As a business owner or sales manager, it’s your job to lead your team to victory. According to Marcom, “Sales enablement is a strategic process of providing your business’ sales team with the resources, guidance, and sales training they need to effectively engage buyers.” One of the first things you’ll have to think about is how you’re building the foundation for a stellar sales team. Whether you’re a startup looking to scale or a medium-sized business trying to keep up with demand, your salespeople are only as good as your training. With that in mind, here are five sales training tips that will help you convert leads:
1. Sell Yourself First
If you can’t sell yourself on your own product offering, good luck selling someone else. One of the first things your sales team will have to understand is why they should buy your product—and then they can start to think about the myriad of reasons why someone else should buy it, too.
Even if your sales person isn’t the target market (for example, perhaps you’re targeting B2B corporations), this doesn’t mean that they can’t put themselves in a prospect’s shoes. During this process, it’s important to think about all the questions you’d ask if you were on the other side of the call making the purchasing decision.
Why should you buy it? How does it differ from the competitors? Answering these questions early on can help you not only gain a deep-level understanding of your offering, but can build your empathy towards its benefits as well.
2. Learn How to Listen
Listening seems like a natural part of being a human, but there is a delicate art to listening that salespeople must learn how to master. If a salesperson is too busy trying to hard sell a customer, chances are the lead will feel stifled. Furthermore, you might miss out on the opportunity to learn more about what your lead really needs and how your offering can cater to it.
It’s not uncommon for salespeople to be so rigid in their script that they begin to think of a response before the prospect finishes speaking, as opposed to echoing that message mentally. Practice active listening, a technique that involves listening to what the prospect has to say, taking a minute to understand it, and then repeating it back with a brief summary.
3. Switch Up Your Sales Strategy Regularly
There’s a reason why sales reps start to feel discouraged by their work: they aren’t seeing results, and they’re doing the same thing day in and day out. An effective workplace culture is one that evolves and is open to many different iterations and strategies. If something isn’t working, this is a clear sign that you need to scrap your script and start from scratch. How can you make it better? And if it is working, you can still think of new ways to improve and adjust.
4. Basics of Best Cold Emailing Practices
Simply put, email is still one of the most effective ways to get new customers. Ideally, you have several strategies in place for outreach, but if email isn’t one of them, you’re missing out on a major sales opportunity. Studies have shown that email is 40x more effective at acquiring new customers than Twitter and Facebook combined. To best capitalize on this, your email outreach has to be on point.
Train your team on the art of copywriting first. This doesn’t mean that you should expect your salespeople to be writers. But understanding the basics of copywriting can do wonders for marketing and sales. Copywriting focuses on the ability to create short, effective messages that fully capture the value of what you’re trying to deliver.
Brief email body copy, catchy subject lines, and clear CTAs are all hallmarks of a good cold email. Run a few email experiments and always be thinking of different ways to stand out. Most importantly, don’t copy and paste. It’s okay to have a template, but only as a foundation for custom emails geared towards specific businesses.
5. Give Your Reps Autonomy
Autonomy is an essential part of motivation. Train your reps on how to do the work, but also train them on how to decide when to make their own decisions and how to communicate that decision-making. Numerous studies have shown the immense benefits of autonomy in the workplace; it increases productivity, improves workplace culture, and boosts employee retention.
Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.