You can set trends, or you can follow them.
If you do the latter, you will constantly chase developments well after first adopters have soaked up most of the gains available from them. So, it behooves you to stick close to trendsetters and pay attention to what they are advocating, because most likely everyone else will jump on the bandwagon – but you can beat them all to the punch.
With that being said, there are a couple of areas where our sales training workshops have either predicted trends or started them ourselves. Check them out here.
Formalized Sales Processes
When you hear the term “formalized sales process” it sounds anything but hip and trendy. But the best sales training workshops will insist that trainees develop and follow a formalized, step-by-step approach to capturing business rather than allow them to fly by the seat of their pants.
The formalized sales process trend is supported by things such as CRM software and marketing automation platforms. After all, if you are already following step-by-step procedures for lead capture and marketing, why not do the same for the selling process itself? It’s a natural progression, and it is a trend picking up steam despite our rather stodgy name for it.
Not to toot my horn too much here, but I have been talking about buyer types forever. Everyone calls them “personas” or “avatars” these days, but these are basically the same thing I have been talking about for two decades at least.
Crystal Knows is a tool which we have been using and recommending for a while. It got on my radar because of my long-held belief that knowing your buyer type is critical for knowing how best to communicate and sell to them. Crystal operates on that principal by using the DISC Assessment as a basis for categorizing people through their online profiles. Then, it helps you craft emails and other messaging by advising you on the best tone to take with a particular subject. It’s pretty cool, and sales training workshops besides ours should pay more attention to it.
Test for Success
Here, I think we are still way ahead of the trend with our relentless insistence that everyone be aptitude tested. But I suspect the rest of the market will catch up soon, and sales training workshops will have to address it.
Aptitude testing is one of the most profitable things I can recommend for companies with sales forces. Meaning just about all of them. Too many people in sales have no natural talent for selling…they just end up doing it somehow. Or they are in outside sales roles when they should be in inside sales in order to truly thrive.
The APQ is the best tool to filter bona fide potential salespeople from those who really don’t stand a chance. For less than one day’s salary, you can identify someone who can potentially bring in millions in revenue. Or avoid hiring the inverse – the unfortunate soul who will drive away business despite their best efforts.
Hey, we aren’t doing too bad with our trendsetting … stick around and see what we have in store next!