Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Sales Training Tips

Sales Training Tips: sales training tips to maximise sales performance and investment in sales training.

Sales training is about giving salespeople the skills and tools to be successful. Effective sales training and coaching will cover topics such as: Core selling skills, communication, mindset, motivation, reinforcement, retention and implementation.
These sales training tips have been formulated to deliver actual, real-life results to help  salespeople acquire the the selling skills without the jargon that often surrounds sales training.

Sales Training Insights
Research has shown it can take 10 months or more for a new salesperson to be fully productive. It may surprise you but 55% of salespeople lack basic sales skills and nearly 60% of buyers say the salespeople are unable to answer their questions effectively. The reality is that lack of sales training hurts companies. When sales people lack training or not briefed properly on the sales playbook, process or how to use the various sales tools effectively, then companies can spend a lot of time, energy and resources with zero impact on sales results. The flipside is that a strong commitment to ongoing sales training whether thats online, in class, seminars, workshops etc. will give any sales team a competitive advantage.  

"Companies where salespeople can implement the correct sales methodology and get consistent coaching see over 80% target achievement".

Sales Training Motivation
To start, the best sales training will improve the performance of an individual salesperson on average by 20%.  Another sales training statistic is that 65% of salespeople say the quality of training and learning positively influences their engagement with customers or prospects.
So, well planned, content rich sales training courses supported by a culture of learning will cultivate salespeople that are willing, eager and ready to use the knowledge given to them in their daily sales activities.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Sales Performance Improvement

Sales Performance Improvement: Tips on sales performance improvement for sustainable sales growth



Sales performance improvement is a program of sales training and self development courses to accelerate revenue growth within a company. Sales performance improvement initiatives deliver the best results when sales management and leadership take a partnership approach where ideas and inputs are solicited from the salespeople, and then used in the various courses or programs.
This support approach gives the sales teams the confidence and ownership to improve the sales performance goals. Before setting any sales performance improvement goals, sales leadership has to acknowledge that it is a process not an event, it is a continuous improvement process NOT a single sales training event.

With longer sales cycles, smaller budgets, multiple decision makers and more educated buyers, every business who is striving to achieve sales growth will want to improve sales effectiveness and efficiency through process,tools and technology.

The first step is to understand that sustainable sales performance improvement is a change management project which can lead to resistance and uncertainty, especially if seen as interfering with the current sales model. So it needs to be resourced and planned properly.

The next step is to review existing sales performance improvement assets such as sales training materials, courses, videos, sales playbooks, tools and competency guidelines, as they all play a key role in driving improvement. A business may not have any or all of this content and some or all of the content may not be available in digital formats.

The first real decision in creating a sales performance improvement plan may be to choose between (1) content that is ready (but doesn’t meet the current needs) and use it anyway OR  (2) invest in refreshing, upgrading and transforming the content and templates etc for digital access. A point to note is that research shows that salespeople's learning habits and preferences are changing. They they want shorter, more engaging learning content, for example sales training videos or sales training courses that can be accessed online as needed or accessed in their down time.

Document Areas for Sales Performance Improvement

Sales leadership in tandem with the sales teams views need to create a baseline improvement expectation across ALL steps in the sales process for every sales team member. Then the sales managers or sales trainers needs to document what areas have been identified that require improvement for (a) the steps in the sales process and (b) for each salesperson. These in turn would be discussed with each individual as part of the overall sales training and development plan.
It is important to remember that when documenting and creating a paper trail for each sales performance improvement area is to ensure that all the information gathered is entirely objective, fact based, and specific. The trainer, coach or manager should avoid generalities and provide detailed examples to support each area that is to be addressed. Once the sales performance improvement areas have been communicated to all stakeholders, a number of templates will now need to be created. These typically include what was expected in the agreed sales performance plan and what was actually delivered. Other templates or documents, maybe as part of the companies sales playbook could include action plans, reviews and consequences of veering outside the agreed process's in the plan.

