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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Link Between Healthy Habits and Healthy Pipelines

The Link Between Healthy Habits and Healthy Pipelines

Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Mark Cuban — all agree that one habit is a key ingredient to success.

Practicing good health habits by eating right and exercising each day is what these billionaires, and 21 others, agree helped create the foundation for their businesses and financial success. Your habits and routines determine your success and your future. In order to see the true benefits of any effort, you must be disciplined and consistent.

The same holds true when developing new business. It takes that same effort and discipline to consistently create a healthy sales pipeline.

Topics: business development Sales prospecting

15 Things Every Great Sales Manager Knows

great sales managerWhat do you consider the greatest job in the world?

Maybe I'm biased, but I'm convinced I have that job. Why? Here’s what I do every day:

  • Talk with people who are actively engaged in sharing important information with me
  • Figure out what makes those people “tick”
  • Work with sales managers to understand the talents of the people they are interviewing
  • Help them to hire the very best people for the job
  • Focus on the unique strengths of individuals
  • And, help managers to coach their direct reports to become wildly successful

And best of all, I have the privilege of working closely with some of the greatest managers out there. After all these years, I can tell you that there are 15 things that every great manager knows. 

Topics: hiring salespeople Sales

What Kind of Sales Dog Are You?

What Kind of Sales Dog Are You

Moving into 100% commissioned sales in my 30’s was one of those “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” moments in my life. Truth be told, it wasn’t a moment; it was a journey. I remember trying to learn all I could from the veteran salespeople on my team. But, when I read the book Sales Dogs I began to understand that the answer was not to be found in trying to copy the talents of other salespeople, but to learn how to leverage my own unique mix of talents.

There are core sales talents that people need to be successful in sales. Yet even the most talented salespeople will have a unique mix of those talents, and how they play out in practice is as different as one dog to the next.

Topics: Sales

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 75% of Proposals Will Never Close, and 10 Ways to Improve

Why 75% of Proposals Will Never Close and 10 Ways to Improve

The market's uncertainty has left many companies with an uncomfortable and frustrating bloated feeling in their sales pipeline.

Even before the pandemic, you could have easily convinced me that compensation plans changed radically and that people in sales were getting paid based on pending business. Every time I asked a salesperson how they were doing, I received the same response: "I’ve got a lot pending!”

Pre-pandemic, I reviewed over 500 proposals from various B2B sales organizations over the course of six months. These were all legitimate proposals, actually presented to a prospect or client. Based on those proposals, and the bloated pipeline many of you are experiencing today,  here's some valuable insight on how to close more business.

Topics: Proposal Sales sales process

4 Winning Approaches for Writing a Cold Email

4 Winning Approaches for Writing a Cold EmailYou found someone's email address online. Someone you've been looking to get in touch with for a long time. Now, it's up to you to write an email that'll get opened.

A cold email can be effective depending on your target audience's communication preferences. Follow these four approaches and you'll increase your chances for success — and your open rate.

Topics: email Sales prospecting

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

4 Ways for Salespeople to Gain Respect

4 Ways for Salespeople to Gain Respect

“Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.” - R.G. Risch

Aside from lowering prices, releasing better products, or providing superior service, there's something else that your salespeople can do to improve sales performance. A sales professionals livelihood depends largely on the levels of trust and credibility they build with prospects and clients.

The more respect you command, the higher close ratio you will have. Additionally, the higher the degree of trust you establish, the less the need to negotiate. Getting that first appointment with a new business prospect is difficult because most sellers don't take the time to establish trust and create value in the mind of the prospect.

If you want to be treated as a professional, someone who is trustworthy, and worth an investment of time, do these four easy things and prove it to your prospects and clients. 

Topics: sales performance Sales

8 Characteristics of a Winning Sales Coach

8 Characteristics of a Winning Sales Coach

There are several resources readily available with information on what it takes to be a great sales coach and manager of people. We often talk with managers who want to hire top-notch sales coaches and the list of their requirements is usually a long one—including experience, past successes, and “must have” talents. It’s definitely a hire you want to get right!

There are many natural behaviors and characteristics that make a sales coach great, and it's important to uncover the intensities of these talents before you hire someone.

Topics: hiring salespeople Sales

Pay Attention to Your Best Customers

Pay Attention to Your Best Customers

Your best customers are your competitors’ best prospects. At The Center for Sales Strategy, we have long said that it’s much easier to fill the bucket if it’s not leaking from the bottom. Many companies have an incredibly large need to go out and get new business every month—mainly because they're losing 33% or more of their current business.

It's true, and while new business is certainly one of the solutions for curing the problem of not retaining existing business, it’s really only a bandage. The problem of account attrition needs to be addressed and quickly solved. Churning through clients quickly and not getting any sort of renewal will fatigue your sales team. Over time, they will lose confidence in what they are selling. Just imagine the revenue growth you'll experience without attrition and keeping the same amount of new business coming in.

Topics: sales strategy Sales COVID19 Resources