<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=585972928235617&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Tirzah Thornburg

Recent Posts by Tirzah Thornburg:

Developing a Coaching Plan for Underperforming Sales Reps

Developing a Coaching Plan for Underperforming Sales Reps

One of the most frustrating problems a sales leader encounters is managing an underperforming sales rep.

When you hire a seller, you see talent and potential. You know they’re a solid performer with a track record for success. However, they’re now in the 20-30% of sales staff that’s underperforming.

Interestingly, the pandemic has caused many successful AEs to struggle with sales performance. Seasoned reps with long term Key Accounts are suddenly finding themselves with no clients. Some of these reps now find new business development as their primary focus and they don’t like it.

How can you help underperforming sales reps succeed?

Topics: sales performance sales talent

Interviewing Techniques and Trends for 2020

Interviewing Techniques and Trends for 2020

Because of recent events, unemployment rates are much higher than we’ve seen in recent years. However, don’t let that fool you; it’s still a very competitive job market out there.

Why? In part, because smart companies are examining their talent and prioritizing their top performers. When they know it’s time to let someone go, you can guarantee it’s not going to be their top people. However, while unemployment is higher, top talent is still scarce.

How can you structure your interview process to let top talent shine through? And beyond that, how can you change your traditional interviewing process to show top talent you have an adaptable, strong company culture?

Topics: company culture recruitment sales talent

Job Perks That Retain Top Talent

Job Perks That Retain Top Talent

Just as you’re adjusting to the new normal, it’s time to readjust to something else. However, if you want to maintain a successful business reputation and make a difference in your bottom line during this era of uncertainty, it’s vital to readjust and re-evaluate your company culture.

Beth Sunshine, VP of Talent Services at The Center for Sales Strategy (CSS) advises management, “Don’t let these unusual times drive your culture! Take this opportunity to be highly intentional.” Are you offering your employees the job perks that will keep them happy, motivated, and engaged?

Topics: company culture sales talent

Managing Different Personality Types While Working From Home

Managing Different Personality Types While Working

Most of us have joined what Time calls "the World's Largest Work-From-Home Experiment." Without proper preparation, the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted business leaders everywhere to tell their team to work remotely until further notice.

Sales managers—your direct reports need your individualized coaching more than ever! The best managers have always individualized their coaching, but doing so remotely requires greater focus and intentionality. How can you help your team cope, adjust, and sell in the midst of our new normal?

Topics: talent focused management COVID19 Resources

Pre-Boarding Ideas for New Hires

Pre-Boarding Ideas for New Hires

Years ago, companies gave little to no thought to pre-boarding— engaging with a new hire between the time they accept your offer and their first day. Once a candidate was hired, they were given a firm handshake and a start date. 

As a relatively new concept that often gets confused with the traditional onboarding process, pre-boarding is completed before an employee’s first day and includes informal interactions between the company and the new hire. It’s a crucial step in the onboarding journey that has a lasting impact on employee engagement and retention.

Topics: onboarding pre-boarding

What New Hires Want During Onboarding

What New Hires Want During Onboarding

Fortune Magazine reports that 46% of new sales employees leave or get fired within 18 months. Additionally, the average ramp-up time for salespeople is between six and nine months. Both alarming statistics that cost your company a lot of revenue.

What are new hires looking for to make their first days and weeks successful in sales? When talking with several new hires, there are interesting commonalities that resonate across multiple companies. Take a look at how you can help minimize the risk of an early departure, accelerate ramp-up time, and maximize the investment you’re making in sales new hires by giving them what they want.

Topics: sales process onboarding

Improve Performance Through Better Communication: Create a User Guide

Improve Performance Through Better Communication: Create a User GuideAt one time or another, we’ve all wished that people came with an instruction manual. A guide that answered questions no one thinks to ask and provides information we often forget to share. Every big-ticket, important, valuable item comes with instructions. Why are people any different?  

The beauty of humanity is that we’re all unique. However, our differences often lead to frustration, miscommunication, lack of productivity, and can even end up threatening our job performance. How can you bypass miscommunication and anxiety? Develop a personal user guide!

Topics: sales performance user manual

Redefining Work-Life Balance in Sales

Redefining Work-Life Balance in Sales

What does the term work-life balance mean to you? The standard definition for most of us is the time we allocate to work versus the time allocated to everything else, such as family, personal pursuits, social, and leisure activities. According to HubSpot Research, one-third of salespeople say their job negatively affects their personal life, and one-half admit they need to improve their work-life balance. Another one in three say there is no work-life balance.

Most people understand the concept of work-life balance but find it hard to define what an acceptable balance is. The “right amount of work” versus the “right amount of family time” varies greatly based on individual lifestyles. Salespeople hear the term work-life balance from colleagues and managers on a daily basis, but what does work-life balance mean? It’s common for leaders and their direct reports to have different definitions of the term, and therefore very different expectations.

Topics: company culture sales managers

Creating a Company Culture that Your Employees Will Buy Into

getting employees to buy-in to company cultureOver the last few years, company culture has been a hot topic in corporate America. Companies geared towards Millennials tout game rooms and espresso machines, and most companies are having serious discussions about how to create the right atmosphere. Ask any manager trying to recruit talent, and they will tell you that culture matters. A few bad reviews on an employment website, and talent will look right past your company for one with a “great culture.” So how do you create the right culture to attract top talent? And more importantly, how do you get your current employees, and most importantly, your leaders, to buy into that culture?

Topics: company culture

One Key to Hiring Superstar Sales Talent? Know Your Management Style.

hiring superstar talentI spend a lot of time giving pre-hire feedback to managers about candidates. We discuss managing strengths and coaching weaknesses. We talk about how strengths and weaknesses can work together or can tug in opposite directions. 

At the end of each conversation, it's my sincere hope that the hiring manager has a well-rounded view of their candidate and how they will “fit” or “don't fit” in a position. But there is another question that needs to be asked. Does the candidate also fit the manager? 

Topics: hiring salespeople