In my first week here at Outbound Marketing, I went through different experiences. The model they adopted for training sales teams, quite different from the usual one, caught my attention.
Early on I was introduced to The Sales Acceleration Formula, by Mark Roberte, which teaches you the correct formula to prepare your sales team.
If you’re going to hire a sales team, you need to know how to train them so they get the best results, right? Thinking about it, I prepared this text, based on the teachings of Mark.
The follow-on training model is very common in companies, but it is worrisome, as each salesperson is unique and has specific skills (or superpowers). Beginners tend to be exposed to good and bad habits.
Limiting the apprentice to observing the process of a more experienced salesperson may restrict his understanding of what his own ideal sales process would be. It is necessary to give him the freedom to develop and apply his own “superpowers”.
Mark states that the success of a training program depends on 3 aspects of the sales methodology, which ensure a scalable and predictable formula:
- The Buyer’s Journey
- the sales process
- The qualification matrix
The Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey represents the steps a company moves through, starting from the purchase of a product. For example, many journeys start with a buyer discovering a problem he or she would like to solve. From there, he can begin to educate himself about the problem and possible solutions available.
- The buyer can create a shortlist of solutions to evaluate;
- The buyer can target one of these solutions;
- The buyer can assemble an ROI analysis on the cost and benefits of the solution.
It is important to start the process of training a sales team with the buyer’s journey. This increases the likelihood that the buyer’s needs will stay ahead during all aspects of the sale.
Once the journey is defined, the sales process can be created. This process will give the customer the support they need throughout their purchase.
Buyer Journey Model
the sales process
It’s best that the steps taken by the team of nova city islamabad, in the sales process are aligned with the buyer’s journey, making the seller stay in sync with the lead’s needs.
In addition, the stages in the process should be inspectable so that the salesperson and their sales manager are always aligned on the status of each opportunity.
The qualification matrix
The qualification matrix defines the information needed to establish how we can help and whether the lead really wants help. Such information is collected at various stages of the sales process and is rarely collected in the same order for different deals.
A very common qualification matrix, which has been used for many decades, is the BANT which, translated, means: Budget (Budget), Authority (Authority), Need (Need) and Time (Time).
- Qualification by budget: the seller validated that the value generated by the solution is greater than the cost and that the budget is affordable;
- Qualification by authority: Seller validated budget criteria with the responsible individual;
- Qualification by need: the salesperson understands the objective the potential customer wants to achieve, or the problem they want to solve, and must be able to quantify this need, as well as understand the implications if the customer does not achieve the desired result;
- Qualification by time: establishment of the time, specified in the calendar, in which the customer would like to have his/her need met by the solution.
BANT is an older methodology, but it’s a good start. As the lead evolves and the salesperson deeply understands its context, it is possible to choose another qualification matrix that works better. Just remember to keep the criteria short, simple and easy to understand.
Create a schedule
Now that you’ve managed to create a methodology, it’s time to structure a schedule of activities. Start with the buyer’s journey, move on to the sales process and end with the qualification matrix.
Training Schedule Template
Add predictability to sales team training
We’ve reached the point where you’ve managed to define the methodology and create a timeline. Okay, now what? Well, it’s important to know what your results will be, isn’t it? So, it’s critical to add predictability to the process.
We already know that training through follow-up is not enough. In addition, it is essential to include tests and certificates, as a way to verify the acquired knowledge and create a means of interaction with the process.
There are several ways to enhance this interaction and add predictability to the process. Some tools used by Mark Roberte are:
Periodic feedback on issues involving training: with more experience and working time, the salesperson will be able to assess what was most and least useful, as well as assess whether something was missing from their learning process;
Correlation between training and sales performance: Does doing well on tests indicate success in sales, or does poor performance on assessments indicate future failure?
Desire to change the behavior of the sales team: as the business evolves, the team needs to be retrained and the training process needs to be readjusted.
Produce salespeople your customer’s trust
Buyers now have full control over the buying and selling process, making the seller’s role almost unnecessary. This because? Because there is the internet, where the customer can find everything he needs, make comparisons and complete the purchase, all online.
In this new scenario, the question arises: what is the role of the salesperson in the sales process, then? Simple, add value to the process and be a genuine customer advisor.
The seller needs to understand the customer’s goals and know how their solution can help them do that, they need to turn the generic message into a personalized story that resonates with the best solution and responds to the buyer’s needs using their language.
Only when the seller understands the customer’s scenario is he able to effectively connect and gain the buyer’s trust.
Allow your sellers to create their own brand
In order for your team of salespeople to achieve prestige and authority in certain matters, you need to allow them to be perceived (or seen) as a reference by your potential customers.
For this, encourage the development of connections through the internet, encouraging them to share their views and help their followers by writing articles on LinkedIn, the company blog and other networks.
Social media is a great opportunity for all sellers to be perceived as trusted advisors by their customers. Therefore, sellers should allocate some of the time spent on prospecting to writing content. The reward is great.
How about encouraging your salespeople to stop wasting time on activities that don’t generate results and invest time in a process that will strengthen the connection with customers?
As an example, Mark cites some ways to interact on social media where your salespeople can:
- Find people that prospects follow on Twitter, retweet their most relevant posts, introduce yourself, and establish a connection. The next time you post something, these people will likely promote it;
- Join LinkedIn groups where prospects are active and interact by sending content and messages;
- Discover blogs that interest prospects, read content and interact with publishers. In the future, they may even exchange backlinks and topics;
- Participate in the company’s own blog.
Did you understand the importance of creating a good training process? The experience that Mark brings us in his book is like a magic formula that guarantees predictability and good results for your company.
Want to learn more about sales team training? Check out this text from our blog, which has a complete guide on the subject.