Sales POP - Purveyors of Propserity
Continuing Sales Force Training: The Customer
Blog / For Sales Pros / Sep 18, 2013 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 4373 

Continuing Sales Force Training: The Customer

Effective Sales Force TrainingIn our series on sales force learning, we’ve discussed a number of factors that are highly important to address, including their communication and social skills.

With these in place, we must turn our attention outward: to the customer.

And while it is important for the sales rep to learn all he or she can about the customer before that first contact, it is far from a completed step of the process. It is by necessity something that should be continued and expanded upon over the course of the salesperson-customer relationship.

Let’s take a closer look on continuing sales force training:

Establishing Trust

In an earlier generation a salesperson would often call someone up, make the best pitch they possibly could and hope for the best. It was very hit or miss: not really knowing the company and their actual issues, the salesperson was taking a guess that the prospect might actually have a problem or problems the rep’s product would solve. If that guess was correct, the prospect became interested. If the guess was off, the prospect would put the rep off and would probably not take those calls again.

The internet has changed many things about sales:

  • First, the sales rep has the opportunity to explore a great deal of information about a prospect prior to making the first contact, so it’s less of a guess.
  • But second—and more importantly—the prospect can find out all about you and your product or service.

In fact, a majority of companies shopping for a product conduct research on the various options available before contacting companies for quotes. Hence there is a chance that if a rep makes a call pitching a product, the prospect may have learned a great deal about that product and its company already.

Learning everything possible about a prospect company and their issues beforehand means that when that contact is made, a level of trust will be established; the prospect can at least appreciate that the sales rep did his or her homework. That trust will be strengthened as the rep learns more by interaction with the prospect, and by following social media and news items about the target company.

Buying Patterns

Part of sales force training all about a company is learning its buying patterns. This means gaining as much insight as possible into the process a company goes through in making a purchase of a product or service such as yours. Some of this information may be available online; some of it may only be attainable through conversation with your initial and later contacts. In any case it must be done so that the sale can be tracked and pushed along where needed throughout the sales cycle.

If buying patterns are found to be the same or similar throughout a particular industry, these buying patterns should be heavily reflected in the selling company’s sales process.

Importance of CRM Solution

Given the above, there is obviously a great deal of information about prospects and customers that must be retained for a sales force to perform effectively. If that information cannot be retained in a CRM application in such a way that it can easily be accessed and utilized, sales reps will resort to other methods outside of CRM such as spreadsheets and notes. This type of operation becomes a massive waste of time: data is entered into the CRM solution that will never be utilized, and salespeople must each devise and use their own methods in addition to having to enter required CRM data.

The ideal CRM application—one of the new generation that is now becoming available and adopted by forward-thinking companies—is one that can be easily tailored to conform to a company’s sales process. When that sales process also mirrors the buying patterns of a company’s particular industry, that company is set for rapid success and expansion.

In continuing sales force training, ensure that your sales reps consistently learn everything possible about prospect companies, their needs, wants and issues, and their buying patterns—and that this data is easily available through an accommodating CRM solution.

See our other articles on the vital necessity of sales force education.

About Author

A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipelinersales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople. Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles, and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

Author's Publications on Amazon

This is a practical manual covering the vital subject of Sales Management. I firmly believe that sales are the most important profession for dealing with today’s turbulent world and Econo my, for salespeople create wealth and produce peace. But salespeople need a competent, stable leader—and…
Buy on Amazon
Inside this eBook, you’ll discover a series of chapters dedicated to some of the most important areas facing sales today. From the sales process definition to measurement, lead generation, and proven sales techniques, this comprehensive eBook will provide you with the information you need to…
Buy on Amazon
A common term in sales today is EQ, which stands for “emotional I.Q.” It means the skill a salesperson has in reading emotions and utilizing them in sales. It means empathy and a number of other abilities. The short version is, it’s an I.Q. when…
Buy on Amazon
People are smart to question the future of automation, for it has become part of everything we do. With the quantity of applications and technology around us, we yet still crave more. We become convinced of its power when our package is delivered from Amazon…
Buy on Amazon
Sales management isn’t a simple subject by any means. But at the same time, it does have some basic and somewhat simple fundamentals—and that is what we are bringing to you with this book. First come pain points of sales management, and how to overcome…
Buy on Amazon
Today the Internet has transformed a seller's market into a buyer's market and author Nikolaus Kimla states that the role of sales has never been more crucial. It is now time to give salespeople the role they factually can play: entrepreneurs within the enterprise. They…
Buy on Amazon
This is our public declaration of the intentions behind Pipeliner, and our objectives and motives for the product and for our company. Behind the development of that CRM application and, in fact, behind everything we do, we have a real cause. The story begins with…
Buy on Amazon
For the future, there must be a perfect balance of humans and technology. You have to have the perfect technology, andthen the perfect human being in application, performance and presentation. Today and into the future, it’s a 50-50 balance. In the past it was perhaps…
Buy on Amazon
The salespreneur is based on the concept of the entrepreneur. Before we can explain the salespreneur, you have to have some understanding of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur plays a crucial role in any economic system. The entrepreneur seeks out information that can be utilized for…
Buy on Amazon
A seasoned captain would never leave port without a competent navigator. In a similar way, a sales manager might be a total ace at "commanding the ship" – at inspiring and coaching sales reps, pointing out and getting agreement on making quotas, and keeping everyone's…
Buy on Amazon
..
..
..
This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. For information on cookies and how you can disable them, visit our privacy and cookie policy.