When we finish a live training event with a sales team, sales managers often ask us what’s the best way to coach and practice with the team to make a real impact? It’s a great question, and we’ve thought a lot about it.
The tendency today is for sales managers to spend most of their time working individually and in meetings on pipeline reporting, forecasting, deal specific coaching, and how to deal with objections. That’s important, but what creates the good stuff in the pipeline—that generates increasing sales numbers—is generally a direct effect of how effective salespeople are at communicating a potent and persuasive value proposition and/or differentiating factors.
We can’t emphasize this enough. Most salespeople we test have a weak command of their value proposition and differentiating factors. This negatively impacts every step of the sales process. It doesn’t matter what sales process you use, or what step of the process you’re in, your command of your value proposition is extremely important. Here’s why:
Great selling, the kind that is persuasive, is all about guiding the conversation towards our areas of strength—our competitive advantages. These competitive advantages flow directly from our value proposition and differentiating factors.
This is why we advise sales managers to spend much more time on practice and drills—to improve the team’s ability to VERBALIZE these all-important value proposition elements. As salespeople get better at this, they get better at all aspects of selling and their confidence goes up. They perform better when feeling stress or risk, which is essential.
Too many sales managers think that if their people UNDERSTAND the value proposition and differentiation factors then they’ll be able to VERBALIZE this critical information. This is a mistake. Understanding and verbal sales fluency are two completely different things, especially under pressure, when it matters most.
Sales managers need drills and practice exercises to constantly work and test the team’s ability to verbalize this critical information. The practice coaches in the SellingGym can give you lots of ideas on how to do this all important skills development coaching because this is the coaching that will move the needle quickly.
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