What should you focus on at your next corporate sales training?
Whether you are teaching the course yourself, or hiring an outside firm to train your people, here are some must-cover topics to include in the curriculum:
Determining sales aptitude
50 percent of sales success is due to natural talent. The first order of business for sales people is to figure out whether they possess the necessary personality traits needed to be successful in selling. The best way to determine this in an objective manner is through testing, so encourage everyone to take this step.
Improving online marketing/branding for the individual Salesperson
Most companies have a good grip on their online marketing. The individual salesperson – not so much. You will give your salespeople a valuable service if you provide some best practices on refining their online personas to project a better professional image (this includes their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts).
Refining listening and acknowledgement skills
Salespeople are still talking too much, and not asking the right questions or letting prospects feel they have truly been heard. Corporate sales training should emphasize that prospects must be encouraged to talk in order to discover how best to serve them.
Researching prospects before approaching them
LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram – people increasingly post their lives online, and B2B marketers can discover common interests and connections simply by browsing public profiles and performing some intelligent Google searches.
Using formal sales processes
Are your sales people still winging it? Educate them to become more efficient through the use of formal, written sales processes.
Maintaining customer relationships
There is little worse than a salesperson who is all smiles and seems to know all about your life (through good research) and then disappears after you give him or her your business. If salespeople want repeat business and referrals, they must learn to genuinely keep in touch and nurture their relationships with customers. Tip: CRM software comes in very handy for this!
Practicing solution selling
Although the philosophy of “solution selling” has been around for a while, there are still many salespeople who continue to solely push features. As buying, even at the B2B level, is driven mostly by emotion, corporate sales training should teach sellers to focus on the “what’s in it for me?” factor instead of “look how great my product is.”
Transitioning to the close
Salespeople need to be finely attuned to the buyer’s shift (verbal and non-verbal cues) and practice what to say when the prospect seems ready to pull the trigger.
Focusing on top prospects
Rather than “spray and pray,” which is a newbie tactic, pro salespeople should determine their top prospective buyers (by establishing an ideal customer profile or avatar) and direct their focus on them. These days, it’s called ABM or account-based marketing because specific accounts are targeted rather than the entire market.
Leveraging their network
A personal network is always the best source of business because of the higher trust which comes from personal referrals. Salespeople should be taught the best ways to leverage their 1st, 2nd and even 3rd degree connections to provide introductions to potential decision makers.
The above could be used as a template for a one-day workshop and be fantastically successful.