Sales Training Connection

Handling 5 mistakes to get sales back on track

Sales Training Connection

Salespeople dread dealing with mistakes. At best they get you off track … at worst they lose you the sale. Mistakes run the gamut from corporate issues, like defective products or billing issues, to mistakes generated by the salesperson themselves, like sharing faulty information or missing a key player involved in making the buying decision. Some mistakes are just annoying, some are financially costly, and some have even more dire consequences. But no matter one’s skill or luck, mistakes occur.

12 tips for storytelling during sales calls

Sales Training Connection

Salespeople who are able to share engaging stories that resonate with the listener make a connection. It’s one thing to list why a customer should do business with you; it’s another to be able to relate a past success story that brings that list to life. It’s not a little bit different – it’s a whole lot different. Here are 12 tips for effective storytelling: Focus on the prospect – Tell stories that relate to solutions that address the customer’s needs.

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Great sales coaching starts with receptivity

Sales Training Connection

Sales coaching can make a difference, and it should be a priority. In fact, pros agree that sales coaching is a critical piece of the puzzle in developing a world-class sales team. Yet, when it comes to giving coaching feedback, most sales managers don’t do it enough. Many times it’s water off a duck’s back, and sometimes it makes matters worse. There are many reasons why giving feedback often fails to make a difference.

Acknowledge selling mistakes … don’t panic!

Sales Training Connection

No one likes to make mistakes. What’s to like? At best, they get you off track … at worst, they lose you the sale. Mistakes run the gamut, from corporate issues, like defective products or billing issues, to mistakes generated by the salesperson themselves, like sharing faulty information or missing a key player involved in making the buying decision. Some mistakes are just annoying, some are really difficult to handle, and some are potential deal breakers.

75% of World Trade Flows Through Indirect Channels - Are You Enabling the Right People?

Speaker: Jay McBain, Principal Analyst – Channels, Partnerships & Ecosystems

We are in the middle of a major transformation of how companies go to market – in fact, 76% of global CEOs feel that their current business models will be unrecognizable in the next 3 years – and ecosystems are the main reason why. With the vast majority of business conducted through indirect channels around the world and given structural changes in our economy (before and after COVID-19), new buying journeys, subscription/consumption models, marketplace growth, and emerging technologies, most firms are now considering partner enablement as the key ingredient to survival (and success). The future of partnership ecosystems will be focused on driving intra-firm value creation, network effects, and partner co-innovation – a huge opportunity for firms to grow the right partners and enable them effectively.

Virtual reality – a new day for medical product launch presentations

Sales Training Connection

Virtual Reality and Sales Presentations. Each year medical companies develop a dazzling array of new products. Some are minor upgrades. While others are extraordinary new products designed to be game changers or, in some cases, “bet the company” entries into the market. Unfortunately after all the market assessments, business plans, beta tests, and approvals many new medical products fail to achieve the anticipated commercial success. Why so?

Sales training – managing a conundrum

Sales Training Connection

Sales training. Here’s the conundrum … You have a 250 person sales team. You are a new, first time Sales Training Director. You replaced a sales manager who did no sales training for a long time. To add urgency, revenue numbers have been stagnant for too long. The VP of Sales now feels that sales training is definitely needed and it needs to be done in short order. And by the way, it needs to work. Context.

Selling at C-level and the too late-too little puzzle

Sales Training Connection

Selling to C-Suite Puzzle. In major accounts sales success at the C-level is a “do or die” proposition. What makes it particularly challenging is “one strike and you’re out.” ” There’s no second chance to get it right. Successfully selling to senior executives is a book with many chapters. However, three footnotes are particularly important: When do you sell to senior executives? How do you gain access? How do you get it right? When do you sell to senior executives?

The lost art of call planning

Sales Training Connection

After many years of sitting in on sales calls and even more providing feedback to salespeople in sales simulations, we’ve noticed there definitely is variability in the amount and quality of pre-call planning. Pre-call planning improves when someone else is on the call, like a sales manager, colleague, or even a consultant along as an observer. But the boost doesn’t last.

Sales excellence – listening is not a spectator sport

Sales Training Connection

Listening isn’t a spectator sport. You have to get in the game. You must convert from thinking about listening as something that is passive – to something that is active. Here are seven best practices to help salespeople do a better job at active listening: Make sure you understand what the customer is saying before you move on to the next topic – try summarizing. Ask the customer to expand on topics they position as high priority.

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The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

Sales management coaching training – necessary but not sufficient

Sales Training Connection

Sales coaching puzzle. A while ago we received a call from a company wanting to talk about coaching training for their front-line sales managers. They were real cheerleaders – they believed sales managers were the pivotal job for sales success and coaching was the sales managers’ key responsibility. Since over the years we have published a lot about sales coaching and designed some very successful sales coaching training for clients, we thought we might be able to help.

Sales training – more of the same never results in something different

Sales Training Connection

Sales training. If you look back over the last decade, a number of industries have gone through dramatic change. They have changed what they buy, how they buy, and what they are willing to pay for it. The future will produce more of the same with the changes likely to be even more dramatic. If your customers are making changes of substantial magnitude, then the case is made that it’s no longer business-as-usual for your sales team.

