Across industries, as much as 57% of sales professionals fail to make quota, at least consistently.
Yet, on average, again, across industries, companies spend 90% of the training resources on product knowledge, and only 10% on sales training. However, there are those companies who are top performers, who invest 50% or more of their training resources on sales training. Still, their sales professionals fail to make quota consistently.
While there are many reasons for this, it points to one simple fact: sales training and product knowledge simply aren’t enough to help sales teams achieve consistent, predictable and profitable sales growth.
So what is the solution?
To bridge the gap between product knowledge, sales training, and consistent sales growth, sales professionals need to be equipped with the essential skill sets that increase their “influence“ with customers and prospects.
These skill sets include, but are not limited to:
1. Effective Communication Skills - The basic and advanced ability to connect, build trust and dialog with customers and prospects.
2. Adding Aligned Value - While "adding value" has become nothing more than a cliche' and a corporate buzzword, the ability to add aligned value, is a science and an art that few salespeople, sales leaders and business people truly understand.
3. Leadership Skills - The fact that most salespeople would ask the question "what does leadership have to do with my success in selling?" tells us that there is a huge gap and opportunity to increase their influence with their buyers.
4. Negotiation Skills - The problem here is that most salespeople don't realize that every single conversation they have with a prospective buyer is, in fact, a negotiation. They think if they aren't able to adjust prices or offer discounts, they aren't negotiating. Again, the gap widens.
5. Ethical Persuasion Prowess - This is far removed from what people perceive it to be - manipulation and coercion. Rather, the ability to ethically persuade allows the sales pro to deftly lead their customers to make the decision that is in their best interest, without delay, objection, or hesitation.
6. Basic Behavioral Psychology - Nothing too deep here, just the realization that different people approach the buying process in different ways, but that, without exception, those buying decisions are driven by emotion, not logic.
7. Presentation Skills - Many sales professionals are truly fortunate to have the very best products, services and solutions in their industry, but they still fail to make quota consistently because they don't know how to present the aligned value they bring to the customer in the way that their buyer(s) need to hear them to take action and make a decision.
The problem with product knowledge and sales training, alone, is that they fail to address the most essential human dynamics of the selling and buying process.
Until beginning, seasoned and veteran sales professionals understand the subtleties of creating mutually beneficial outcomes, they will continue to miss the mark, and fail to hit their goals consistently.
Without a doubt, product knowledge and sales training (selling skills) are essential, but we can’t stop there.
By infusing the skill sets of influence Into our current sales process and sales conversations, creating a culture of consistent role-play for realtime practice, mentoring & coaching, diverse and creative follow up strategies, motivation and the nurturing of a confident mindset, sales leaders can guide their sales professionals to achieve consistency, predictability, and profitability in their sales results.
To learn more about infusing the essential skills of influence into your current sales conversations and sales process, request our complimentary "Selling with I.N.F.L.U.EN.C.E." video training at www.sellingwithinfluence.com.