Can you imagine that to be a really great company all you have to do are 12 things very well. This is the premise of Chet Holmes book, ‘The Ultimate Sale Machine.” If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. He takes a back to basics approach to growing a company, and in particular, a sales organization. His emphasis – it’s not about knowing 4,000 techniques; it’s about knowing 12 things and practicing them 4000 times.
Most small businesses go off course because they become focused on the ‘idea of the month.’ What makes companies great is not some magic bullet, but mastering the basics of their business. Defining a mission and creating a strategic business plan. Implementing the plan in a consistent manner throughout the organizations so all employees having a clear understanding of your vision, who your customers are and the value propositions for each market.
Then train, train, and train all employees, but most importantly, your sales force or all customer facing people on your team. Keep in mind, adults retain about 25-30 percent of what they learn in a training session. The key – repetition of the basics. Studies have shown that retention increases exponentially when the same information is repeated and drilled. Do you want to have your sales people improve their calls and conversion ratio of leads to clients? Incorporate role playing into your training sessions. It’s a structured, goal-directed learning technique and typically involves the immediate applications of the material being studied. Role playing sessions can allow you to drill the talking points and script objections as a regular part of your sales and training meetings.
For example, as a leader you may choose to model behavior. Demonstrate for them how to perform the call, and then afterwards debrief the group and explain your statements. One of the things that are important for them to hear is the “language” of the calls. You should also encourage participants to role play and then offer helpful suggestions. Start off by offering some positive comments and then offer specific, behavioral suggestions geared towards statements not personality. For example, if you said “Our product offers this feature. Next time ask another open ended question before answering the prospect so you can make sure they really understand the question behind the objection.
Keeping everyone on message is important while you are defining and building a presence in the marketplace. Host repeated workshops to perfect presentations and pitches. And be the best role model you can be for your team.