We recently heard a sales trainer say this to a room full of newly hired salespeople. . .
“Stay fired up! If your prospect throws you out the door, come right back in through the window!”
That piece of advice is like others we have heard over the years, like this one . . .
“If someone hangs up on you, call right back. If it keeps happening, keep calling. You’ve got to wear some people down before they’ll listen to you.”
There is a place for advice like that, because selling requires energy, persistence and resilience. But although sales training should be motivational, it should teach some other very important things too, including:
- A problem-solving mindset. When your salespeople concentrate as much on solving customers’ problems as they do on pitching products and closing sales, they build trust and sell more over time.
- Deep product knowledge. Have you ever seen a salesperson who had to page through product manuals to answer the most basic questions about the products he or she was selling? That’s a pretty sad spectacle. A salesperson must be able to confidently answer all questions about what he or she is selling.
- Knowledge of your competition. To explain the advantages of your products or services, your salespeople must know all about what your competitors are offering.
- An understanding of how performance will be evaluated. Will you consider your salespeople successful if they make a certain number of sales calls weekly, close sales on a certain percentage of the calls they make, discover and meet a certain number of new accounts every month, increase the size of previous orders – exactly what, and in what priority? If you fail to set out expectations, you are creating a situation where salespeople are more likely to fall short of expectations and become frustrated and less productive. Another problem? Without specific metrics, how can you measure improvements or judge the performance of your sales team?
- An understanding of your company history and brand. Sales techniques and strategies are fine, but your salespeople will make more sales if they can explain what makes your company different from your competitors. Are you grounded in a history of making innovative products or of putting the customer first? Were you founded by a unique leader who has an unusual story or philosophy?Training offers a good opportunity to teach company lore.
One Piece of Advice . . .
Even if you are engaging a training company that offers standardized training packages, find out how much it would cost to add some of the customized features that are outlined above. Even economical off-the-shelf training should allow for customization.
To learn more, speak with a Tortal Training professional today.