5 New Principles for 2017 Corporate Sales Training Seminars

December 20, 2016


As sales teams prepare their projections and “battle plans” for next year, I thought it fitting to touch on a few new principles I am hearing in the sales trenches as I continue to train and also engage fellow CEOs as a Vistage speaker.

Mobile-Centric

You have to reach buyers where they “live.” And these days, they increasingly live on their mobile devices. Email and social media are checked at all hours, from the moment prospects wake up to the time they finally go back to bed, and all the time in between. It’s so prevalent that some people are taking “digital cleanses” where they forego all mobile devices for an allotted time – but they usually return within a short period.

As such, some corporate sales training seminars will take mobile selling to the next level – some even declaring you should be “mobile first” — a new principle for 2017.

Account Based Marketing

First championed by San Francisco based Demandbase, account based marketing aims to bring sales and marketing teams together by working towards a common goal: driving business from laser-targeted B2B accounts.

While the concept seems basic — make a list of the accounts you value the most, and focus on them – what’s new are the tech tools available to really pull it off. IP identification can alert team members when someone from a targeted account visits the company website, tracks their actions, and provides means for a highly personalized and relevant contact.

Brands as Publishers

Content marketing is no longer optional, and brands need to consider themselves their own mini-media companies or content publishers. Whether you produce the content yourself or hire someone outside to do it for you, customers want to see your brand voice expressed in blogs, e-publications, podcasts, videos, and social media posts.

Expect sales training workshops and seminars in 2017 to emphasize content marketing, even for individual salespeople.

Sales “Funnels” Elastic

Buyers will buy anywhere in the proverbial “funnel” that they darn well please, regardless of how many pretty charts experts draw up explaining how buyers make decisions. Some will buy at first contact, others after three years of marketing emails.

Sales training workshops and seminars in 2017 will reflect this, educating salespeople that funnels are conceptual tools and guides only…and they should be ready to close a deal with a buyer anytime and anywhere along that process. And their processes should be flexible and attack the market from many angles.

Basics are Back

While there are many new tactics and technology tools available to salespeople, expect to see a renewed interest in the basics. A lot of the truisms created by the old sales gurus will be reemphasized in sales training seminars, such as:

  • ABC – Always Be Closing

  • Strive to create raving fans

  • K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid

  • .) (. – Meet twenty people belly to belly each day to be successful

  • “It’s a numbers game.”

They are truisms because they work!

Corporate sales training seminars cannot be static affairs. They should reflect the new principles the market is bringing to light, while simultaneously teaching and reinforcing the basics.