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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

It’s OK to Say You Are Sorry

In fact, it’s better than OK. The reality is, in the course of any business relationship, something is going to go wrong at some time and it’s smart to get out front of it and to be very transparent.

Here’s a recent example of a problem we encountered in our own company we had to deal with, and an email we sent to the affected clients shortly following the incident as an apology: 

Topics: business relationships Management sales management marketing strategy company culture

Are You Using Your Sales Superpowers?

talent sales superhero

Sales superpowers? Yes, really. To understand what I mean, please take a step back from the world of selling and focus instead on the process of buying.

The easiest way to wrap your mind around this is to consider a few common business-to-consumer (B2C) purchasing processes like buying a car, remodeling a kitchen, or selecting a college. Looking through that lens, it is easy to see how different the process of buying is today than it was only 10 years ago. I’m sure you would agree that the most notable difference is the amount of time the consumer spends researching in advance.

This sort of pre-purchase work is just as prevalent in the B2B world! Whether an individual is shopping for office space or office supplies, or selecting a bank, an accountant, a lawyer, or an insurance agent, chances are they will do a lot of pre-work before they ever engage in a significant conversation with a representative from any company. And when they do finally begin that conversation, they will come loaded with information and expectations.

Topics: Buying Process sales management Talent Sales

Decisions Made Easy: A Sales Manager's Strategic Cheat Sheet

sales manager strategic cheat sheetHow many decisions does a sales manager make in day? 10? 25? 50? That number probably varies, but most people would agree sales managers make a lot of decisions each day as they navigate changing conditions, corporate demands, and plenty of persuasion from their salespeople about doing what they want them to do. Better sales managers make good decisions more often than mediocre sales managers. So, how do they do that?

Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales management coaching

24 Ways to Effectively Coach Millennial Salespeople

effectively coach millennial salespeopleDo Millennials simply have less sales talent than prior generations?

After conducting tens of thousands of sales talent assessments, we here at The Center for Sales Strategy can assure you that’s not the case.

In part one of this two-part series, I shared four key differences in how the Millennial generation was raised, insight I gained from Brad Karsh in my never-ending quest to learn more about how to activate Millennials. These differences explain much of the enormous disconnect between many Millennial workers and their managers today.

Topics: sales management Talent Sales coaching company culture

16 SPOOKY Things Sales Managers (and Their Team) Should Avoid

spooky things sales teams should avoidIt's easy for sales teams to get busy, get into a rhythm, or to get on a roll, and just do things the way you've been doing them. Sales managers can wear a lot of hats, and it can be easy when things are working to just keep them going the way they are going. Hey... nothing's wrong, right? Wrong. 

Ensure you and your team avoid these SPOOKY things to ensure everyone is effectively utilizing their time and efficiently managing their prospects and accounts. 

Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales management coaching

Help! How Do I Coach a Millennial With Sales Talent?

coaching millennials with sales talentIf you have hired a salesperson that is younger than 36 years old, you hired a millennial. And you may sometimes feel like many of the other sales managers I talk to every day…

  • “They need lots of handholding.”
  • “They lack the drive of the generations before them.”
  • “They can be overly sensitive and more focused on making friends than making sales.”

As a Talent Analyst, I spend a lot of time identifying people’s innate sales talents and helping managers make smart selection decisions. Once each hire is made, I work with the sales manager to turn talent into ever-increasing performance by maximizing each seller’s strengths and working around their weaknesses.

So my attention is sharply focused on two things: Talent and Fit. 

Topics: sales management Talent coaching

A Sales Manager's Most Costly Mistake

target account brainstormPicture this. You are seven weeks into the quarter and pacing behind last year, and significantly behind your budget. Your manager and your manager’s manager are nosing around to find out what is going on and peppering you with questions about your plan to fix this. Your sales team is growing increasingly frustrated as orders get canceled and prospects fall through. This scenario is hypothetical, of course, but perhaps you have been there. So, how does a sales manager deal with this?

Topics: key account growth sales strategy sales performance sales management coaching account list management

John Wayne Need Not Apply: Coaching Your Sales Team

sales manager coaching teamI was listening to a sports radio station in town last week, and it had breaking news that the Major League baseball team had just fired their manager.

It wasn't a big surprise. The team had underperformed for the last couple of years, but what was surprising was the reason the club gave to the media.

His style wasn't connecting to his players.

What? His style? They didn't mention his performance, his attitude, or even lack of confidence by management. Nope, it was that his "old school" style didn't connect with his young(er) players. He didn't know how to connect with his millennial or Gen Z players.

One of the radio hosts said that he was too much like John Wayne. He was tough, to-the-point, and not very touchy-feely. He wasn't very caring, emotional, or even friendly with his players. To him, it was all business. They weren't friends. He was their boss!

Topics: motivation sales management sales culture coaching

Five Ways to Create a Sales Culture

sales team cultureWhat is your sales culture? Do you even have one? I frequently hear from sales managers the need for a “sales culture,” but often they don’t really know what their own sales culture is or how to build one.

Topics: Management sales performance sales management sales culture Sales coaching

What If They Leave? 3 Ways to Better Train Your Sales Staff

sales-training-manager-265882-editedCFO asks CEO: "What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?"
CEO: "What happens if we don't, and they stay?"
 
I really LOVE this "fictional" exchange. It drives a stake right through one of the arguments against training and developing your salespeople. 
Topics: sales performance sales management sales training