Negotiation strategy – positioning the glass as half full

Sales Training Connection

Negotiation Strategy. There are a substantial number of skill sets and bodies of knowledge that constitute the discipline of sales negotiation. In the end, however, the ability to craft and execute a thoughtful and creative plan for the negotiation is a bottom line for achieving a successful end result. This is particularly true in major accounts where the negotiation is complex and there is more to lose and more to gain.

Sales culture – put the horse before the cart

Sales Training Connection

Developing a sales culture. Traditionally when talking 
about sales best practices, most of the emphasis has been placed on individual sales rep and
 sales management skill sets. But the more we have studied high 
performing sales teams, the more we have come to realize that the
 cart has often been placed before the horse. Perhaps sales teams
 would be even more successful if greater emphasis were initially directed towards creating a culture that drives individual excellence.

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Want to Crush Your Competition? Read How to Build an AI-Powered Selling Roadmap

“If sales reps have the right AI tools and adoption, we see sellers easily closing 3 times as many sales each month.” Hear from 5 experts on steps you can take to reduce non-selling time and use conversational & sentiment analysis to transform how you sell.

Sales productivity – time to push the more button

Sales Training Connection

Companies spend a tremendous amount of time, money and effort every year to improve the productivity of their sales teams. The intervention strategies range from sales training efforts to coaching initiatives to sales tools to marketing materials. These efforts tend to be laser focused on helping sales reps enhance their ability to sell more effectively.

Happy Thanksgiving

Sales Training Connection

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving … and for many a long weekend filled with fun, football, and perhaps some shopping

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Internal champions – why one may not be enough

Sales Training Connection

Internal Champions. In major accounts a lot of the selling is going on when you are not there. So developing internal champions is a key to sales success. When talking with sales reps about internal champions, it’s clear that in many cases once they’ve developed an internal champion, they mentally “check off the box” and move on to other things. But is one enough? Like most questions of this sort the answer is – yes, sometimes one is enough.

Sales success trap – confusing busy with productive

Sales Training Connection

Salespeople like everyone else can succumb to the temptation to stay busy. Research tells us that most people have an aversion to idleness and a bias toward taking action – especially when facing uncertainty. The rub is it doesn’t seem to matter if the action is a productive effort or not. People just feel better “doing things.”

The Revenue Leader's Guide to Prospecting

Speaker: Christopher Ryan, Founder and CEO of Fusion Marketing Partners

Sales & Marketing departments that work together guarantee higher acquisition, better nurturing, and more effective sales. Join Christopher Ryan for this insightful webinar, presenting the wide funnel lead nurturing model. Don't miss out on this opportunity to get your teams working together and your revenue performance optimized.

Sales excellence – put the horse before the cart

Sales Training Connection

Sales excellence. Major account selling is truly a highly skilled and information-intense profession. Just like any highly skilled profession one must not only master skills; you must also understand the principles upon which success is built. In major account selling, the most important underlying principle is the following – sell the problem before you sell the solution – the horse must be in front of the cart.

Sales management coaching – the power of questions

Sales Training Connection

Sales Coaching. Asking questions is an underpinning of successful selling. The notion – ask, listen, and then talk is a powerful principle in the science of successful selling. Asking questions is also an underpinning of successful interactions between salespeople and their sales managers. Consider this …. Effective coaching is not so much about teaching people, as it is about helping them to learn – that’s why top coaches ask more than tell.

Sales managers and the story of the “super salesperson syndrome”

Sales Training Connection

Sales Manager. How can we diagnose someone with “super salesperson syndrome”(S3)? Well, a sales manager with the “super salesperson syndrome ” will probably exhibited some of these 6 characteristics : Sell rather than coach. When push comes to shove, S 3 sales managers will spend their time selling rather than sales coaching. They’ll look for reasons why they should be engaged at various times during the sales cycle and personally make sales calls in sales reps’ accounts.

Product pitches – nothing dies harder than a bad idea

Sales Training Connection

Product sales pitches. If you are an avid reader of sales blogs, it’s likely you will come across three or four blogs a week about the secret sauce for creating a winning product pitch. If sales blogs had been around 25 years ago, you would have encountered even more of them because the product pitch has been around for a very long time. Way back when, companies spent an inordinate amount of time crafting product pitches for their major product offerings.

7 Keys to Creating Massive Value in Your Sales Meetings

Speaker: Marc Wayshak, Sales Strategist, Best-Selling Author & Founder, Sales Insights Lab

Engaging prospects in a strong two-way dialogue is something most reps struggle with. In this session with Marc Wayshak, you’ll discover a data-driven approach to sales meetings that yields significantly better results. Specifically, you’ll learn how to: • Engage prospects with authority • Keep your prospects’ attention • Achieve buy-in during sales conversations • Get prospects talking about their key challenges, • Gain a strong commitment before presenting your offer. In short, you’ll discover how to implement a process that helps you close more deals than ever before.

Becoming a top sales performer – in the end it’s up to you

Sales Training Connection

Today having a superior sales team is more important than ever. Good is no longer good enough. Several factors are driving this need for excellence – two stand out: You can’t sustain a competitive advantage by product alone.