Sales Performance Should Match Salespeople's Goals

Sales performance improvement needs to be aligned to each individual salesperson and their goals from their action plan should be personalized. Within the overall plan, align goals that focus on areas of self-development and personal improvement, individual to each salesperson. To ensure ownership by the sales team for the plan, within the sales training section of the sales performance improvement plan, give each salesperson the opportunity to enhance areas where they are already competent and improve areas where they agree they have a skills deficit.
To migrate any perceived disruption or risk, a company can start by introducing a smaller sales performance improvement plan with lower goals. An example would be a goal to improve a salespersons sales habit loop such as doing 10 minutes research work ( the research work output should be documented) prior to making a sales call. Another goal example is for a salesperson during quiet time to engage in social/digital selling to connect with existing customers or prospects in the pipeline (again, goals need to be set). Take note that rolling out a new sales improvement plan with goals is not enough, the salespeople have to understand that there be also be consequences such as reviews and evaluations.

Time stops for no one and in a rapidly changing sales environment if there ever was a time to take action to improve sales performance, it's now. Sales leadership, management and trainers need to plan for the future, the future sales model, the future sales strategy, the customers buying journey, the role salespeople will be expected to execute against and how the business plans to develop their salespeople so everyone has a mandate to doing things better.

Future looking leaders never let the pursuit of profit get in their way of progress. Much like any change management process, the sales performance improvement plan will face obstacles and encounter issues. Sales leaders need to focus on how they envision their sales engine performance and sales growth in one to three years time. This includes working with the sales training and development resources to put some well thought out initiatives into play ASAP, as they can often just comply with current objectives. However, they also need to know that management supports them and communicate that it’s not just OK but VITAL that the business  adopts new ways of getting salespeople to learn, develop and grow, so sales performance improvement will be a constant not just an event.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Sales Training Ireland

Sales Training Ireland: Free sales training courses and articles for salespeople based in Ireland


Sales Training, Sales Transformation and Sales Enablement are core areas to be addressed for sustainable sales success in the digital age. The roles and activities of salespeople are  changing rapidly due to the influence of social media, buyer preferences and sales channels. Whether salespeople are selling locally into Ireland or internationally, potential customers and buyers are changing the rules - they are online, digitally and socially networked and more educated in the sales process than their predecessors. These changes into the dynamic of buyer to supplier relationships is now being felt across sales organisations. The biggest question facing sales leaders and management is “How will sales training and education help the sales teams to research, find, communicate and engage clients or prospects across different channels?”.


Apart from the free sales training articles and tips on this site, we can also deliver highly personalised sales training courses and sales training workshops across a broad set of requirements to salespeople who want to improve their selling skills in sales prospecting, business development, building leads, social selling, lead nurturing, building pipeline revenue, sales process and modern selling techniques.

The goal of Sales Tips is to improve the performance of sales people in Ireland. We research, write and train sales people on the latest techniques and proven sales methodologies. We hope our free sales training articles will improve the knowledge, selling skills, presentation skills and communication skills of each and every sales person who visits this site. From a commercial standpoint, we strive to ensure that all our customers receive real, sustainable value from our sales training.
With a proven track record in delivery of sales strategy, we can raise the skill levels of sales people in the areas of sales communication, sales conversations, prospecting, account development, collaborate and value based selling. Our sales training is personalised to the individual needs of each customer, where sales performance improvement of 10-20% is commonplace. Sales Tips constantly review market trends, sales tools and research for our free sales training articles and workshops to help salespeople become the most effective, confident and efficient sales professionals in their industry.
For further information on our personalised in-house sales training courses and sales training workshops across Ireland, email us via our contact form click here.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Sales Techniques

Sales Techniques: sales techniques tips

A series of sales techniques tips to help salespeople in the sales process whether up-selling to an existing client or trying to open a conversation with a new prospect. Every salesperson regardless of experience needs to acquire a set of sales techniques they can use in any sales situation to progress an opportunity. This list of techniques will hopefully help salespeople to  improve their sales performance.





Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Online Sales Training Course

Online Sales Training Course: Online sales training course covering all the key sales skills with modules on sales prospecting,business development and selling tactics etc.

An online sales training course that has been created to meet the expectations of both the beginner and more experienced salesperson. Every professional salesperson understands that they need to build relationships with sets of buyers or customers, which over time leads to sales. Through The Digital Sales Institute sales training course, you’ll learn to how to open, nurture, build and sustain meaningful relationships that profits both parties. 


In the self-educating, digital era, we know buyers and customers can have completed most of the buying process without ever engaging or talking to a salesperson. In fact, due to the ability to easily gather research online and the openness of SaaS models, a buyer can compare and complete a B2B purchase without ever interacting with salespeople. The point is that the time to rethink the impact of the more traditional sales tactics is now, as many of these do not simply work any longer. This change in the buyers journey and the knock on effect to the sales process means salespeople need to transform their sales training and techniques for the digital age.

Any good online sales training course will blend the tried, tested and still relevant sales skills with modern sales techniques that are proven to get the tech savvy buyer to listen whether thats offline or online.  Learning to sell better means adapting to changing buyer habits, and nothing’s changed the sales process more dramatically in recent times than the rise of social media and digital channels. Our online sales course has been specifically designed to help any salesperson to bridge the skills gap, adapt a sellers mindset and take a more rewarding approach to the critical role of selling. The sales course online is divided into modules and separate lesson topics to allow salespeople to target the specific sales area they wish to improve, a sales training course complete with lessons that have been developed by industry experts. A range of sales training courses that includes sales prospecting, closing deals faster, creating and building trusting relationships, coping with the uncomfortable and overcoming hurdles or objections. The Digital Sales Institute online sales training course is self-paced, so a salesperson start and pick up again wherever they left off previously.

sales-skills course
Sales Training Class

The goal of the training course is for learners to build modern sales skills and gain the fundamental knowledge necessary for sales success in the digital era through a series of online training lessons. The online sales training course participants will acquire the selling skills to do meaningful research, gather market and client intelligence, select who to target, understand the buyer whys, then develop relationships across a broad range of buyer personas, and propose personalized solutions that addresses the pain points or business challenges of the customers they interact with.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Sales Performance Improvement

