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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Alysa Hinshaw

Recent Posts by Alysa Hinshaw:

Using Industry Insights to Get in the Door

using industry insights to get in the doorHave you ever stopped and wondered how many other salespeople are trying to get a meeting with the same prospect as you? It’s a pretty overwhelming number when you think about it. Day-in and day-out, decision makers are being bombarded with voicemails, emails, drop-ins, and various other methods your competition is using to gain access.

In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s tough to cut through the clutter. Leading with a compelling insight that you can turn it into a valid business reason (VBR) is essential for your prospect to want to connect with you.

Topics: valid business reason sales strategy sales process prospecting

How Coaching Helped a Seasoned Seller Rediscover Her A-Game

coaching sales talentThere is a sales organization I work with that has a consistent track record of finding highly talented candidates to join their sales team. Time and time again, they hire and develop top talent and in turn, quickly see results from these sellers.

Topics: sales management coaching

Persistent with a Purpose: Persistence Does Pay Off When Done Right

sales persistence can pay offEarly on in my sales career, there was a prospect that I was determined to close. Everyone on my sales team had tried to gain access to this decision maker, and some had gotten as far a conversation, but it never evolved from there. When my manager suggested I try to approach this target prospect, I eagerly accepted the challenge. In my head, I confidently thought, “I can make this happen.” Ha!

I spent months calling, dropping by, leaving voicemails, and sending emails. I never managed to get through to anyone, but I remained persistent and didn’t give up until one day I was told not so politely to go away.

Often during my career, I have reflected on that cringe-worthy experience. I had been persistent (outright annoying), and at the time, I had truly thought that persistence alone should get me in the door. As I began to develop and grow as a salesperson, I began to see the power of not just being persistent, but being persistent with a purpose. I learned the importance of earning trust and offering value to the prospect. Unfortunately, I had to experience some tough lessons before I got to this point.

Topics: sales process prospecting

Turn Goals into Reality with a Solid Prospecting Plan

successful sales prospecting planWe are now a few months into the new year. Often, at the end of the prior year, I spend time talking about the year ahead. I ask the sellers that I coach what they want to accomplish. Where do they want to be at the end of this year? We discuss their professional sales goals, and then we begin to make a plan together to help them achieve those goals.

I encourage them to make sure they understand the importance of high priority prospects or what we call target accounts. Ensuring sales teams understand how to identify, develop, and close (or walk away) is a critical part of sellers achieving their objectives throughout the year.

Topics: key account growth prospecting account list management

We Lost the Business... Now What?

what happens when a prospect says noEven the best salespeople hear the word “no” from time to time. You know how it goes; you did everything right. You built up some serious rapport, had that million-dollar idea, and presented a top-notch proposal. In the end, though, it just didn’t happen. The prospect said “no.” NO!!! It’s never fun to lose, but how you handle these losses can make or break you. 

Topics: sales strategy sales process prospecting

Using The Consumer Journey to Sell Solutions

propose solutions around the consumer journeyAs sales professionals, we are trained to listen to our prospects’ needs and then create a tailored solution based on the products we have to sell. As managers, we coach our team on this daily, and as salespeople, we continually work to evolve and better this process. We present a solution, and then explain why these products make sense. But in today’s complicated world of marketing, there is a key piece we often forget — consumer behavior. What does your target persona do before making a purchase decision? 

Topics: Buyer's Journey

Want Your Sellers Focused on High-Quality Prospects and Clients? Try This.

account list management systemWe're partially through the 4th quarter of the year, and as planning is in the works for the following year, it’s a great time to do an account review with your team. After all, their success equals your success, so it’s vital that you help them set a strategy that helps them meet their goals.  

Set the Stage for Success: Prepare Yourself AND Your Prospect

prepare your prospect before a meetingIMAGINE THIS: After countless attempts to connect with a prospect, your persistence has paid off. You did it! You've got the meeting on the calendar, you are feeling great! Now, you have one chance to make a great first impression, and it needs to count. Luckily, you have a few days to prepare so you can ensure the meeting runs smoothly and the prospect views you as a trusted and valued partner.

While it’s important to prepare yourself for the meeting, you also want to prepare the prospect. This is one thing that salespeople often overlook prior to a meeting. Most prospects are going to expect you to come in and tell them why they need to buy your product or service. It’s up to you to go out of your way to be sure they know you are different and you are not going to do that. Don't just prepare yourself... also prepare your prospect.

Topics: Proposal Needs Analysis successful sales meetings sales strategy prospecting

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 are 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

How Do You Stand Out?

salespeople stand out with personal brandingAs a sales coach, I work with many salespeople at all different stages in their career. When we first start working together, we spend time talking about who they are, why they love what they do, and how their current and past experiences bring value to what they do today.    

I remember getting a very excited call from a salesperson that I had worked with. A big prospect in the market had reached out to her. They had searched her company via LinkedIn and discovered many of her sales colleagues. But it was her profile that caught their eye. Why?

Topics: Social Media sales strategy salespeople personal brand branding