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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

A Sales Manager's Most Costly Mistake

target account brainstormPicture this. You are seven weeks into the quarter and pacing behind last year, and significantly behind your budget. Your manager and your manager’s manager are nosing around to find out what is going on and peppering you with questions about your plan to fix this. Your sales team is growing increasingly frustrated as orders get canceled and prospects fall through. This scenario is hypothetical, of course, but perhaps you have been there. So, how does a sales manager deal with this?

Topics: account list management key account growth sales management sales performance sales strategy coaching

John Wayne Need Not Apply: Coaching Your Sales Team

sales manager coaching teamI was listening to a sports radio station in town last week, and it had breaking news that the Major League baseball team had just fired their manager.

It wasn't a big surprise. The team had underperformed for the last couple of years, but what was surprising was the reason the club gave to the media.

His style wasn't connecting to his players.

What? His style? They didn't mention his performance, his attitude, or even lack of confidence by management. Nope, it was that his "old school" style didn't connect with his young(er) players. He didn't know how to connect with his millennial or Gen Z players.

One of the radio hosts said that he was too much like John Wayne. He was tough, to-the-point, and not very touchy-feely. He wasn't very caring, emotional, or even friendly with his players. To him, it was all business. They weren't friends. He was their boss!

Topics: sales culture sales management coaching motivation

Five Ways to Create a Sales Culture

sales team cultureWhat is your sales culture? Do you even have one? I frequently hear from sales managers the need for a “sales culture,” but often they don’t really know what their own sales culture is or how to build one.

Topics: Management sales culture Sales coaching sales management sales performance

The Comfort of Consistency

consistent sales managerMany of us seek new things in our lives to stay engaged and motivated, but even the most adventurous among us value certain things that are consistent. There are obvious consistencies we depend upon like gravity, the sun coming up in the east and setting in the west, or a manager who is very consistent in setting expectations. You probably didn’t see that third example coming, did you? But it’s true.

If you believe that most people want to do the right thing for their employers, the only thing that could trip them up is not knowing what the right thing is. For that reason, the best managers are boringly consistent about setting expectations their people can internalize and follow.

Topics: sales management Management coaching

High-Performing Sales Teams Are Cultivated, Not Hired

cultivate a high-performing sales teamThis post was originally published on Business.com.

Top sales managers don't just look for candidates when they need them – they keep in contact with potential team members to build an internal pipeline of interested and engaged salespeople.

Topics: sales management coaching Talent talent dashboard sales performance sales training sales culture

Feedback. Feedback. Feedback. (Today, We're Talking About Feedback.)

sales coaching feedbackPeople crave feedback. We want to know if what we are doing is good, bad, or just plain ugly.

It starts when we are little kids. We all desperately wanted our parent's attention. We wanted them to "watch us" run fast, jump high, or sing a song. We wanted them to be proud of us, but also to give us feedback. Were we doing it "right?" How can we do it better? 

Well, not much has changed since we were children. We still want to know how we are doing. Yet, so many managers seem to think that their people don't need feedback or even want it. WRONG! Your people desperately want to know how they are doing. Feedback is a fantastic way for a sales manager to improve their team's sales performance by reinforcing good behaviors and improving upon weak behaviors.

Topics: sales management sales training coaching sales performance

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: coaching sales management Management sales culture

The Secret to Sales Success (It's Not Enough to Hire Talented People)

building relationships for sales successAbout a year ago I conducted a sales talent assessment for an up-and-coming college graduate who had very little sales experience but was loaded with both raw talent and a passion for sales. We’ll call her Ashley. The hiring manager, let’s go with Brenda, was thrilled to be able to get someone with such potential “on the cheap,” so she made her an offer right away, which Ashley quickly accepted. 

Topics: sales management Management coaching sales training onboarding

5 Movies that Teach Us about Talent Development

sales strategy lessons from moviesToday, we are taking our sales strategy lessons from the pages of pop culture, and we're talking movies. Grab your popcorn and find a comfy seat, because we’re heading to the movies!

Topics: Management sales performance Talent Sales coaching sales training sales management

5 Tips to Help Prevent Burnout in Salespeople

prevent-salesperson-burnoutLast year, Harvard Business Review estimated the turnover in salespeople to be around 27%. In an industry that’s seeing almost double the turnover rate than the overall labor force, it’s essential for managers and leaders to not only know how to recruit great talent that’s an excellent fit for your team, but also how to retain sales talent and improve their performance over the years. 

Topics: sales management hiring salespeople sales training coaching sales performance