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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Kurt Sima

Kurt Sima

Recent Posts by Kurt Sima:

What to do When You Can’t Get a Meeting With the Decision Maker

working with decision influencersEveryone wants a piece of the "big cheese"… the "head-honcho," the "main man" or "main woman," or otherwise known as the decision maker. Often, the lone source of the YES to the solutions you sell, connecting with the elusive decision maker can be mission impossible and derail a sale before it gets started.

These people are tough to get a meeting with because they are busy and in high demand, and don’t usually trust sellers or value spending time with folks like you. They’ve been burned by sub-par sellers in the past. Ouch!

What makes it even more challenging, is that everyone else is trying to get face time with the same decision maker as you. Plus, these folks are not as active on social media and are surrounded by gatekeepers.

What to do, oh what to do?

Topics: Decision Makers sales process

How to Transform Weekly IFM's from Time Wasters to Performance Improvement Meetings

valuable ifm meetingSales managers know that if they want salespeople to have a healthy sales pipeline, they need to have a balance between proactive, upstream sales activities, and reactive, day-to-day tasks.

Topics: sales management coaching

Recruit a Sales Superstar Using an Employment Value Proposition

recruit superstar seller with employment value propositionWorld-class managers know that adding a sales superstar to the team is a great way to improve sales performance. They also know landing a superstar seller involves a recruitment process just like it does for a top-performing college football team (go figure, teams like Alabama and Clemson win national championships after they compile great recruiting classes).

Superstar sellers know they are good and should be treated accordingly.

As part of your recruitment process, it is important to know—and effectively communicate—your Employment Value Proposition (EVP). 

Topics: sales management Talent recruitment

Seller Not Setting Appointments During Field Coaching Days? Do This.

sales calls appointmentsIn a previous post, A Step by Step Guide to Coaching Salespeople, I provided a guide on how to coach sellers. Some sellers find it a challenge to schedule quality appointments during their scheduled coaching days. Here are some things you can do to fix this problem. 

Is the purpose of your in-field coaching plan clear?

It’s natural that if a formal schedule of field coaching is something new, salespeople may at first be suspicious of your real intent. Be certain to communicate the purpose of your field coaching work by letting them know:

Topics: sales management coaching

A Step-by-Step Guide to Coaching Salespeople

sales-coaching-in-fieldThe best managers know spending time in the field coaching sellers is an important part of developing salespeople (and improving sales performance). Here’s a step-by-step guide to use the next day you are in coaching mode.

Topics: sales management coaching

A New Way to Solve the Revenue Challenges Facing Media Sales Organizations

iStock-468438195In the past media sales organizations employed a tried and true approach to solving dips in revenue. Here’s a summary of the approach: 

When revenue is down, develop a product, service, or tactic, and sell more!

Unfortunately, these days this approach is more tired and untrue than tried and true.

Selling more is not the solution to the current challenges faced by media organizations because it’s a new day, and it is not filled with rainbows and unicorns. The declines faced by media sales organizations today are consistent enough to be called the new reality!

Topics: lead generation sales management sales process

What to do After You Hear "No" to a Proposal

after you hear no to a proposalTo sales managers and salespeople, "No" might be the worst word in the dictionary. Not only is it a buzzkill to hear the word, but it represents a terrible return on investment from the seller’s perspective.

Think about all the hours invested into these steps of the sales process:
  • Identify
  • Select
  • Discover
  • Advise
  • Close

… just to hear "NO!"

What Happens When a Client or Prospect says NO? What’s Next?

After a quick trip to the bar for a double bourbon, I recommend a more strategic approach to figure out what happened and what to do about it.
Topics: Proposal sales process

Want to Increase Renewals from Customers? Build This.

campaign-launch-briefSelling a new target account is not an easy task. Many things have to fall in place—here’s a list of some of the obstacles:

  • Selecting a quality prospect.
  • Developing the trust of the prospect.
  • Getting an appointment.
  • Conducting a needs analysis that leads to an opportunity (and cash).
  • Developing a solution robust enough to get results, yet not so large it scares away the prospect.
  • Overcoming objections.
  • Closing the deal! 

Getting a renewal from a new customer starts with getting results on the initial campaign, and using a campaign launch brief will set you up to increase your renewals before your clients’ campaigns even kick off.

Topics: key account growth sales process

The Top 7 Sources to Find Leads

lead sources and ideas for sellersBefore choosing which prospects to target, it’s best to generate a long list of leads so you can narrow to the best leads. Using the categories you’ve identified as a good fit your business, decide which sources on this list are right for you to generate your own list of leads.

Topics: lead generation prospecting account list management

Avoiding Wasted Time on Bogus Prospects by Evaluating These 3 Things

avoid wasting time on bogus prospectsHere are three questions for sales managers and sellers:

  1. Who has time to waste with prospects that don’t have the cash to purchase the kind of solutions you sell?
  2. Who has time to waste trying to get an appointment with a prospect that is impossible to gain access to?
  3. Who has time to waste with prospects that have a consumer base beyond the scope of your products?

Most sellers are time-starved with no time to waste… especially when it comes to developing new customers. Investing time selecting quality, new business, target prospects makes all the sense in the world because some prospects are better than others, and qualifying them will help save time in the long run.

Topics: prospecting