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Sales training – what’s the biggest challenge?

Sales Training Connection

Given the substantial amount of money that companies commit to training every year, the notion of learning more about how to get it right is a question of interest. With that in mind, McKinsey & Co conducted a survey of 1,400 executives worldwide to explore the question. Major Finding. When asked about their companies’ biggest challenge with training programs, the respondents reported that the one growing most in concern was the lack of metrics.

Shape the customer’s decision journey – create a unique competitive advantage

Sales Training Connection

Customers Buying Journey. McKinsey&Co’s David Edelman and Marc Singer recently wrote about the world of consumer buying. We thought the overall conclusion also had relevance for the B2B market. According to Edelman and Singer – “the traditional funnel model in which customers begin with a set number of brands in mind and then whittled them down until they decided what to buy—has been usurped by a customer decision journey model.

College graduates – should you consider a sales job?

Sales Training Connection

Sales reps and new college grads. From time to time we come across articles that tell a tale of doom for Sales as a career. The stories predict dramatic reductions in the number of sales reps as the future unfolds. So if you are in Sales or are thinking about it, it is only a journey for the occupational brave-of-heart – so they say. Given this rather draconian version of the state-of-the-career, we were delighted to read a recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Lauren Weber.

[On-Demand Webinar] The State of Customer Education: Trends and Benchmarks Report

Speaker: Sandi Lin & Linda Schwaber-Cohen

In this webinar, Skilljar CEO Sandi Lin shared learnings from Skilljar's recent study and her insights on the state of Customer Education. She dug into key findings so you can benchmark against industry trends and understand how your strategy and metrics compare.

Sales management – the power of culture

Sales Training Connection

Consider this …. “If If you create an environment that inspires people in the good times and bad, they will figure out the right strategy and will do the right things from an execution perspective. I used to think strategy, execution and culture were a three-legged stool. Now I realize that if you create a great culture, the other two will follow.”. In a recent New York Times article Robert Reid CEO of Intact goes on to point out - “Almost everyone goes to work to do a good job.

Sales success – don’t forget these 6 soft skills

Sales Training Connection

Develop soft sales skills, too. Asking questions. Selling value. Handling objections. Crafting sales strategy. Closing. Analyzing the competition. Check out any sales training program and you’re likely find some of these sales skills being taught. They are the fundamentals and they are critical to sales success. And just because they are fundamental does not mean they are simple to learn. To perform them skillfully requires a lot of practice and feedback.

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An age of disruption – salespeople need to change now and change fast

Sales Training Connection

Sellers need to change now. Are you ready? According to Bain & Company, B2B sales executives have seen tremendous disruption in recent years – and there’s no reason to think it won’t continue. Today buyers are often well into their buying process before they even initiate conversations with sellers. Companies have researched the competitive options, eliminated a few and have become informed about the products and services of the remaining alternatives.

Sales simulations – try one, you’ll like it

Sales Training Connection

Ssales Simulation. Historically companies have often used sales simulations as a capstone sales training program for their senior sales reps or their national account group – that is when the program is positioned as a Top Gun school. While sales simulations certainly fit this need, thinking of sales simulations only as a training design for advanced programs is unnecessarily limiting.

How to Drive Revenue Through Retention Marketing & Sales Enablement

Speaker: Ruth Stevens, President of eMarketing Strategy

In a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to focus on retaining and expanding current customers. So, how can sales and marketing support the retention effort? Join Ruth Stevens as she dives into this fast-paced session and reviews the 7 key strategies for current customer marketing, to enable sales and expand customer value.

Sales mastery 2015 – a horse of a different color

Sales Training Connection

Sales Mastery 2015. According to Bain & Company, B2B sales executives have seen tremendous disruption in how customers buy in recent years – and they see no reason to think it won’t continue. And if buyers change how they buy – salespeople need to change how they sell. How well are companies meeting the challenge? The folks at Bain surveyed 550 B2B sales executives. The overarching finding was – “few companies are completely prepared for the changes taking place.”.

Sales managers – are you passing the leadership development test?

Sales Training Connection

Developing Sales Leaders. It’s natural for front-line sales managers to focus on sales team performance – drilling down on the numbers. The deadlines are immediate and the rewards are explicit. Sales managers spend their careers developing the required skills with corporations providing the necessary training and encouragement. Hence, in most cases all of the activities that are required to manage the numbers successfully lie within the sales manager’s comfort zone.

Sales coaching above and beyond the sales comfort zone

Sales Training Connection

Sales Coaching. Salespeople sometimes have a propensity to stay in their comfort zone – doing more of what they are doing well. There are many reasons and rewards for taking up permanent residence in ones comfort zone – like being comfortable and successful selling a particular product to a fear of change.

Pipeline management – not all business is good business

Sales Training Connection

Good vs. Bad Business. Sales reps are always looking for that next big opportunity and justifiably so. But while all new big opportunities initially look great – be cautious! All “bright shiny objects” aren’t good opportunities. In major B2B sales it is critical early on to distinguish between an account that represents good and bad business. The larger the opportunity the more important it is to get it right. Reasons – time and money.

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.