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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Kurt Sima

Kurt Sima

Recent Posts by Kurt Sima:

Solutions to the Age-Old Problem of Call Reluctance

Solutions to the Age-Old Problem of Call Reluctance

As a sales manager, do you feel like some of your veteran sellers struggle with new business development? It’s no secret that the recent downturn in revenue has shifted the focus to new business sales initiatives. Unfortunately, many sellers are struggling in this area of new business development. They are showing signs of call reluctance—the fear of taking a step in the sales process, fear of rejection, and fear of the unknown.

Call reluctance is very common; in fact, studies show 40% of salespeople will experience episodes of call reluctance, despite their years of experience or product knowledge. And while this anxiety feels unbeatable, you can help sellers overcome it by determining its root case and building a strategy.

Topics: sales process prospecting

8 Tools That Support a Great Needs Analysis

8 Tools That Support a Great Needs Analysis

A conversation about desired business results (needs, challenges, and opportunities) is an essential part of the sales process. When engaging new business prospects as well as current customers, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. Aside from the right questions, other tools can help a seller discover core needs quickly and succinctly.

Needs analysis is a central and critical part of making the sale. Sellers work hard setting appointments; the end result should never be a botched needs analysis. Here are eight tools—along with some thoughts about each—that sellers can use to make the most of a needs analysis meeting.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process

A 5-Step Campaign Recap Template to Keep Customers Coming Back

campaign recap templateYou sold the campaign. You executed the campaign. Now get the credit you deserve! 

Creating a successful digital campaign designed to deliver desired business results takes time and expertise—not to mention a great deal of work! It makes sense to present a recap during the campaign—to make sure it is on track—and after the campaign, to get credit for a job well done.

The best way to do this is to create a campaign recap and present this to the customer. This process allows sellers to get the credit they deserve for a job well done as well as open the door to the next sales opportunity with a satisfied customer.

Topics: sales strategy sales process sales accelerator

Closing The Credibility Gap to Set More Appointments

Closing The Credibility Gap to Set More Appointments

Setting the first appointment with a new business prospect is not an easy task. Some argue it’s the toughest part of the sales process. Additionally, it’s something veteran sellers struggle with as much as new sellers.

The main reason this is a difficult task is the lack of credibility that salespeople are saddled with. Let’s face it; salespeople are usually met with skepticism and kept at arm’s length by prospects who don’t know or trust them. Building trust and closing the credibility gap from the onset of the sales process is a great way to set more appointments with new business prospects.

Topics: Setting Appointments sales process build trust

New Normal Tweaks on a Proven Sales Process

New Normal Tweaks on a Proven Sales Process

Sales managers and salespeople have discovered new ways of conducting face-to-face sales activity as a result of recent social distancing restrictions. Being creative and using video technology to stay connected with customers as well as propose and close business with new prospects has become the new normal.

World-class sellers know it’s time to move from playing defense to playing offense because customers and prospects need help. They need solutions. They need the problem-solving expertise that a quality salesperson brings to the table. Simply put, customers are more open to ideas and solutions than ever before because their level of pain is high.

Topics: sales process COVID19 Resources

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 down 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

Avoid Sending The “Just Checking In” Email—Do This Instead

Avoid Sending The “Just Checking In” Email Do This Instead

At the core of every successful workforce management practice is communication. As managers and sellers adapt to this new normal, clear communication and scheduled talk time is more important than ever before. Talk time comes in forms such as:

  • Manager to seller talk time
  • Manager to key customer talk time
  • Seller to key and secondary customer talk time

Email is great for communicating data and confirming details, but nothing beats a conversation. Especially when the person on the other end of the line—phone or video—has a problem and needs to tap into your problem-solving expertise. Whether with your sales team, customers, or prospects, regular check-ins promote open communication and stop larger issues from festering, as well as allow for immediate feedback.

Topics: successful sales meetings active listening COVID19 Resources

Sales Management Tips for Conducting Remote Sales Meetings

Sales Management Tips for Conducting Remote Sales Meetings

In addition to generating revenue and keeping their sales pipeline strong, sales managers are also tasked with running effective remote sales meetings. In our current work-from-home world, managers need to stay connected with sellers to conduct the following types of meetings:

  • Sales meetings
  • Training sessions
  • One-on-one meetings (revenue development focused meetings)
  • Meetings with clients

Below are some technical tips used by world-class managers to deliver a high-quality virtual experience. When the following guidelines are observed, you’ll run an effective remote sales meetings that will produce positive experiences for the entire team.

Topics: successful sales meetings sales managers work from home COVID19 Resources

Listen During Turmoil, Sell After

Listen During Turmoil, Sell After

My years of working in a blended role—as part seller and as part consultant—keeps me grounded and attached to the needs of sellers as well as customers and new business prospects.

Here’s some advice that I’m using in my sales role and passing along as a consultant: during this time of turmoil one of the most important things you can do is listen and demonstrate empathy. You will have plenty of time to sell in the future (post-turmoil). Also, if you listen closely enough, you will discover business needs unknown a couple of weeks ago.

Topics: sales cycle active listening COVID19 Resources

4 Reasons Salespeople Should Always Leave a Voicemail

4 Reasons Salespeople Should Always Leave a Voicemail

While recently chatting with a new salesperson about setting appointments with new business target accounts, the seller said, “I never leave a message if my call goes into voicemail. I don’t want to waste time leaving a message.”

It’s no secret that leaving a good sales voicemail is hard. Even the most well-crafted messages often get ignored by prospects. However, leaving a voicemail is a wise investment and a critical part of the sales process that enables sellers to stand out and connect with prospects, and here are four reasons why.

Topics: sales process prospecting sales appointments