Generating leads can be an expensive, time consuming activity. Even with a good supply leads and opportunities, poor processes and inferior sales skills can make sure fire prospects vanish and significantly add to the cost, in time and resources, of any leads that are converted. As the cost of doing business increases, growth and profit starts to suffer.
We’re all more sophisticated in terms of what and how we buy, and that is true of our customers too. Buyer behaviour has changed radically. We’re now able to research what we’re looking for, before we even think of approaching a sales person to get more information. We all have different considerations when we choose our preferred supplier and price might not be the overriding consideration. There are various value propositions that speak to us and convince us to buy from a specific supplier.
To match the changes in buyer behaviour, it’s imperative that companies train their sales people to a higher standard, ensuring they have professional sales skills, a good attitude and knowledge of their competitive market.
Training a sales team is like training any team and it’s shocking to think that most amateur sports teams are better run than most sales teams. The reason is simple: a sports team expects to be taught how to be the best and they’re willing to learn and practise. A savvy sales manager knows this and will teach the team how to win, using case studies and showing them how to act in recognisable customer scenarios. In these scenarios, every member of the sales team is shown what to do and how to do it. Exactly the same formula used by top sports coaches when their team practices their set plays.
If your sales team doesn’t get to practice, rehearse and train in the safety of the sales meeting, how do you they improve their sales skills and improve their sales knowledge? The answer: in front of live customers, the leads that have cost a fortune to generate in the first place.
Every business needs to have a winning sales team. It needs salespeople who can handle leads effectively, with commitment and confidence. They need good sales knowledge, skill and consistency and be able to take their buyer on a journey and win the sale.
Businesses must take a firm grip of their sales strategies and start building a proper structure into their sales function. Sales needs to be taken seriously and regarded professionally, with recognised skills and knowledge.
We can’t expect sales people just to get it, we need to show them what best practice looks like, if we want them to improve. Sales knowledge and sales skills don’t just happen, they need to be learnt and practiced, preferably not in front of real customers!
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