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Selling is a changing profession

selling is changingMarkets move on.

The world changes.

Most of our clients are talking about the changes that technology has brought, and not least the impact that it has on their customer contact.

Are you still using the same sales approach, the one you’ve used for years?

If you are, you might want to consider the “new normal”

Just take a look at all the things a mobile phone has helped us with, and therefore replaced.

On twitter this morning I read the phrase “defiant innovation” which resonated with me. Are you defiantly innovating, or repeating the same things and hoping they will work in a new world?

The internet has affected the way people buy, and therefore, it must affect the way you sell.

Field sales people need to be deployed where they are most valuable, your telephone contact can be augmented by live chat, social media, and on line lead generation techniques. All need considering from the customer’s point of view.

At the heart of this, the efficacy of your sales process and the quality of your customer contact helps fuel your sales pipeline, and moves your enquiries to orders and repeat sales.

The Australian company Blackdot surveyed 18,000 front line salespeople and sales managers for a benchmarking study into sales effectiveness. They identified five distinct groups of people who exist within every organisation.

• True believers – have great adherence towards the sales process and believe in its enabling powers
• Compliants – follow the sales process but does not believe it enabling
• Mavericks – recognise that a sales process exists, but choose to follow their own methods
• Self reliants – do not know that a sales process exists and work it out for themselves
• Clueless – do not know of any sales process and do not believe it enabling

The proportions in these groups vary from organisation to organisation, and any sales director’s aim would be to have as many of their people in the top category.

The other categories are less than entirely positive about the process itself or the impact it is having on them or the business they are working for.

While we don’t like the terms that Blackdot use, especially the “true believers” it sounds too cultish, too evangelical. Perhaps True Ambassadors would be a better term.

How can you develop a sales process, sales systems, sales leadership and sales training that supports the development of True Ambassadors rather than the Clueless and the Self Reliant?

Building success through training AND development

Regular training will bring you more results than a one off hit of training. That’s because it focuses on development. On helping people put their learning into practice. That’s why we combine sales training and sales coaching to help people build skills and confidence, and from that comes the action that will bring results.

What’s in it for the sales person?
Quite rightly, especially if the sales person is commission based, they want to know that any sales training will benefit them.

How you position the benefits both for the company and for them personally is really important in getting buy in from the participants.

That’s why we will build a programme for you around the key drivers you are facing today, such as

• Winning new business
• Staying ahead of changes in your market place
• Staying ahead of competitor activity
• Being confident about your product and offer
• Translating your sales strategy into real conversations with customers and propsects
• Looking at those messages across several channels web, social media, telephone and face to face

A 2013 report by Accenture who regularly survey companies worldwide about improving sales effectiveness showed the following

• Nearly 60% did not have a clear definition of a qualified lead
• Fewer than 50% of leads led to an initial conversation with a potential customer
• Few companies had a system that translated customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction into sales activity (getting it wrong but putting it right is also selling and in a very powerful way)
• 47% of companies needed to improve their up-selling
• Lack of alignment between the sales role and the service role created an inconsistent customer experience
• Lack of appreciation that with the use of social media, poor customer service or the lack of response to a genuine complaint can have immediate repercussions for the business

Does your training reflect the reality of the customer experience within you company?

Does it help your people get their heads around what they can do personally to improve their approach and their success in their market place?
How aware are you of the issues that your sales people face?

Does it build confidence and get sales people thinking differently about the challenges they face?

What’s the consequence of those issues?

Where’s their morale; their belief?

What can you do to inspire them to sell more?

Have you tried to shift them but without success or with limited success?

Have you looked at different ways to train and develop people that build real success?

How many top performers do you have?

Do these success stories have any influence at all in pulling others through with them or are they completely self- contained and looking after their own interests at the expense of those around them?

Do you get your sales people evaluating their sales approach and how they can improve it?

We know selling and what gives a buzz to the people who work in it.

We know the way people buy is changing, but we also know that the quality of human contact makes a HUGE difference in an automated world.

We know how important integrity and the ability to listen is in the sales process.

So why not book an appointment to talk through the challenges you face? At the end of that appointment, we will have helped you map out some of the things that you can do ( which may or may not involve training ) to help you move your people to being True Brand Ambassadors.

You can get in touch here or on 0845 450 0988