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Observing a Sales Training Program (Part 3)

I’ve been listening in on deal management and war room calls with our client who had gone through Using a selling process.classroom-based sales training in late April.  They’re a public company, so the pressure is on to close business by the end of the quarter.

I didn’t expect the process work, training, technology support and coaching to have an impact yet, but there is no question that the culture and business practices of this company have changed and are still continuing to change for the better.  Whether the numbers will be affected so soon after implementation still needs to be determined.

When I say culture and business practices, here is what I’ve observed:

  • Reps now know they are going to be held accountable for full use of the company’s sales process and supporting technology.  In every case, they’ve complied (so far…). 
  • Their knowledge of what is really going on within their opportunities has dramatically increased, because they now know what information they need, where to get it, and how to validate the information they’ve been given.
  • Reps have a much better understanding of where they really are in the customer’s buying process and where they stand versus their competition.  This had been a formidable challenge.
  • Every rep, plus senior management, including the CEO, are now using a common language to describe specific aspects of sales opportunities.  This saves time as well as dramatically improves internal communication.  It also reinforces the behavior of using the process and tools.
  • Sales management (VPs and regional directors) now know to coach their reps on the process, not some arbitrary opinion on how to get a deal done.  So coaching is now much more focused and considerably more effective.
  • To sum up the previous points: the right behaviors are taking place.

Here are a few of the areas that are being worked on:

  • Management is still using the “old” method of forecasting (which is through years of past experience, knowledge of the reps, knowledge of the market (and a dash of guesswork).  I’ve got no complaints about this at the present time.  With two quarters I expect them to be fully comfortable and dependent on the forecast produced by their CRM/PRM (prospect relationship management) software.
  • They need to formally commence Win/Loss analyses with respect to the effectiveness of the sales approach on an opportunity-by-opportunity basis.  The most important question that needs to be answered is through this mechanism is, Is the process working?
  • Some additional sales tools are still under development.  For example, the company is in the process of finalizing a program that will be used to certify sales reps on the use of a new ROI model/business justification process.  This will be employed where there is no compelling event by which a prospect must make a buying decision. 

Stay tuned…

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One Response

  1. I really am delighted to have found your blog and see another interesting view point on sales. I try to learn more every day now, even though I have been in sales for more than 10 years. It is the sort of profession that we need to keep on our toes and keep our ideas fresh so to find something as fresh as your blog pleases me so much.

    I myself, now work with a digital marketing agency as a business development executive and know how important it is to listen to others.

    I shall be subscribing and read avidly all your future posts.

    Cheers!

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