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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How Social Selling Can Damage Your Professional Brand

strengthen your personal brand with social sellingSocial selling is a powerful part of the approach in our now transparent sales landscape.

By now, every salesperson should be embracing LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook, as they plan to approach and attempt to engage with new business prospects.

Whether you choose to use paid services or choose to navigate social media on your own, it’s a platform where you can earn trust and establish credibility with your very best prospects.

It’s also a platform that if used incorrectly, could damage your credibility with your very best prospects.

Topics: Social Media personal brand social selling

How to Practice Active Listening in Sales

Active Listening in Sales

Is it possible to sell faster by talking less? 


When sellers rely more on listening — active listening to be specific — their ability to understand client needs throughout the sales process accelerates. This not only gives sellers an edge in crafting unique solutions for each client, but it also helps sellers discern early on if a client is the right fit for their product before investing large amounts of time with them. 

Active listening is a skill that can be learned and benefits both sellers and clients alike.

Topics: active listening

Why You Should Have a Talent-Based Sales Organization

Why You Should Have a Talent-Based Sales Organization

To thrive, an organization needs to be able to attract, hire, and retain top talent.

Top talent are the people that are going to take the team to the next level. They’re the ones who instinctually want to be the best and are the best. They serve clients in a way that no other can. They uncover client needs, close and grow your key accounts, and solve problems in a way you wish everyone could.

In fact, superior talent is up to 8xs more productive than typical talent!

Topics: sales talent assessment sales talent

7 Unexplored Merits of Investing in Employee Experiences

7 Unexplored Merits of Investing in Employee Experiences

Great business leaders have a knack for leveraging all plausible merits of different business tactics. What enables them to do so is their incredible vision to innovate and drive exceptional outcomes from usual scenarios.

It's commendable and inspiring how you always look at the brighter side of things and align them to the success of your business. But have you ever thought about laying great emphasis on the experiences you offer to your employees? Is facilitation of positive employee experiences a part of your core business strategy?

Topics: employee engagement

Weekly Roundup: Managing a Quota-Crushing Sales Team, How to Use Inbound Marketing + More

Managing a Quota-Crushing Sales Team, How to Use Inbound Marketing


"“Establishing trust is better than any sales technique."

- Mike Puglia


<< If you only read one thing >>

13 Ways to Manage a Quota-Crushing Field Sales Team Spotio

Looking to build an efficient, high-performing field sales team?

There’s no “right way” to make a sale. Some companies prefer an inside approach, which means their reps make sales from the comfort of a corporate office. Other companies take an outside approach and physically meet with their prospects in the field.

The approach you choose for your organization will likely depend on the kind of products you sell. Brands that sell simple products and/or have short sales cycles usually opt for inside sales, while B2B companies with complex offerings and longer sales cycles tend to have more success with outside sales.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the top field sales management challenges, as well as strategies that can be used to propel your sales team to new heights. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

When the Golden Rule Fails, Try the Platinum Rule

When the Golden Rule Fails, Try the Platinum Rule

The idea that you should “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” dates back at least to Confucianism (551 BC) and has precedents in nearly every religion.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? Treat people with the same kindness and respect that you would want to be treated with yourself… and don’t do things to people that you wouldn’t want them to do to you.

Simple and true, this Golden Rule is one of those kindergarten lessons that guides us to interact better with others. 

Except when it doesn’t work.

Topics: sales talent

Sales Leadership Series with Carrie Berkbuegler, Director of Sales at Zimmer Communications

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Straight from the Director of Sales at Zimmer Communications, Carrie Berkbuegler discusses sales leadership, sales performance tips, and answers a few questions that we all have.

You’ll get answers to questions like – what are the key performance metrics you track? What are the big rocks that you’re focused on? And how has sales management changed over the past few years?

Tune in now or keep reading for a brief overview.

Topics: sales performance sales leadership

Slow Down the Sales Process So You Can Speed Up the Sale

Slow Down the Sales Process So You Can Speed Up the Sale

Everybody wants to sell faster! No matter your industry or product, every organization is in a hurry to close more business. And on the surface, that sounds like a good idea but it's not.

Too often, we're in such a hurry to close the sale that we rush and make mistakes in the sales process that actually slows down the act of closing.

In our haste, we tend to overlook certain obstacles in our path in an effort to sell quickly. These obstacles often come up as a surprise to the client, which can derail the conversation and cause us to back-track and overcome the objection, which takes more time than if we had discussed it from the beginning.

Topics: Proposal sales process

Top Development Trends and Tips

Development Trends and Tips

Does your organization have a turnover problem? Do you worry that your top talent will leave for another opportunity?

It may be time to refocus on people development and revisit employee growth plans.

We all know that ongoing coaching, training and development are important and key factors in retaining employees long-term. According to LinkedIn, 94% of employees say they would stay in their role longer if their company invested in their professional development. Yet in another survey, nearly 59% of employees claim they had no workplace training and that most of their skills were self-taught.

Topics: sales talent leadership development

Weekly Roundup: Enough Pipeline to Meet Quota, Importance of Candidate Feedback + More

Enough Pipeline to Meet Quota, Importance of Candidate Feedback


"Don't worry about failure. You only have to be right once."

- Drew Houston


<< If you only read one thing >>

Does Your Sales Team Have Enough Pipeline to Make Quota? Selling Power

Sales managers, there’s no way to sugar coat this: Most B2B sales leaders (69%) reported that their teams did not have enough pipeline to hit quota.

