There are seven key areas to develop when laying the foundation for your sales team. Build on these principles, and you will set your team up for sales success!
1. Product Knowledge
Knowing your product backwards and forwards dramatically improves your ability to overcome objections and correctly match your services to your customer's needs. You'll be able to set and manage appropriate expectations to not only win the account, but retain it.
2. Industry Expertise
My team and I used to work in general geographic territories. Not anymore. We transitioned to verticals and assigned them to industry experts. When you are sitting across the table from a prospective customer, they need to know that you are one of them. The more you become an industry expert and resource, the more people will be calling YOU for solutions.
3. Business Acumen
Your ability to accurately assess and understand business issues plays a key factor in making great decisions. What business journals, books, and newsletters are you reading?
4. Strategic Planning
The smartest sales and marketing leaders build detailed strategic plans, target the best clients, and are relentless about execution.
Keith Ferazzi, in his book Never Eat Alone, asks the question, "How many people do you know that you could call at two in the morning?" I'll build on that by asking, "How many of your contacts will fight for you when their company is considering dropping your services?" Look at your prospect and think, "What can I do to make this person look really good in front of their boss? How can I get them a promotion? How can I turn them into an internal champion?"
Develop marketing strategies that directly support your sales team. It's the sum of multiple tactics that creates explosive growth. Combine inbound marketing with outbound sales to drive growth.
7. Sales Skills
Get out there and sell! Prospect, probe, assess, follow-up, and close... put yourself in a position to be on the front lines every chance you get. Every customer interaction is a chance to get better. Be self-reflective. As you drive home from work everyday, think about the sales interactions you had. Ask yourself "What will I do or say next time I'm in that situation to make it even better?"