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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Use Tension to Advance the Sale


How to Use Tension to Advance the Sale

Salespeople often slow down a sale or lose it altogether because they are not willing to create tension. I am not talking about relationship tension. I am talking about task tension.  

You want to get to task tension as quickly as you can. This is what sales acceleration is all about. However, smart salespeople know you need to create a foundation of relationships—essentially reducing relationship tension so you can create task tension. You can’t rush to task tension until you remove relationship tension. You remove relationship tension by helping the prospect see that you are someone who can be trusted and could bring value.

Topics: Sales sales process

6 Things You Can Do to Better Coach Your Sales Team

6 Things You Can Do to Better Coach Your Sales Team

It’s common knowledge that professional athletes who reach peak performance no longer need coaching, right?


Even top-performing athletes still have coaches because there’s always room for improvement. Coaches observe what athletes can’t see – athletes are too busy playing!

The same can be said for your sales team. Coaching helps your team members by boosting their confidence, improving their performance, and helping them see things they’re unable to see – they’re too busy selling!

But coaching isn’t always easy. If it were, we wouldn’t have Jim Mora’s famous “playoffs” rant or the iconic moment when Lou Piniella yanked up first base and heaved into right field. Coaching takes time, patience, and consistent dedication. Sometimes, you may even feel like you're running out of ideas to coach your team effectively.

If that happens, don't worry. We've got you covered. Here are six things you can start doing right now to better coach your sales team and help them reach their full potential.

Topics: 360 coaching

The Best Places to Research a Prospect Before a Sales Call

The Best Places to Research a Prospect Before a Sales Call

Being a decision-maker in today’s business world makes them a target for every over-enthusiastic salesperson with their landline number.

Can you imagine how exhausting that must be?

To avoid this trap and maximize every opportunity in today's challenging sales environment, you'll need a workable sales strategy and viable methods of researching prospects.

You know that you can make a real difference to this prospect if you can just get in front of them and show them your magical product.

Here's how to achieve exactly this without getting shot down by your prospect.

Topics: sales strategy researching prospects

Understanding the Seasonal Nature of Sales: Challenges and Opportunities

Understanding the Seasonal Nature of Sales

As a sales manager, you've realized that the sales world is not a constant, static environment. It's a dynamic, ever-changing landscape influenced by various factors, including the seasons.

Understanding the seasonal nature of sales is crucial for any business to thrive and adapt to the challenges and opportunities that arise throughout the year.

In this blog, we will explore the challenges faced by sales managers in relation to seasonal fluctuations, as well as the opportunities that can be leveraged to maximize sales success.

Topics: sales challenges

Common Issues for Key Decision Makers

Common Issues for Key Decision Makers Post-Pandemic

Active buyers in today’s market have immediate and pressing issues that couldn’t be foreseen earlier this year. Business owners have more distractions than ever, and there’s no roadmap for dealing with the economic changes that are still occurring.   

Putting yourself inside the mind of these buyers will help you gain access to them. Understanding who they are is critical to understanding how you sell your products and services to them. We call this tactic defining your target persona. 

Topics: target persona

Leading with Empathy: Why Compassionate Leadership Matters

Why Compassionate Leadership Matters

We spend a great deal of our lives at work, and one of the things that can make or break that experience is whether we have a good leader. Not just someone who can bring in the numbers but someone who can lead people.

To be an effective and respectful leader, one must lead with empathy and compassion.

Topics: leadership leadership development

5 Ways Integrated Marketing and Sales Strategies Boost Growth

5 Ways Integrated Marketing and Sales Strategies Boost Growth

Conflict between sales and marketing is nothing new. The most common scenario is that marketing teams complain about a lack of timely follow-up with their hard-earned leads or them not being closed properly, and sales is often unhappy with the quality of leads they get from marketing. These two teams

Marketing teams can track the online behaviors of leads to help warm up what would otherwise be a cold call. At the same time, data and insight from your sales team can help marketing improve how they recognize leads that will most likely convert and identify the most efficient communication channels.

Bringing sales and marketing together is paramount to the growth of your company.

Topics: sales and marketing alignment

Overcoming the Summer Sales Slump in 2023

Overcoming the Summer Sales Slump in 2023

The summer months can be challenging for salespeople, as many potential clients may be taking vacations or shifting their focus to 2024.

However, with the right strategies in place, salespeople can overcome the summer sales slump and keep their numbers up. Let’s explore the top five ways for salespeople to stay productive and successful during the summer months.

