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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Kurt Sima

Kurt Sima

Recent Posts by Kurt Sima:

Stop Spending Time with Lousy Prospects: 3 Criteria to Help Qualify Your Prospects

don't waste time when sales prospectingMany sellers struggle to develop new customers. Often this has less to do with the seller’s ability to sell, and more to do with the seller’s ability to select quality prospects.

Some prospects are better than others, and qualifying them will help determine which of the prospects should be pursued and which prospects should not.

As you search for ideal prospects (future key accounts), use the following criteria to determine which current clients have the greatest potential for growth and deserve the most time and attention.

Topics: sales performance prospecting

Sales Managers: Start Focusing More on Top of the Funnel Prospects

Top of the Funnel Prospects

When it comes to the sales pipeline, a good rule of thumb is — having nothing in the top of your sales funnel today, means nothing to close in the future.

This means it is important to add prospects to a sales funnel, as well as ongoing engagement to move them through the funnel. Simply put,  just because a prospect enters the top of the sales funnel, it’s not guaranteed they’ll move to the middle of the funnel.

Topics: Lead Nurturing sales process sales pipeline

10 Things World Class Managers Do To Build a Healthy Sales Pipeline

Healthy Sales Pipeline

As a sales manager, image how much better your life would be if you had access to the following:

  • Better forecast accuracy
  • Improved sales performance

These elements are important, and delivering one or the other is not an option these days. Both are easy to achieve when you have a healthy sales pipeline.

Topics: sales performance sales pipeline pipeline management

What’s Your Account List Management Strategy?

account list management strategyToo many sales organizations don't have an Account List Management Strategy (ALMS) or they have one that provides little strategic value. In mature businesses, the lack of a priority-based ALMS is often tied to the following:

  • High levels of account attrition
  • Limited new business development
  • Marginal productivity and missed revenue goals

Topics: sales performance account list analytics account list management

How Do You Evaluate a Salesperson's Performance?

How Do You Evaluate a Salespersons Performance

Helping sellers improve sales performance is an important—perhaps the most important—part of a sales manager’s job.

A key part of the process of improving performance is evaluating a seller’s performance. Tracking and evaluating important metrics will serve as a source of celebration as well as a way to add focus for future training and skill development.

Please note, this type of review and evaluation should not be confused with the typical annual review required by HR departments. HR reviews serve some purpose, but rarely serve as the catalyst for improving sales performance.

Topics: sales performance sales metrics

A Better Way to Deal with Order Cancellations

how to handle order cancellations

The old saying “when it rains, it pours” seems to apply to order cancellations, and it seems like when cancellations occur, they occur in bunches. Here’s what many sellers do when they experience a bunch of order cancellations:

1. Have a negative reaction and argue with the client.

2. Panic and go after any account they can sell.

3. Look for ways to close a quick deal to make up for lost revenue—including dropping the price to close a deal.

4. Sell new prospects whatever they can sell without worrying about delivering results.

All items on this list ultimately lead to short term sales AND more cancellations in the future.

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales sales process

Exceeding Your 2021 Revenue Goal by Winning the Winnable Games

You Can Win the 2021 Sales Super Bowl

A heartbreaking ending, but a beautiful journey. If you’re a Cleveland Browns fan, then you’re like me, still brokenhearted after watching them lose yet another winnable big game.

Over the years I’ve written a few posts about this hapless team, and I’ll give the team credit for improving during the past season.

One thing still alludes the Browns, and that is winning the winnable big game. In short, something always gets in the way and they walk away with a loss.

Is your sales team winning the winnable games in the face of COVID and all the other obstacles that are thrown in their way?

Review the list below of winnable games—the games within the game of improving revenue performance and exceeding goals—to see how you are doing. The list also includes ideas on how to move from the losing side.

Topics: sales performance sales talent

Improve Sales Performance via Virtual In-Field Coaching

Improve Sales Performance via Virtual In-Field Coaching

"I see the value in spending time with my sellers in the field coaching them, but I just don't have the time."

We’ve heard this a lot from sales managers over the years, pre-COVID and during COVID. Finding time to watch sellers in the field is a challenge to time-starved managers. The average time to coach a seller on a typical 30-minute, face-to-face appointment is actually around two hours when you factor in things like travel time to and from an appointment.

One of the positive outcomes of COVID is the ability for managers to sit in on appointments with sellers when they conduct virtual meetings with customers. These virtual coaching opportunities—also known as Zoomalongs—provide an extremely efficient method of coaching at a fraction of the time of a face-to-face coaching call (30 to 45 minutes versus two hours).

Here are some thoughts and tips on how to get the best ROI on virtual coaching opportunities.

Topics: sales performance virtual selling sales coaching

Concerns and Considerations When Downsizing Sales Staff

Concerns and Considerations When Downsizing Sales Staff-1

Working with sales leaders and managers through a crisis like the pandemic is full of twists and turns and new discoveries!

Significant transformations such as downsizing and restructuring because of things like COVID can disrupt the flow of a sales team, however, done properly, they can improve sales performance. Many sales organizations are discovering that removing unproductive sellers (and not replacing them) creates a more productive team.

Since early this year, many changes have been implemented, but an emerging hot topic among sales leaders now is sales staff size. As a sales manager, is this something you have been thinking about?

Topics: sales structure IMPACT

Talk Tracks to Speed Up the Sales Process

Talk Tracks to Speed Up the Sales Process

Salespeople in different industries encounter different questions and objections, right? Wrong. Your products and services may affect the minor details of objections, but Google the phrase ‘most common sales objections’ and you’ll find most sellers face the same objections from their leads.

Whether it’s price objections, the prospect isn’t interested, or “now isn’t a good time,” sellers often encounter the same types of questions and objections during the sales process. Sales enablement resources help them anticipate and overcome these objections.

Creating talk tracks and related sales collateral material helps enable sellers to respond quickly — allowing them to move the sales process forward and close business sooner.

Topics: sales process sales enablement