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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Matt Sunshine

Matt Sunshine

Recent Posts by Matt Sunshine:

Set Your Team Up for Sustainable Sales Performance Going into 2020

key to sales performance

Think of sales performance as a three-legged stool. When all three legs are strong, there is nothing sturdier. But if one of the legs isn’t holding up its weight, the stool can no longer do its job. Just as you need all three legs on that stool, so too must a sales organization have three solid legs to carry the weight of the expectations placed on it. As we get closer to 2020, ensure your team is strong in all three areas and set your team up for improved sales performance in the new year.

Topics: sales performance sales management Talent

Increase Your Closing Percentages by Doing These 4 Things

close.jpg

If you’re in sales, then you know its extremely important to close deals, right? That’s kind of an easy question, but I ask it only because it seems as though many salespeople think their job is to have a lot of business in “pending.”

When I ask salespeople how things are going, what I typically hear is, "I got a lot out there.” While I get why having "a lot out there" feels good, it's not the most important thing and may or may not be a good indicator of the customers you will earn. Closing the deal, earning customers, and helping them to have success is far more important. 

Topics: Sales

4 Steps to Take When Your Salespeople Hit a Sales Slump

frustrated salesperson hit sales slump

Slumps happen to everyone. No matter how good you are or how long you have been in sales, sooner or later you're going to hit a sales slump. And they always seem to come at the very worst times. (Actually, when is it ever good to go into a slump?)

It’s never exactly the same, but it sometimes looks like this: You've put a lot of time and energy into a prospect, and thought for sure he or she would say yes—but the person gives you a NO. A client has been with you every month for the past 6 months, but then calls you up and says they need to take the next couple of months off. The appointment you have been working so hard to set tells you to call back in 6 months. 

New call-to-actionSales managers bemoan slumps just as much as salespeople do. If you're a sales manager, you need your people hitting their numbers so you can in turn hit yours. It’s difficult to watch anyone struggle, particularly people you feel responsibility for. As the manager, you are a developer of people and of talent. You need to grow your people, and you take that job seriously.  

So how do you get out of a slump if you're in one? Here are four steps to help your salespeople break out of a slump.

Topics: sales performance sales management

24 Time Management Hacks for Busy Sales Reps

time management hacks for sales reps

Salespeople seem to always have so much to do, yet never enough time to get it all finished. Recently I had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with about 30 different salespeople over the course of a 2-week period. During each of these meetings, the salespeople revealed that they could benefit from some priority management or time management lessons.

That got me thinking that this is something I bet many people could use. So I asked all of my colleagues at The Center for Sales Strategy and LeadG2 for their best time management tips. Here's what I gathered.

Topics: time management salespeople

5 Things Every Sales Manager Should Be Measuring

sales manager measurements analytics

The great sales managers know that if you want to see an increase in performance then you have to set expectations. But just setting expectations is never enough. You need to put a system in place where you can measure what you expect. As the management saying goes, "Your salespeople will respect what you inspect… and you need to inspect what you expect."

Topics: sales management KPIs

Do You Have These 6 Characteristics of an Industry Thought Leader?

salesperson_at_laptop.jpgIn almost every industry, there are a few people or businesses that watch trends, see where the industry is headed, and share unique insights—thought leaders. These people and organizations are the ones that you check on regularly for innovation, market challenges, new initiatives, etc.

The thought leadership position is certainly an advantageous position to have, as it can help with generating sales, lead generation, recruitment and retention, and new business opportunities. While sometimes this thought leadership position will come about completely organically, many times it is part of an overall sales strategy and much time and consideration has been put in to developing the plan to make this happen. 

Topics: thought leadership Sales

Sales Management Tip: Stop Using Your Salespeople to Hit Your Budget!

sales budgetNobody likes to feel used. This is probably not a news flash, but salespeople don’t like to feel as though they are being used by their sales manager to hit their budget or bonus. I bring this up because recently, I attended an industry conference and happened to be sitting next to two sales managers discussing their second-quarter budgets and how difficult it was going to be to hit them.

The manager doing most of the talking said to the other, “I just don’t know what I am going to do. Maybe I just need to get more bodies in here and get them out selling and hitting the streets. The folks I have in here right now just aren’t getting it done for me, and I don’t want to miss hitting my bonus in Q2.”

Those who know me, know how difficult it was for me to hear this and not jump in! Instead, I decided to write this blog post and share my thinking with you.

Topics: sales management Talent coaching

The 4 Most Important Key Performance Indicators for Sales Managers

4 most important kpis for sales managers

Sometimes I wonder if our ability to measure almost everything is what gets in the way of us actually paying attention to what might be the most useful metrics. I’ve spoken with plenty of sales managers who are frustrated these days because someone upstairs has fallen in love with a new measurement, a new report, or a new way to look at familiar data. All these midstream changes result in plenty of heat and plenty of smoke, but not necessarily the light of new insight. Not much actually changes, especially at the bottom line.

Don’t get me wrong. I love numbers as much as the next person and I agree that measurement improves performance and is essential to success. But I also know we can’t keep changing the rules of the game. Performance improvement comes only when we focus on the same metrics over time. We need to follow the right measurements and stay focused.

What if you could only measure four things? Which would you choose?
Topics: Management

4 Ted Talks You Should Show in a Sales Meeting

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If your sales meetings are typically just focused on reviewing the budget pacing numbers and other housekeeping notes, then WOW are you missing a great opportunity. Sales meetings are a great place to do sales training or sales warm ups. While most sales managers agree with this, they often share that one of the reasons they don’t do that sort of activity is that they don’t have time to prepare. Clients of the Center for Sales Strategy often use one of the “sales meeting kits, ” but not everyone has that available to them. So if you are looking for some content to enliven your next sales meeting, here are four TED talks that we recommend.

A summary is provided so you can get an idea of what each talk is about.

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management

5 Books Sales Leaders Should Read This Summer

summer-book-list-sales

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.

At least once a week, I get asked by a sales leader if there is a business book I would recommend they read that will help them improve their game. That is a tough question to answer, because there are so many very good books out there, and depending where you are in your career (or your current business situation, or what you have already read) the right book for you could be one of several. So instead of picking just one book, I thought I would provide a list of five books that would make for great reading this summer.

Topics: Sales leadership