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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Stop Spending Time with Lousy Prospects: 3 Criteria to Help Qualify Your Prospects

don't waste time when sales prospectingMany sellers struggle to develop new customers. Often this has less to do with the seller’s ability to sell, and more to do with the seller’s ability to select quality prospects.

Some prospects are better than others, and qualifying them will help determine which of the prospects should be pursued and which prospects should not.

As you search for ideal prospects (future key accounts), use the following criteria to determine which current clients have the greatest potential for growth and deserve the most time and attention.

Topics: sales performance prospecting

Why Your Salespeople Need a Cold Calling Playlist (Playlist Included)

cold calling playlist

Scientists say music changes mood, motivation, cognitive processing, and the ability to retain information. Additionally, music just makes work more fun and time fly!  

Setting appointments is a common problem — in fact, the 2020 Media Sales Report found that 80% of sales managers find it harder today than just 5 years ago. Listening to music is just one small motivator that will help get the job done.

Effective sales prospecting is one of the most challenging — and most important —parts of the sales process. Getting it wrong means wasted time and frustration. Getting it right means a healthier pipeline and better performance.

Topics: sales process prospecting

Silence is Golden: 3 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

improve listening skills"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.
Topics: Needs Analysis sales performance prospecting

What Does Sales Strategy Mean?

What Does Sales Strategy Mean

We hear sales managers and execs talk all the time about the importance of sales strategy. “Strategy” is one of the words that gets used a lot. In fact, Webster’s Dictionary says it's in the top 1% of most popular words. After all, who gets heat for talking strategy?

The problem is that most sales “strategies” are not really strategies at all. If you look at that definition of strategy, you see, “a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal, usually over a long period of time.That means a strategy doesn’t change (or if it does, it's not very often), is long-term, and describes a set of consistent behaviors.

Many sales strategies are more like tactics making more calls in a defined period of time, approaching a new group of prospects, or introducing new offers to move the market forward. These things are not bad, but they're tactics, not strategies. Tactics are helpful IF they support a strategy.

Topics: sales strategy prospecting

Turn Stale Leads into New Business and Re-Engage Old Leads

Turn Stale Leads into New Business and Re-Engage Old Leads

Are you one of the 63% of businesses that have problems getting traffic and leads? Or are your salespeople part of the 44% that give up after one rejection?

It happens to everyone in sales. You connect with a prospect, conduct a needs analysis, maybe even give a stellar presentation, but something happens along the way, and the prospect stalls. Do you know it takes six to eight follow-ups for sales leads to convert to paying customers?

Before moving forward after a stalled account, evaluate where you went wrong. How do you re-engage stalled accounts? Well, it all depends on where you’re at in the sales process.

Topics: sales process prospecting

Solutions to the Age-Old Problem of Call Reluctance

Solutions to the Age-Old Problem of Call Reluctance

As a sales manager, do you feel like some of your veteran sellers struggle with new business development? It’s no secret that the recent downturn in revenue has shifted the focus to new business sales initiatives. Unfortunately, many sellers are struggling in this area of new business development. They are showing signs of call reluctance—the fear of taking a step in the sales process, fear of rejection, and fear of the unknown.

Call reluctance is very common; in fact, studies show 40% of salespeople will experience episodes of call reluctance, despite their years of experience or product knowledge. And while this anxiety feels unbeatable, you can help sellers overcome it by determining its root case and building a strategy.

Topics: sales process prospecting

Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the IDENTIFY Step

Coaching the Sales Process Overlooked Points in the IDENTIFY Step

Routines, schedules, processes—they all make us more efficient, consistent, and accurate in our roles. A strong sales process helps the prospect along their journey but also acts as a roadmap for reps so that they can consistently close deals.

The strategic sales process that we teach at The Center for Sales Strategy is called Sales Accelerator. It's an updated look at the customer-focused sales process, addressing how the sales process has evolved, and more in-step with how real selling is done today.

There are six steps of the Sales Accelerator, each filled with several courses that goes deep enough to build an effective, tailored solution while moving fast enough to achieve acceleration. Sales managers take note; these are the things you don’t want your team to overlook in the first stepIdentify—of the sales process.

Topics: sales process prospecting sales accelerator

Earn My Attention. Don’t Steal It. 7 Best Practices Using Video to Breakthrough Your Prospects' Email Clutter

prospecting with videoWhen you try to engage in a serious conversation via email, you will generally find the recipient calling you on the phone to have the conversation. If you meet other people for a livingaka work in sales—verbal communication is usually the best form of communication.

To people like us, we only prefer written text when confirming dates or answering 'yes' or 'no' questions. Most salespeople are more effective when they have a face-to-face opportunity than when they depend on their writing abilities. With those face-to-face meetings now temporarily on-hold, we need email to help us reach people we don’t know. You need to stand out from all the other emails, and here's how.

Topics: Video sales process prospecting COVID19 Resources

6 Ways Sellers Can Improve Engagement When Utilizing LinkedIn for Social Selling

LinkedIn is the most popular professional social networking site out there, which means if you have a B2B business or cater to other professionals in a specific industry, it could be the ideal platform for growing your business.

By now, you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile using the Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist. Now you want more engagement, you want your LinkedIn posts to attract more viewers and increase shares—but where do you even start?

Topics: Social Media sales strategy prospecting social selling

4 Reasons Salespeople Should Always Leave a Voicemail

4 Reasons Salespeople Should Always Leave a Voicemail

While recently chatting with a new salesperson about setting appointments with new business target accounts, the seller said, “I never leave a message if my call goes into voicemail. I don’t want to waste time leaving a message.”

It’s no secret that leaving a good sales voicemail is hard. Even the most well-crafted messages often get ignored by prospects. However, leaving a voicemail is a wise investment and a critical part of the sales process that enables sellers to stand out and connect with prospects, and here are four reasons why.

Topics: sales process prospecting