Sales Training for Improving Sales Performance

improving sales performanceImproving sales performance is an ongoing challenge for sales executives and business owners. One tool available for accomplishing this goal is sales training. Sales training is an option if you need to change salespeople’s behavior or improve their skills. Ultimately, sales training must produce good performance to be worth the time and resources it takes to  accomplish.  Salespeople are successful if they do most of the right things most of the time.  Think of the 50%-70%-90% rule.

  • 50%ers People who perform only 50% of the right things 50% of the time are average to below
    average salespeople.  Their performance suffers because they consistently fail to take many of the steps necessary to be successful.  50%ers are either people who haven’t learned what to do, or experienced people who lack the motivation to do what they know how to do.
  • 70%ers People who perform only 70% of the right things 70% of the time are average to above average salespeople.  These salespeople use most of the skills most of the time, but they periodically skip a step or take short cuts.  During short periods of time, they may perform like top performers. But, in the long run, they skip enough steps to prevent them from rising to the top.
  • 90%ers People who perform 90% of the right things 90% of the time are top performing salespeople.  They attain uniformly high
    performance because they consistently apply the skills without skipping steps.

Your role as trainer/manager, is to identify and then to train and reinforce salespeople to do the right things more frequently.
This will lead them to do the right things more effectively.  Perhaps, improving sales performance in the long-term is the hardest part of the training process.  You must become aware of the importance that recognizing and rewarding good performance plays in building self-confidence and motivating salespeople to reach higher levels of effectiveness.  Practice the following simple guidelines for enhancing post-training performance through positive reinforcement:

  1. Give positive reinforcement in a timely manner, as close to the performance as possible.
  2. Give recognition that is meaningful to the salesperson.  Giving recognition that is not meaningful or that may even be viewed as a punishment by the salesperson will decrease performance.
  3. Be specific by pinpointing the exact behavior that you want to reinforce and explaining how the behavior benefits the salesperson.
  4. Don’t wait for outstanding performance before you recognize a salesperson.  Recognizing even small improvements will
    encourage salespeople to continue their efforts.  This is particularly important with new salespeople and your poor performers.
  5. Be honest and accurate.  Don’t use superlatives all the time or salespeople may view your efforts as insincere.

Training rarely produces long term performance impact unless it leads to changes in the salesperson’s behavior. This requires practice, reinforcement and commitment. If your goal is improving sales performance you must make a commitment to training.

Is Your Company Positioned to Increase Sales, Profits and Customer Loyalty in the New Economy?

Let’s face it; we’re experiencing an economy that is different than anyone has seen in the past.  This means there are new rules of engagement. Being good enough just doesn’t cut it anymore. Companies either lead or get left behind!

What most companies have learned is that the new economy is very unforgiving. Every sales and marketing flaw, mistake and missed opportunity results in companies paying dearly in lost sales, profits and customers. How is your company doing?

What can your company do to ensure success? Companies who are thriving now share many things in common including: having a clear sense of who they are, knowing who their customer is (and isn’t), understanding the market they compete in, and then aligning their sales and marketing efforts to uniquely communicate and deliver their solution. Simply put they have “Right Sized” their organization to deliver the right solution, to the right customer, at the right time and at the right price… and they do it in a way that ensures bottom line results and grows customer loyalty.

Here are nine factors you must have in place to “Right Size” your company for success.

  1. Right Mission, Vision and Values-Are your company’s Mission, Vision and Values aligned so that everybody in the organization understands and acts congruently with them? Every misalignment dissipates your company’s ITEAM (Information, Time, Energy, Attention and Motivation) and drains your profits.
  2. Right Customers-Do you know who your Ideal Customers are as well as how, when and why they are motivated to purchase your solution? Do you know why they continue to purchase and why they leave?
  3. Right Solution-Can you deliver a Solution that uniquely meets your Ideal Customer’s buying criteria and emotional needs? Is your solution positioned to maintain its competitive advantage now and in the future?
  4. Right Message and Timing-Does your Sales and Marketing Message help your Ideal Customers clearly understand how your solution uniquely satisfies their buying criteria and emotional needs? Is your sales message delivered when it will influence the buying decision in your favor?
  5. Right Strategy-Do your Sales and Marketing Strategies pre-empt your competition by establishing your solution as “the” market standard? Do your Sales and Marketing Strategies educate your market so that you dominate it?
  6. Right Price-Does the Value delivered by your solution far exceed what your customers pay so that “price” is never the primary factor in the buying decision?
  7. Right Sales Process-Does your Sales Process make sure the you deploy the right selling effort supported by the right resources to make sure that sales are made in the shortest time with the fewest resources needed to optimize sales, profits and customer loyalty?
  8. Right Customer Experience-Does your Customer Experience make sure that every Customer Touch reinforces your unique selling proposition and endears customers to your organization while transforming prospects to customers, customers into loyal customers and loyal customers into raving fans?
  9. Right People– Do you have the Right People in place so that their talents and motivation are fully utilized while executing your sales and marketing strategies.

Each one of these factors is interrelated to the others. If your employees aren’t aligned with your Mission, Vision and Values you’ll be hard pressed to have them deliver customer touches that are consistent with your unique selling proposition. If you have the right message but it’s delivered too early or too late it won’t influence the sale in your favor. If you spend selling effort and resources pursuing customers who don’t need, can’t or won’t buy your solution your sales and profits will suffer. The key to success is to have all nine factors in place and constantly monitor them to make sure they optimally contribute to growing sales, profits and customer loyalty.

For more information on how to Right Size your company contact me at philatphilfarisdotcom  (philatphilfarisdotcom)   or call my personal cell 224-829-2156.