Most sales performance improvement is as a result of the digital transformation in sales, which has seen sales leaders focus in on the development and enablement of their sales force.  Sales performance improvement is a process not an event, it is a continuous improvement process versus a single sales training event.
sales-performance-improvement
No business who is serious about sales growth will want to miss out on the opportunity to improve sales effectiveness and efficiency through process,tools or technology. However, sales performance improvement is a change management project which can lead to fear and uncertainty, especially if seen as interfering with current sales practices.  Sales performance improvement templates such as sales training materials, sales playbooks, tools and competency guidelines all play a central role in driving improvement. For many companies they may not have any or all of this content and then much of the content may not be available for digital consumption.
The first step in creating a sales performance improvement plan may be to choose between content that is ready but doesn’t meet the current needs, then continue to use the existing content in the old way, or invest in transforming the content and templates for digital access. In today’s digital era, we know that salespeople’s learning habits and preferences are changing. Research shows they want shorter, more engaging learning content, for example sales training video that can be consumed online as needed or accessed in their quiet time.
Begin By Documenting Areas for Improvement
Once the business has created a baseline expectation across the sales process for every sales team member, the sales manager or supervisor needs to learn how to properly document what areas require improvement for both the steps in the sales process and for each salesperson. This would then we discussed with each individual as part of a training and review plan. The important thing to remember when creating a paper trail for each sales performance improvement plan is to ensure that the information gathered is entirely objective, fact based, and specific. Needless to remark, the manager or supervisor should avoid generalities and provide detailed examples as much as possible. Once the sales performance improvement areas have been communicated, a number of templates will need to be created. This include what was expected in the sales performance plan and what was actually delivered. Other templates (as part of a sales playbook) could include consequences of veering outside the agreed process’s, action plans and reviews.
Sales Performance Makes Salespeople Goals Personal
Regardless of the sales improvement or sales enablement plan, every salespersons goals should be truly personalized. Within the general plan, take account for goals that focus on areas of personal improvement, individual to each sales team member. To future proof the business, within the sales training section of the sales performance improvement plan, give each salesperson the opportunity to enhance areas where they are already competent and improve areas where there is a skills deficit.
To reduce risk, start by introducing a smaller sales performance improvement plan with lower goals, goals that could improve a salespersons sales habit loop such as doing 10 minutes prep work ( the prep work output should be documented) prior to making a call, or using quiet time to engage in social selling to connect with existing customers or prospects (again, goals need to be set). However, just rolling out some new sales improvement plan with goals is not enough, there also needs to be consequences such as reviews and evaluations.
Let me conclude with one of my favorite sayings, “Fortune favors the brave”, and in a rapidly changing sales environment if there ever was a time to be brave, it’s now. Take time to think differently about your sales model, your sales strategy, your customers buying journey, the role you expect salespeople to execute against and how you plan to develop your sales talent so everyone can commit to doing things better. Never let the pursuit of profit get in the way of progress. Every sales performance improvement plan will face obstacles and encounter issues, so focus on how you envision your sales engine performance in 1,2 or 3 years time. Finally, encourage your sales training and development teams to put some well thought out initiatives into play as they can often be risk-averse. Then back them up, and let them know that it’s not just OK but vital to adopt new ways of getting salespeople to learn and develop, so sales performance improvement will be a constant not just an event.
Sales Performance Improvement – Sales Training Company - The Bitter Business: Sales Performance Improvement

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

A Guide to Sales Prospecting

A Guide to Sales Prospecting 

Sales prospecting whether using cold calling, social selling, emails or referrals is a vital sales tactic especially for new or small businesses.  Prospecting and sales are not the same thing, prospecting is solely focused on searching and engaging with potential customers in order to nurture a relationship. The sales event happens once the prospect has passed some qualification criteria.  The act of picking up the phone or sending a cold email can seem daunting to a salesperson, especially if they work for a company whose product or brand name might not be instantly recognizable.
50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting. [Source: The B2B Lead]

So, here is a guide for sales prospecting success:

effective-sales-prospecting

Use Social Selling and Digital Selling to counteract lack of name recognition.

Using social selling and digital selling tactics can overcome many of the bigger obstacles for new or smaller companies. As Confucius stated “Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing.” So, start by really understanding your value proposition and be clear about the buyer pain points and business challenges your company solves.
Givers Gain. The ability to demonstrate (visually using video or content on social media) that you understand your prospects challenges and that you can be a useful source of information to help them improve their business will result in increased relevant connections.
Share first, sell later. Sharing insights and quality information without a big sales pitch is what will get attention from buyers. Use video, case studies, whitepapers, references etc to gentle highlight the benefits of considering your business. Give examples of what makes you different, whether it is a unique product, free trials, lower cost of ownership, proof of concepts or improved performance. Seeding the benefits of doing business with you that can be viewed online will only reinforce your other sales prospecting efforts.
The first step is to create a list of unique benefits and values that will displace any perceived lack of recognition or recall. Building a social selling and digital selling strategy aimed at specific audiences will position the business as one worth considering when it comes to looking for new providers.

