Are the numbers masking the truth about your sellers’ performance and lack of effective selling skills? If you’re like most sales organizations, you saw increased revenue plan attainment and a higher percentage of salespeople meeting quota.
On the surface, this growth seems to indicate that sellers are doing the right things to raise these numbers. But when we take a closer look, we learn that win rates and conversation rates aren’t getting better.
For many organizations, this means they’ve relied on a healthy economy to artificially inflate sales numbers, using tactics like boosting headcount to meet revenue and quota goals. These short-term fixes won’t bring long-term success—especially when the economy inevitably slows down—and selling effectiveness becomes more dependent on established sales methodology and processes. Now, before an economic slowdown occurs, is the time to invest in training your frontline sellers to conduct meaningful sales conversations that drive business.
If You’re Waiting for a Recession, You’ll Be Too Late
Too many sales organizations wait until a recession to conduct a sales skills assessment and start sales transformation programs, including training on sales techniques. But by then, it’s often too late, because it may take between 6 to 12 months to achieve meaningful change.
Now, while the economy remains strong, is the time to push for learning and development initiatives that make an immediate impact on your sellers’ skills. You’ll achieve the strongest ROI—a +23% win rate, according to the 2018-2019 Sales Performance Report—when you invest in improving sales conversations through courses like Conceptual Selling with Perspective and SPIN Selling Conversations.
Better Planning for Better Conversations
Sellers need a plan for every sales conversation: ad hoc approaches don’t work when you only have one shot to impress, especially when that opportunity comes late in the sales cycle. Most buyers—70%—prefer to engage sellers in the later stages of their buying journey. And that’s if you get a call at all: it might be a virtual chat or even an email exchange. That puts a lot of pressure on sellers to generate positive outcomes despite having fewer opportunities and less time to impress.
If better meetings is one of your organizational priorities, invest in Conceptual Selling with Perspective. This popular and proven methodology teaches sellers techniques that lead to more productive, client-centric and results-focused conversations, including how to:
- Research customers and their needs
- Align seller objectives with buyer needs
- Organize meetings with Miller Heiman Group’s Green Sheet
- Ask the right questions that move the deal forward
- Differentiate the solution from the competition
Increase Credibility and Ignite Customer Urgency to Act
Sales organizations must ensure that all sales calls are consistently executed, with each call offering value to the customer and differentiating the seller from the pack. Sellers need to use conversational techniques aimed at exposing buyers to understand their pain points and take action to solve them, growing the value of your solutions. Then buyers will find sellers more credible and feel motivated to engage in future conversations.
In SPIN Selling Conversations, sellers learn advanced questioning and selling techniques through immersive exercises and activities. This course teaches sellers how to ask questions that:
- Expose buyer pain points to ignite their sense of urgency
- Discover customers’ unrecognized needs and expand the sale
- Address customer indifference and skepticism
- Shorten the sales cycle by encouraging sellers to take action
Find Next Steps with the Sales Conversations Metric
To excel, regardless of the economic circumstances, sales organizations need sellers equipped with the skills to learn about their customers’ needs, align those needs with their solution and deliver greater value than the competition. Sales organizations that invest in sales training techniques to help their sellers master the art of conversation get customers more engaged and motivated to move the deal forward.
Arm your sellers now with a repeatable selling approach and methodology to conduct sales conversations that deliver greater value. Take the Sales Conversation Metric sales skills assessment to evaluate opportunities to improve your sellers’ conversation skills and receive practical advice on how to improve your overall customer experience.