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

Why Avoiding Disruption is Stalling Your Sales Career

building your account list Salespeople work hard to build an account list. Most clients on your list have been researched, painstakingly approached, and developed over time. Maybe a few just fell into your lap. But you value them all. Sure, some may be easier to work with than others, but you have no reason to change anything. Why would you?

Because the path that leads to a larger account list is not just more clients, but better clients.

I want to share some interesting lessons I heard at the recent INBOUND18 Conference. It was one of the last sessions on the last day. The one you debate about attending, because out the window the shuttle buses are already filling up with attendees leaving for the airport. I’m glad I stayed, and want to share some of what I heard in relation to building your account list.

Topics: key account growth sales performance sales process sales pipeline account list management

Are You Giving Key Accounts the Finger?

don't give your key accounts the fingerMany years ago, I talked with the owner of a specialty grocery store in Columbus, Ohio called The Hills Market. During this conversation, I learned about the term “giving customers the finger.”

This unfortunate situation occurs when a customer asks for help locating a product and an employee points in the direction of the product and sends the customer on their way. From a customer service perspective, this is a no-no! The best way to help a customer is to listen to their request (problem) and take them to the product (solution). 

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

Busy Doing What? 4 Steps to Implement If You're Working Hard and Not Seeing Sales Results

busy salesperson not seeing sales resultsSome sellers wonder why they miss sales goals on a regular basis even though they are busy as a bee. Making “plenty” of face-to-face calls. Presenting and closing “plenty” of proposals. Conducting “plenty” of post-sale follow-up tasks. All of these activities usually equal another month short of exceeding their sales goals. 

Topics: key account growth sales strategy sales process account list analytics account list management

Busting the New Business Myth

account list analyticsI get it. I know it is important, but I’m sick and tired of hearing about new business. Truth be known, most sellers are sick and tired of hearing about new business… and their managers are sick and tired of talking about it!

Facts Behind the Myth

The majority of sales organizations are obsessed with new business because of one reason: they do a terrible job of keeping and growing existing business (AKA: customers).

Not all customers are created equal. World-class sales organizations segment them like this:

Topics: key account growth sales strategy sales performance sales management salespeople account list analytics account list management

All The Good Accounts Are Taken — 6 Things That Bust This Myth!

finding quality leadsAs VP/Sr. Consultant at The Center for Sales Strategy, I’ve worked with many customers over the past fourteen years. I would be a wealthier man if I had a dollar for every time I heard this line from sellers:

“All the good accounts are taken.” 

Topics: key account growth sales strategy salespeople prospecting account list management

Implement These Social Media Best Practices to Enhance Your LinkedIn Social Selling Efforts in Under 1 Hour

implement these social media best practices on linkedinRecently, I shared a blog post called 10 Social Media Best Practices for Salespeople, and I wanted to expand on a few of them specifically related to how you can put these best practices into play on LinkedIn. I’ve gathered some specific examples from our team of experts, so check out the previous post here, then read on for actionable steps you can take in one hour or less of your time, to enhance your LinkedIn social selling efforts.

Topics: key account growth Social Media LinkedIn lead nurturing salespeople

Is There Anything Else We Should Be Talking About?

sales managers and salespeople should ask this questionA simple question, right? Yes. But, very powerful. So many salespeople and sales managers have well-planned, beautifully-executed meetings, but inadvertently leave some of the most useful information on the table simply because they forget to ask this simple, shared-control question that can reveal the real priorities for the person with whom they are speaking.  

Topics: key account growth sales management prospecting account list management

The Magic Behind a Successful Key Account Growth Plan is You!

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‘Tis the Season! The Walmart countdown displays in the seasonal section of their stores were up and counting down before Halloween was over. That irks me for a number of reasons, but it also motivates me. I need to finalize my growth plans for next year… and so do you!

Topics: customer satisfaction key account growth Needs Analysis annual planning sales strategy Sales

Sales Coaching: Don’t Let Your Weaknesses Get in the Way of Your Success

strengths.jpeg

I am really good at showing up on time, coaching people, planning jam-packed vacations, coming up with creative gift ideas, and breaking down something complicated into the key points that everyone needs to understand. Those are my talents—the things that I do well. Maybe even better than others. And, if I really thought about it, I could probably even think of a few more things to add to my short list.

Now, ask me to make a list of things I’m not very good at—the things I’ve worked hard at but never seem to be able to do as well as others…. Well, that could go on all day! Playing tennis, building budgets, writing in straight lines on a white board, singing in tune…. Seriously, I could fill the page!  While practice might make me a bit better, I will never achieve greatness.

And as much as that bugs me, it’s pretty normal. We all have strengths but we have MANY more weaknesses than we have strengths. And that’s okay, because no one succeeds based on their weaknesses.

Topics: key account growth sales management Talent Sales