Driving Adoption of Best Practices, Not Just Providing Sales Training
Your newest batch of hires has just finished their sales training. They’ve done the research, and they’ve looked through every manual possible to learn the ropes about how to sell your product and what the best practices are. You’re excited to take off the training wheels, and let them fly solo while you focus on taking a closer look at your sales process.
Unfortunately, the moment you turn away is the moment that one of your hires starts to look like a deer in headlights, without a clue of what to do next.
Best practices are proven strategies in the industry that sales teams can apply to their sales process to find better results. There are countless strategies to go through sales training, but the most effective way to train your team is to drive the adoption of best practices, rather than just throwing information at them until something sticks.
If you’re looking to apply best practices to your sales funnel, here are a few ways you can make sure your team stays on track.
Your sales team shouldn’t see them as recommendations.
“Best practices” is kind of misleading. The term “practice” makes it feel like these strategies are a good idea or a possible course of action. Best practices are the standard for what each team should be doing at any given moment. So make sure your team takes them seriously.
A common best practice in sales is learning everything about each product you have to offer. If a sales rep looks through one or two manuals and then calls it a day, they won’t have the expertise to drive home a sale.
But if they have a sense of urgency, and put more effort into learning about your company’s product, they’ll have a better chance of following through.
Best practices aren’t something that your team can casually use in their day-to-day. They’ll only show results if your team goes all-in. So give your team more of a reason to use them.
Let your team know why they’re using each strategy.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them use industry secrets to do their job to the best of their ability…for more reasons than one. A great way to motivate your team to adopt best practices is to give them a sense of why each strategy works.
Don’t just tell your sales team that they need to be asking the right questions. Let them know that learning certain pieces of information from each client helps them prepare better for the next sales call. Don’t send them a memo that accepting rejection helps them manage their resources better, show them how every minute they spend with a cold lead keeps them from bringing in new revenue.
By showing your team what each best practice has to offer, you can give them a deeper understanding of why they need to be using them in the first place. The best way to do that is through real-world examples.
Run your team through scenarios.
I can’t tell you much about what I learned from lectures in my high school science class. The difference between weather and climate, what the mitochondria does, and maybe a few elements from the Periodic Table. But the main things I can remember from those classes are what I learned from hands-on examples.
You can send as many emails to your team as you want, but the best way to make sure they absorb the information is by running them through scenarios.
Schedule a team meeting and give them a chance to use these best practices in a low-risk environment. Show them how they can subtly find ways to connect with clients. Have them practice using language that doesn’t offer any firm promises. Make sure they’re getting straight to the point instead of driving the conversation to dead ends.
Examples provide better lessons than any slide show or “must-read” memo. So give your team a chance to use best practices before they try anything new on a high-stakes client. Just make sure they’re putting that information to use.
Follow up with your sales team.
Habits are dangerous in the world of sales. If a sales rep gets too confident in their process, they could be overlooking serious errors that are holding them back from landing clients.
So, keep an eye on your team. Obviously, you can’t have 50 different screens up to monitor everything about your team’s day-to-day, that sounds unproductive and it feels like a waste of your office’s resources.
Instead, keep an eye on your team’s KPIs. If they’re underperforming in a quarter, or they aren’t seeing any growth, see if they’re playing each sale by the books.
You can also just follow up with them to see how they’re feeling about these new strategies. They could be struggling to adapt to them, or they could have overlooked a crucial best practice entirely. Either way, following up with your team makes sure they’re consistently following best practices, and using every resource possible to drive home a sale.
It’s about making your process consistent.
Best practices aren’t a set of magic strategies that make every potential buyer flock to your company. Each prospect is different, and they respond better to certain aspects of the sales funnel. However, if you adopt best practices in your team’s sales process, you’ll have a better chance of connecting with the average buyer, and find more consistent results.