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World class sales training and what good creativity looks like

World class sales training and what good creativity looks like

The desire to boot up ChatGPT and get the blog content sorted for the next week, is strong. I won’t lie to you.

It seems that as those creative channels become more accessible the greater the sense that the craft is somehow lessened or devalued. In sales we talk about ‘value  propositions’, ‘demonstrative value’, ‘customer value’ and ‘life-time value.’

Great creative people don’t have to talk about value – it’s there for everyone to see, or hear. For sure, the guys on Fiverr will knock you up a logo in no time at all – MidJourney might even get you that logo and whack it onto a billboard for perspective.

Class, eh?

We all know good creative when we see it – I’ve been in the presence of an agency director who took me for a test drive of Mid Journey. I was knocked out by the potential alone. He was not only excited by the prospect of being able to do things much faster than ever before, there was a clear revenue generating opportunity there.

The band that sound like Bruce Springsteen never really quite manage to sound like The Boss, or for that matter themselves.

It reminds me of the time advertising agencies were charging their clients £100,000 to produce a TV commercial back in the late 90s and early 2000s.

That’s quite a journey from £100,000 to Upwork or Fiverr in 20 years – I imagine the next trip will be much faster.

It does go back to that old idiom ‘Price, Time, Quality’ – pick any two you like.’ (I keep hearing it in the voice of some market stall operator in the east End of London.

“Be lucky, ‘ave a go!”

Anyway, today I wanted to talk about what you can expect to gain from world class sales training.

It’s refreshing to see the number of businesses engaging in sales training increasing, regardless of the economic temperature. Skills development has undergone a rebrand over the last number of years and much of the change has been driven by employees.

With recruitment and retention headlining must business meetings, paying lip-service to skills development and continual learning programmes isn’t good enough anymore. You want the best staff, you need to deliver on those promises you made in the recruitment advert.

Yes, we’re still at this level in Northern Ireland. For every Linkedin onboarding programme (I had a friend who has been in media for the last 30 years who said that the experience with the current employer – Linkedin – has blown his mind), there is the PC, SmartPhone and car handover, a word document and a compass.

Top class sales training is expected as much from the employee as it is the employer and ultimately it speaks volumes of your intent as a company if you have a training programme set up for new starts as well as for existing staff. As I write this I am reminded of an old customer of mine who had the vision to integrate a sales training programme for their new starts – maybe 5 years ago. Fair play to them for the initiative the challenge, however is integrating the programme with the mindset, behaviours and attitude of the rest of the business and having continuous monitoring and check-ups on those new starts.

So what should top class training look like?

Well, for me, you should be looking at the delivery of 3 fundamentals: Motivation, Skill development and Accountability

Motivation is contentious – some business owners, sales leaders, sales and HR directors have a high expectation on the idea of ‘motivation.’

You know the drill:

“working here should be motivation enough for anyone”
“you cant coach attitude”

Dictionary definition of motivation
Motivation refers to a process of inducing and stimulating an individual to act in certain manner. In the context of an organisation, motivation implies encouraging and urging the employees to perform to the best of their capabilities so as to achieve the desired goals of the organisation.

It’s not unusual for people to be mis-aligned on ‘motivation’ – the word is derived from the Latin word Motivus: ‘a moving cause’ and when you look at it from this perspective, the burden falls on the business owner to fully communicate ‘their moving cause’ as much as it does for the employee to come into work full of life and energy.

Top class sales training helps to bring the two together – beginning with a clear sense of ‘that moving cause’ and how well it is communicated and understood throughout the business. After that it’s about the sales culture and the working environment. What does the team dynamic look like? What are the team’s non-negotiables? (Late for work? YOU BUY COFFEES FOR EVERYONE!!…or nothing happens, ever.)

These discussions will need buy in from every stakeholder – especially the big dogs and especially if there is no prevailing culture within the company. Culture can be tricky within a business – sometimes directors need to know when to stay in their lane and if you cant contribute then at the very least don’t block progress. (You know who you are…)

Top class sales training gets people to hold up the mirror to what they are currently doing, helps them change their behaviours and helps create a thriving sales culture.

Next up skill development.

I won’t go too deep on this one as skill development depends on the needs of the individual or team involved but we offer the fullest range of sales skills development – from those all important soft skills for everyone to telephone selling to sales management and strategy.

You can’t get the results without the hard work – you cant go to the driving range once a month and expect to be cutting your handicap to single figures. Skills development isn’t a one off…it’s a behavioural change over the course of a lifetime. Or a few years. But it’s not a one off…I’m no mechanic, but if you need to take the jump leads to the battery every day, chances are you need a new battery.

You want to go deeper on skills development as part of our world class sales training then drop me an email info@shift-control.co.uk

And then there’s the fun bit Accountability.

What get’s measured gets done, right? You need accountability all the way through the process and must be certain that what you are measuring will have an impact on performance right the way through the business – especially at sales manager level.

Absolutely no point in going through the motions and investment in time and money if the training course is seen as a milestone and not a journey. We have many examples of success in our top class sales training courses and programmes but none of them come about after 1 or 2 sessions or after a month of engagement.

If you want to take sales training and skills development seriously consider trying to rush a 7 year medical degree into 5 months and having one of those junior doctors operate on you.

Exactly – it wouldn’t be good. I have talked about this a lot in my blogs and podcasts but if you want great sales results from great sales people then you need to have an ongoing sales skills development programme in place – just think of what is involved in the learning:

  • sales knowledge
  • product knowledge
  • Emotional intelligence
  • market knowledge

Not to mention all the different sales skills:

  • negotiation skills
  • relationship building
  • presentation skills
  • telephone selling
  • writing sales content
  • social selling (ITS ALL SELLING!)
  • overcoming objections
  • 1-2-1 selling
  • 1-2-many selling
  • the art of persuasion
  • storytelling
  • empathetic listening

And then there’s the small matter of methodology:

  • Challenger
  • SPIN
  • Consultative
  • Diagnostic
  • Select

Thanks for reading – if you have any questions, drop me an email at info@shift-control.co.uk


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