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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Dani Buckley

Dani Buckley

Recent Posts by Dani Buckley:

How to Stop Cold Calling and Get Your Salespeople Out Selling

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research study by McKinsey Global Institute reported that salespeople on average spend less than 13 hours a week actually selling.

Considering that going out and selling solutions is what salespeople actually are best at, and what is most profitable for them and the company they work for, it’s a little disheartening that so much time is spent doing other things like office tasks, answering emails, researching leads, and internal communication (I’m guessing this includes one too many meetings a week).

However, I’m not so sure we can eliminate those other tasks and give salespeople back another 20 hours a week. And even if they had that extra time, I’m not sure they’d be spending it in the most effective way. It’s not about how much time we have to actually sell. It’s about how much time we waste on trying to get to that point of the selling process.

Topics: Sales danibuckley sales and marketing alignment inbound marketing inbound sales

What's a Marketing Qualified Lead? What's a Sales Qualified Lead?

sales qualified lead vs marketing qualified leadWhen it comes to lead generation, when does the marketing department’s role end and the sales department’s role begin? Very specifically, when should a lead be passed from marketing to sales?

This is a tricky question, and as with most marketing and sales best practices, it’s not always black and white. Every organization is different, and it’s important that your organization has it's own marketing and sales agreement plan that outlines in detail how you will qualify, distribute, track, and ultimately close your marketing leads.

Topics: inbound marketing lead generation lead nurturing lead scoring sales and marketing alignment

10 Reasons Salespeople LOVE the HubSpot CRM and Sales Enablement Tools

salespeople-using-hubspotAs a proud partner of HubSpot, we at The Center for Sales Strategy, as well as our sister company that focuses on lead generation and sales enablement, LeadG2, naturally have experience with the HubSpot CRM, and it might be easy to think that we’re biased about this tool because of our relationship with them. However, it’s important to know a bit more of the context to better understand why we’re not biased and how that shows up in what we do and recommend. 

Topics: HubSpot crm sales enablement

How Those Typical Questions From Prospects Can Help You Generate More Inbound Leads

iStock-874031176-692953-editedEvery sales organization could probably use more quality leads for their salespeople to set appointments with. This is one issue we deal with day in and day out with our inbound marketing clients. We help them generate new traffic to their website and convert that traffic into qualified, sales-ready leads. 

What it (inbound marketing) boils down to is creating unique, compelling content pieces that solve a problem, entertains, teaches, or answers a question that your best prospects are searching for online, asking their colleagues/network, or simply wondering, and oftentimes not telling you, in the sales process. These blog articles are published to your website via a blog (typically) and then guide readers to access even more in-depth content (like eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, etc.) in exchange for a little bit of information about themselves via a form.  This is the simplest way that you generate a website visitor into a lead. 

Topics: inbound marketing Sales

The Power of Asking Questions as a Leader

leadership - power of asking questionsIt’s easy to assume that as a manager, we’re expected to make all the decisions, give directions, and generally just be sure that things are getting done by our team. While there is a little bit of truth to that, the best leaders know that in order to truly be effective and successful you must do one thing really, really well… Ask good questions. And it doesn’t stop there. You must not only be asking great, thought-invoking questions, but then be ready to shut up and listen. This certainly sounds easier than it is.

Topics: leadership sales management

My Confession as a Salesperson

my confession as a salesperson

I have a confession to make… I absolutely hated cold calling. It’s been a few years since I was in outside sales, but I still have flashbacks to some of my worst cold calling experiences. You know the ones where you’re treated like a complete nuisance, talked down to, or hung up on. 

Necessary Evil

Like most salespeople, cold calling for me was a necessary evil. It was evil because of those nightmare experiences, though pretty rare, but it was necessary because sometimes cold calling actually worked – especially if you did it often enough. Some of my best clients started with a cold call, or 10. While it was a numbers game, I found that the better I got at identifying the potential of a prospect and utilizing valid business reasons, the more success I would have. 

