September 8th 2011

Implementing a Value Based Sales Approach – Part 4 of 4. Some sales training ideas

COLMA, CA - JULY 14:  A customer browses new c...

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The first three parts of this series  have talked about the shift required in selling  today due to buyers having the power to decide when they will interact with you.  I also talked about the work that marketing and sales have to do to get ready to sell on value not price. This part discusses some of the training that has worked to change habits and beliefs.

In our training implementations we use short role playing (recorded) as part of the regular sales meetings. Each play has a short focus topic which is aligned with new or updated supporting assets.  Very quickly we find no lack of sales volunteers/commentators to play out and critique the
roles (sales people are so shy). Humor is important here.

Having the session recorded allows the client to build up a sales training library /resource for those who want to review on their own time. (This helps the salesperson who is on the road and misses a meeting)  The role playing goal is to clearly indicate the gap between preferred and poor approaches.  Some of popular topics have been:

  • Buyers lie and other tales for sales virgins (discounting/negotiation)
  • Beware the premature proposal, practise safe selling (discounting/knowledge)
  • What buyers really mean when they say, “Your price is too high.” (negotiation)
  • How buyers go to school on you. (negotiation)
  • Fight the urge to broadcast in presentations, we are not the BBC (Communication skills)
  • Do you deserve to take the meeting? (Knowledge of the customer)
  • The customer does not care about you and that’s a good thing (Value and results)

The organization needs to be focussed on value not volume for this change to work.  If value selling is  new to the company, your market may have been trained to respond to pricing (allowing your product to be commoditized). Fixing this is a separate topic which others have addressed. (Nagle et al)

There is more information on pricing and value in the following series of posts.

Leverage Point

What can you do about pricing for value ?

The intent in this series was to give the reader a different  POV  showing a way out of the declining returns from push marketing and selling. By looking  first at the buyers process and meeting their needs all through in the process, marketing and sales teams are better positioning your company for higher profits and shorter sales cycles.  By adopting this approach a company is also setting themselves up as being different from the others in the  marketplace.  This also adds to your competitive position.

My warning is that this takes hard thoughtful work and attention to the details in execution.  Doing this poorly will leave you worse off than not doing it all.  Doing this well will just make you all very wealthy.

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