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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Loretta Lage

Recent Posts by Loretta Lage:

What Do Top Performers Have in Common?


The results from the most recent State of Sales Survey conducted by Salesforce reveals some interesting insight into what the best salespeople do to close more deals and make lots of money. 280 salespeople as well as clients were surveyed.

Topics: sales performance Sales

Increase Your E-mail Open Rates and Avoid the Trash with These 10 Subject Lines


Okay, here’s the scenario. You’ve done your due diligence on a prospect and your extensive research tells you that:

Topics: email Sales

Great Bosses, Great Talent Retention


“A good boss is a person who isn’t worried about their own career but rather the careers of those who work for them.”H.S.M Burns 

An article in The Huffington Post written by Dr. Travis Bradberry clearly articulates the above quote. How many times have you heard or read that “people don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad bosses”? You’ve probably heard it so many times that you don’t pay attention to its importance anymore. The critical takeaway is that it does matter. It matters to the bottom line and it matters to the talented people who are being driven away. A bad boss never has the opportunity to turn talent into performance. A good boss “sees more possibilities in people than they see in themselves and helps them see it too.”

Sales Promotion or Sales Prevention?


As a sales leader whose responsibility is generating revenue, you would most likely answer that you are a Sales Promoter. But are you? Has an obstacle course actually been created that prevents your sales people from selling? Sales Prevention sounds like an oxymoron, but it exists in many sales cultures.

Sales Prevention exists when there is a misalignment between the sales manager and salespeople's challenges and priorities. Jim Hopes, Managing Partner of The Center for Sales Strategy, conducted a study based on the responses of 400 sales professionals. The results showed that of the top four responses regarding challenges, only one intersected between the sales manager and salespeople.

Topics: successful sales meetings

When Pigs Fly: Really? Why You Should Focus on Your People's Strengths


Sometimes the most revelatory meanings come from parables. Storytelling is an art and has been a part of the human experience since cave men started drawing pictures on cave walls, since troubadours roamed the countryside telling stories through their songs. Storytelling helps us make sense of the world.

One of the most effective ways of telling a story is through a parable. It’s a short, allegorical piece meant to teach a lesson. It’s told in words that convey images people can easily understand and often include animals and nature like "The Three Little Pigs" and "The Grasshopper and the Ant."

Topics: Sales

Why Did I Hire This Person?


Sales leaders, like teachers and other influencers, have the power to develop or destroy, to mentor or marginalize, to coach or to crush.

That’s a significant impact on a business and the drivers of that business's success, its people. That power can be used to foster positivity or negativity.

Sales Leaders Can Make Or Break Their Organizations

Many sales leaders who have direct reports, such as a sales department, may be in their positions not based on their talents for coaching or developing and contributing to the bottom line, but rather because of relationships and quid pro quos. Or the hiring manager may have succumbed to the “Halo Effect” during the interview. The Neilson Norman Group describes this in this way: The Halo Effect is when one trait of a person or thing is used make an overall judgment of that person or thing. It supports rapid decisions. It’s based on subjectivity vs. objectivity. It’s a decision that can wreak havoc once that hire enters the building. If you have regrets over hiring the wrong person for a sales leader role please read on.

Topics: hiring salespeople Sales

5 Steps in Creating a Winning Sales Culture


There have been pages written, executive leadership training given and coaches hired all to help sales leaders build winning cultures. And yet the ability to build such a culture confounds many because it isn’t easy.

Topics: Sales

How to Avoid Setting Too-High Expectations in Media Sales


Oops. In your enthusiasm to close the sale, did you promise the car dealer or medi-spa owner that the advertising for their grand opening will bring so many people that they will be lined up around the block? In your energetic attempt to close the deal, did you tell the roofing or HVAC company that their phone will “ring off the hook”?

What happens when there aren’t lines around the block and the phone doesn’t ring off the hook?

Your credibility has been destroyed along with trust. How can this all-too-often occurrence be avoided?

Topics: setting expectations Sales

Make Your First Impression Your Best Impression


There was a post on LinkedIn recently about the importance of making a good first impression. The post focused on professional men in beautiful, well-tailored suits, smiling, making excellent eye contact, and shaking hands. Surely there must be more than that.

First impressions are frequently discussed in the context of business meetings. Is it an important first meeting for a job interview? Or is it the first meeting with a client to conduct a needs analysis? It doesn’t matter what the situation, since memorable impressions are critical to both.

Topics: Sales

A Theory about Dogs, Cats, and Salespeople


We’ve seen many pictures posted that show that some people actually resemble their pets. That prompted a thought that I have noticed many salespeople with traits of either dogs or cats. And everyone knows how different dogs and cats are!

Cataloging repeatable behaviors that are part of the DNA of our pets can reveal how we view each other. Noticing behaviors that fire instinctively in humans and animals are guidelines to better understand their nature and each other. Here’s what I found that made interesting intersections between people and dogs and cats:

Topics: Sales