The Importance of Sales Process Training
No matter the field or industry, training your staff gets your business geared towards the smooth operation. Especially in sales, a competent and knowledgeable sales team is the only sales team that can reach your business’s goals. Of all the types of sales training, sales-driven businesses need to use sales process training.
What is Sales Process Training
Sales process training refers to the process of familiarizing a sales team or sales representative with the steps necessary to walk a buyer through all stages of the sale. A sales process must consist of repeatable steps that act as the foundation for a successful sales pitch. The more familiar and comfortable a sales representative is with their sales process, the more sales they will make.
Sales processes must not only provide structure but room for adaptation and change. Some sales can be made without deviating from the sales process in the slightest, but the majority of sales will need a little bit of elbow room. Too much rigidity in a sales process shuts down the deal before it even gets to the table. Sales process training allows salespeople to follow a guide while adapting to any change a customer might throw their way.
By providing your sales team with the right sales training materials, whether it be through a professional program or through sales training videos and demonstrations, you set them up for a career of success in a difficult industry.
The 7 Sales Process Steps
Sales process steps are a set of repeatable actions a salesperson takes a buyer through, from initial awareness to a closed sale. Typically, sales processes consist of around five to seven steps: prospecting, preparation, approach, presentation, handling objections, closing and follow-up.
This step includes finding potential buyers interested in your product or service. From identifying leads to marketing, this step begins each sales process. Prospecting could be in-depth by using analytics of an existing market or it could be less precise through cold calls and similar actions.
Depending on your business, sales representatives themselves could be doing the prospecting or you could have a team tasked specifically with handling this step. Either way, ensuring that all sales representatives have at least some knowledge on prospecting helps increase your customer base.
After identifying a lead, sales representatives need to prepare for the pitch. Preparation includes figuring out how to get in contact with the prospect as well as doing research regarding the customer and their habits. The more your sales team knows in advance the more tailor suited they can make each pitch.
A salesperson must know the best possible ways to conduct their research and prepare for a sale. Proper training ensures that each sales team goes into every interaction full of confidence and awareness regarding the prospect. Without knowing how to prepare, salespeople slip up and fail before really getting a solid shot.
The approach is the first interaction between buyer and seller. Whether it be introductions and then delivering a pitch or reaching out to set a meeting, the approach must establish a professional relationship and include an explanation of what the seller is selling. Earning the prospect’s trust occurs in this step and everything must be done to ensure the seller makes a good first impression. Additionally, the seller gauges the prospect’s interest and identifies a problem that needs solving, which they will focus on throughout the presentation.
A well-trained salesperson earns respect and trust from their first interaction with a prospective buyer. In order to achieve this, each sales representative must know how to open a conversation with a buyer without being pushy or disrespectful. A salesperson with a well thought out and practiced approach gets to the presentation much more consistently than one who fumbles with this initial interaction.
This is a big part of any sales process. The seller must clearly demonstrate how the product or service fulfills the buyer’s needs and desires. Whether it be through a product demonstration or tailoring a solution specific to the buyer, the presentation must persuade the buyer into making a purchase.
Because of the importance of the presentation, salespeople must hit all the target points the sale has been working up to. Extensive training ensures that all sales representatives know the full details of what they sell so they can use this information to make the biggest impact on the buyer.
While a prospective buyer may demonstrate wariness during each step of the sales process, most buyers raise objections after and during the presentation. Whether they be based on price or any other factor, most salespeople deal with some kind of objection from the buyer during every sales pitch.
Training must include common objections as well as just an overall strategy on how to improvise and maneuver in order to reach a sale. In many cases, a buyer will raise an objection almost immediately. A trained salesperson will be prepared for this and will not let it get in the way before giving the buyer a good idea of the product or service. It takes time and practice to handle objections without hesitation, but investing that time leads to success.
After obtaining a buyer’s interest, the salesperson goes for the kill. The closing step includes negotiation and smoothing out the details of delivery. And after reaching a deal, salespeople conclude it with a handshake and a written agreement. Salespeople should aim to strike while the iron is hot and try to close a deal when the buyer expresses maximum interest.
Sales teams must be given all of the right tools they need to make a sale, including technical support and negotiation permission if applicable. Salespeople need to know the flexibility of aspects like price and quantity before agreeing on a deal that harms the business. Additionally, salespeople need to know when a customer shows the most interest before they oversell and kill a deal right when they almost had it.
The deal might be made but the job is far from over. After making a sale, the salesperson or their organization must ensure delivery on the terms of the deal from both parties. Additionally, checking for customer satisfaction means they will keep doing business with you. A happy customer and an unhappy customer share their opinions with friends and colleagues. So make sure you leave customers satisfied and happy.
Sandler Sales Training Process
Developed in 1967 by David Sandler, the Sandler sales methodology or the Sandler Selling System emphasizes a mutual level of commitment on behalf of both the buyer and the seller. Instead of taking the role of the typical salesperson, each representative must act as a trusted advisor to the buyer.
Through a respectful and honest conversation, the buyer expresses their needs and wishes to the seller who in turn comes up with a solution that best matches what the buyer is looking for.
The Sandler method is great for car sales process training, as it takes a customer’s needs into consideration before matching them with the right product. When a car salesperson listens to what a customer wants instead of just trying to push the car with the highest price point, they are more likely to make a sale that satisfies the customer
The Sandler sales method can be adapted to many other fields. Sandler continues to offer training programs and seminars so that businesses can fully understand and implement his method.
The variety of sales philosophies is as extensive as the number of fish in the sea. However, you can find the right one that works best for your business. There are philosophies that focus on the product or service. These put the product first and work to demonstrate its appeal and function. A product-first philosophy might see heavy use of demonstrations or advertising. This method is a little less client-oriented, but it continues to thrive well into today because a strong product sometimes just sells itself.
Opposite of the product first philosophy is the customer-centric philosophy. By understanding a customer’s needs, a salesperson develops a trusting relationship that leads to continued sales and positive customer referrals. Any philosophy that puts the customer first requires open dialogue and honest discussion.
The sales process begins with determining what a customer is looking for. Some customers might keep their guard up, so gaining their trust takes time. Other times a customer will come right out with their problem and ask for your advice regarding a solution. Either way, the seller must listen to the customer in order to reach a sale. A business must train someone in the ways of active listening to get the most out of this philosophy.
If your business needs help to find the right sales process, Selling Revolution is here to help. We help your business train people who will succeed in the field, regardless of their skill level or how long you have been in business. To give your sales-driven business the right tools to succeed, start by booking a no-obligation call with us today. The sooner you start, the sooner you will succeed.