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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Matt Sunshine

Matt Sunshine

Recent Posts by Matt Sunshine:

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

There's a Huge Difference Between Hiring and Recruiting

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Your sales team determines the success or failure of your operation.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to you, but if you're like other sales managers, you don’t start looking for new sales candidates until one of your salespeople leaves the company.

By then, it’s too late. You'll have to scramble to fill the role.

This chaos will often result in you rushing to find the right person or settling for someone who is just “good enough.” These hasty hiring decisions don't solve anything. You still need a great salesperson, and the person you just hired isn't likely to be that.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent

5 Great Ideas for Sales Meetings Your Team Will Look Forward To

sales team meeting ideas for managers

Looking to climb out of that waste-of-time-sales-meeting rut and grab everyone’s attention with your highly productive and engaging meetings? 

It is no secret that the weekly sales meeting has plummeted to the bottom of the priority list for many salespeople. In many offices, it has become a routine exchange of housekeeping issues that could have been shared over email instead. Don’t get me wrong, you need to go over housekeeping issues from time to time, but taking an entire sales staff off the streets is a costly way to cover these items on a regular basis. Take a minute and do the math. How much does a one-hour sales meeting really cost you? That number will probably frighten you into ratcheting up the quality of your weekly get-together, so let’s get started.

Here are five powerful ways to jump-start your sales meetings and bring them to a whole new level:

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management

5 Metrics that Should Matter Most to Sales Managers

metrics that should matter to sales managersEditor's Note: This post was originally published in Sales & Marketing Management.

As a sales manager, you spend serious time and care setting clear expectations; this is how you help your salespeople approach their work with purpose. But to see real improvement, you need a system in place that measures how those expectations are being met.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. You’ve got so much on your plate—there are so many threads and tangents crisscrossing your managerial path every day—that you risk spending all your time pulling reports and never being able to actually dive into the data you’ve collected.

Worse, metrics these days are like pop songs: They’re catchy for a while until a new one comes along and grabs everyone’s attention. A sales manager I once knew was in love with a particular metric: the number of calls each seller made in a day. While call volume certainly contributed to sales success, it shouldn’t have been this manager’s sole focus. What he ended up creating was a team that blustered through calls without making meaningful progress with sales.

Topics: sales management metrics

Have a Bloated Sales Pipeline? Here’s the Remedy.

iStock-1086352612Editor's Note: This post was originally published on Liveplan.com.

The longer a sales proposal sits, the less likely it is to convert to an actual sale.

The trouble with these stalled proposals is that you could have 100 potential sales stuck in limbo, but you can’t use those possible sales to pay your real bills. A bloated sales pipeline can start to have a real impact on your company’s cash flow if you’re not careful.

Topics: sales performance sales process sales pipeline prospecting

Your 7 Secrets for a Successful Sales Career

secrets to successful sales careerEditor's Note: This post was originally published on Marketo.com.

Are You a Thought Leader? 6 Ways to Tell.

are you a thought leaderIn almost every industry, there are people or businesses we think of as being thought leaders. These people and organizations are the ones that you check on regularly with regard to innovation, market challenges, and new initiatives. The thought leadership position is certainly an advantageous position to have, as it can help with lead generation, sales, recruitment and retention, new business opportunities, and more.

Topics: content strategy thought leadership sales strategy inbound marketing salespeople