There are two common strategies used to address selling performance issues; train the people you already have or fire and re-hire new ones. It is possible that the people you have are lacking some important skills and it is also possible that you chose badly when recruiting but how likely is it that the root cause of your performance problems is poor selection or lack of skills?
We are sometimes asked to provide training in specific selling skills with common examples being; dealing with competition, negotiating and closing. In some cases the problem has been well identified and therefore the solution works well. However, in most cases the perceived “problem” is just a symptom so, for example; training someone in negotiation techniques will not help if the problem stems from poor qualification during the initial lead generation process.
Another issue is that training is often generic so the lessons delivered are not in context for your specific business, proposition or marketplace. This is really just a “sheep-dip” approach and is unlikely to deliver a sustainable gain in performance.
The most effective training strategy is when it is part of a fully integrated process of staff development – this is true for all training not just sales. The main components include:
- Recruit the right people understanding the gaps that need to be filled through training.
- Give new recruits a thorough induction into your company; history, products and services, your proposition, the market, your competitors, your business model and your sales methods and processes. This is the foundation for successful employment and improved retention.
- Be mindful that people learn in different ways (read, listen, observe, do) and to get the most effective result you need to “train” people for the results you want, e.g. tell => perform by rote, vs. coach => understand and adapt as necessary.
- Create a learning and development plan for each individual. This is not about a mad first week; it is about a development programme spread over the whole period of employment with you. I started my selling career with British Olivetti and through my near seven years with them I was being developed and honed to ever better levels of performance.
- The development programme needs to use the management, leadership and coaching regime that you have in place as its delivery mechanism.
OK, so how may we help you? Call or email us for a confidential discussion.