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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

What Will You Do This Week to Help Your Salespeople? [VIDEO]

Trey

 

Whether it's in the gym or on the field, athletes like Michael Jordan and Tom Brady are known for being the hardest workers during practice. And, as the greatest athletes of all time, they're not out there trying to learn something new—they're simply practicing the basics.

Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, writes that to go from “knowing nothing to being pretty good” actually takes about 20 hours of practice—that’s 45 minutes every day for a month. As leaders, we're accustomed to being great at what we do. But in order to learn something new and help your salespeople get better, everyone must practice. 

Topics: sales strategy sales process prospecting account list management

4 Essential Pieces of Sales Collateral for the 21st Century [VIDEO]

 

4 Essential Pieces of Sales Collateral

Historically, the term sales collateral referred to one-sheets and brochures that often hung on a wall, and when the sales team met with a client or prospect, they would grab a one-sheet to help build their case—and it worked great! In the 21st Century, you need more.

Topics: sales process prospecting sales collateral

How to Crush Perceptions and Build Trust with Prospects

How to Crush Perceptions and Build Trust with Prospects

Someone once said that perceptions can’t be wrong because it’s a perception, an opinion and impression of someone else. However, perceptions are often wrong because if they were right, they would be called facts.  

Whether we deserve it or not, we’re judged by every person that we connect with. The words that come out of our mouth firmly establish an imaginary tattoo on our forehead as we stand in front of a quality prospect.

Perception is everything, and how you’re seen by your team, prospects, and clients is a key to success. New research shows that you have 27 seconds to make a positive impression and 1 minute to prove value in any given situation. Like it or not, how you look, dress, and speak helps people to form an opinion of you.

Topics: new business development successful sales meetings prospecting perception

5 Ways to Show a New Business Prospect You Care

show a new prospect you careThe things you do are often more powerful than the things you say. 

New business prospects are more likely to increase their engagement level when they know a seller truly cares about them and their business. Think about your own buying habits—are you more likely to do business with someone who cares about you compared to a slick talking salesperson who only cares about making a sale? 

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy prospecting

Do Your Sellers Need More Appointments with Quality Prospects?

quality prospect meetingWhat do the best managers do to get their salespeople to pick the right prospects? They become the gatekeeper. No prospect should ever get on a salesperson’s Target list until it has been fully qualified against a set of objective criteria, a target business profile.

When helping a salesperson determine a high priority prospect, ask them the following questions using the following criteria: Dollar Potential, Access, and Fit.

Topics: Setting Appointments prospecting

Silence is Golden: 3 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

improve listening skills manager"Silence is golden"—usually this is said right after your children leave the room and you finally have a moment of peace.

As much as that is a "funny" joke for parents, the concept of silence is a rare one in today's world. Are we ever "silent?" And when I say "silent," I don't mean staring at our phones for hours at a time.
 
In the context of sales, silence has another meaning. Silence is an opportunity to stop talking, be quiet, focus, and listen. Yes, I know this is a radical concept for those us that are gregarious, loud-mouth, salespeople.
 
How many times have you gone on an appointment with an account executive, expecting to hear your rep ask questions and then wait to hear the client's answers, only see them never stop talking! They are so excited to a) have an appointment and b) thrilled to "pitch" their product that they never take a moment to listen to what the client has to say. It's horrible, and it happens all the time. What a waste of new business appointment! How can you sell someone anything if you don't know or understand what they want to achieve? You can't.
Topics: Needs Analysis sales performance prospecting

Don’t Forget this Proven Sales Strategy to Get an Appointment

appointment.jpg

Anyone in sales knows that it can be tough to get that first appointment with an ideal prospect. You might have to leave a voicemail, send an email, try to connect on LinkedIn, show up at their house, or volunteer to clean out their garage!

When trying to stand out, don’t overlook the option of sending a business letter. 

You know what we’re talking about right? A short message on your letterhead, placed in an envelope, and sent via the Post Office.

If you decide to use this as one way to get in front of prospects, here are some guidelines to follow.

Topics: valid business reason sales strategy prospecting

Avoiding Wasted Time on Bogus Prospects by Evaluating These 3 Things

avoid wasting time on bogus prospectsHere are three questions for sales managers and sellers:

  1. Who has time to waste with prospects that don’t have the cash to purchase the kind of solutions you sell?
  2. Who has time to waste trying to get an appointment with a prospect that is impossible to gain access to?
  3. Who has time to waste with prospects that have a consumer base beyond the scope of your products?

Most sellers are time-starved with no time to waste… especially when it comes to developing new customers. Investing time selecting quality, new business, target prospects makes all the sense in the world because some prospects are better than others, and qualifying them will help save time in the long run.

Topics: prospecting

Using Industry Insights to Get in the Door

using industry insights to get in the doorHave you ever stopped and wondered how many other salespeople are trying to get a meeting with the same prospect as you? It’s a pretty overwhelming number when you think about it. Day-in and day-out, decision makers are being bombarded with voicemails, emails, drop-ins, and various other methods your competition is using to gain access.

In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s tough to cut through the clutter. Leading with a compelling insight that you can turn it into a valid business reason (VBR) is essential for your prospect to want to connect with you.

Topics: valid business reason sales strategy sales process prospecting

Persistent with a Purpose: Persistence Does Pay Off When Done Right

sales persistence can pay offEarly on in my sales career, there was a prospect that I was determined to close. Everyone on my sales team had tried to gain access to this decision maker, and some had gotten as far a conversation, but it never evolved from there. When my manager suggested I try to approach this target prospect, I eagerly accepted the challenge. In my head, I confidently thought, “I can make this happen.” Ha!

I spent months calling, dropping by, leaving voicemails, and sending emails. I never managed to get through to anyone, but I remained persistent and didn’t give up until one day I was told not so politely to go away.

Often during my career, I have reflected on that cringe-worthy experience. I had been persistent (outright annoying), and at the time, I had truly thought that persistence alone should get me in the door. As I began to develop and grow as a salesperson, I began to see the power of not just being persistent, but being persistent with a purpose. I learned the importance of earning trust and offering value to the prospect. Unfortunately, I had to experience some tough lessons before I got to this point.

Topics: sales process prospecting