10 May 2018

Are you investing on developing selling skills?

Selling is not easy! The market keeps changing with many changing factors like entry of new competitors, demands of customers, new product launches, sales team attrition etc. Salespeople must constantly upgrade themselves to the changing needs. Hence, Organizations make continuous effort to improve the effectiveness of their sales team by providing them training.

What do salespeople need to improve?

The primary objective of salespeople is to bring more sales and increase revenue as no company can survive without sales. Therefore, let us understand, what are the key areas the salespeople must continuously improve on. This can be classified into 3 main areas, namely,

  1. Product or Service Knowledge
  2. Selling Skills
  3. Sales Mindset
Sales success 3 pillars

Product Knowledge

A salesperson must have a good knowledge of his company’s product, its competitor’s product, product features, latest trends, unique benefits, pricing, company policies, etc..

In today’s world, where the customer is quite educated on the products he wishes to buy, the salesperson must exhibit superior knowledge to build trust. For example, a luxury motorcycle company salesperson must have a thorough knowledge of the motorcycle because the buyers who visit are quite well researched and educated on the vehicle.

A salesperson with less knowledge of his company’s vehicle such engine capacity, torque, wheel radius, etc or having no competitor details, can never prove to be authoritative. Thus, having a good knowledge of product or service is a must for a salesperson, as it builds authority.

Selling Skills

This is more critical and quite industry specific. Selling skills include some of the important soft skills such as building rapport with the customer, the skill of presenting the values, handling objections, negotiation skills, active listening,  sales closing techniques, questioning skills, body language techniques, and overall ability to identify his customer needs.

Many companies who conduct in-house training, equate their sales training to just providing product or service knowledge to salespeople and do not focus on training on selling skills in a detailed manner.

Sales Mindset

An important aspect of selling is the attitude or mindset of the salesperson. A salesperson lacking right attitude will find it extremely difficult to apply the selling skills effectively. He may be good in product knowledge, have a good theoretical understanding of selling skills, but still fail to produce results, due to lack of sales mindset.

A salesperson must have a mindset of persistence, willingness to accept rejections, self-motivated, passion for selling, learning from mistakes, being disciplined and productive.

Developing sales mindset will not be possible in 2 or 3 days training program. It requires proper mentoring or coaching support from their immediate managers. And for this,  Sales Coaching is required for the Sales Managers. Addressing the salespeople underlying beliefs, self-doubt, fear of rejections, erroneous assumptions must go hand-in-hand with selling skills.

Why selling skills matter the most?

There is a common perception that selling comes naturally to some people and it cannot be taught. And unlike finance, marketing, engineering, selling skills are not generally taught in many institutes. Most of the new joiners or experienced salespeople learn the selling skills from their seniors, colleagues etc.

But in reality, selling skills can be learned and taught. Selling is highly structured and process driven. There are scientific experiments, time-tested tools, techniques, methodologies available to learn and master the art of selling. It is time for the Organizations to focus on improving the selling skills of their salespeople.

Most of the internal sales training in organizations focus on technical aspects of selling by providing product or service knowledge.  No doubt, product knowledge is critical for a salesperson, but on the field, it is the selling skills which matters. Unfortunately, selling skills are not being taught extensively.

GrowthAspire, 5-step model of DIGTS is specially designed to address the selling skills and helping salespeople sustain those skills using coaching principles. Please read more by clicking here