Selling skills training has one goal, to increase the effectiveness of sales motions and outcomes for salespeople. Whether it is one program, or a number of programs divided into the various sales skills, sellling skill training is all about the “how we sell”. These are the step by step tactics that include everything from target selection, opening conversations, building relationships, selling to the need and closing deals. Today, more and more sales training is delivered online or remotely.
Selling skills training is not a one of event, it is a process, a learning pathway that takes time to absorb. The training will should map out the stages and content for a salesperson to follow in order to improve their selling skills. Relevant content reflecting the latest trends, videos, cheat sheets, expert insights and practice are essential aspect of any sales skill training program. The sales skills salespeople need varies across industries, as B2C selling is different from transactional selling which is different to enterprise type sales. Inside salespeople should focus more on voice communication and value propositions more than presentations, for example.
However, no matter how much buyers have changed, there are a number of core sales skills that still hold true, and every salesperson should learn.These skills must cover how to communicate effectively, how to engage positively, how to ask meaningful questions, getting agreement and commitments. All these plus soft and hard skills should be covered by worthwhile selling skills training program.
Selling Skills Training Fundamentals.
The core of selling is “conversations” and so the fundamental aspect of sales are also useful in one’s day to day life. Genuine interest, questions, communication, clarification, and commitments are life’s normal activities. So, let’s take a look at some of the sales skills involved in the daily routines of most salespeople.
Simply put, real, meaningful conversations creates sales opportunities. A salespersons ability to communicate effectively has been the bedrock of sales since selling was defined. How well the value of any service or solution has been communicated to a buyer will decide if they will pay money for it. Selling will always be about the exchange of value for payment!! How to construct and open sales conversations is a key topic in sales skill training.
Expert tip – follow these 5 conversation steps.
1. Put people at ease.
2. Control emotions and voice.
3. Master storytelling.
4. Build rapport and genuine interest.
5. Be authentic and credible.
Remember, when it comes to selling motions, conversations are between the salesperson and the customer or buying group, that inspires actions. Both sides are trying to get extract value from the conversations, salespeople strive to secure a sale and the customer wants a future state that is better than their current situation. Both sides want an outcome that feels good and rewarding.
With that in mind, let’s look at the rules of conversation from a sales perspective:
● Put people at ease. A salesperson who is calm, confident, prepared, personable, and engaging is what buyers like. If a salesperson is aggressive or nervous, they will shut down any potential open conversation. Always speak clearly with confidence and use words that are believable to the customer. The success of any sales conversation (the hardest part of selling is getting a conversation started I the first place) is completely based on getting the customer to listen. By demonstrating confidence in what is communicated in the conversation, the salesperson makes the customer feel at ease and open to answering questions.
● Control emotions and voice. Research into purchasing emotions shows that buyers are reluctant to back a proposal that’s being pitched by a salesperson who is nervous, fumbling, and overly apologetic. On the other hand, they are likely to be persuaded by someone who speaks clearly, who holds his or her head high, who answers questions assuredly, and who readily admits when he or she does not know something. Confident and assertive salespeople inspire confidence in others: their customers, their audience, their peers, their bosses, and their friends. Sales skills training must empower salespeople with the ability to gain the confidence of others as this is one of the key methods in which a self-confident salesperson finds success.
● Master Storytelling. Telling relevant and impactful stories is a key element of adaptive selling; it provides the link between salespeople and customers. It is how we as individuals, understand the wants, needs, past experiences, and viewpoints of the customers we come into contact with. When a salesperson is communicating with others, a natural state is to consider their own personal goals. Instead, they should purposefully weave stories from the perspective of the customer. Letting go of sales jargon. Instead, skilled salespeople tell stories that matches the experience the customer is seeking and the way they are perceiving their challenges.
● Build rapport and genuine interest. Connect sales conversations to the life of the buyer. Effective communication happens when we follow the basic principles of professional communication skills. These can be abbreviated as 7 Cs, i.e., clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, and courteous. Sales skills training programs should go into the seven C’s in detail.
Clear. Be clear about what you want to say and write.
Concise. Use simple words and say only what is needed.
Concrete. Use exact words, phrases, Use facts and figures.
Correct. Use correct spellings, language, and grammar.
Coherent. Your words should make sense and should be related to the main topic.
Complete. Your message should have all the needed information.
Courteous. Be respectful, friendly, and honest.
If a salesperson has achieved the desired level of outcome through building rapport and interest, they can say that it is “effective communication”. e.g., If their communication gets the desired response from the customer, it means that they have effectively conveyed the message.
●Be authentic and credible. In sales, being authentic and a credible source of information is the sum of all the things a salesperson does when they want to create understanding in the mind of a customer. It is a bridge of meaning and purpose. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening, and understanding.” A salespersons commitment to values and ethics is a key driver of protecting the businesses brand. It’s important that salespeople possess: Integrity, Respect for others and Adherence. Selling skills training programs should cover this topic os part of the soft skills required in sales.
●Be comfortable with Objections. Salespeople have to become comfortable with the uncomfortable objections. The reality is any objection is an expression of disagreement, opposition, or concern raised by prospects when considering a decision with a proposal. A salesperson has to recognize them as a signal that the buyers values or outcomes aren’t being met. For many salespeople, resolving objections is the most stressful part of the sale. Ironically however, objections or concerns indicate buying interest and provide critical information for removing roadblocks. Without objections or concerns, salespeople can lack value-identifiers—clues into potential buying motives. This information allows a salesperson to realign their communication or offerings to match a prospect’s value identifiers.
●Be a professional. Selling is a profession and has been in demand for centuries when man first discovered money. In fact, sales is often claimed to be one of the oldest professions in the word. The classification of salespeople as ‘professionals’ should sit comfortably with every salesperson, just the same as other classifications of professional such as lawyers, accountants, doctors, vets and so on. An undeniable truth is that nothing happens anywhere in the world until a sale takes place and the seller brings in money that pays for staff and can trade profitably. To be a real sales professional requires sales training on a constant basis much like any other skilled profession. Some sales training videos can help on the learning pathway.
Selling Skills Training Motivation
One of the best definitions of modern salespeople is that they are ‘solution specialists’. This may seem an inflated title, but it does describe the real activity of successful selling, which is problem solving in the best interests of the customer. So, can anyone sell? Yes, of course they can, BUT only if they really want to. It is probably worth noting, as a motivation and a stimulus, that as salespeople become successful at winning new business, they will also increase their income, and many people this is a good enough reason to engage with selling skills training.
Good and successful salespeople can sell only what they believe in. It is therefore worth establishing what good salespeople actually do. Very simply it is that, given the chance of meeting a prospective customer, they will bring them on a journey that fulfils the customers’ expectations and delivers a sale to the salesperson. Enjoy some free sales training. Now, that is selling!!