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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Tirzah Thornburg

Recent Posts by Tirzah Thornburg:

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 sales management coaching

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Talent?

can you have too much sales talentDuring a recent feedback session, I had a new hire ask what was potentially the most insightful question I have ever heard on one of these calls. She asked me if her intense talents, of which she had several, could get in her way. I was highly impressed with her insight because, yes, very strong talents can sometimes trip up a salesperson. When I mentioned a few possible obstacles, she agreed with each and said that she had in fact faced all of those. We then brainstormed how she could work with those talents but limit how they slowed her down. This conversation got me thinking...  Is there such a thing as too much talent?

Topics: sales management Talent

How to Help Your Perfectionist Thrive

helping a perfectionist thrive in salesMy daughter is learning how to drive, and it's been an interesting lesson on what the world looks like to a perfectionist. She has pretty much been a perfectionist since birth, missing recess in kindergarten to make sure her coloring was perfectly inside the lines, and drawing eyelashes and fingernails on her pictures when the other kids drew stick figures. Now, she is driving, and it takes 10 minutes to get the seat, mirrors, steering column, etc., in just the right spots. She has never driven over the speed limit, and most of the time is well-under because going over isn’t the right way to do it. She has to make sure the radio is turned off, everyone’s devices are turned off or silenced, and all distractions in the car are eliminated. And of course, as my driving is far from perfect, I hear lots of advice on how I should be doing things. It's been an interesting adventure, but has also given me a lot of insight into the mind of a perfectionist.

Most sales managers also have one or two people on their team that fall into this "perfectionist" category

Topics: sales management coaching

The Ghosts of Managers Past

ghosts of managers pastYour new hire has had great success in the past, but they don’t seem able to hit the ground running.  You look at their talent assessment, and they should have tons of confidence and enthusiasm, but the reality is, they are a little unsure, hesitant, and they keep to themselves. What happened?! You may be dealing with the ghosts of managers past.

Topics: sales management Talent coaching

Pay Attention to Your Superstars, but Don’t Forget Your Rock Stars

superstar and rock star sellersAs a department project, our group read the book Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Everyone had a different primary takeaway, but the one that stuck with me was the difference between Superstars and Rock Stars.

What's the Difference between a Superstar and a Rock Star?

Most managers know the definition of a Superstar. They are usually your one or two top performers, who are hardworking, ambitious, great at what they do, expect to be paid that way, and love the accolades.

But what about your Rock Stars? Rock Stars were defined as your steady performers. Not flashy, not necessarily your top performers, but the ones you can count on. Steady as a rock. Both groups are vital to a sales team. In fact, most companies would fall apart without Rock Stars, but usually, only the Superstars get the attention. Why? And why should you care?

Topics: sales management sales culture

Know Your Talent "Must-Haves"

talent bankSCENARIO:

Your top-performing, seasoned seller just turned in their notice. You are prepared because you were diligent and have a full talent bank with well-qualified candidates. But even with all of this prep, you realize how overwhelming the task of examining the candidates in your talent bank can be.

Where do you start? The job title is the same, but the challenge is different each time.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales management Talent

The Best New Hire Gift: Clear Expectations + Realistic Goals

new hire expectations and goals for onboardingWhen onboarding new hires, managers have a lot of things to think about. What is the onboarding plan? Will there be pre-boardingWho will train them? Who do they need to meet and who will show them around and introduce them to the office, co-workers, etc.?

But just as important, what is your new hire’s onboarding plan? If they walk in and have no plan and no goals, chances are they will struggle to find success in their new role. Some new hires will start day one with a clear plan or will have a plan and goals set within a few weeks, but some will need help and guidance in this area.

The Best New Hire Gift: Clear Expectations + Realistic Goals

Topics: sales management Talent training sales training onboarding

Don’t Micromanage Me!

don't micromanage sales teamWhen we ask salespeople about how their manager can get the most out of them, we often hear something like, "I work best if they tell me what I need to accomplish, and then they give me the freedom to get it done. I don't like to be micromanaged!" 

Topics: Management sales management sales culture coaching

Building Strong Relationships: Can You Teach That?

salespeople building relationshipsYou have hired your next great seller. You have a strong on-boarding plan, a great training schedule, and amazing people in place to help with training. They are prepared to hit the street, right?

Topics: training salespeople sales training coaching