<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=585972928235617&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

6 Tips to Help You Secure a B2B Sales Appointment

secure a B2B sales appointmentJust securing an appointment is one of the most difficult steps in the entire sales process. Having a referral or industry success story makes this task a little easier (so, use them if you have them).

But, what do you use if you don’t have either at your disposal? What if you just can't get the appointment?

Topics: valid business reason Needs Analysis sales process

Curiosity Killed the Cat, but Saved the Sales Rep

Ask-Questions-in-Sales-Meetings

Have you ever noticed how many questions little kids ask? Every parent has a story to tell about the funny or embarrassing questions their kids have asked at the most inopportune times: “Why is Grandma so wrinkly?" or "Why do I have to eat those gross green things?”

If you don’t take control of the conversation, the third degree can go on indefinitely—because the curiosity in children is limitless!

Somewhere on the journey from childhood to adult professional, much of that unfettered curiosity gets left behind. We've become a society of head-nodders where people are often afraid they’ll look dense if they ask a question. You’ve seen it—people nodding in agreement, as if they completely understand, when you're certain they don’t. Their fear of losing the respect of others actually keeps them from learning.

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales

3 Real Tips to Improve Virtual Role Plays

3 Real Tips to Improve Virtual Role Plays

What is mankind’s biggest phobia? Hint: It isn’t spiders, heights, or even dying. It’s glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.

Also, on the list of soft skills that people fear most are acting and the public test of career competence. In sales, there’s one awkward activity that happens to combine all three role playing.

As a sales manager, we often use sales role play exercises as a form of punishment. When salespeople fail to make the progress we expect, we summon a team meeting where we role play. Now, as everyone is working from home, the idea of practicing our craft with role plays seems even more difficult.

How can you improve something that was dreaded even before the pandemic?

Topics: Needs Analysis sales coaching

Is the Needs Analysis Meeting Really the First Step?

Is the Needs Analysis Meeting Really the First Step

We often think of the needs analysis meeting as the beginning of the sales process, but, is it really? Today's buyers are complex. Their needs are perplex and they're hesitant to share information. When speaking with a prospect for the first time, you must ask the right questions. First, you have to know what questions to ask.

To conduct a great needs analysis meeting one where the client is anxious to participate and is really open with informationthere are two areas you need to work on before the meeting ever begins.

Topics: setting expectations Needs Analysis Sales

Why Sales Training is Even More Vital During Times of Change

Why Sales Training is Even More Vital During Times of Change

When dealing with severe levels of change, it’s natural to reign in and hyper-focus on the activity we feel is most essential to surviving and thriving in that environment. In sales, that core activity would include things like the need to continue identifying quality prospects, connecting with decision makers, and discovering their needs and desired business results.

Activity is important, but a knee jerk reaction to keep approaching those activities the way you always have will not be effective when business cycles are at their most volatile.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process sales training

5 Ways to Nail the Needs Analysis Conversation

Needs_Analysis-1

Once you have an appointment with a strong prospect, it’s time to prepare for a successful needs analysis so all the effort you spent getting the appointment isn’t wasted. You want to make sure that you have a strong and thorough needs analysis—because understanding your prospect's desired business results, challenges, and expectations is essential for developing a solution that will achieve results.

Topics: Needs Analysis successful sales meetings Sales

8 Tools That Support a Great Needs Analysis

8 Tools That Support a Great Needs Analysis

A conversation about desired business results (needs, challenges, and opportunities) is an essential part of the sales process. When engaging new business prospects as well as current customers, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. Aside from the right questions, other tools can help a seller discover core needs quickly and succinctly.

Needs analysis is a central and critical part of making the sale. Sellers work hard setting appointments; the end result should never be a botched needs analysis. Here are eight tools—along with some thoughts about each—that sellers can use to make the most of a needs analysis meeting.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process

Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the DISCOVER Step

Coaching the Sales Process Overlooked Points in the DISCOVER Step

The third step of our sales process is often the most tedious. Discover—also referred to in other sales process steps as “define,” assessment,” or “needs,” all share the same goal of meeting with a prospect or client to uncover their desired business results.  

The key part of this stage is understanding each prospect's challenges and needs and establishing how your product or service can help. We find that sellers rush through this step, but by taking their time in the Discover phase of the sales process, they will actually accelerate the sales cycle and increase their odds of closing the deal.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process sales accelerator

The Best Sales Negotiation Tactics

The Best Sales Negotiation Tactics

The sales pitch is delivered, objections are resolved, and the contract is sent. Now, you patiently wait for the prospect to sign, and you’ve sealed the deal. But then — the email comes through, and suddenly you’re scheduling a sales negotiation.

Even if a salesperson has properly qualified a prospect and correctly managed their expectations through the sales process, they still can find themselves shifting gears from consultant to negotiator. And while negotiations can go in an infinite number of directions, honing-in on these six sales negotiation tactics will help close the deal.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy sales process

Be Like Mike: The Power of Practice for Improving Sales Performance

Power of Practice to Increase Sales Performance-1

Besides being arguably some of the best athletes ever, what do Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Tiger Woods have in common?

They’re all, or were, known for being the hardest workers during practice. Jordan and Brady were famous for being the first on the court and practice field and the last to leave. Tiger hit thousands of golf balls on the range every day. They began their careers practicing hard and with a mindset that they would get out of the game exactly what they put into it.

Persistence, discipline, competitive spirits, drive, and resilience — athletes and salespeople share a lot of common traits. However, one noticeable difference is that salespeople rarely practice or rehearse.

Topics: Needs Analysis