Top 5 Ways to Fix Your Sales Training/Evolve as a Salesperson
There are some organizations that change their sales training manual a couple times a year. Most don't. Many don't have one. Some do it once every few years. Some made it once and haven't looked at it again. Reps read the manuals. And that's the entirety of their sales training. Some look for knowledge outside of just the manual are met with a sea of information...very little dealing directly with the #sportsbiz.
I've been selling since 2005. That's a long time now. When I started selling, people were debating how email was going to be incorporated into the sales process. Now there are a billion social media channels we're being told we need to bring into our sales mix (we'll get to this in September!). The landscape of sales has changed...and is changing. Our sales training and how we learn sales has to evolve with that change. In August, I'm going to take a deep dive on each of the 5 topics listed below, but (SPOILER ALERT!!!)...I'm going to give them, and an overview of them, to you today.
Top 5 Critical Training/Learning Topics in #SportsBiz Sales:
Product Knowledge/Product Differentiation: When I started in sales I was told I needed 'to know enough to be dangerous.' That's not acceptable anymore. You have an internet that has all that information. People are going there to see information on your team. If your sales process doesn't provide more than the internet...you're not going to be successful. Also, if your sales process can't differentiate your team from the other entertainment options in the city (not just other teams, but restaurants/bowling alleys/etc.), you won't have nearly the success you could be having.
Improv Comedy/Public Speaking: The ability to think on one's feet is one of the biggest points of differentiation between good salespeople and great salespeople. Good salespeople can make the buyer feel heard and pass along information. Great salespeople can make the buyer feel heard and engage the client with information that is most relevant to them, personally. There's a big difference between those two styles, and those that can parse information to a buyer in the moment will always be at the top of the board. The best ways to enhance that skill are having your team do improv comedy and public speaking.
Entrepreneurialism: Pretty sure this isn't a word...but you get what I'm saying. Under this topic I'd include critical current sales topics like self-prospecting, pipeline management, lead qualification, time management, etc. It's training a rep to think of themselves as a business. How am I most efficient? How do I sell best? What channels do I sell best in? Each of these is different for every salesperson. The best salespeople don't copy what others do...they set their own course based on their own successes and failures...like any good business. I'll spend a whole week on this!
Engagement/Channel Stacking: The other four topics will eat up August. This will eat up September. I get asked ALL the time about channel stacking...literally, what channels should I be using, and how do I include social media into my sales process. The biggest advice I can give (though plenty more is coming), is that, regardless of the channel you're on...are you communicating a message that deserves to be returned (engagement)? Way more coming on this...hold onto your butts!
Traditional Sales Training: There is absolutely a place and time for objection handling, event selling, great questioning, closing, etc. This should never be discounted and will never go away. We'll talk about ways to re-think traditional sales training in August...but the staples will remain the same. You still need to be able to teach and learn the basics of sales.
Hope this gets you excited, both teachers and students, about the next two months of content at #EmpowermentofaSalesperson. As salespeople and sales leaders we need to continue to evolve the way we learn and teach to fit where sales is going in 2018...2019...2020...and into the future. Incorporating the above are critical to that evolving process. And I didn't come up with these. I had to read or get told about them. That's why the Richard Branson quote to the right rings SO true. And the next great sales training idea? I'll probably be learning that one in the near future. Get ready...August & September are going to be fun months!