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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Stop Working So Hard And Sharpen Your Axe!

 

Stop Working so Hard! And Sharpen your Axe.

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe.

-Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's productivity secret was to work smarter rather than work harder by simply using sharper tools to get the job done more efficiently. Inefficient tools waste your time and energy, and simply knowing what to do is never enough. It’s the matter of actually doing it that makes all the difference.

Great leaders grow themselves and their organizations by deliberately managing the present, letting go of old beliefs and behaviors, and purposefully creating a future by adopting new practices.

So, how does Honest Abe's philosophy apply to sales management today? 

Topics: new business development Management Talent Sales

How to be Successful Your First Year as a Media Salesperson

How to be Successful Your First Year as a Media Salesperson

How can I be successful in media sales? 

How long will it take for me to make a lot of money?

How quickly can I expect to be promoted?

Whether fresh out of college or a seasoned professional seeking a career change, anyone pursuing a career in media sales (or any sales position) asks these same three questions. Everyone wants to know how they can be successful, make good money, and advance their careers. All smart things to think about!  

As a sales performance consulting company, we've helped hundreds of B2B sales organizations attract, retain, and develop the highest performing salespeople and sales managers. We've learned a thing a two about success! Here are our tips on how to be successful in your first year as a media salesperson. And, this advice is valid for all sales positions, not just media!

Topics: Sales salespeople

Do You Need Sales Enablement Tools and a CRM?

salesperson using sales enablement tools

Is your sales team running the same plays as it did ten years ago? Even five years ago? If so, there’s a good chance you need to update your sales playbook.

The way businesses buy and sell has forever changed—and to stay competitive, you need to change too. Yes, certain things are still essential such as:

  • Finding needs and pain points
  • Presenting solutions
  • Getting results

But how you interact with prospects and clients is different.

Topics: Sales sales enablement sales playbook

[INFOGRAPHIC] CSS By The Numbers

css-by-the-numbers-2018-headerJust like an athlete, you can go it alone and get some occasional wins. To win a gold medal requires a clear plan, consistent discipline, and constant improvement.

At The Center for Sales Strategy (CSS), we take delivering client results seriously. We are here to help take your sales strategy from occasional wins to gold medals. Our proven strategies help clients improve their company’s sales performance and increase their sales revenue by providing tailored solutions for their needs.

We've taken some time to dig into last year's numbers so we can analyze and improve in the coming year. Here's what 2018 looked like, and we'll be sharing 2019 soon after the New Year. 

Topics: Sales coaching

Increase Your Closing Percentages by Doing These 4 Things

close.jpg

If you’re in sales, then you know its extremely important to close deals, right? That’s kind of an easy question, but I ask it only because it seems as though many salespeople think their job is to have a lot of business in “pending.”

When I ask salespeople how things are going, what I typically hear is, "I got a lot out there.” While I get why having "a lot out there" feels good, it's not the most important thing and may or may not be a good indicator of the customers you will earn. Closing the deal, earning customers, and helping them to have success is far more important. 

Topics: Sales

Do You Have These 6 Characteristics of an Industry Thought Leader?

salesperson_at_laptop.jpgIn almost every industry, there are a few people or businesses that watch trends, see where the industry is headed, and share unique insights—thought leaders. These people and organizations are the ones that you check on regularly for innovation, market challenges, new initiatives, etc.

The thought leadership position is certainly an advantageous position to have, as it can help with generating sales, lead generation, recruitment and retention, and new business opportunities. While sometimes this thought leadership position will come about completely organically, many times it is part of an overall sales strategy and much time and consideration has been put in to developing the plan to make this happen. 

Topics: thought leadership Sales

5 Books Sales Leaders Should Read This Summer

summer-book-list-sales

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.

At least once a week, I get asked by a sales leader if there is a business book I would recommend they read that will help them improve their game. That is a tough question to answer, because there are so many very good books out there, and depending where you are in your career (or your current business situation, or what you have already read) the right book for you could be one of several. So instead of picking just one book, I thought I would provide a list of five books that would make for great reading this summer.

Topics: Sales leadership

A Sales Process that Matches the Buying Process

sales process to match the buying process

Some say that the holy grail of sales is consistent and predictable revenue. Many are on this seemingly never-ending quest, but find it both elusive and always just out of reach. A strategic sales process is the only thing that will help you reach your goals.

Topics: Buying Process Sales sales process

10 Things the Best Salespeople NEVER Do: The Un-Checklist

salesperson-technology-451709-editedEDITOR’S NOTE: This post is by the late Steve Marx, and was written and published in 2015. To keep it current, we’ve updated the content to be relevant, but preserved the knowledge that Steve shared.

There are countless lists of what the most successful salespeople actually do. It’s time for a list of what they don’t do.

Let’s call it "The Un-Checklist"—the list you review when no one is looking over your shoulder (so you can be entirely honest), and where you hope that your honesty doesn’t force you to check off any of the items.

Get out your pen, ink, or virtual notes. I hope you won’t need to use them.

Topics: Sales salespeople

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, all those occasions their child has scrunched up their little face and asked, “Why is Grandma so wrinkly?" or "Why do we have to go to school every day?" 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, though, much of that unfettered curiosity gets left behind. I would argue that we have 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 are certain they don’t. Their fear of losing the respect of others actually keeps them from learning. 

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis Sales