The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 6 years ago

Sales Executives: Reinforcing a Sales Initiative

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Consulting Director Jeremy Powers discusses best practices for reinforcing a sales initiative.

Hello, I'm Rachel Clap Miller.I'm the director of digital engagement and force management. Joining me today is consultingdirector Jeremy Powers, and we're going to talk about some key steps you cantake as a sales leader, as a sales manager, to really drive reinforcementof your sales training. Hey, Rachel, how you doing? Glad to behere today. Jeremy, you're the perfect person to talk about this topicwith because you have really been on the front lines of countless initiatives for usat force. Yeah, absolutely. I think over the, you know,the past seven or so years of working with multiple clients various industries, there'sabsolutely some things that predict success of one of these initiatives and first and foremostit's, you know, it's not just about is it a great event,it's if we want to have a great event, what are the outcomes thatwe want this event to achieve, whether it's an increase and average deal sizeacross the company or an increase in our the the deal velocity or the revenuePerrette, what are those business outcomes that...

...we want to achieve? That,then, will tell us what are the different behaviors and skills and things thatwe need to affect training event itself. So let's start first with setting thattraining event up for success. There are a lot of components that go intoa successful delivery of a value framework in command, in the message circumstances orany methodology that you're trying to roll out out. You need cross functional Linemanand needs to be practical. You need leaders who take ownership of the methodologysuccess. But one thing you really need to think about is how that deliveryevent is engaging the people in the room during the training. Yeah, absolutely, and all of that, all of the things that you mentioned around thesales leaders, all that stuff is very, very important. But the last partof what you said, thinking about the reps and the sales people thatare in the room. When you think about the success of a salesperson,there's really kind of three big components that...

...will help them be successful. There'sa set of knowledge, skills and foundational attributes. And the foundational stuff isthat's more of the DNA. You're kind of born with it. It's yourcompetitive you have tenacity, all of that. But within a training event itself,you really can expect to impact the knowledge in the skills. So theknowledge pretty simple. This is the stuff that is learned through memorization or you'retransferring information, things like you can tell the sales team, hey, here'ssome of the key trends that are going on in the market place today,or hey, here's some of the top challenges that are customers are experiencing rightnow. So that's some of the knowledge that you would you would hope totransfer in one of these events. However, the skills that's really obtained through thingslike experience and practice, and that's what you really have to get rightin an event like this, and those are things like, you know,being able to ask a great discovery questions or having the ability to really differentiateyourself in front of a customer at that...

...moment of truth. And so,when you put all of these things into perspective as it relates to the trainingitself, what we've really found is the only way that you're going to haveany of this knowledge or skills really and truly stick as you have to makeit applicable and you have to make it consumable, and what we really meanby this is it's a few things. So, first and foremost, youhave to provide them with a safe environment, give them the ability to try thesenew skills on, be able to get peer feedback and again, makeit safe. They're not in front of a customer where you get one shotand you're done. So that's first the second one is, if you reallywant to impact change, give them the opportunity to work on real deals.So bring in a live deal and role play based on the way that wewant to ask questions moving forward. Give them the opportunity to practice a livedeal that they can then leave the next day of training or at this eventand go impact and go make a change.

And the third thing is it's veryimportant, is make it relevant to the different roles that are in theroom. So the processes, the tools, they have to be consumable to theindividual. Their sales reps typically in there. Their sales engineers, there'scustomer success reps, there's all kinds of different folks and the tools and theprocesses have to make sense to each of those different folks in the room.We've all been at companies where they launched some new initiative and it's one morechange, one more thing that you got to do, another process, somethingthat's not going to stick. But how do you ensure that you're initiative asthe sales leader doesn't feel like one more thing. It can't feel like thatfly by night initiative and you can really counteract that with we have three,three terms, right, relevancy, reinforcement and measurement. Talk about why thosethree concepts can counteract that fly by night...