However, despite the “wins” that occurred on occasion – I spent a lot of my precious time cold calling, and if you’re in media sales or many other B2B sales industries then you probably do too. The downside to that was the fact that I wasn’t great at cold calling, I was great at selling. I was great at identifying needs, creating customized solutions, developing integrated marketing campaigns, and building relationships – yet I had to spend at least a quarter of my time doing the former. 

Topics: Sales sales performance

5 Reasons to Give the HubSpot CRM a Try

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We talk to businesses all the time who don’t have CRMs, but know they need one. I’ve written about this exact topic in the past (read 5 Reasons Salespeople Aren't Using CRMs Effectively here). While there are many obstacles to overcome when choosing any kind of new technology, the CRM seems to be an exceptionally tough one. This is due to a huge variety of options in the marketplace, a lot of previous bad experiences, fear of new technology, costs, and the potential risks involved like lack of adoption, technological barriers, training, and so on.

I get it. These are all great reasons to take this decision very seriously, but that shouldn’t get in the way of taking action.

There are just far too many benefits to having and using a CRM that can’t be ignored. Luckily, our partner, HubSpot, has made the decision a heck of a lot easier. And to help you even further, I’ve put together these five reasons why you should consider giving the HubSpot CRM a try right now:

Topics: crm sales pipeline HubSpot

Is Inbound Marketing the Uber of Media Advertising Sales?

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These days, everyone wants to be the “Uber/Amazon/AirBnB of {insert industry}” and even if they aren’t, they certainly like to say they are. While I don’t want to be like those other guys… I kind of can’t help myself here. So bear with me on this one.

It started the other day, while I was riding in a Lyft (the other Uber, in case you aren’t familiar) to a meeting here in Seattle where I live. I noticed how my driver asked me if I had a preferred route; “Do you want me to take I-5 or the viaduct? Do you have a preference?” he asked. I didn't. 

He then offered me a bottled water and asked if I had a favorite music genre to listen to, which he could turn on for the ride. The car was really clean and smelled like a pina colada, and I could tell the driver was reading my energy and mood to determine how chatty to be with me that day. 

I flashbacked to 10 minutes prior when I was wrapping up something in my home, running a few minutes behind schedule, and with a couple clicks on my phone I had a driver on the way. I could track how close they were and head out the front door to meet him almost exactly when he was pulling into my driveway. I didn't have to worry about being late because I knew exactly where my driver was and the app even provided an ETA. Plus, when the ride was over I didn't have to exchange a dollar or fumble for my credit card. I said goodbye and was walking into my meeting in seconds. 

Immediately after exiting the vehicle, my mind started to wander about how the needs that cab drivers filled 10+ years ago have drastically changed, which is obviously why companies like Uber and Lyft are so incredibly successful today. Like this (just to name a few):

Topics: inbound marketing digital marketing integrated media solution danibuckley

5 Things You Can Do to Get More Leads

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If you’re a B2B company, then it’s probably safe to guess that you are looking to generate more leads. Not just more leads of course, but better leads. The type of leads that you are excited to send to your salespeople, that your salespeople are thanking you for, and that are consistently converting into new customers.

However, sometimes your efforts can get a little stale. You're doing everything you're supposed to be doing: blogging two to four times a week, sharing on social media, and nurturing the leads you do have. But it’s not enough. While traffic might seem to increase, your leads aren’t.

Here are five things you can do today that will help you get more leads tomorrow!

Topics: lead generation danibuckley lead intelligence

Three Must-Know Social Media Practices for B2B Lead Generation

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There is a plethora of research out there on why social media is such an important component of your inbound marketing, but what I want to share with you today are some specific ways to get started engaging and connecting with your social media audience. These will help you increase your B2B lead generation, and ultimately convert more customers. 

Topics: Social Media digital marketing Digital integrated media solution inbound marketing