Last week, a Fortune 500 company asked us for our perception of the latest, cutting-edge selling techniques and how we incorporate them into our sales training.
Cutting-edge? Is there really a way to overcome resistance that hasn't been written about several times over? Is there a new way to open a call that gets prospects to tell you what keeps them up at night? I don't think so.
How would you define cutting edge? Leave a reply below and let us know. The other bloggers and I put our heads together to craft an answer to this question. Here's what we came up.
To be on the cutting-edge of sales training, you need to:
- Reframe sales as service. Fast-talking salespeople are passé. And many products have, honestly, become commodities no matter how the marketing message is spun. You need to serve your customers so well that they choose to use your products and services over others. If you do it right, sales and service overlap with a single focus—doing what's best for the customer and for the company.
- Inspire values-driven communication and action instead of slick sales strategies. This includes hiring people with integrity who have a service-oriented attitude. Customers are sophisticated and they see right through slick sales strategies and tactics. There's nothing wrong with strategy and it's critical for salespeople to have a foundation of good, solid, customer-focused selling skills, but if they don't truly want to serve the customer, then those strategies and skills will be perceived as manipulative.
- Incorporate the company's mission, vision, and values statements into sales training curriculum.
Our training programs all include the HEART ModelTM—five principles that reflect the values most companies espouse. For example, A stands for "Act with integrity." Integrity was one of this company's core values as well. Cutting-edge sales training for them would include showing salespeople where they have the opportunity to act with integrity in their dealings with customers as well as discussing and practicing how to communicate the company's dedication to integrity. For example, rather than lie about a delivery date the salesperson knows will be missed, cutting-edge sales training would teach the salesperson how to deliver bad news.
What changes would you make if you applied this cutting-edge definition to your current sales training?