Specialize Your Sales Force to Meet Company Strategic Objectives!

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According to market research done, your salesperson is now the single largest factor (39%) in a customer’s purchasing decision. No other factor – product, quality or pricing – equals the impact of a salesperson.

How does your sales organization truly transform into Sales 3.0 to become a strategic weapon?

Sales 1.0 was about the salesperson. Through prolific training, sales force developed an increased ability to convince, win and retain customers through personal selling efforts.

Sales 2.0 was about invent of technology in sales. With new tools to enable the sales force to be more effective, sellers became more productive, reporting became more sophisticated and timely, and new ways to reach the prospects were introduced.

Enter Sales 3.0 – The integration of Sales 1.0 and Sales 2.0 leads into ‘Total Sales Performance’ and emphasizes the critical role of Sales Manager in transforming your sales team. Herein, both sales management and sales training together (along with effective team building efforts) plays a crucial role. The individual capacity of salesperson multiplies with teamwork! The benefits of teamwork include increased efficiency, the ability to focus different minds on the same problem, and gain mutual support. This may also include even cross-selling efforts. Mostly, it does!

Corporate training solutions in sales should be developed to increase efficiency in sales as well as shorten selling cycle to reap benefits as early as possible. This calls for the company to be responsive to the market it is in and driving its sales built on authentic feedback from the market.

1. Identifying and hiring the right manpower is the very first step to succeed in selling efforts. It is impossible to make a wrong selection into right one, without the requisite trait present in the new recruit to sell effectively. Pre-hiring training solutions can help in shortlisting right manpower through elimination rounds.

2. Once the right manpower is in its place, it is mandatory to conduct proper orientation – product orientation as well as people orientation – to help new recruits merge with the existing culture of the company. This could stretch as long as a week or so. ‘On the Job Training’ (OJT) helps in achieving the strategic objectives of the company as well as ensuring the manpower selection is right.

3. Pilot runs or probation period of 3 months(or even more) along with regular refresher courses related to product/ solution or to local market conditions will help in pruning the selected sales team. This will help to assign right tasks to the team members depending on each individual’s communication skills, language spoken, geographical knowledge etc. At this stage, training solutions can be conceptualized to meet the specific requirements of manpower selection.

4. Sales Managerial Training – A common point of failure is delivering isolated training that is never integrated within a sales manager’s daily environment. Instead of expecting sales managers to work independently on their own, training department should partner with sales managers to determine exactly how the new skill-set will integrate into their environment/ daily schedule. Why will they use the new skill taught? When will they use the new skill taught? Where will the consequent behavior take place? How often, and with whom?

5. Post training support – When it comes to post-training support you may find that initial adoption is good, but after a few months, it becomes spotty. Over the long-term, the status quo prevails. The effectiveness of training is directly dependent upon learned skill sets becoming ingrained habits. During this critical time period, sales managers will encounter trouble spots that threaten to derail the development of new habits. In order to ensure ‘Total Sales Performance’, the training department has to walk in step with the sales managers over a prolonged period.

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