Sales Training Solutions: Series Recap

I’ve just posted the final blog of my 5-part series: Sales Training Solutions in 2023. I hope you’ve gotten several good tips as you proceed with your team towards the final quarter of 2023.

Let’s put all the pieces together. Come back to this post as a recap of the series for highlights and share it with your teams as needed. You’ll see that I’ve included links to the past posts so you can easily access them. Consider this one a cheat sheet!

Part 1: Repairing Sales Disconnection

In the first post, I gave you five steps to reduce your team’s disconnection from their clients. During the COVID period, remote meetings led to distancing from clients. We didn’t have that all-important face-to-face interaction of in-person meetings, lunch meetups, or other activities through which your team could more deeply connect with clients. Here are the steps to take to reverse this:

  • Define Top 10 Accounts
  • Amend or Create a Sales Plan
  • Measure for Success
  • Collaborate Often
  • Establish a One-on-One Connection

Part 2: Transform Order Takers into Authorities

The COVID-era created more order takers, salespeople who wait for clients to tell them what they need and then provide a solution. Enough of that! It’s time they take control of their accounts by becoming authorities, people your clients rely on to anticipate issues and recommend solutions. And in this post, I suggested that they start with in-person meetings. Being in front of a client is so critical to understanding their needs. These meetings eliminate distractions so that your clients can focus on sharing their “pain points” after some probing questions from your team members.

Part 3: Changing Behaviors

This might be the toughest to accomplish. Many of your salespeople’s behaviors have become ingrained and nearly unchangeable. Note…”nearly” unchangeable. This post lists three things they should STOP doing right now:

  • Rote Conversations: Each client is different and while your value proposition is consistent, solutions still need to be tailored to their needs
  • Prioritizing Price: Once your team starts discounting your product/service to get the deal, they’ve just made what you offer a commodity instead of a “must-have”
  • Bundling Solutions: While bundling can be effective, it’s not something that should be done as a regular practice. As noted above, each client is different so a “pre-packaged solution” most likely won’t be the answer to their issues

Part 4: Developing Transformational Sales Skills

Does your team know the difference between transformational and transactional selling? It’s time they did…and adopt the practice of the former. There are three things they can focus on right now to move towards transformational selling:

  • Dream with Clients: Understanding a client’s vision and really getting into it with them will create a partnership as you move towards finding solutions that will get them to their dream
  • Create Solution Centers…Then Use Them: Solution centers represent a collective of intelligence gathered from subject matter experts in your company that can help your clients. Your team can rely on this group of people who can provide insight as needed to your clients’ issues…but they have to be asked. Make sure your team members know who to go to…when…and for what.
  • Stress the Urgency of the Solution: Too many times, a salesperson’s pressure to close the deal creates urgency rather than understanding that the solution is urgent to the client and making that urgency the priority. And far too often, they never learned how urgent the need was in the first place. Get them to see things from a client’s perspective first and then concern themselves with presenting a solution so well that closing the deal gets far easier.

Part 5: Actioning Sales Leadership

The first four parts of this series looked at what your teams can do to transform themselves into “authorities.” The actions to be taken are theirs. But this post focuses on you…their leader. What action should YOU take to help them transform? Here is the action list I provided:

  • Observe how your salespeople are spending their time. Contrast this to the ideal commercial activities in which they should be engaging
  • Role model/Mentor best-in-class sales techniques
  • Redefine your ideal customer/client for your teams
  • Express how their habits need to change and how you are going to help develop them
  • Know each salesperson’s ability to manage through a volatile situation and remain commercially grounded
  • Systematize your 2024 go-to-market process
  • Understand who your A, B, and C-level salespeople are so you can create appropriate development plans for each
  • Craft a sales training program that addresses the above actions

I’ve enjoyed creating this series for you and I hope you’ve gotten some new ideas about how to transform your teams. Please let me know what you thought of the series and what more you’d like to read about via my blog. I’m here to help!