3 Pillars to Becoming a Sales Expert
February 20, 2018
If your company is responsible for raising profits of other companies, listen up! I’m going to share with you the three most important factors in attaining success.
In today’s age, where self-knowledge and personal development are key to peak performance, the industry of sales provides an incredible opportunity to experiment with, and implement new practices. If you are responsible for training a team of sales professionals—whether you are a consultant, trainer, manager, or even an executive—the following three pillars are critical to your success and the success of your team.
The Training Program
Each and every company that provides sales support should develop its own training program like a sales pitch, phone scripts, dress code, non-verbal communication rules, customer relations, and so on. It doesn’t matter if your substructure is storytelling, neurolinguistics, body language, or mindfulness—what’s important is that everyone who wants to work in this area must be a specialist in communication techniques and have his or her own concept of sales abilities. You must be seen as an expert in sales operations.
Coming up with a sales plan and providing conference room training to sales agents is standard procedure: your trainees get excited, thinking the very next day, their methods will improve; but like the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Reshaping bad habits is always a hard task, and slowly they’ll get back to the same old “automated formula” unconsciously. Tutoring is fundamental, not only to raise awareness but also as an ongoing survey of common practices.
Another pillar highly praised by managers is analyzing data. It’s crucial for you, if you’re planning on being a sales consultant, to decode problems and come up with solutions to lift the company’s profits, always taking into account productivity and management tools.
Ascertaining your client’s trade and results will allow you to be seen as an expert in its field. This trait will give you the elements to provide simple recommendations, for instance, adjustments in staff or management positions with poor commitment. Keeping an eye on the productivity outcome of a company will lend you the power to counsel for improvement with evidence of your impact. This pillar is usually highlighted by the more conservative companies in the consulting area.
If both previous ideas are regularly performed by most companies, the next one is frequently forgotten: Delivering on the job.
More important than training and closely following results is the consultant having the capability to become a salesperson him/herself and be on the field to attend the progress of the company’s gains. So, what does “delivering on the job” really mean? It means having your own perspective of the business. It’s important to see customer transactions and the connection between management and the frontline teams. It’s important to understand whether or not you are in an environment that fosters the support, growth, and development of its people. This gives you the objectivity needed to provide specific recommendations to improve the business. Without it, you can only see the reality as it appears to the native tribespeople (in this case, frontline teams), whose perspective can be clouded by politics, structure, and personal experience.
Of course, a lot of times the budget a company provides to the consultant for his efforts is low but positive impacts should be laid on the foundations of your presence and purpose. Having the perspective from within will allow you to make much more specific suggestions and achieve longer-lasting results. Even more relevant is the work you’ll be able to perform with the sales staff and their superiors. These next two steps will make it possible for your teams to build Rome themselves, quickly, over a short period of time.
- First, coach a salesperson after observing a customer interaction and then give feedback, highlighting positives and areas for improvement. Do the same thing to his immediate superior – teach them how feedback should be given and then observe them put it into practice – it’s a great way to have someone carry on your work. Furthermore, being physically present on the company’s workplace will prompt the salesperson to grasp on to what should be done and increase his accountability.
- Secondly, you have to be able to demonstrate the sales process with clients and promote role playing (or just ‘practice’, if role-playing causes your staff to cringe) to show the staff that what you’re talking about isn’t just theory and can easily be accomplished (you practice what you preach; you interact).
Will you be exposing yourself? Of course! But this way you can show everyone that these methods can be executed to perfection while building huge credibility amidst the team you have an influence on.
This pillar will make the larger number of salespeople look at you, not only as a consultant but also as a sales expert; when they need support or help, you will be the person they come searching for.
Analyzing data, creating your own sales program with an effective training strategy, and being there, in the field, performing sessions for observing, coaching, and live demonstrations… all of these will help progress you from a mere sales department consultant to an influential and impactful sales expert!