Developing the salespeople’s skills will enhance sales and improve the results
Sales are the most essential prerequisite for most companies’ success. This is where the foundation for the rest of the company is created. It takes new and existing customer must be maintained. The competition toughens every year and the salespeople are under pressure for giving extra services and discounts.
When is the last time you have trained your sales skills?
Apparently, most salespeople do not develop according to the increased demands in the sale. The attitude is often that “I have the experience” which seems to mean that the sales person does not have to develop, train skills or exploit time more efficiently. Luckily for many companies, the competitors think in the same way so the sales efforts are just as inadequate on their part. You have probably often heard the objection from your salespeople “I have been on sales training modul 1, 2 and 3…”. But the relevant question must be – how long ago is it? What have you learned and what do you use from what you learned? When and how have you consciously trained the different sales skills?
In Intenz, improving the salespeople’s skills is one of our main focus areas. Below you will find an overview of the 11 areas we work with within sales training.
1. Efficient sales process
How should the quality in each phase of the sale be and where can you improve to have the right quality? In cooperation with you we elaborate guidelines for a good sales process so every phase gives better results, better hit rates and thereby increased sales results.
We therefore focus on developing the following skills:
- Overview of the total process
- Understanding each phase
- Ownership for process and methods
- Improved preparation in all phases
2. Training live cases
Training is necessary to become a gifted sales person. Theory and understanding must lead to behaviour. On each case we will discuss goal, arguments and objections and the cases will be trained with a constructive dialogue and focus on development. The best examples will be highlighted to create new habits that will come naturally when facing the customer in real life.
The goal is therefore for the sales force to:
- Turn knowledge into skills
- Learn to use the produced sales handbook – arguments and questions
- Strengthen their self-confidence to apply what they have learned
3. Mental training
How do your emotions affect your efforts? How do you put yourself up to next contact after a defeat? The mental surplus has a decisive impact on our success. With Intenz’ mental training the winner feeling, success feeling and joy is strengthened and will thereby automatically affect the sales results. Our feelings have a strong influence on our skills when we perform. As a sales person you only have a very short time to make a good impression, and mental surplus will shine through.
An excellent sales person will therefore master:
- Controlling own thoughts
- Eliminate negative thoughts
- Replace them with positive thoughts
- Focus on the right things
- Mental training and setting oneself up to reach a goal
- Remove stress feelings
4. Prioritizing time
Consider how you prioritize time on your customers. What goals do you wish to achieve – and why? How do you plan your development – what do you need to learn to improve your efficiency and hitrates?
Our experience is that many sales person’s are VERY busy. Everybody recognize the necessity of following up on and developing the sales force, but time is short. Therefore, we structure the training on the individual sales persons own ability to set goals, plan and motivate himself. This will mean a considerable improvement of efforts and thereby a more goal oriented sales culture.
With the right prioritization of time we ensure:
- Finished plans for the efforts to reach the goals
- Daily follow-up on efforts and goals
- Follow-up on hit rates and own development needs
- Enhanced competitiveness and goal focus
5. Argument and question technique
For any sales person it is essential to know the arguments and master question technique. Is it crystal clear what your most important arguments for the customer’s choice and the product you sell are? Believing in the “product” is reflected in the dedication the sales person puts into every conversation. There is no doubt that the customer will sense if the sales person is passionate about it. The way the arguments are structured will give the sales person even greater understanding of the product, but also increased pride and self-confidence that can be heard and “sensed” in the dialogue.
Through intensive training we address:
- Arguments training with cases
- Presentation of offers
- The courage to pose 2 – 4 activating questions that give customer value
- The skill to build arguments for new products
- The mastering of question technique on a fundamental level
6. Objection treatment
What are the 5 most frequent objections a sales person meet? Strange that it is hard to find more than 5! Often we meet the same objections again and again and still we are not prepared to treat them efficiently and correctly. With a positive interpretation of the objection, the sales person has the opportunity to be more creative, and avoids ending up “discussing” with the customer.
The training therefore focuses on skills within:
- Treating the objections from the customers
- Having a systematic approach to objections
- Treating the objections through question technique instead of postulates
7. Closing technique
Do you know how to close the deal? Do you know how to treat objections on the price? A good dialogue with the customer will often show its value when closing the deal. Lack of courage and efficient closing technique will often stop the sales person from sealing the deal. And often training the vital skills in closing the deal is neglected. Either the buying signals are not heard or not exploited even though it is the most obvious opportunity to close the sale. The sales person can have a strong impact on the customer’s decision, and this needs to be trained and used.
Training will therefore focus on:
- Courage and skills to close the sales
- Handling objections on price
8. Customer psychology, own psychology – rapport selling
Do you know the different customer types? Do you know your own personality type? All customers are different but there are some archetypes. Salespeople are also different. By knowing one’s own strong and weak side and by being able to read the customer’s type, the relation between the customer and sales person can be much stronger. The ability to structure and adapt arguments and methods to the customer’s type will increase the likelihood of a sale considerably. A stronger rapport will increase the likelihood of the a sale considerably, and the customers’ understanding and desire to make a purchase will also increase – and thereby increased sales success.
When building rapports it is very much about:
- Knowing own strengths and weaknesses – and what it means in the sales situation
- Understanding different types of customers and adapting arguments and method accordingly
- Using matching and pacing actively in sales meetings
- Using positive suggestions to the customer
- Controlling own thoughts and feelings
9. Economy as unique selling point
How do you make the customer see the economic advantages of cooperation? As the customer’s final decision often has an economic perspective, it is important for the sales person to handle this dialogue and not try to dodge it. This takes skills and financial understanding. It is difficult to discuss economy if the sales person does not feel confident with it.
Therefore we focus on improving the competences within:
- Skills in economic argumentation
- Feeling of safety and confidence in entering into the dialogue with the customer about the economic advantages
10. Efficient follow-up on written offers
Way too many written offers are lost because no one ever follows up or because follow-up is not efficient enough. And that is a shame when considering the opportunity was very close and because the process of getting there has been expensive. The total sum invested before a final proposal is elaborated and presented is comprehensive – it includes costs in time, marketing, sales activities, elaboration of proposal etc. At the same time, our analyses show that customers interpret the lack of follow-up as lack of interest and service.
So how do we ensure efficient follow-up on proposals? We know that for salespeople it requires that they master:
- Excellent telephone follow-up
- Unique selling points of the company
- A good structure for the telephone dialogue
- A high degree of self-confidence in the follow-up
11. Key Account Management
How do you use Key Account Management today? We often see that there are great opportunities to sell more to existing customers. When you consider how expensive it is to land a new account there are many advantages in prioritizing management of Key Account. How can KAM exploit the role better so the hitrates on new customers improve and the solutions to existing customers improve?
When working with KAM we ensure:
- Uniform understanding of the KAM role
- Understanding of the tools necessary to use towards the customers
- Understanding of the tools necessary to use internally
- Improved handling of the account in the day-to-day business