Sales processes, CRM systems, sales trainers, sales professionals are all becoming more professional, more sophisticated but are close rates getting any better?
The trouble with most sales training whether supplemented with great outside consultants, or not, is that it lacks a great big powerful narrative.
You need a big compelling story that translates seamlessly into strong marketing scripts which you translate again into compelling sales conversations.
The analogy – some sales training techniques are brilliant at hand to hand combat, great moves on the battlefield. Really useful if you are in Afghanistan, Iraq etc. The question is however, should you be in Afghanistan?
If the vision is flawed, not embedded in real life problems that need solving – your sales team will fail. Or the vision is great but the translation into a marketing narrative is weak, producing irrelevant leads – your sales team will fail. Or even if both vision and marketing are inspiring and relevant then you craft ineffective sales conversations, with random sales processes, your sales team will fail.
Thus train sales teams are far more effective deploying this methodology:
- Craft a compelling boilerplate of the big problem the company solves, how it solves it, the business result that is achieved and the secret sauce of why it is a credible solution. Use that boilerplate in everything you produce to describe your company- PR, the “About” page, webinars, trade shows, articles, everything.
- Build your marketing narrative from this boilerplate (I know you are a talented marketing manager but please stick to the script). Build your website story around each community that you are serving eg Pharma v Financial Services or Retailers v Digital Agencies.
Each community has its own unique interpretation of the problem you are solving. Talk to the audience as if you know them. Be clear for each product and for each audience the business results you will achieve.
- Teach your sales teams everything they need to know about:
- The logic of Points 1 and 2 above
- The products
- The business results they achieve
- How customers use the products
- The symptoms at the customer’s site that indicate they need help
- The ROI achievable by that customer
- The competitive landscape
- What keeps your customer up at night
- Teach your sales teams what to measure and how to measure it to ensure they understand why they are failing and why they are succeeding.
- Explain the most efficient method for updating your CRM system. Be clear on the mandatory minimum details every sales person (especially the road warriors)
should record. No excuses minimum details must be trapped.
- Constantly listen in to sales call to measure the quality of the conversations and use war rooms to role play realistic sales situations to perfect your craft.
It’s not perfect but I hope it helps!
Great advice Ian. I have trained both field and Inside Sales teams. The key is get them the tools: Info, samples, collateral, solid leads, set them free and monitor/coach to get better results. Kind of boring – but it works…
I’m afraid sales teams are just not trained to succeed most of the time and even when failure occurs, often the salesman is fired instead of changing the process.