The realities of COVID-19, coupled with legacy sales issues, are making it more difficult for sellers to set appointments with new business prospects. Problems inhibiting a seller’s access to decision makers — like a lack of trust — have been compounded by the uncertainties of the current business climate. The bottom line, already a tough job, is now even more difficult.
Simply put, helping sellers develop expertise in the Identify and Connect steps of the sales process is needed and will provide a high ROI on training time. Specifically, improving skills related to finding prospects and setting appointments will increase the number of prospects in the sales funnel and lead to cash!
4 Areas Where Sellers Need Sales Training
As a manager of a team who uses a lone wolf sales structure and process, here’s a list of training topics plus some additional thoughts about each to consider when building or tweaking your training plan for the remainder of the year.
1. Finding Leads
- Sellers should always be on the lookout for leads
- Blocking time each week to find leads is essential
- Identifying and selecting some sources of leads will help the process. Here are a few examples:
- Monitor the competition (keep in mind everyone does this, so it’s a pretty crowded space)
- Referrals from satisfied customers
- Customers that have spent in the past and are not currently spending
- Using tools like Google Resources like Alerts or search options
2. Qualifying Prospects
- Not all leads will be worth a seller’s time, so they should follow a process to qualify the best prospects
- Things to consider dollar potential, access to the decision maker and fit
3. Setting Appointments Using Valid Business Reason
- Prospects will meet with a seller for their reasons, not the sellers
- Communicating information that lets prospects know the seller understands something about their business is a great place to start
- Be sure to include information that demonstrates expertise and problem-solving capabilities
- A product focused, mini pitch won’t work in most situations (leave this approach to your competitors)
4. Using Video to Stand Out
- Sellers are having positive results using video to set appointments
- 76% say it helped them increase sales
- Here are some things to consider and include in training related to using video:
- Pick a video source (use a source like Vidyard or Loom that enables tracking to determine who is watching the videos)
- Don’t forget about the technical things like lighting, audio and screen use
- The message is extremely important (see valid business reason information listed above)
Moving from the lone wolf sales structure to division of labor structure can also improve a sales team's performance. For example, creating a team of people to find leads and set appointments using content marketing will increase the number of appointments for sellers. Also, providing sales enablement resources like CRM, sales plays, and/or a sales playbook will help this process as well.
As a sales manager, the choice is yours — changing the sales structure or improving sales expertise via sales training. If you really want to improve sales performance, invest in both!