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 consulting director Jeremy Powers, and we're going to talk about some key steps you can take as a sales leader, as a sales manager, to really drive reinforcement of your sales training. Hey, Rachel, how you doing? Glad to be here today. Jeremy, you're the perfect person to talk about this topic with because you have really been on the front lines of countless initiatives for us at force. Yeah, absolutely. I think over the, you know, the past seven or so years of working with multiple clients various industries, there's absolutely some things that predict success of one of these initiatives and first and foremost it'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 that we want this event to achieve, whether it's an increase and average deal size across the company or an increase in our the the deal velocity or the revenue Perrette, what are those business outcomes that...

...we want to achieve? That, then, will tell us what are the different behaviors and skills and things that we need to affect training event itself. So let's start first with setting that training event up for success. There are a lot of components that go into a successful delivery of a value framework in command, in the message circumstances or any methodology that you're trying to roll out out. You need cross functional Lineman and needs to be practical. You need leaders who take ownership of the methodology success. But one thing you really need to think about is how that delivery event is engaging the people in the room during the training. Yeah, absolutely, and all of that, all of the things that you mentioned around the sales leaders, all that stuff is very, very important. But the last part of what you said, thinking about the reps and the sales people that are 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's a set of knowledge, skills and foundational attributes. And the foundational stuff is that's more of the DNA. You're kind of born with it. It's your competitive you have tenacity, all of that. But within a training event itself, you really can expect to impact the knowledge in the skills. So the knowledge pretty simple. This is the stuff that is learned through memorization or you're transferring information, things like you can tell the sales team, hey, here's some 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 right now. So that's some of the knowledge that you would you would hope to transfer in one of these events. However, the skills that's really obtained through things like experience and practice, and that's what you really have to get right in 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 differentiate yourself 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 training itself, what we've really found is the only way that you're going to have any of this knowledge or skills really and truly stick as you have to make it applicable and you have to make it consumable, and what we really mean by this is it's a few things. So, first and foremost, you have to provide them with a safe environment, give them the ability to try these new skills on, be able to get peer feedback and again, make it safe. They're not in front of a customer where you get one shot and you're done. So that's first the second one is, if you really want 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 we want to ask questions moving forward. Give them the opportunity to practice a live deal that they can then leave the next day of training or at this event and go impact and go make a change.

And the third thing is it's very important, is make it relevant to the different roles that are in the room. So the processes, the tools, they have to be consumable to the individual. Their sales reps typically in there. Their sales engineers, there's customer success reps, there's all kinds of different folks and the tools and the processes 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 more change, one more thing that you got to do, another process, something that's not going to stick. But how do you ensure that you're initiative as the sales leader doesn't feel like one more thing. It can't feel like that fly by night initiative and you can really counteract that with we have three, three terms, right, relevancy, reinforcement and measurement. Talk about why those three 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 and when you think about you know, when we enter into an organization, typically there's all of this content out there. There's content, there's tools, there's sales 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 content and 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 and make it relevant to the different roles and the different folks that are going to be in the room and participating in this type of an event. So that's first. That's relevancy. The second one is reinforcement, and this gets back to those skills and those behaviors. So making sure that, like you said, the front line managers, that really falls on their shoulders to reinforce the behaviors, 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, to coach, to develop, and needs to be in line with those specific skills and behaviors that we rolled out at this training event. And the only way they're going to be effective it at that is themselves being very proficient, very confident 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 this is the measurement, so the ongoing measure of success, once you've established those business outcomes that you're driving towards, making sure that, whether it's a qbr its 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 watching the progress and you know, sometimes you may need to tweak up or down based on that, but you have...

...to watch the progress. In the ongoing measurement, relevancy, reinforcement in measurement. Three simple words, three easy things to remember, but three concepts that are really critical to the success of your sales initiative. Jeremy, as I said earlier, we know that you've seen a lot of sales initiatives, but what are some of the best practices you'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 a bit of it and the last couple of minutes or so, but it's just that mentality of it's not just an event. As a sales leader you have to look 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 wily veteran that has a lifelong customer and just making sure that hey, that they are 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 is just that whole concept of lead from the front, lead by example. So whether 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're using it every day, you're going to use the language and you're going to be 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 probably say 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 leave an event like this, there's going to be some early adopters, people that are kind of eager to try this stuff on, and they have some great successes. So find those people that are having success, calm out as a great 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 are getting. So focusing on bride spots is another great one. I think it's important 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 sales leader day in and day out that really drives to the reinforcement and it's often those 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 can buy, you can have an absolutely stellar sales team, but if you don't have 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 the management team and really hold them in count accountable to reinforce this thing and have a 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 end it there. That's a great bottom line. Thank you, Jeremy, for joining me today. Thank you to all of you for listening. Be Sure to follow force management on Linkedin and on twitter and subscribe to our blog on force managementcom.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (165)