Training Your Sales and Marketing Team

British classical scholar, F.E. Adcock once said, “Battles are sometimes won by generals; wars are nearly always won by sergeants and privates”. It is also true that in your team, sales will be delivered mostly by your salespeople. It is therefore a must that you train them consistently.

In this article, I will be sharing some of my best practices when I do my Sales and Marketing Training so that you can effectively train your salespeople.

First of all, let me show you some points why you need to train your sales team (like you don’t know that already).

1. Refreshment – it is important that you refresh your team’s knowledge on your product, competition, target market, etc. Fresh ideas may come out when you have regular trainings.

2. Motivation – you don’t just push your team; you motivate them. Motivation is something that your team needs constant reminder of. Remind them of their passion and what makes them come alive. Keep them on fire.

Those are just my top reasons why your team needs training.

Now here are some guidelines that you can follow when training your sales and marketing team:

1. Know the present issues

It is very important that you, as a leader, is aware of what’s going on in the field and the challenges that your team is experiencing. It is so hard to have a passive leader who doesn’t even care what’s happening to his team. A constant communication is needed to be able to capture these issues. You need to be able to create topics to discuss around these issues.

2. Preparation

Now that you know the current issues and challenges your team is experiencing, you now need to prepare your topic. You need to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, “What is the best solution to these issues?” Tailor-fit your topic directly to the issue because that is what’s relevant to them and that is what they needed. You will never have a boring training as long as you give solutions to these challenges and issues.

3. Tools that you can use

a) Internet – use the internet to research solutions to your team’s issues. See how others are handling this. Take note and create a module that will give solutions.

b) Records – nothing beats statistics. You have to know your facts. Check the actual sales and files so that you know what you are talking about. Know what sells and what’s not. Know the objections your team encounters in the field and provide answers.

c) PowerPoint – people are more attentive when they see something visual. You must learn how to use this tool and learn how to create presentable PowerPoint presentations. You don’t need it to be flashy and fancy; all you need is to be able to use this tool to make a point. I will discuss in another article how to use PowerPoint effectively.

So there it is. I hope that helps. Among all these points I have told you, do not forget one thing… always have food for your team to enjoy.

Good luck with your sales and marketing training!

Let me know if you found this very helpful.

Held Back Sales and Marketing

The best sales and marketing is less about promoting and more about holding back.

As strange as it sounds, in order to keep a customer engaged – especially early on as you strive to build a relationship and trust – the best thing to do is to not give them what they want. Instead, stimulate interaction by giving your customer some of what they ask for while delivering a complete experience in successive stages.

Your goal is to engage your customer in a number of ongoing conversations and interactions instead of just one and you do this by providing breadcrumbs for them to follow you down the path of mutual benefit. To that end, here are Don’ts and Do’s for engaging in what I call “Held Back” Sales and Marketing:

Don’ts

(1) Don’t talk about your product… unless you have no other option! Bad sales and marketing is about incessantly pitching your product. Good sales and marketing is about uncovering need and developing relationships

(2) Don’t answer every question: There are 2 problems with answering every question a customer asks. First, it gives them control of the conversation. Second, if they have all their questions answered they no longer need you. Instead, create suspense and next steps

(3) Don’t provide all information: This follows from point (2) and is also contrary to traditional sales and marketing approaches. The fact is that if you provide a customer will all the information they are looking for – especially in a complex, multi-step sale – then they often go off and make their mind up by themselves

(4) Don’t suggest solutions: Going back to point (1) we need to keep in mind to let customers “discover” the solution by themselves – your solution. Your job is to listen and lay breadcrumbs based on what they are saying. Try not to jump ahead but instead lead the way

Do’s

(1) Do engage and listen: If there is one thing that most sales and marketing professionals are not as good at as they should be, it is listening. We like to proclaim and explain whereas we should rather develop a talent for creating and managing discussions with customers

(2) Do ask questions: Remember that a person asking the questions and listening is the one in control of the conversation. Rather than give in to the temptation to lapse into sales-and-marketing-speak, use thoughtful pauses in the conversation to ask more questions

(3) Do build trust and rapport: A common misconception in sales and marketing is that your job is to talk about your company, products and services. While this certainly is the endpoint of a customer discussion, the starting point is building a relationship

(4) Do book the next step: Once you have built sufficient credibility with the customer through your professional empathy you may take on the role of guide. Your job is to engage customers on a journey, step by step, to a mutually beneficial desired outcome

Rather than trying to push customers forward, hold back and create a sales and marketing “pull” instead!

Mr Spock’s Sales and Marketing Nerve Pinch

Have you seen the new Star Trek movie and it’s world class sales and marketing secret?

If not, you can learn a TON about selling (in any medium) just by observing James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock. Kirk being the main honcho on the spaceship in the TV show, and Spock being his pointy-eared first officer.

How so?

Well, when you watch the movie you’ll notice…

1. Kirk’s an impulsive, “leap-before-looking” kinda dude.

2. Spock is the opposite — analytical, logical, and thorough.

And you want to know what?

In some ways, they represent EVERY prospect you’ll ever sell to.

And if you want to give yourself a nice “leg up” in business, all you have to do is recognize whether the person/people you sell to are Kirks or Spocks.

For example:

Let’s put on our dorky pointy Vulcan ears and robes for a second, and pretend it’s the year 2,300 (or whenever Star Trek takes place) and you sell cool phaser ray guns and want a big old fatty Star Feet weapons contract.

And you know you’re going to deal with either Kirk or Spock.

Well, I don’t know about you…

But I’d sell to Kirk WAY differently than to Spock.

For one thing, I’d much rather sell to Kirk.

After all, Kirk’s impulsive, energetic and, if you can make a decent case, will buy without hardly any resistance. In fact, as long as you appeal to his ego, you can slather your sales pitch with all the hype and excitement you want — the more the merrier.

Not so with Spock.

If you get stuck selling to Spock it’s a whole new game.

Spock isn’t going to respond well to a high energy, hypey pitch. He’s going to require a LOT more proof and “reason why”. And you also better have a super logical presentation that flows without a bump or a bobble.

Plus, Spock is going to ask many more questions.

He’s not going to tolerate any “winging it”, either. You either have your stuff wrapped tight or he’ll give you a nerve pinch and eject you off the ship!

Anyway, here’s the point:

It’s not easy selling to Spock. But selling to Kirk is like taking candy from a baby.

Chances are, you’ll often have to deal with both.

If you “custom fit” your sales and marketing to appeal to one or the other (depending on the situation), you’ll make more sales.

And live long and prosper (big time).