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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Matt Sunshine

Matt Sunshine

Recent Posts by Matt Sunshine:

The Problem is Not in the Proposal or the Sales Funnel

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Frustration sets in when you look at all the pending business you have sitting in your sales funnel and realize that a good portion of it has been there for weeks! Those prospects you were sure were going to sign off on your proposal right away are instead sharing reasons why they’re not ready or telling you they need more time to think it over. You know that with every week that passes, the chances that any of them will turn into a sale diminishes greatly and you’re kicking yourself because you are now reduced to emailing your prospect with the subject line "Checking in" since you really have no other options left.

Are you experiencing this uncomfortable, bloated feeling right now?

That bloated pipeline isn’t just uncomfortable . . . it’s frustrating and, ultimately, very expensive. Yes, it can sometimes feel rewarding to say you have “a lot out there,” but we all know that pending business is only good if it ends up closing. 

Spoiler alert: This is not an article on how to close your pending deals. It’s way more valuable than that. 

The problem is not in the proposal or the funnel, but rather with the process.
Topics: Sales sales process sales accelerator

6 B2B Sales Statistics You Want to Pay Attention To

b2b sales statisticsIt’s the sales leader’s job is to pay attention to both what is working and what is not working in the sales department and to make the appropriate adjustments so that the sales force has the best possible chance for success. To do that, the sales leader must pay attention to several things including sales process, sales activity, sales analytics (KPI’s), and of course, the customer.

In fact, paying attention to the customer is perhaps the most important of them all. In recent years, the way that customers have been engaging with sales has changed significantly. If you are a sales leader and you have not adapted the way you run your sales department, then you might find yourself slowly starting to lose ground to the competition.

Topics: sales performance sales management

Don’t Forget this Proven Sales Strategy to Get an Appointment

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Anyone in sales knows that it can be tough to get that first appointment with an ideal prospect. You might have to leave a voicemail, send an email, try to connect on LinkedIn, show up at their house, or volunteer to clean out their garage!

When trying to stand out, don’t overlook the option of sending a business letter. 

You know what we’re talking about right? A short message on your letterhead, placed in an envelope, and sent via the Post Office.

If you decide to use this as one way to get in front of prospects, here are some guidelines to follow.

Topics: valid business reason sales strategy prospecting

Lack of Leads Hurting Your Revenue? 5 Reasons Why You Need a Lead Generation Strategy

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The hardest job in sales these days is getting an appointment with a new prospect. As a sales manager, it's fairly easy to stand up in the sales meeting and tell your salespeople that they need to do a better job prospecting or that they need to just commit more time and energy to getting appointments. But they already know those things, and they're facing huge hurdles that their counterparts of a few years ago didn't face.

Here are five of those hurdles. Feel free to add to the list in the comments section below.

Topics: lead generation Management Sales

Improve Your Team's Sales Performance with These 4 Words (VIDEO)

Often, clients come to us when their sales are not where they want to be, and the first thing they say is that they need us to come in and do sales training. Yes, sales training will help, but alone, it won't be the only thing that helps improve sales performance. 

In this video, I discuss four words you need to remember to help your team improve sales: 

  • TRAIN
  • REHEARSE
  • COACH
  • MEASURE

Topics: sales management sales training coaching

More Teaching. Less Telling. (VIDEO)

As a sales manager, how can you do more teaching and less telling? Often, salespeople get frustrated when the only thing they hear from their sales manager is that they need to have more activity, increase the number of asks they have, and they need to increase the dollar amount of the asks they have. They get that. They want to be taught how to do that. They want training and teaching, and not just telling

There's a certain amount of telling that goes on when managing a sales team, but there's also a certain amount of teaching that goes on. Today, I'll share three things you can teach your sales team.

Topics: sales management sales training coaching

6 Ways Inbound Lead Generation Provides ROI + 6 Key Metrics to Track

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There’s no doubt—lead generation that is clear-cut, clean, and specific is ideal. When we picture lead generation working at peak performance, most of us envision the salesperson being handed a lead that is already pre-qualified and only a small step from closing. Smooth and easy! But don’t fool yourself into thinking that every lead generated by inbound marketing will be so straightforward. That’s not reality, and if you allow tunnel vision to influence your ability to measure your inbound marketing ROI, you will miss out on a lot of critical information.

Topics: inbound marketing ROI

"Follow Up Next Week" Does Not Mean You Have an Appointment

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One of the leading indicators for sales success is to look at the number of appointments that a salesperson has each week. (This is not the only leading indicator that you should be tracking, but it is one of them.) The idea is that if a salesperson has a significant amount of appointments each week which involve finding needs, getting assignments, presenting solutions, or delivering a proposal, that this quality sales activity will lead to good solid revenue performance.  

I think it’s fair to say that everyone in sales or in sales management would agree with this, so I’m not really going out on a limb having made that statement. But here is where I think there might be a flaw. I think many salespeople are confusing "I'll follow up with you next week" with "I have an appointment." To be clear, "I’ll follow up with you next week," does not mean you have an appointment.

Topics: Setting Appointments Sales

Manage the Big Rocks: How to Become a Time Management Pro

become a time management proIs it just me or does there not seem to be enough time in the day to get things done? I knew it wasn't just me! My life has been going 1,000 miles an hour lately, and I've been asked how I get it all done.

Manage the Big Rocks

I have a method that I follow religiously to get things done, and it doesn't really have anything to do with time management.

Topics: Management time management Sales

Selling Techniques for Getting that First Appointment

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You called. Left a message. "Maybe they're busy," you think. Or, "maybe they just don't return calls." Perhaps it's neither of these. Maybe it's on you.

Maybe you just haven't given them a compelling enough reason to call you back.

If you want people to call you back, you need to give them a reason. If the reason you are providing is something along the lines of, "I have a really great idea to share with you," then you sound just like the other 25 calls they've received.

Your prospect doesn't want your ideas. They want solutions to their problems.

Topics: Setting Appointments sales strategy Sales