Posts Tagged ‘Sales Training’

20 Reasons to Share Your Sales Process With Your ComputerReason No. 3 – Singing from the same page.

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The common way for sales teams to get automated is through a CRM system. Early adopters of CRM have managed to iron out the flaws and have settled down to life with CRM doing a pretty good job of assisting with customer experience—making it as good as you can.

Salespeople and sales managers use the CRM system. If the CRM is implemented correctly, they have to. Sales, however, is the last bastion to get into the CRM fold and sometimes only with kicking and screaming. There are reasons for that which are a fairly common topic in my posts. Let’s think a bit about what the sales manager wants out of computer involvement with his team and his processes.

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Objections – No, They’re Not Great Buying Signals

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No matter how good you are at selling, objections will arise. Some occur because the customer needs something that you cannot provide. They want a 12-month service contract and your company only offers one for 6 months.

It is also true that some objections occur not because of what you are selling but because of how you are selling. For example, a great way to generate objections is to jump in and starting talking about a solution before you have a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s problems.

Have you heard that objections are good because they indicate buyer interest? This is an untruth floating around in the Sales world – objections are not buying signals. They are barriers, concerns, and problems that need to be prevented and/or handled skillfully.

So let’s take a look at three best practices for dealing with objections.

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Developing an Edge

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Anthony Gaffney is a principal at Moorhouse, a consultancy specialising in business transformation and delivering commercial capability programmes. We are privileged to re-print this article from Winning Edge, the members magazine of the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management.

For organisations looking for the edge over their competitors, developing salesforce capability is a key weapon in the arsenal. If the requisite capabilities are developed effectively they can have a significant impact on results — from employee engagement right through to the bottom line. The question, then, is why don’t all organisations invest in sales capability development programmes?

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Improve Sales Training – Flip It

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Recently we came across an article about an innovation in our public schools that is getting a lot of buzz – Flipping.

The idea is simple: by using technology, students spend time at home getting up to speed on a given area of knowledge, then instead of lecturing from the front of the room, the teacher spends time in the classroom floating from table to table as the students work on exercises that apply the knowledge they studied before class.

The article took me back to when I was doing some research using Flander’s system of behavioral analysis for observing classroom instruction in public schools.  The major finding of which was that 70% of the teachers spent 70% of the time talking.  So given that population, there is indeed some time available to flip.

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Sales Simulations – Why Sales Reps Like Them

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Think back to the sales training programs you’ve attended. It’s likely that the great sales training programs had two characteristics in common – the same characteristics that have salespeople excited about sales simulations.

Realistic and Relevant. For a sales training program to be great, salespeople must have the opportunity to wrestle with the challenges they face every day. The program cannot be academic in tone or esoteric in content. That means salespeople must have the opportunity to develop account strategies, call on key decision makers, and handle tough objections. Today’s sales simulations deliver on that mandate better than any other type of program.

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The 3 Main Reasons Most Sales Training Fails

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1) Theory and Role Play

Most sales training is filled with a lot of theory and good discussions around sales, but rarely provides any actionable insights or tools that we can apply immediately to our day-to-day lives that will make a difference. Role playing is used to try and simulate live customer engagements that aim at uncovering those insights and providing the tools.

However, they are rarely run effectively. They tend to paint one of two scenarios: 1) the perfect situation or 2) the most ridiculous situation possible. Neither of these are what we face on a day-to-day basis in our jobs.

The other problem with role playing is that the people brave enough to stand up and play the part are typically more worried about impressing their peers than they are about mastering whatever skills they are trying to learn.

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The Four Selling Types and Where You Should Be

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matrix opporutnity vs relationship

Last time we finished at the point of declaring two basic selling styles, which we called relationship- and opportunity-focused. Only two? Well, we are at the 60,000 foot level here. Although these are broad generalizations, salespeople will have no trouble concluding in which camp they or their associates feel most comfortable. It boils down to selling through devising strategies or through relationship building, and at the end of the day, a bit of both. In this post we’ll use the 2 x 2 matrix tool to see how that works out.

Salespeople will have a comfort zone that lies to some degree with one of the two styles, and it’s important to know and recognize that. The affinity for one style over the other will also shift depending on circumstances, depending even how you feel physically or mentally on a particular day. It’s tough to appear to be the brightest star the room when you are sick with a bad case of the flu. Once you know which of the styles put you in your element, you can work on the other and become more proficient at blending it in.

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Sales Management… Research Reveals the Important Stuff

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Market Research

Ed. We’re welcoming back Jason Jordan of Vantage Point Performance with a second research-based article. This time, it’s sales management that gets examined, and they found some interesting information on how all of you sales managers spend your time, and offer some very cogent observations on how it might be better spent.

We often contend (and do believe) that the sales manager’s role is the most complex in any organization. They are part teacher, part coach, part salesperson, part CFO, part IT director, part marketing manager, part sales support, and perhaps parts of many other roles. Sales managers do a bunch of stuff. But what stuff matters the most?

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Increasing Sales Productivity by Getting Salespeople to Work Smarter

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The Thinker

How’s that for a title? Straight out of what we’re all trying to do today with tools like sales automation and CRM; with devices like smartphones and tablets; with interactions by webinars and web conferencing in addition to phone and email; with Big Data and Drip Marketing and High-Velocity Selling; and with training in the principles of adaptive selling.

Wait. Adaptive selling? What’s that?

Before I explain, I have a confession. The title of this article is plagiarized. Yes, I stole it verbatim from three PhD’s – Harish Sujan, Barton Weitz, and Mita Sujan. It appeared in the August, 1988 edition of the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Is there a statute of limitations on plagiarism, because that makes the title nearly 25 years old.

Anyway, back to the question, what is adaptive selling and how can I learn to do it and work smarter? Well, according to their paper, adaptive selling is altering your “sales approaches based on the nature of the customer.” That seems pretty basic, doesn’t it? But is it so basic that the term is gone? Google it. From my computer the first five hits were for simplistic definitions from Investopedia and The Business Dictionary, a referral by the American Marketing Association to a 1990 paper in some other journal, a scholarly paper from 2nd World Conference on Innovation and Computer Science held in Kuşadası, Turkey, and this paper. Not exactly your top search term, apparently.

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What Does Sales Certification Certify?

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Training Certificate

I recently got involved in a LinkedIn group thread that led me to rant a little on college and university sales education – specifically on the lack of any respect by sales professionals for a college degree. That, in turn, led the CEO of the Institute of Sales & Marketing in the UK, Stephen Wright, to contact me. He told me they are a UK-based professional and government-approved awarding body that develops qualifications for professional certification under the regulation of the UK government.

He went on to tell me that their qualifications have been adopted by a number of organizations in different countries and asked about such qualifications here. My answer could have been delivered by Sergeant Schultz in the old Hogan’s Heroes television show – I know nothing.

It was an interesting question, so I set out to find some answers. I did a Google search for sales certification and here are the top five hits for getting yourself certified:

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