Topics: sales process sales productivity

The Importance of Customer Retention in Improving Revenue Performance

The Importance of Customer Retention in Improving Revenue Performance

Over the past several months, I've increasingly heard from salespeople and sales leaders that business has slowed. Deals are taking longer to close, and accounts are hesitant to make long-term decisions. With this shift, and the need to drive more revenue, the focus on acquiring new business has increased.

While new business development is crucial for growth, many forget the importance of retaining the business they have worked so hard to acquire and develop! Getting new accounts in the door will add revenue, but it will have less of an impact if you are simply replacing dollars from existing accounts – think of trying to fill a leaky bucket.

Topics: client retention revenue performance

Top Strategies of Highly Effective Sales Managers

Top Strategies of Highly Effective Sales Managers

To build a great sales team, you need a great leader. Talented and engaged managers coach and develop their teams, always improving the standards of performance.

They put their people first, but their focus on development doesn’t stop with their direct reports. Highly effective sales managers also spend time on their own growth and development, seeking opportunities to learn and improve.

To keep top leaders engaged, it’s important to provide them with ongoing development opportunities.

Topics: 360 coaching

The "Golden Talk-Listen Ratio" and How It Will Help Close More Sales

Close a deal

Good salespeople know that you can’t close a deal without the prospect feeling good about it.

What is not as obvious is that what they feel has more to do with what they say than with what you tell them.

Why? Because what they really need is to feel understood, listened to, and reassured. And to do that, you have to actually listen to them.

How much is too much talking versus too much listening? After analyzing over 25k sales conversations, studies found that top-performing sales professionals speak an average of 43% of the time, while their clients speak for 57% of the conversation.

This is called the 43:57 ratio, the "golden talk-listen ratio," and Gong.io found that sales reps who achieve it see an improvement in their sales performance.

Topics: active listening

Revamp Your Sales Strategy: Unique Prospecting Methods and Tools to Boost Your Team's Performance

Unique Prospecting Methods and Tools to Boost Your Teams Performance

Sales teams are the backbone of any successful business, and their performance can make or break a company's bottom line.

But with so much competition in today's marketplace, it's becoming increasingly difficult for sales reps to stand out from the crowd and close deals. That's why it's important to revamp your sales strategy and implement unique prospecting methods and tools to give your team a competitive edge.

We're going to explore five innovative prospecting methods and tools to help your sales team boost their performance and close more deals. From using AI-powered chatbots to leveraging social media platforms, we'll cover practical tips and strategies to help you stay ahead of the curve and achieve your sales goals.

Topics: prospecting

What to Do When Your Favorite Candidate is Not Recommended by Your Trusted Talent Assessment


What to Do When Your Favorite Candidate is Not Recommended by Your Trusted Talent Assessment

Scenario: A team member comes to you, excited because a former coworker, a Top Performer, has just let them know that they are looking for a new position.

They are perfect for an opening on your team! You become excited because that opening has been hard to fill. Finding quality candidates has been hard and the competitive job market brutal.

So you can’t wait to hire this person. But before you meet with them, you have them take the Sales Talent Assessment, confident that their talents will match the glowing description by your AE.

Then comes that email. Not recommended to move forward in your process.

What?! How can this happen? And what do you do next?

Topics: hiring salespeople sales talent assessment

The Future of Sales Forecasting with AI

The Future of Sales Forecasting with AI

The future of sales forecasting with AI is set to transform how businesses approach sales strategies. The power of AI will help businesses achieve more accurate, personalized, and timely insights into customer behavior and market trends.

Topics: sales forecasting AI

5 Trends Shaping B2B Sales in 2023

5 Trends Shaping B2B Sales in 2023

As we continue to navigate 2023, it becomes crucial for sales professionals and organizations to stay ahead of the curve by embracing emerging trends that can enhance their sales strategies and drive sustainable growth.

In this article, we explore five key trends that are revolutionizing the B2B sales landscape, providing valuable insights and practical tips to help you navigate and thrive in this competitive environment.

From implementing personalisation to remote selling and account-based selling, get ready to discover the game-changing trends that are shaping the future of B2B sales.

Topics: sales trends

3 Reasons Sales Coaching is a Game Changer

3 Reasons Sales Coaching is a Game Changer

A great coach can impact the outcome of a game more than any player. This is why we revere great coaches like Belichek, Walsh, and Landry. Their greatness stems from their ability to transfer knowledge beyond themselves by inspiring their players to become more than the sum of their parts! 

As the sales leader in your organization, you are the coach of a high-performance sports team. Your job is not writing up plays, sitting back in the coach's box, and watching the game. Your job is to be on the field observing and helping your players be the best that they can be. Coaching is the cornerstone to achieving this.

Topics: sales coaching