...initiative. Yeah, you're absolutely right. So the the three that we really talk about the most are first,relevancy. So you talked about it. It's the content in the tools andwhen you think about you know, when we enter into an organization, typicallythere's all of this content out there. There's content, there's tools, there'ssales enablement owns a lot of this, sales ups on some of it,there's some marketing things. There's all of these different content producers and different contentand tools and the what we want to do is we want to consolidate,but we really want to bring everything up to date, make it current andmake it relevant to the different roles and the different folks that are going tobe in the room and participating in this type of an event. So that'sfirst. That's relevancy. The second one is reinforcement, and this gets backto those skills and those behaviors. So making sure that, like you said, the front line managers, that really falls on their shoulders to reinforce thebehaviors, whether it's in the daily interactions,...

...whether it's in weekly opportunity reviews,whenever they find those opportunities within their natural operating rhythm to inspect, tocoach, to develop, and needs to be in line with those specific skillsand behaviors that we rolled out at this training event. And the only waythey're going to be effective it at that is themselves being very proficient, veryconfident and bought into this initiative. So that's that's number two. That's reinforcement. The third one, we kind of kicked off the podcast talking about thisis the measurement, so the ongoing measure of success, once you've established thosebusiness outcomes that you're driving towards, making sure that, whether it's a qbrits sales worcecom dashboard, it's some type of scorecard, whatever it is,that the management team, the leadership team, everybody is holding themselves accountable to watchingthe progress and you know, sometimes you may need to tweak up ordown based on that, but you have...

...to watch the progress. In theongoing measurement, relevancy, reinforcement in measurement. Three simple words, three easy thingsto remember, but three concepts that are really critical to the success ofyour sales initiative. Jeremy, as I said earlier, we know that you'veseen a lot of sales initiatives, but what are some of the best practicesyou've seen of persistence and really driving a sales initiative forward from that leadership level? Yeah, it's a great question. I think we've touched on quite abit of it and the last couple of minutes or so, but it's justthat mentality of it's not just an event. As a sales leader you have tolook for every opportunity every time you interact with your team. You know, whether you're ramping up a new hire, getting them squared away on the methodology, here's the tools we use, or you know you're coaching a wilyveteran that has a lifelong customer and just making sure that hey, that theyare using this new skills, new knowledge to the best of their ability.So making sure that the mindset is it...

...wasn't just a great event sales kickoff. That's one of the big ones. I would say probably another one isjust that whole concept of lead from the front, lead by example. Sowhether you're the president of the company or you're a ten year sales veteran,it's having mastery of that methodology because if you have mastery of it and you'reusing it every day, you're going to use the language and you're going tobe a great example for the rest of the organization. That's another big one. And then if I was to pick out another one, I would probablysay what we see works really well is this concept of focusing on bright spots, and so what we mean by that is just naturally, as you'll leavean event like this, there's going to be some early adopters, people thatare kind of eager to try this stuff on, and they have some greatsuccesses. So find those people that are having success, calm out as agreat bright spot and then let them tell their story so they people can see, hey, this thing is working and...

...here's the results that these people aregetting. So focusing on bride spots is another great one. I think it'simportant to say as well that reinforcement doesn't have to be some big event.We are just talking with Dan Dawson in a podcast he did on sales transformation, and it's really can be just small things that you do as a salesleader day in and day out that really drives to the reinforcement and it's oftenthose small nuances that can really make or break the initiative. No doubt.I think the bottom line is you can hire the best consulting partner money canbuy, you can have an absolutely stellar sales team, but if you don'thave a plan in place to make this initiative relevant to all the different teams, the different folks that you want to affect, have it reinforced by themanagement team and really hold them in count accountable to reinforce this thing and havea clear definition around what success looks like and how it's going to be measured, it's going to be money wasted for...

...sure, and I think will endit there. That's a great bottom line. Thank you, Jeremy, for joiningme today. Thank you to all of you for listening. Be Sureto follow force management on Linkedin and on twitter and subscribe to our blog onforce managementcom.

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