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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Concerns and Considerations When Downsizing Sales Staff

Concerns and Considerations When Downsizing Sales Staff-1

Working with sales leaders and managers through a crisis like the pandemic is full of twists and turns and new discoveries!

Significant transformations such as downsizing and restructuring because of things like COVID can disrupt the flow of a sales team, however, done properly, they can improve sales performance. Many sales organizations are discovering that removing unproductive sellers (and not replacing them) creates a more productive team.

Since early this year, many changes have been implemented, but an emerging hot topic among sales leaders now is sales staff size. As a sales manager, is this something you have been thinking about?

Topics: sales structure IMPACT

3 Ways to Improve Your IFM's

3 Ways to Improve Your IFMs

Your IFM's should be the most productive and most important time spent with your sales reps every week.

For those unfamiliar with the acronym IFM, it stands for Individual Focus Meeting. What is an IFM? It's what our team at The Center for Sales Strategy (CSS) calls your weekly one-on-one meetings with your salespeople (CSS loves to create an acronym for more common sales terms to keep you on your toes.)

Numerous studies support the fact that one-on-one meetings have a large impact on your team’s performance. So, if you’re struggling with IFM’s, it’s time to prioritize and improve with these three tips.

Topics: successful sales meetings IMPACT Individual Focus Meeting

Expert Tips for Successful Sales Enablement Strategies

Expert Tips for Successful Sales Enablement Strategies

One of the largest inhibitors to sales enablement in organizations is taking a random approach to it.

According to Salesforce, 58% of pipelines stall because sales reps are unable to add value. Is your current sales enablement content addressing the issues your clients and prospects are facing? Research says for many companies the answer is no, and it’s due to the lack of a sales enablement strategy.

As you look to grow your sales enablement efforts, our experts want to offer their tips on successful sales enablement strategies that they know are proven to work.

Topics: sales enablement IMPACT

How to Use a Sales Playbook with Your Sales Team

How to Use a Sales Playbook with Your Sales Team

Before we get into the how to use a Sales Playbook, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to answering what is a Sales Playbook.

In its simplest terms, a Sales Playbook is a key piece to a winning sales enablement strategy that outlines your sales process and aligns it with the buyer’s journey. It provides salespeople with a collection of resources like best practices, insights into their buyers, how to approach specific sales scenarios, talk tracks, email templates, ways to handle objections, competitive intel, and more.

Topics: sales enablement sales playbook IMPACT

3 Reasons Why Organizations are Not Using Sales Enablement

3 Reasons Why Organizations are Not Using Sales Enablement

More than 60% of organizations today are using sales enablement, meaning if you’re not on board, there’s a strong chance your competitors are. If you’re competing against organizations with sales enablement tools, you’re already at a disadvantage.

Despite the proven benefits, many sales departments haven’t deployed sales enablement resources. They expect to do business the same way it’s always been done. The results are a slowed sales process and repeatedly missing quota. What’s holding them back from implementing a sales enablement strategy?

Topics: sales enablement IMPACT

Realign Your Priorities With an Account List Management Strategy

Realign Your Priorities With an Account List Management Strategy

The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of sales come from 20% of clients. Alternatively, 20% of what you do represents 80% of that activity’s outcome.

Most of us know this rule, and we’re familiar with the labels – Key Accounts, Target Accounts, and Secondary Accounts – what we often fail to realize is the impact of what it’s like to lose a Key Account.

Understanding that most of your sales come from a relatively small number of clients, and having an Account List Management Strategy (ALMS) in place, realigns your organization's priorities, leading to an increase in revenue and sales performance.

Topics: account list management IMPACT

4 Focus Areas for Sales Training Right Now

4 Focus Areas for Sales Training Right Now

The realities of COVID-19, coupled with legacy sales issues, are making it more difficult for sellers to set appointments with new business prospects. Problems inhibiting a seller’s access to decision makers like a lack of trust have been compounded by the uncertainties of the current business climate. The bottom line, already a tough job, is now even more difficult.

Simply put, helping sellers develop expertise in the Identify and Connect steps of the sales process is needed and will provide a high ROI on training time. Specifically, improving skills related to finding prospects and setting appointments will increase the number of prospects in the sales funnel and lead to cash!

Topics: sales training IMPACT

Is Lead Generation a Top Business Objective? Here’s Why We Think It Should Be.

Lead Generation Efforts

Whether you call it cold calling, prospecting, or new business development, lead generation is critical piece for the sales success formula. In many current sales structures, the salesperson in charge of lead generation also oversees setting appointments, finding needs, selling solutions, and ensuring contracts are fulfilled.

Sales managers are great at tracking pending business and placing accountability on the average number of new accounts. While these are important metrics to track, they’re also narrowly focused on the middle and end of the sales process. What if we placed greater accountability at the beginning of the sales process as well? Imagine placing more focus on lead generation efforts, whether through a specialist role or an inbound marketing agency, where qualified leads are regularly handed off to Account Executives.

Topics: Lead Generation IMPACT

Is Your Organization Suffering Because of a Sales Structure Problem?

Is Your Organization Suffering Because of a Sales Structure Problem

Sales structures look different for all organizations depending on the industry, size of the team, product, and the sales process. As your company and people evolve or as things change in your business sector, your sales structure should change as well in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

Companies that identify the need to change sales structure continue to grow, while those who ignore it find themselves struggling to meet sales goals and stay competitive. According to the recent Media Sales report, 60% of sales managers don’t feel they have the right number of salespeople on their team. This leads to a couple important questions:

  • Is it the number of people on your team that needs adjustment?
  • Or is it the sales structure and expectations aren’t in line with sellers’ true talents?

Topics: sales process sales talent IMPACT

Are You Ready to Build a Sales Assembly Line?

Are You Ready to Build a Sales Assembly Line

Last week, we discussed why the sales industry needed a Henry Ford assembly line. We determined that while the technology that we use has changed over time, our sales structure’s foundation has not.

Before Ford's assembly line, auto manufacturers built cars one-at-a-time. They hired a skilled artisan who would build the vehicle from the ground up, which meant that Ford had to hire people who knew every aspect of the vehicle.  From connecting an engine to a frame, steering to the chassis, installing seats, builders had to know how to do it all.

It’s what we expect salespeople to do with radio and television stations. Don't we still expect salespeople to also do it all? 

Topics: sales structure IMPACT