The sales training industry is a multi-billion dollar one and you should ask yourself why.
It’s a bit like weight loss – if there was one simple technique to lose weight (which there is of course) then there would only be room for one training program.
If the simple solution of weight loss was put down to eating too much, then what would be the equivalent in the world of sales training.
We know that obesity is a global problem…a similar problem exists in the world of sales:
There are simply not enough quality salespeople and the standards of selling vary so much.
On the one hand, you have the corporate sales trainers eager to keep their well-paying clients by constantly re-defining what should be a simple, human process and then you have the start-up entrepreneurs who have no formal training but manage to create revenue out of pure thin air!
The broad skills that would define a good salesperson could be put into 3 categories:
- The ability to communicate effectively
- An understanding of the business world
- Product knowledge
All of these can be taught easily and rather than teach people how to sell, wouldn’t it be much better to look into the reasons as to why people buy?
This is the real key.
The best sales training technique is to flip sales training on its head and start to look at the reasons why people buy.
If you need convincing, then think about how the economy has changed so much since the launch of the Internet.
Now people can purchase anything from the comfort of their own homes and after a process of evaluating their options by conducting online reviews of the companies and the products they sell.
Many will think that this is all well and good when it comes down to buying branded goods, but what about the specialist products and services that power the business world?
Eventually, we will see a shift and take any company that is manufacturing a specialist product – they can lose the valuable time that salespeople are spending on giving demonstration, by moving the process online, or at least parts of it.
Salespeople need to focus on the commercial activities that drive business success and these need to be trained by commercial people…not sales trainers trying to re-invent the already over-spun and worn-out wheel.
The good news is that most companies can perform the training functions in-house – just arm your salespeople with all of the facts and customer benefits, give them the history and vision as to why you formed the company and then have them go away and put together a simple pitch.
You will see the individual creativity emerge from your team and then let them loose.
If you want to take things further, then bring in some outside influencers and not just from the sales world.
The world is interconnected and the skills that apply to selling are present in most other industries, so tap into them and use them.