Know who you sell to and who will buy from you

Knowing who you want to sell to and who will buy from you are not the same. If you want everyone as a customer, you will sell to no-one. Create 1,2 or 3 Ideal Customer Profiles. In fact, focusing in on who you want to engage is probably THE most important aspect of sales prospecting. To maximize your success, ensure that you prioritize the prospects and profiles in order to improve the chances of providing value to them and their challenges.
During the research stage, the goals to work towards include:
  • To determine if the prospect is worth investing time in
  • List, score, and begin to prioritize prospects
  • Identify touch points (via social or otherwise) to develop a connection through content, message personalization, nurturing and influence development

Seek to Be Useful, Valuable and Relevant

Regardless of whether you try to engage via cold calling, email or social selling, you should seek to be a useful, valuable and relevant contact. Learn how to social listen so you can research their company and understand their business. What trigger events can you uncover that would warrant engaging with you. Have they just launched a new product? Hired a new CEO, moving to a bigger office, Acquired a new company? Trigger selling is where you leverage specific information to make a prospecting touch point relevant, more informed, and less cold.

Become skilled at Social Selling and Digital Selling

The fact is that while still they still deliver results, cold calling and unsolicited emails are not as powerful as they once were. They still have a place in sales prospecting if used in conjunction with social selling. This activity involves the use of LinkedIn, Twitter and increasingly Facebook as part of the sales process to raise buyer awareness towards a business and then gradually cultivating new connections. Learn to use social media to build relationships before a prospect even starts a buyer’s journey, to close the conversion gap and eventually move online social conversations into offline sales conversations. Social selling is an additive process to connect with all stakeholders, decision-makers and influencers as the buying process moves from status quo, to awareness and onto consideration.
Using your Ideal Customer Profiles, locate and list your prospects on LinkedIn, then begin by sharing quality content, be seen to add value to conversations prior to sending out a connection request. Using a highly personalized message, referencing something that will twig their interest will greatly improve their likelihood to accept your request to connect to them. Now, this can turn your first ‘cold’ call touch point into a warm call and increase the percentage of appointments or demos.

Multi-Channel Sales Prospecting Touch Points

Not one single sales prospecting touch point (Social Selling, Emailing or Cold Calling) should be your entire tactic. C level executives receive over 100 emails a day and try to avoid numerous cold pitches so the likelihood of success by simply focusing on one tactic will probably deliver slim pickings.
Successful sales prospecting is about communication and getting commitments. There will always be person to person personalised communication, so learn the multi-channel techniques to overcome any lack of name recognition on calls and mails. The buying committee is now on average made up of 5 to 6 people, so think multi prospecting touch points to multiple people as part of your sales process if you want to build recognition for the business.
As buyers self-educate, getting their time and attention isn’t easy, but perfecting the channels and timing of when to engage them will dramatically close the conversion gap and increase the number sales conversations you secure.

Learn the Sales Habit Loop, Set a Daily Schedule for Yourself

It takes 66 days on average to learn a new habit, so as basic as it sounds, plan your day, book time slots for different prospecting tactics in your calendar, daily. Then persist with it and prospect. Make it part of your daily routine and give yourself a reward not just for the success but also for the effort.  Selling is a repetitive job, it can be easy to dedicate ourselves to the “easier” sales tasks. Even when your sales pipeline seems full, remember over 80% of prospects make it all the way through the sales process and never make a decision. So, you must have a sales habit loop that consistently refreshes the number of sales prospects you are planning to or are currently engaging.
sales-prospecting-success

Never stop Learning

Take time to reassess your sales prospecting process to see what activities generated some return and which ones did not deliver.
After each prospecting campaign, take time to assess how well we:
  • Found a pain point or trigger
  • Were able to engage in meaningful conversations
  • Uncovered challenges
  • Understood the buying committee and decision process
  • Gave buyers reasons to move out of their status quo
  • Closed the conversion gap
Persistence. Learn, have a routine, Try, then try again, reflect, refresh, adjust and go again. And again, and again. Taking time to self-reflect will serve to further improve sales prospecting techniques for future campaigns. Here are some more sales training articles and videos.