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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Kurt Sima

Kurt Sima

Recent Posts by Kurt Sima:

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

Why Do Salespeople Hate CRM Systems — And What Can Sales Managers Do About It?

Why Do Salespeople Hate CRM Systems — And What Can Sales Managers Do About It

“CRMs are just another tracking tool.”

“I’ll spend more time trying to learn how to use it than actually using it.”

You’ve heard the complaints from your sales team about using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. And, chances are if you’ve considered implementing a sales enablement tool like a CRM into your strategic plan to drive revenue, you’ve read a lot of articles that discuss the various reasons why most sales CRM systems fail.

There’s even a strong possibility this is why you’re hesitant to commit purchasing a CRM. No one wants to invest in a tool that statistics show to fail (mostly) because a sales team is reluctant to use it. As a sales manager, what can you do to ensure your sales reps use a CRM to its full potential?

First, you must understand why they’re wary.

Topics: sales process CRM sales enablement

3 Tips to Supercharge Appointment Setting

3 Tips to Supercharge Appointment Setting

In the recent CSS Media Sales Report, we discovered:

  • Sales managers are expecting sellers to set twice as many appointments this year
  • The majority of salespeople say it is harder to get an initial appointment with a new business prospect than in years past

It appears these two concepts are on divergent paths, that’s probably why the issues related with setting appointments have existed for such a long time. Here are some tips to help solve this longstanding problem.

Topics: media sales report

4 Focus Areas for Sales Training Right Now

4 Focus Areas for Sales Training Right Now

The realities of COVID-19, coupled with legacy sales issues, are making it more difficult for sellers to set appointments with new business prospects. Problems inhibiting a seller’s access to decision makers like a lack of trust have been compounded by the uncertainties of the current business climate. The bottom line, already a tough job, is now even more difficult.

Simply put, helping sellers develop expertise in the Identify and Connect steps of the sales process is needed and will provide a high ROI on training time. Specifically, improving skills related to finding prospects and setting appointments will increase the number of prospects in the sales funnel and lead to cash!

Topics: sales training IMPACT

Is Your Organization Suffering Because of a Sales Structure Problem?

Is Your Organization Suffering Because of a Sales Structure Problem

Sales structures look different for all organizations depending on the industry, size of the team, product, and the sales process. As your company and people evolve or as things change in your business sector, your sales structure should change as well in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

Companies that identify the need to change sales structure continue to grow, while those who ignore it find themselves struggling to meet sales goals and stay competitive. According to the recent Media Sales report, 60% of sales managers don’t feel they have the right number of salespeople on their team. This leads to a couple important questions:

  • Is it the number of people on your team that needs adjustment?
  • Or is it the sales structure and expectations aren’t in line with sellers’ true talents?

Topics: sales process sales talent IMPACT

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: sales process build trust