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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Ways to Nail the Needs Analysis Conversation

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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 business, specific needs, challenges, and expectations is essential to developing a solution that will achieve results.

Topics: Needs Analysis successful sales meetings Sales

5 Great Ideas for Sales Meetings Your Team Will Look Forward To

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Looking to climb out of that waste-of-time-sales-meeting rut and grab everyone’s attention with your highly productive and engaging meetings? 

It is no secret that the weekly sales meeting has plummeted to the bottom of the priority list for many salespeople. In many offices, it has become a routine exchange of housekeeping issues that could have been shared over email instead. Don’t get me wrong, you need to go over housekeeping issues from time to time, but taking an entire sales staff off the streets is a costly way to cover these items on a regular basis. Take a minute and do the math. How much does a one-hour sales meeting really cost you? That number will probably frighten you into ratcheting up the quality of your weekly get-together, so let’s get started.

Here are five powerful ways to jump-start your sales meetings and bring them to a whole new level:

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management

Are Sales Meetings Really Necessary?

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I guess the answer depends on who you ask. I bet a lot of salespeople reading this are probably saying, “No!” Most of the managers reading this are likely saying, “Of course.” So, who is right? The answer is neither. All of the emotions and principles that underlie each group’s answer are very legitimate. So, when should a sales meeting happen?

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management

Sales Promotion or Sales Prevention?

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As a sales leader whose responsibility is generating revenue, you would most likely answer that you are a Sales Promoter. But are you? Has an obstacle course actually been created that prevents your sales people from selling? Sales Prevention sounds like an oxymoron, but it exists in many sales cultures.

Sales Prevention exists when there is a misalignment between the sales manager and salespeople's challenges and priorities. Jim Hopes, Managing Partner of The Center for Sales Strategy, conducted a study based on the responses of 400 sales professionals. The results showed that of the top four responses regarding challenges, only one intersected between the sales manager and salespeople.

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management coaching

Tips to Make Sales Meetings Meaningful Instead of Meaningless

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When you think about sales meetings you’ve attended over the years, were you delighted or disappointed? Were you engaged or enraged? Was your time spent in the meetings worthwhile or wasted?

Topics: successful sales meetings sales management Sales

How to Get a Standing Ovation After Your Next Sales Meeting

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Is your sales meeting agenda something like this?

1) Housekeeping
2) Where we are
3) Where we need to be
4) Get there the way I tell you
5) Go do it  

All this in 45 minutes…. No wonder you haven't gotten a standing ovation yet! Talented salespeople want to be nurtured—they want to get better at what they already do well. The agenda above does nothing to support that. It's time for a new agenda.

Salespeople like to make good use of their time, and if they're not out selling, you better make it worthwhile for them to be in a sales meeting. Take topics 1, 2 and 3—listed above—and send them in a regular weekly email. And work one-on-one with your salespeople to help them each accomplish their sales goals individually. Then use 30-45 minutes a week as a team for small doses of training on topics that are timely and relevant to their sales success.

Topics: Management successful sales meetings Sales

Are Your Sales Meetings Punitive or Positive?

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Take a minute to think about all of the sales meetings you’ve attended or facilitated. Were you disappointed or delighted? Maybe you felt bored or even punished. Did the facilitator, AKA Sales Leader, drone on, pontificate, lecture, demean, or all of the above? Was it a one-voice meeting? What was the general engagement quotient of the participants?

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales

Ugh. Another Boring Sales Meeting?

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Sales meetings are often seen as a necessary evil by both salespeople and sales managers—the salespeople often think they are a waste of time (and sometimes they are) and managers generally hate putting them together (and a are often not that good at it). So, here are five tips to help you produce a sales meeting people will want to be part of, with less work on your part to provide all the content:

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales

Is a Customer-Focused Selling Approach Still Valid?

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In a recent meeting one of the sales managers asked, “Is it still really valid for salespeople to take a customer-focused selling approach anymore?” At first I was taken aback, wondering what he believed the alternative was, but I soon came to realize that he wasn’t implying that salespeople shouldn’t have the best interest of their clients in mind. What he questioned was the process where you ask for the prospect's time to learn about his or her business so you can sell the right solutions. 

Prospects are no longer willing to give salespeople time to teach them about their business. And with what is now online, they shoudn’t have to. 

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales

Three Sales Tactics You Should Retire Today

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Even though I am not in charge of any buying services at The Center for Sales Strategy, because my name is on our company website I'm still often solicited by salespeople. Some salespeople also follow up with me after I researched or downloaded content from a website. In most cases, I overlook the solicitation, because what's in it for me? I'm not a decision-maker. But every once in a while, a salesperson's tactic catches my eye.

Recently a salesperson, who had not received a response from me after multiple attempts, sent me an email with a multiple-choice option. The last choice included telling him I was not interested. I found this somewhat clever and entertaining. One of my coworkers responded to my sharing of this salesperson’s email with "some sales tactics never grow old." That got me thinking. While some sales tactics never grow old, are there some tactics that should be retired?  

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales