Over the years, the art of selling has evolved in outlook from “just selling” to “providing a solution”. Salesmen these days are expected to understand in great detail not just the problems clients are trying to address, but also the gaps in their current practices and where improvisation can come in.
They have learnt it the hard way that sales built on a win-lose proposition cannot be sustained over any reasonable period of time. Sales need to be based on a win-win philosophy to create trust-based relationships that stand the test of time. In today’s world, a seller is highly respected within and outside his organization when he explores win-win opportunities rather than prey on win-lose ones. The modern seller has well and truly become a solution provider!
There’s more to sales than the ‘call’
In India and many countries in Asia, sales organizations have continued to follow old and outdated sales systems, or worse, no systems at all. This is slowly changing. More and more sellers now appreciate that the act of selling is not just a one-time transaction with the client but rather a path to a healthy long-term relationship based on trust. Traditional selling systems are giving way to newer approaches that focus not just on the ‘sell’ but the entire cycle of pre-sale, sale and post-sale. Steps like preparation, approach, listening to identify the opportunities, servicing and trust-based relationship building have gained equal importance if not more than the actual ‘sales call’.
Sales performance doesn’t make sales leaders
Another trend that surfaced over the last decade or so is that for a seller, his supervisor is the key. Unfortunately, very few organizations focus on developing sales leaders as they are usually promoted based on successful past sales performance and seen as ‘done it all so know it all’. The challenge for them is that when they begin managing others without the right training and approach to leadership, they fall short as they lack the basics of support, motivation, encouragement and delegation traits that are required of an inspiring leader. Soon after taking up the reins, they face difficulties in managing performance and start to lag behind. The gap between the sales manager and sales officer keeps increasing, leading to friction, dissatisfaction, burnout, rejection, mistrust, micro management, and all other sorts of team issues. People stop collaborating and start competing, leaving the door open for competition to break into their established turfs.
This trend is more pronounced in emerging markets and India is no exception. To effectively train a sales manager, one needs to identify competency gaps first and then create a development solution that focuses on converting her into a sales leader who can set and sustain a winning culture.
Where can Devine Group help?
The Devine Group has uniquely customized assessments to identify gaps in individual and team competencies, and offers follow-on training solutions to address these gaps in the form of workshops.
For individuals, the assessments provide strength and weakness comparisons in four key sales quadrants – account sales, consultative sales, unique value sales, and commodity sales. The assessment reports include detailed narratives, competency results, behavioral strengths and weaknesses, which help paint an accurate picture of the gaps so that the right training is imparted. For teams, the report provides a more intimate and detailed understanding of the entire sales team and analyzes the methodology, strategy and behavior tendencies possessed by each team member in various selling situations.
Results of gap analysis are then used to select and deliver skills training including:
- Shortening the entire sales cycle
- Benefit-oriented proposal pitch
- Mapping the decision making process
- Negotiating for mutual benefit
- Differentiated Closure Techniques for different clients
In addition to improving the selling skills, Devine Group’s unique solution approach also addresses the ‘environment’ of a sales organization, including:
- Sales communications
- Managing proposal process
- Managing organizational change
- Effective review mechanism to reduce leadership dependencies
- Process implementation for multi-channel sales with review in phases
Devine Group’s approach of customized gap analysis followed by comprehensive solutions that cover attitude, behaviour, environment and skills training deliver attractive ROI on interventions.