5 Trends That Will Impact Your 2015 Sales Training Strategies
5 Trends That Will Impact 2015 Sales Training Strategies
Scripted product pitches and manipulative selling techniques have never been very effective in driving sustainable revenue growth and long-term customer loyalty. In 2015 their value will drop even further.
Here are 5 trends to keep in mind as you plan your 2015 sales training strategies.
1. Buyers are smarter, and they expect you to be, too. “Know me before I meet you” is the new expectation among business buyers—after all, they already know you. Today’s technology-driven, highly networked buyers have already researched your products and are talking to people who use them, which means your sales people are coming in at a much later point in the buying cycle. To be successful going forward, sales people have to be able to quickly understand context, shape thinking and deliver value. That’s why it’s critical your 2015 sales training strategies focus on helping people create better conversations.
2. Customers are interacting with multiple touch-points and channels. In light of these changing behaviors, customers are likely experiencing your organization through multiple different points. As a result, the path to “customer nirvana” is increasingly built on seamless communication and internal collaboration. Being a Best-in-Class company will require placing more emphasis on training all customer-facing staff to support a consistent customer experience and take advantage of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
3. Constant change is affecting everyone—including your customers. Market volatility has led to a continual shifting of priorities that is adding to the complexity of everyday business. If you’re feeling it, guess what? So are your customers. That means sales people must have the attitudes, beliefs, commitment and achievement drive to be agile and adaptable, able to pivot with their customers’ needs and come up with innovative solutions to challenging problems and demands.
4. Technology is a part of life, but it’s not replacing sales people. Buying inherently requires trust. For all the technological tools now available to your customers, it’s the people, making that human-to-human emotional connection, who ultimately will continue to solidify the organization’s competitive advantage. Technology changes the entry point, but if anything, it intensifies the level of interpersonal skill required. Now more than ever, sales people have to know how to quickly establish trust, and that means their attitudes, motives and beliefs have to align with what their customers value most.
5. Effective coaching multiplies sales training ROI. CSO Insights’ Sales Performance Optimization survey showed a clear difference between the companies that adopt an “informal coaching” approach and those with a formal coaching methodology: With formal coaching, more than 90% of reps integrate the training concepts into their daily practice (vs. 50-75% with informal coaching)—and these companies outdistance the others in key metrics, including reps making quota and forecast deals won. In other words, training for your coaches is just as important as training for your sales professionals.
As the environment continues to change and grow in complexity, the pressure is on for your sales managers and professionals to quickly adapt and rise to the challenge. Make sure your sales training plans for 2015 are aligned behind a strategy that reinforces the attitudes and beliefs that will deliver results for the long haul.