You had to take a driving test before you could drive your parent’s car. You had to pass an exam to get a passing grade in school. But do you have a minimum competency level that’s mandatory for each of your salespeople to be considered “sales ready”?
Are they ready to book enough appointments? Ready to handle the objections you know they will hear from customers on a regular basis? Ready to tell your company’s unique value proposition the way you expect when a sales opportunity arises?
If your front lines are not sales ready, you may be relying too heavily on wishful thinking and the vendor promo of the month and not enough on the ability of your people to create a compelling business offer that wins you the business.
Only you really know if all your people are sales ready.
“90% of sales organizations have no means to test for critical sales competencies.”
Sales Performance Coach and president of selltowin.com, Rick Lambert says that “90% of sales organizations have no means to test for critical sales competencies that drive success”. He adds that unlike technical certifications or accreditations required in so many fields, the sales capabilities of most companies are only measured by the revenue and profit they produce.
Most companies have lost sight of the importance of teaching, practicing and developing selling skills in stride with the way their customers are evolving. The plethora of “product training” that has camouflaged itself as sales training continues to pollute sales meetings and conferences rather than focusing on the skills needed to attract and retain today’s educated buyer.
Test your reps’ readiness by presenting them with real world scenarios within your everyday sales cycle. Actual real world situations are always best to use as your measuring stick of sales readiness.
Here are two quick ways to measure your sales readiness early in the sales cycle:
The Prospecting Test: Rather than spend another sales meeting reviewing everyone’s prospect funnel, ask each of your reps to role play with you to show you the talk track they are using to book appointments for face-to-face or online meetings. Is there enough “bait” for the fish to bite your hook? To prove your point, ask sales reps to leave you a voicemail and play them back in a sales meeting for all to hear; let them decide what they would think if they were a customer.
The Elevator Pitch Test: In a simulated chance-meeting role-play, ask your sales reps to explain what your company does. Listen and see if their dialogue is product-focused or if it’s more customer-centric and benefit focused. Do they reference any successes or business outcomes the customer would enjoy by engaging your company? Did they ask you any questions? If they plowed you over with a barrage of information, chances are they are doing this with customers too.
If you believe that high activity levels will drive stronger sales results, then hopefully you also agree that the quality of each activity is critical to moving your sales needle. It’s like a bald tire spinning on ice and snow; you may be getting the revolutions you think you need (the sales activities), but without the appropriate rubber meeting the road (the skill to produce a quality sales activity), you may not really be moving ahead as quickly as you’d like.
Do you need help with your selling skills? Check out our new Partner Pro Sales Training Platform, custom built to make sure you and your people are “sales ready” regardless of what you’re selling!