Don’t get me wrong — I realize that sales managers have the hardest job in our profession: Revenue executives have an insatiable appetite for data; HR demands ongoing coaching and training; and the sales reps themselves need assistance daily with customer issues, moving deals forward and crafting proposals.  

It’s extremely easy to lose sight of fundamentals when you’re swimming in a sea of demands, data, and deteriorating sales productivity.  

What’s the solution? A strategic prospecting strategy that enables you to separate the shoppers from the buyers. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Sales Leadership Series with Bernie Weiss, President at iHeartMedia New York and Author

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What do selling and tennis have in common?

Bernie Weiss, President at iHeartMedia New York and Author of Ace It! How Sales Champions Win New Business answers that question, plus offers some sales performance tips.

Tune in now or keep reading for a brief overview.

Topics: sales performance

What Sales Language Do You Speak? Avoid These Two Poisonous Sales Presentation Mistakes

Sales Language

There are two poisonous mistakes that will kill a presentation: using jargon and using stock phrases.

Making either of these mistakes will drastically reduce the chance of getting a second meeting with a prospect.

Let's start with HOW NOT to start a presentation and finish with the HOW TO of communicating an engaging proposal.

Topics: sales strategy Sales

Recruitment Trends Shaping the Future

Recruitment Trends

Most companies scale back recruiting in response to a financial crisis. Did you know that 1 of the 3 most effective responses is to hire top performers from the competition?

Companies looking to hire the best talent should pay attention to these recruiting trends we’ve seen in 2021 and what it means for future years.

Topics: recruitment sales talent

Get More New Meetings — Developing a Valid Business Reason

Get that first meeting

"4 out of 5 Sales Managers admit appointments, whether in-person or virtual, are more challenging to secure than five years ago."

This nugget of information came from The Center for Sales Strategy 2020 Media Report.  

My initial response to this new data was...DUH!

I'd like to speak with the one manager who thinks getting a first time appointment is "easier" than 5-years ago. They must know something that I don't know!

I don't care who you're or what you're selling, but getting a first-time meeting is tough! Now, I realize there are a ton of legitimate reasons why that is true, but NO ONE CARES! Excuses won't help you get to your sales goals, get you a promotion, or pay your rent.  

What you need is a solution to help you get that all-important first-time business appointment. What you need is a Valid Business Reason.

Topics: valid business reason sales process getting appointments

Weekly Roundup: War on Talent, Sales Reps Who Missed Quota + More

War on Talent, Sales Reps Who Missed Quota


"Don't find fault. Find a Remedy."

- Henry Ford


<< If you only read one thing >>

War on TalentCarson Tate

3.6 million people resigned in May alone and workers in all job categories, from customer-facing service roles to highly professional positions, are actively or passively hunting at roughly the same rate, according to a Gallup analysis. And, according to the US Labor Department, job openings reached a record 10.1 million in June as unfulfilled jobs continue to outpace unemployed workers actively seeking employment. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

Be The Prospect

Be the Prospect

“To know your prospect, you must become your prospect.” 

- Ancient Chinese Proverb

This quote came from a salesperson who knew how to get an appointment.

Getting the first appointment with a prospect is getting harder year after year, and making yourself relevant to the prospect is the first step in overcoming that challenge.

As a daring and ambitious salesperson on the search for customers to serve, you must seek relevance like a duck seeks water. The question is how.

Sales Leadership Series: Scott Sutherland, SVP/Market Manager, Phoenix, Bonneville International

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What big rocks should sales managers focus on? What should they be doing or learning right now to ensure success?

On this episode of the Sales Leadership Series, Scott Sutherland, VP/Market Manager of the Phoenix Market at Bonneville International, joins host Matt Sunshine to answers these questions and discuss sales and executive leadership tips.

Tune in now or keep reading for a brief overview.

Topics: sales performance sales leadership

The Expert's Guide to a Successful Sales Organization Structure

Experts Guide to Sales Structure

Sales organizations have evolved over the years, and the old hierarchical structure just won’t do anymore.

A successful sales organization structure allows you to maximize your profit. This article will help you get started.

Topics: sales structure sales leadership

Weekly Roundup: Close Out 2021 Strong, Top Growth Categories + More

Close 2021 strong


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

- Sam Levenson


<< If you only read one thing >>

Close Out 2021 StrongLinkedIn

Suddenly, somehow, we’re two-thirds of the way through 2021. If 2020 was the Year that Time Forgot, 2021 is the Year of How Is It This Late Already? And we’re only going to accelerate, as the end of the year speeds through September and October on a crash course with January 1st, 2022.

All of which to say: For sales folks, it’s always later than we think. It’s time to prepare for a Q4 that will wrap the year up right and set you up for success in 2022.

This week’s Big Deal collects tips from B2B sales experts on how to finish the year out strong. >>> READ MORE

Topics: Wrap-up

31 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate Your Sales Team this Month

_motivational quotes for sales successIt's the beginning of the month. You're ready to help your team crush their sales goals. Sometimes they need a reminder of why they love what they do or a little help to boost their morale after a lost sale.

Well, there are many things you can do to help your team improve sales performance and reach their sales goals, and here's something that can help boost morale, inspire, and increase productivity: motivation. 

We've put together 31 motivational quotes related to sales and business success. That's one for each day of the month!

Topics: sales performance

Hey, Media Consultant. For Whom Do You Sell?

Hey, Media Consultant. For Whom Do You Sell

Recently, Borrell and Associates, a leading media research firm, conducted their annual survey among those people who buy advertising for their businesses and asked them what traits they seek from media salespeople

Here are the top four results.

Topics: sales process media