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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

One Thing You Can Do to Become a Better Leader

become a better leaderWhat if your greatest opportunity to grow as a leader was right in front of you every day? Your team may hold the key to unlocking new opportunities for your professional development, and there is one simple thing you can do to make sure you don’t miss out on information that could make you better. Ask for feedback.

The best leaders feel there is always an opportunity to grow, so they consistently ask for feedback on their performance. A study of more than 50,000 executives done by leadership development consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, found that "Leaders who ranked at the top 10% in asking for feedback were rated, on average, at the 86th percentile in overall leadership effectiveness." Bottom line – asking for feedback can help you become a better leader.

Topics: Talent sales management Management

Management Secret: You Can Change the Behaviors of Others by Simply Changing Your Own

sales management secret - change behaviors of teamWouldn't it be great if you could snap your fingers and change the behaviors of those you manage? Well... maybe... but you can't. Since you can’t directly change the behaviors of others, it is vital that you concentrate on changing your own behaviors. This will make the biggest difference in your relationships with others and will help propel them to success. 

This isn’t some top-secret tip that we've been hiding all this time, but it is an important one to keep at the forefront as you move into a new year and evaluate your management style. Think about this, "Are you conscious of your own behavior and how it's perceived by those you manage?"

Topics: Talent sales management Management coaching

Sales Performance Happens When Everyone is Maximizing Their Strengths - Including the Manager

sales performance maximize strengthsCoaching is a hot topic! Makes sense... people who use their strengths every day are 12.5% more productive in their work. Any strong manager knows they need to coach their people to maximize their strengths, so they can benefit from that natural lift in performance.   

Topics: Talent sales management developing strengths Management

It’s OK to Say You Are Sorry

In fact, it’s better than OK. The reality is, in the course of any business relationship, something is going to go wrong at some time and it’s smart to get out front of it and to be very transparent.

Here’s a recent example of a problem we encountered in our own company we had to deal with, and an email we sent to the affected clients shortly following the incident as an apology: 

Topics: company culture Management sales management marketing strategy business relationships

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

Set Your New Hire Up for Success: Continuous Strength Development

providing detailed sales feedbackThis is the fourth and final post in a four-part series on how managers can set new hires up for success. You can click to view the previous posts on providing detailed feedback, building relationships that will lead to stronger sales performance and maximizing strengths and working around weaknesses. 

Ongoing coaching and strength development are key factors in retaining people long-term, yet statistics show employees often feel as though they don’t have a specific development plan. According to a Saba survey, 60% of leaders believe they provide employees with a clear career path, but only 36% of employees agree. The very best managers spend time coaching their people and have an individualized development plan for each person. 

Topics: hiring salespeople Management developing strengths sales management talent dashboard

Set Your New Hire Up for Success: Up their Game with Detailed Talent Feedback

sales-feedback-manager-new-hire-750547-editedThis is the third post in a four-part series on how managers can set new hires up for success. You can click to view the previous posts on building relationships that will lead to stronger sales performance and maximizing strengths and working around weaknesses.

Giving your new hire detailed feedback on their talents is one of the best ways to set them up for success. This conversation can be very meaningful and will arm them with specific information about their potential and how they can maximize their strengths in their new role.

Topics: hiring salespeople Management developing strengths sales management Talent

Set Your New Hire Up For Success: How to Build the Kind of Relationship That Will Lead to Stronger Sales Performance

sales-manager-training-new-sales-hire-347801-editedThis is the second post in a four-part series on how managers can set new hires up for success. You can view the previous post on maximizing strengths and working around weaknesses here. 

The very best managers I work with understand the importance of growing solid, working relationships with their people, and they start working on those relationships even before their new hire’s first day on the job. Not all managers take this approach - many people feel their boss does not care about their success. According to a recent Monster poll, 72% of respondents said they do not feel like their manager or supervisor is interested in their job growth. Yet, caring about people and developing good working relationships with direct reports, is one of the best ways to boost sales performance.  

Topics: Talent hiring salespeople developing strengths sales management Management

6 Steps to Stop that Leaking Sales Bucket

Leaky_bucket.jpg

We probably all agree that it is easier to fill a bucket when it’s not leaking from the bottom. Seems like a pretty good rule of thumb.

In the context of managing sales revenue and keeping that bucket completely full, things can become pretty difficult when you spring a leak! We need to spend more and more time dumping new business in just to keep a minimum level inside, and that is exhausting.

Although a certain amount of attrition in sales is to be expected, when it becomes problematic, even the best new business program in the world won't fix the problem. So, step one involves fixing the attrition problem that is causing you to miss your monthly, quarterly, and yearly budgets. Only after we have properly patched that leak in the bucket, will we have the opportunity to shift our attention to developing new business and filling that bucket up. 

Topics: Management sales strategy sales performance Sales