Increasingly more sales trainers and training company executives are starting to believe that sales trainings are dead. Although they might be entitled to have their own opinions related to the matter, the situation is a bit different, as sales trainings have become a serious challenge recently and they’re far from being dead.
Whenever we mention “sales training”, a lot of people don’t understand the breadth and depth of the services that sales trainers can provide to their clients. Nevertheless, those who are in this business know that their techniques can be considered a strategy that helps companies experience a considerable sales performance improvement. Business people have the same goal: to improve sales performance; when it comes to sales training, they basically see it as a strategy that helps them accomplish this goal.
Sale Performance Improvement – it’s not just about the training
Sales training firms are no longer seen as “vendors”, but more like providers of sales performance improvement. The title may seem unusual, but it’s pretty accurate because after all, it is what most sales trainers are. Their goal is to make sure that every initiative to improve sales performance is strategic enough to guarantee long-term value. It’s only a matter of time until the public understands that what they’re really interested in is to improve sales performances.
After several years of dealing with a dreadful recession, leaders are doing their best to implement different strategies that will take their products to the next level. However, putting these strategies into practice is harder than expected, especially when salespeople have to meet face to face with their clients. Due to these difficulties, business people feel the need to create new rules in order to guide their sales leaders.
Don’t focus on selling tactics, but rather on creating value
The current business environment is characterized by a very tough competition between companies and aggressive negotiations with buyers. As a result, no matter how much leaders focus on selling tactics, they notice that they aren’t successful anymore. What really matters is the ability to create both personal value and business throughout the entire process of selling. Valuing even the buyers who are not ready to make a decision is essential. If you want to be successful, you need to learn how to appreciate this value, as well as how to start a conversation with your customer. Leaders should make sure that their sales training puts emphasis on a complete exploration of value.
1. Habits are as important as skills
Bad habits can affect the course of a negotiation even if the negotiator is very skilled. Even sales professionals fail when they’re under pressure. Besides, they have a tendency to discuss about price only if the customer asks instead of creating value during the conversation. Sometimes they can even end up accepting costly concessions in an attempt to get rid of the pressure, rather than look for ways to exchange value in order to make trades.
2. Pay attention to utility, “stickiness”, and simplicity
Most sales professionals agree that sales training has become too process-oriented, unmemorable and complex, and they’re right, as the current business environment has a tendency to focus on overloading information. Nearly 90% of what you learn during sales trainings is forgotten in less than one month if you don’t get the chance to use the information gathered. That’s why sales leaders should make sure that sales trainings focus only on the most important strategies, which are then reinforced with several coaching activities.
Technology-supported coaching is essential, along with reinforcement activities
Technology is highly used to share or manage data, and even to keep an eye on sales pipelines and different information related to the sales process. As a result, leaders need to focus on virtual coaching support when training their sales teams. Organizations use all types of smartphone apps and social media tools on a daily basis, so providing your sales team with technology-support coaching is essential.
3. Pay attention to sustainable change management
A true leader knows that individual skill building is enough to generate sales performance improvements. As a result, they have to make sure that their sales teams are more nimble, competitive and focused on customer value. This means that trainings should be seen as change management platforms that help sales professionals have a more sustainable future state. Leaders should ensure that their sales trainings include many change management approaches, such as: making the employees understand the importance of changing their habits, supporting first line managers’ attempts to build their own coaching and buy-in skills.