The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Jim Hopes

Jim Hopes

Recent Posts by Jim Hopes:

Five Things We Learned About Leadership From Tom Brady

Five Things We Learned About Leadership From Tom Brady

Tom Brady is one of those figures that draws emotional responses ranging from adoration to outright disdain, often depending on whose team has had their playoff hopes crushed by him during his long tenure in the NFL. 

But, say what you want, there is plenty for all of us to learn about how to be an effective leader by observing what Tom Brady does

What he accomplished on Sunday is indeed one of the most profound successes in professional sports as he transformed a young, talented team in Tampa Bay that had been underperforming for years into world champions in one season, learning a new team and a new system all without the benefit of mini camps and preseason games. If you look beyond the hype, here is what you would see.

Topics: leadership talent

Let’s Get Real About How Many Contacts It Takes To Get An Appointment

Let’s Get Real About How Many Contacts It Takes To Get An Appointment

There's certainly a lot of banter these days about how many contacts a salesperson must make in order to secure an appointment. We all know it takes more than 2 or 3 calls, but how many does it really take, and why?

Topics: sales performance Sales sales process

How To Give Effective Performance Feedback In the Work-From-Home Environment

How To Give Effective Performance Feedback In the Work-From-Home Environment

While all the guidelines that apply to productive performance reviews still apply in our work-from-home environment, there are certainly new dynamics in how and where this feedback gets shared. 

Because we’re invited into homes more often (thanks to video meetings), we know more about our people and their personal life. We see their home environment, interact with their kids and pets, and most importantly, we all share more about our own personal challenges because we have a common experience the pandemic. 

We all have stories about what we are and are not doing these days. This is one good thing that has come from the pandemic experience and it makes approaching the feedback process with empathy presumably easier to do.

Topics: sales performance reduce turnover feedback

Welcome to My Home. Please Come In.

pandemic trends

So many things have changed this year in response to the pandemic we may not fully appreciate how different our lives really are. Most of the changes have not been positive, but certain outcomes have proven to be beneficial now and are likely to continue into future.

For example, if pre-pandemic shutdown I would have advised you not to bother meeting with a prospect in their office, but rather simply visit them at their home you might have thought I had lost my mind. 

But, that's what many of you are doing right now because most of our clients are working from home in the new Zoom video world. We’ve all been “inside” someone’s home, at their kitchen table, den, basement office, or spare bedroom via live video connection, and if you think about it, it’s startling. We could never have accomplished this pre-pandemic!

Topics: sales performance work from home

What Does Sales Strategy Mean?

What Does Sales Strategy Mean

We hear sales managers and execs talk all the time about the importance of sales strategy. “Strategy” is one of the words that gets used a lot. In fact, Webster’s Dictionary says it's in the top 1% of most popular words. After all, who gets heat for talking strategy?

The problem is that most sales “strategies” are not really strategies at all. If you look at that definition of strategy, you see, “a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal, usually over a long period of time.That means a strategy doesn’t change (or if it does, it's not very often), is long-term, and describes a set of consistent behaviors.

Many sales strategies are more like tactics making more calls in a defined period of time, approaching a new group of prospects, or introducing new offers to move the market forward. These things are not bad, but they're tactics, not strategies. Tactics are helpful IF they support a strategy.

Topics: sales strategy prospecting

Critical Sales Trends That Should Get Your Attention

Critical Sales Trends That Should Get Your Attention

The “old days” when we just showed up on someone’s doorstep or dropped into their inbox or voicemail weren’t really all that long ago, were they? 

The reality is these time-tested cold calling methods were already losing their effectiveness before the pandemic shutdown sent everyone home from the office. Still, changes in prospect behavior have accelerated, given the trials of the last six months.  And, those trends are likely to result in permanent changes in how B2B sales are conducted.

Topics: valid business reason sales process sales trends

The Future of Work

The Future of Work in Sales

While no one has enjoyed dealing with the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has certainly provided many of us with impetus to change how and where our associates do their work. 

Technology has saved many businesses from crushing productivity loss and caused many executives and managers to re-think how work gets done in their organizations, and especially how productivity is affected by working from home (or, any remote location). 

But this is only the beginning. There are other changes on the horizon in the next 5-10 years that will demand that we change how we define work and how we measure productivity.

Topics: sales performance Remote Team

Are Your Sellers Prepared for the Economy to Reopen?

Are Your Sellers Prepared for the Economy to Reopen

Perhaps the most anticipated grand opening of all times is occurring at various levels across our land right nowand it is joyous to see. But to say things are not quite returning to normal yet would be a great understatement. 

Most businesses are still adapting to the environment. Many are operating without key segments that were profitable just a few months ago or inventing new offerings in response to the changes we’ve all experienced.  Just as our clients are rethinking how they approach the market, so should your sales team.

Topics: sales performance COVID19 Resources

How To Drive New Business In Today’s Environment

How To Drive New Business In Today’s Environment

Everyone is looking for creative ways to drive new business—and we could easily provide a list of five hacks that would be helpful. But those five tips would not have the same impact that changing just one thing would have—your perspective.

There is a legendary story about a large American shoe company that sent two sales representatives to different regions of the Australian outback to scope out the business potential for the company.  The first reported, “No business here. The natives don’t wear shoes.”  The other wired back, “Huge opportunity! The natives don’t wear shoes.”

Same data, different conclusion. Which message would you have sent back?

Topics: COVID19 Resources

Never Waste a Good Crisis

Never Waste a Good Crisis

Given the sudden health and economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the phrase, “Never waste a good crisis,” has surfaced quite a few times. Noted public figures ranging from Machiavelli and Winston Churchill to Barack Obama have all invoked the phrase in times of trouble.

It’s often viewed as an opportunist looking to advance an agenda during an unfortunate circumstance. The reality is the phrase is more accurately a challenge to commit to doing things differently and better as a result of what we experience. And that’s the challenge we have for you.

Topics: leadership COVID19 Resources