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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Alina McComas

Alina McComas

Recent Posts by Alina McComas:

Closing the Gap: Aligning Sales Expectations and Reality for Appointment Success

Closing the Gap

I think we can all agree that securing appointments is foundational to achieving sales goals.

However, findings from the recent Media Sales Report found a persistent gap between the expectations and reality of salespeople and their managers when it comes to the actual number of scheduled appointments.

Topics: setting expectations

Unveiling Sales Process Bottlenecks: A Data-Driven Approach to Sales Optimization

Data-Driven Approach

For as long as sellers have been selling, managers have tracked their activity. Over time, we've improved the tools we use to track that activity, from call sheets to spreadsheets to CRM.

But if all we do is capture the data and not study the data, what's the point? After all, the value is not simply in seeing how much activity we have but in understanding the trends within that data to help salespeople improve.

Studying the data allows you to identify where the bottlenecks in the sales process occur. It enables you to go beyond what you think is happening and confirm where that friction in the sales process lives. That confirmation allows you to develop specific strategies to improve your performance or the performance of your sales team.

Topics: sales process bottleneck

Using The Consumer Journey to Sell Solutions

propose solutions around the consumer journey


As salespeople, we are trained to ask questions that uncover the needs of our prospects and then create a tailored solution based on the products we have to sell.

We present a solution and then explain why the products we recommend make sense. However, as a result of today’s complicated world of marketing, there is a need to evolve and improve because there is a key piece we often forget — consumer behavior.

Topics: Buyer's Journey

Uncovering Real Needs Leads to Long-Term Client Relationships

Uncovering Real Needs Leads to Long-Term Client Relationships

The goal of any discovery meeting is to truly learn about the needs of a prospect or client.

So why doesn’t it happen on every discovery call?

Why do some meetings end without a clear understanding of the business results the account wants to achieve?

Topics: Needs Analysis discovery meetings

5 Ways a CRM Can Improve Your Sales Process

5 Ways a CRM Can Improve Your Sales Process

A Customer Relationship Manager, also known as a CRM, can be a powerful tool. It can help to streamline your sales process and provide benefits to complete sales teams.

Here are five ways using a CRM efficiently can help improve your sales process.

Topics: sales process CRM

Implementing Sales Performance Measures

Implementing Sales Performance Measures

Implementing the right sales performance measures is crucial for success.

While there is little doubt in the minds of sales leaders that measurement is important to drive results with their salespeople, I often find the focus is too wide or shifts based on any change.

In other words, tracking everything doesn’t help you to see what is truly impactful, and improvement in performance only comes when you measure the same performance measures over time.

Topics: sales performance

No.1 Reason Why Your First Sales Appointment Went Downhill Fast and 3 Ways to Avoid

using a valid business reason when getting the first appointment

Have you ever met with a prospect for the first time and felt like the entire conversation was like pulling teeth?

Maybe they took a couple of calls or answered some urgent emails while you were waiting to ask your next question. Maybe you couldn’t meet in person, and you could sense they were distracted and not focused during the little time you had. 

In these situations, it's common to leave the appointment with little to no valuable information, no follow-up direction, and when you look at your notes it feels like a waste of your valuable time.

Not all first meetings go well, but you can prevent the train wreck first appointment with better pre-planning.

Topics: Needs Analysis successful sales meetings

10 Things Managers Do To Build a Healthy Sales Pipeline

Healthy Sales Pipeline

As a sales manager, imagine how much better your life would be if you were consistently able to:

  • Forecast with better accuracy
  • Improve the sales performance of your team

These elements are important, and delivering one or the other is not an option. When you have a healthy sales pipeline that is regularly monitored, both can be easy to achieve.

Topics: sales performance sales pipeline pipeline management

How Effective Sales Training Drives Performance and Revenue Growth

How Effective Sales Training Drives Performance and Revenue Growth


It is usually something that we undergo when we begin a new position or new company, but the best sales organizations, like the best sports teams, are constantly training all of their people.

Simply put, well-trained salespeople drive more revenue. 

Training should be seen as an essential ongoing investment designed to develop and help each of your salespeople grow. As you develop and invest in your people, their skills improve and ultimately drive results for the organization. It is the foundation created by effective employee training that drives performance of your team.

Topics: sales training

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