The Sales Training Series: How To Develop A Strong Sales Culture

 


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In every other business function (accounting, engineering, operations) there are documented processes, common cultures, and established vocabularies with terms that are clearly understood—everywhere except in sales.

It is a rare company that has a strong and distinct sales culture, complete with a common language for discussing, conducting, and improving the sales process. The few companies that have built such sales cultures are easy to recognize—they’re a lot more successful.

Everyone who makes contact with customers should understand your sales language.

It isn’t only salespeople who should be indoctrinated into your sales culture. Every time a customer contacts your company, that customer becomes more or less sold on your products. If your employees all know how your sales process works, they can be far more effective at influencing customers in your favor.

Here are some tips to help you begin building a common sales culture.

  • Document the way your sales process works, and identify the important milestones in the process. What are the major steps that lead to a sale? Everyone in the organization who comes into contact with customers should know what the next logical step would be.

  • Teach employees how to ask better questions—what Action Selling calls The Best Questions. This allows your people to do a better job of building rapport and identifying how best to proceed with particular customers.

  • Teach employees how and when to make Positive Company Statements. Nobody should miss an opportunity to pass along good news about your company, whether it involves a new product, favorable financial performance, a joint venture, or whatever the case may be.

  • Within the sales force itself, a common language is especially important. For instance, terms unique to Action Selling (such as Commitment Objective, TFBR, and Universal Stall Breaker) allow a sales team to communicate clearly and precisely about how to improve performance in specific areas of the sales process.

    Develop a strong sales culture, based on a common language and built upon a well-defined sales process. You will create a powerful orchestra, with all the musicians playing from the same score for your customer audience.

    In The Field:

    When companies see the results of Action Selling on the performance of individual sales teams, they often decide to use the system as a catalyst for building or improving their entire “sales culture. ”

    “Our goal in implementing Action Selling was to develop a common selling language for our 300-unit franchise network, ” says Terry Huber, director of training at Signs Now. “We wanted a solid sales standard that could drive sales productivity in the field. ”

    Now Action Selling Sales Training is delivering results across the whole network. Roger Watkins, owner of the Signs Now franchise in Bloomington, Ind. , sums it up this way: “Before starting my franchise, I was a police officer. Gaining commitment as a police officer was relatively easy. In sales, it’s a different challenge. Action Selling has given me the ammunition I needed. I’m now ahead of my aggressive goal of 26 percent sales growth. ”

    Similar performance changes are sited by other franchises. “At Signs Now, ” says Terry Huber, “we have adopted Action Selling as part of our culture with tremendous success. ”

    Duane Sparks is chairman and founder of The Sales Board, a Minneapolis-based sales training company that has trained and certified more than 200,000 salespeople in the system and skills of Action Selling. He has personally facilitated more than 300 Action Selling training sessions.

    In a 30-year career as a salesperson and sales manager, Duane has sold products ranging from office equipment to insurance. He was the top salesperson at every company he ever worked for. He developed Action Selling Sales Training while owner of one of the largest computer marketers in the United States. Even in the roaring computer business of the 1980's, his company grew six times faster than the industry norm, differentiating itself not by the products offered but by the way it sold them. Duane founded The Sales Board in 1990 to teach the skills of Action Selling to others.

    Contact The Sales Board for more sales information or sales training that's been documented and research-proven to help you sell more! 1-800-232-3485

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