The Case For Online Sales Programs
When making the case for online sales programs, the reality is they are already growing in popularity as more and more sales professionals self-educate. Today, salespeople have to be the link between the digital world and the real world by having the sales skills to engage customers and close sales. Yes, there is (and probably will be for a long time) the need for person to person dialogue in the sales process. The major difference is the skills deployed and the timing of when conversations happen.
Selling is about conversations, commitments and problem solving. The modern buyer wants more than the value of the product or solution, so, If you salespeople want to be valued by their customers, they must fully understand their problems. Online sales programs can provide the knowledge so a salesperson can uncover what the customer is missing or needing, then analyze that problem. The skill to get to the root cause of what causes the problem and then to propose what could solve the problem. Sales 3.0 means salespeople will need to formulate several options to remedy the situation for any customer. And then, make buying easier by assisting the customer in choosing the option that meets all their criteria.
Research from CSO Insights, concluded that access to an ongoing sales training culture can lead to a 16.6 percent increase in win rates for deals.
Online sales programs can help any salesperson regardless of experience to learn how to better prepare and execute a sales plan. When undertaking a sales training program, the salesperson can expect a range of resources such as videos, scripts, templates etc, all designed to help the participant to learn the tactics to win over more customers. Sales skills such as social selling, lead research, prospecting, conversation techniques and closing those sales.
Success in selling today means changing, adapting, and evolving because customers everyway are demanding a more personalized and enriching sales experience. Whether the adjustments in the sales process are due to remote selling, technology, the economy, or any other reason, salespeople simple have to keep updated on essential selling skills if they want to stay in the game.
But here is the challenge, traditional sales training can be cumbersome, outdated and not fit for purpose. Reducing the impact of the training. They often also involve set schedules, inflexible times, time consuming classes, lack of material, outdated content, and little fun in the learning process.
We simply cannot keep trying to train sales professionals in the same old way especially when it just does not work anymore. Salespeople will not only lose interest but find the training unwelcome. Sales management and coaches have to accept that customers have changed the way they buy, so sales training must also change how it is delivered. Sales training is never going to revert back to the old ways, it is time to allow online sales programs to empower sales teams to adjust the way they sell to accommodate the new selling reality.
We know that selling has experienced a paradigm shift driven by the global pandemic, remote working and an ever evolving change in how customers will go about buying. The availability of information, access to reviews and social networks has completely altered the way customers undertake a buying journey. The reality is that control of the whole sales process in now in the hands or actions of the buyer. Make no mistake about it, this is having massive implications for salespeople.
When buyers do engage with salespeople, they can come armed with company insights, prices, specifications and even details on the person they are speaking with. They want personalized experiences over a sales pitch and want solutions over a sale.
As a result of these profound changes, everyone that touches a customer must change the way they look at sales. The old way of selling has not just been blurred but obliterated.
To unlock true sales performance in the digital era comes down to being able to reach customers with a real value proposition, build credibility — fast and give them insightful conversations that gets them to listen. Sales training is still awakening to this shift in the world of selling. Modern online sales programs should equip salespeople to be patient, how to get commitments, and be comfortable not controlling every aspect of the sales process. These sales skills and mindset changes are necessary to succeed in the exciting world of selling today.
Maximizing Online Sales Programs
Online sales programs should deliver a rewarding, enriching and purposeful experience for all participants.
Make it available 24/7. Salespeople need to be able to access the sales training material when and where it suits them. As online sales programs can be easily updated to reflect the latest thinking or research, it must be accessible always. People learn best when information is given in bite sized chunks, so they can implement as they learn. The sales training materials should include video, lesson downloads, templates, and guides.
Sales training that is fun and engaging. Most salespeople just do not enjoy sitting around listening to a sales coach or presenter talking for hours at a time. Half of their attention is back at the desk and maybe the other half is wondering when will the sales training session end. They pick up the notes, probably never to be reviewed again. Sales programs must keep the participants engaged. It needs to be fun, engaging, short bursts of video accompanied with lesson materials. The ability to mix up lessons based on the salespersons unique learning requirements.
Sales programs that are updated and relevant. It is amazing how many online sales programs still have content that is more sales 2.0 than sales 3.0. Salespeople want lessons and materials that they haven’t watched or read before. Sales training that challenges their thinking, educates them, and gives them a new set of tools to bring into their sales roles every day. Training that is relevant to having deeper conversations with customers. As importantly, they want to know that their investment (time or money) in improving their own sales skills will benefit them and make their roles easier. This is why sales training needs to tie back what they learn into real sales situations.
Develop a training mindset. Training is not a one off event and learning should not be restricted to a schedule that suits everyone except the salesperson. Developing a training mindset means that a salesperson can learn something new each time they watch a lesson whether that is on social selling, questioning techniques or how to move a customer out of the status quo. If salespeople adapt an attitude that training is ongoing, they will find information flows way more easily with customers while recall of skills to use in any situation climbs rapidly. Online sales programs that the salesperson will enjoy, learn from it, and make the most of the material in every sales interaction.
Downable material that will build a sales playbook. The sales program should have a series of downloadable material that a salesperson can build their own sales playbook. A collection of tips, templates, information, knowledge, and activities to assist them in becoming masters of their role.
Topics they can download, and use should include How to research buyers, building buyer profiles, market information, opening sales conversations, how to prospect, uncovering needs, deep discovery questions, how to present value, obtaining yes commitments, overcoming obstacles, understanding the internal buyer roadblocks, and all the various closing techniques.
The Power of Sales Knowledge
Salespeople should view increasing their sales knowledge as key to supporting their goals. If they don’t know the final destination, how can they map out the journey? Salespeople must define for themselves what great looks like. Then they need to train, develop, and coach themselves be the best versions of themselves. In most cases, a salesperson knows what they sell, which means too often they only sell what they know. Sales knowledge goes beyond the steps of the sale or product knowledge. Real knowledge will include the hard and soft sales skills. The learning needed to be a really successful salesperson is constantly evolving as buyer trends change.
The big question is can salespeople learn as fast as the market or the change in customer behavior. It’s simple not enough to know about a particular industry or their company’s products and services. The modern salesperson should know how business works, how decisions are made, the logical and emotional sides to buying, the hidden costs to change, the psychology of selling and how a buying group operates.
While online sales programs will not cover every topic, convince every coach, or satisfy the needs of every salesperson, they win out in terms of convenience, costs, and content. Whatever sales program a salesperson decides to undertake, the point is to do it now. Customer preferences and demand won’t wait while they catch up. There is no future of selling, it is now a constantly changing landscape where lots of salespeople will struggle to hold on their positions as they fail to add value to the customers buying journey. You have been informed!! To get you started, here is some free sales training.