucial part of any organization. Good sales performance leads to increased sales and greater profits. These results become a motivating factor for your sales force.

A motivated sales team will perform well. This creates a cycle of continued success. However, it's often hard to achieve. 

Poor sales performance results in lost time and increased costs. Sales managers end up spending 90% of their time trying to manage poor sales performance. Your organization can avoid this by implementing an effective sales performance strategy.

This will facilitate the productive use of your sales managers' time and a motivated sales force that helps improve your company's bottom line. Read on to learn more about sales performance and how you can improve it with a comprehensive strategy.

Topics: sales strategy sales performance

Top 15 Reasons Your Employees Stay [INFOGRAPHIC]

15 reasons your employees stay-Blog Header (screenshot-green)Companies with highly-engaged employees grow revenue 2.5x as much as those who don't, and engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organization. Creating and building a company culture of engagement is vital to a healthy company and business growth.

Topics: company culture

Weekly Roundup: Insight Selling vs Solution Selling, Tips for Hiring the Right Team + More

Insight Selling vs Solution Selling, Tips for Hiring the Right Team


"Change your thinking, change your life.”

- Ernest Holmes


<< If you only read one thing >>

Insight Selling vs Solution Selling + How Modern Sales Teams Use Both– Close

Your prospects are inundated with information.

So, you assume your prospects enter your sales pipeline armed with a clear understanding of their challenges and the available solutions.

Or do they?

According to studies by Gartner, 77% of B2B buyers state that their last purchase was very complex.

Why? First, because the number of people involved in a deal has increased over the last years—63% of purchases have more than 4 people involved, according to research by Forrester from early 2021.

Second, because each person involved in the purchase is armed with their own research and information. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

What a Thought Leader Does

What a Thought Leader Does

We’re all guilty of throwing around the terms “thought leader” and “thought leadership.”  These days the terms are so often used that we forget what they actually mean.

In fact, Inc Magazine states that the term "thought leader" is one of the most misunderstood titles in business. Tied for first is the term "influencer." 

Is sharing content on social media considered thought leadership? Do you need 10K LinkedIn followers to reach the status of a “thought leader?”

The short answer is no. We all have the ability and opportunity to be thought leaders just by educating, improving, and adding value to our industry as a whole.

Topics: thought leadership