I have a tremendous amount of empathy for managers who face the difficult question, "How can I improve the strategic and consultative selling skills of my sales team?" Having been through many training programs myself, I realize that few offer training concepts that actually “Stick”. How many times have we sat bored at white linen-clad tables laboring through yet another sales training course? We take notes, since there is nothing else to do but daydream about the sales calls we could be making but for the so-called training. We leave only to add another three ring binder to the others that are gathering dust on our shelves.
Systematic MethodologySearching for systematic methodology that could easily be applied and enforced, I could find none early on. As a matter of survival, I created my own processes and strategies to organize the hundreds of accounts that had been assigned to me. Realizing I had to operate within my value system, I made the sales process consistent with my principles and also systematic in methodology. The tools I developed over the years worked for me, and I thought they would work for others as well.
R.O.T (Return On Training)Now let’s make sure it works for you. It’s all about making certain you have the right training, and then making sure that it ‘Sticks’. In other words, you must ensure that you get a high ROT (return on training). Most research on learning and integration concludes that for people to change and improve behavior there must be repetition, feedback, coaching, and practice. Professional athletes, musicians and actors are good models for this principle. Now, how do we make certain that the Trust Triangle Selling training takes? Here is what I recommend:
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"Train" the rep with the TTS workshops. My intense workshops focus on interactive training. There are no lectures—the seminars are highly interactive, engaging, lively and spirited. All attendees understand that they are potential ‘victims’ for role play and Q & A scenarios. The spontaneous exchanges keep participants ‘on their toes’ and ready for questioning. The learning experience is enhanced and ingrained when students realize they have to participate in the learning process in every way.
"Create" automation of the TTS common language and Best Practices. Forms are an easy way to standardize practices. I provide many such schedules, including the TTS™ Account Management form, the BMPCC Account Qualification Strategy, the summary of 8 Major Account Strategies, Documenting the customer’s Buying Process (3-D™), and many sample customer letter templates and charts.
"Key" concepts must be reviewed and reinforced. Refresher workshops are recommended in addition to the utilization of account templates. Managers need to sit down with their reps and ask them, for example, to provide the BMPCC on each account.
Not only that, the VERY best way is to change policy and reinforce the new policy. This can be painful initially but once results are seen, the pain goes away. Below is a summary of the 8 business policies that are considered by many clients after they have participated in a TTS workshop:
All forecasted opportunities must include a critical event timeline along with the specified critical event.
Business Leaders will not reply to Unsolicited Bid Specifications - Phone First, then send the Unsolicited Bid Spec Letter.
Business Leaders do not provide presentations or support for presentations unless the Presentation Prep Document/Prep Script has been reviewed with each key attendee.
Business Leaders do not provide site visit support unless the Site Visit Prep Document/Prep Script has been reviewed with each key attendee.
Business Leaders will strive with the AM's to properly qualify ALL opportunities as quickly as possible utilizing the BMPCC account qualification approach.
All Business Leaders have the responsibility for the following strategies: 1. Business Strategy/Plan 2. Strategy/Plan for each AM 3. Major Account Strategy for major opportunities.
Business Leaders and will not consider any price changes beyond the quoted price until the 4 key pricing questions have been satisfactorily answered.
No negotiation support will take place without proper preparation. This preparation must include the "Negotiation Trade Matrix".