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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Most Underrated Tactic in Business Conversations

silence-listen-sales-management-leadershipIf someone has the “gift of gab” they're often told that they should go into sales. Which often, just gives salespeople a bad name. Think about it. None of us like the salesperson who just keeps talking. The one that knows everything and is willing to tell us every detail. Are you talking about something the other person expressed interest in?

Topics: sales performance leadership

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

4 Things Sales Management Should Do to Improve Sales Performance

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Recently, I spoke to a sales management group on four things that they can do to improve sales performance, and this is what I shared with them.

1. Recruitment

Always be recruiting. 24/7. 365. The battle for top sales talent these days has never been harder. You always have to be recruiting. Not just when you have an opening.

Topics: sales performance sales management coaching

Needs Are Important, Results Are What Matter

needs-resultsWe all have needs, and those needs drive us to spend time and money addressing them. In sales, we count on the needs of our prospects and clients to motivate them to buy. For decades, it has been a good sales process to focus on client needs. Needs are good, but they are not the complete picture.

Learning about client needs used to set the better salespeople apart from the package pushers.

On a personal level, we don’t focus on our needs to solve a problem. We focus on what we want. When we’re hungry, we focus on getting food, when we’re tired we focus on getting some sleep, and if we need to hit a goal this quarter, we focus on getting the next sale.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales performance

Don’t Fear the Results Reaper

deliver on client results I've worked with thousands of salespeople over two decades now, and it's interesting that so many salespeople are still afraid to have candid discussions about the results a client is seeking and how well what they have sold them is working.

Many sellers wax eloquently about the features and benefits of their product, and especially why it’s a much better value than the competition. At the end of the day, whether or not you get an order, and certainly whether or not you keep your client onboard for a long time, depends on the results you delivereven if the person you sell to never mentions it.

Topics: sales strategy sales performance

6 B2B Sales Statistics You Want to Pay Attention To

b2b sales statisticsIt’s the sales leader’s job is to pay attention to both what is working and what is not working in the sales department and to make the appropriate adjustments so that the sales force has the best possible chance for success. To do that, the sales leader must pay attention to several things including sales process, sales activity, sales analytics (KPI’s), and of course, the customer.

In fact, paying attention to the customer is perhaps the most important of them all. In recent years, the way that customers have been engaging with sales has changed significantly. If you are a sales leader and you have not adapted the way you run your sales department, then you might find yourself slowly starting to lose ground to the competition.

Topics: sales performance sales management

How to Develop and Deliver the Best Campaign Recap

campaign recap“Wow, this is the best campaign recap I’ve ever received!”

As a seller, have you ever heard this from a customer? The odds of getting this type of feedback are low. Don’t feel bad because most campaign recaps are mediocre at best. Most are a bunch of data that do not tell a story. Most are forgettable at best.

Topics: selling digital advertising sales performance sales process

The Most Important Component to Improving Sales Performance

company cultureCulture first… all the other stuff after that! 

“Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success – along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like… I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.”                             - Louis V. Gerstner, JR – former CEO of IBM 

Most organizations dealing with performance issues miss this point. Traditional logic dictates performance improvement is tied to any or all of these factors:

  • Product
  • People
  • Process

Don’t get me wrong, these things are important, but they are not as important as culture

Topics: sales performance sales culture company culture

The Real Meaning of Bird Box: It’s All About Sales

Bird Box meaning is about salesNetflix claims over 45 million people have watched the movie Bird Box! Wow, 45 million people!

This post-apocalyptic thriller follows the story of a woman who must find a way to guide herself and her children to safety despite the potential threat from an unseen adversary. The story is partially told via flashbacks and takes place during three time periods.

Much has been written and said about the true meaning of Bird Box. Here are some theories—it’s all about:

  • The negative impact of social media.
  • The inability of people to see racism.
  • The careless way some people deal with mental health issues.
  • Demons wreaking havoc and driving people to harm themselves.

All these theories are pretty deep, but they miss the real meaning behind the movie. You see, Bird Box is all about sales! 

Topics: sales strategy sales performance sales process

5 Songs to Boost Sales Performance

songs to boost sales performanceMusic can help you push through a difficult workout, it can calm your nerves, and it can even get you pumped up and geared towards success. Music can have a powerful impact on your mindset, and using music and the right rhythm to support positive thoughts could definitely get your sales performance headed in the right direction.

Abba — Money, Money, Money

Listen to it here.

“Money, money, money. Must be funny. In the rich man’s world.” What do we all work for? Money, right? To some extent, for sure! The key to this song is honing in on your motivation. “All the things I could do if I had a little money.” What are those things? What do you want to use and spend your money on? Home improvements? A new car? A family vacation? Define those things and create a visual target or vision board that you will see every day. Know exactly what you want to make, and sometimes more importantly WHY.

Where's your motivation? What lights your fire?

Pet Shop Boys — Opportunities

Listen to it here.

“I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks. Let’s make lots of money.” To me this song really speaks to using your resources. Who and what do you have around you to help make your ideas bigger and stronger? What could you tap into to make you feel more informed? What areas do you need to improve in or what areas do you find you are lacking skills or knowledge? How can you close that gap? Using your resources helps to ensure you are maximizing each opportunity to the fullest extent. “Oh there’s a lot of opportunities if you know when to take them.”

Are you using your resources?

Topics: sales performance sales culture company culture