Engage Experienced Sales Professionals with Advanced Skills Training
If you’re like most sales organizations, your top-performing salespeople are critical to your success. But in a tight labor market, keeping those people is a risk. A great salesperson always has options, especially today.
There are many ways to keep a top performer and a high-potential performer engaged, but one of the most important ways to do that is to invest in building their skills.
This is tough. Foundational sales training programs are pretty easy to find and procure, but advanced selling programs are harder to find and deliver. However, your top performers are worth the effort.
One option you might consider is investing in training that focuses on building advanced skills that are both high-risk and high-reward.
Some high-risk, high-reward skills that add value to the training experience for advanced sellers and top performers include:
- Asserting a point of view to shape thinking
- Building alignment among stakeholders
- Accessing senior-level stakeholders
Asserting a Point of View to Shape Thinking
Too often, sales professionals avoid asserting a point of view out of fear this action will make the customer feel threatened. Training that helps sales professionals build the confidence and skills they need to effectively share a point of view with a client includes a focus on:
- Building the skills to be able to assert a point of view without using exaggerative language. Sales professionals must learn to make their perspective known by expressing it in clear terms free of jargon.
- Training in dialogue models that help the sales professional normalize discussions of risk. Rather than working to assure the avoidance of all risk, sales professionals must learn how to illustrate that the risks involved are acceptable, given expected benefits.
- Following a questioning model that uses reflection questions, encourage the customer to think more deeply about the topic and fully consider the sales professional’s viewpoint.
Building Alignment among Stakeholders
Advanced sales training helps experienced professionals build a plan to better align multiple stakeholders and encourage their resolve to move forward. To do so, they must be trained to improve their ability to:
- Identify sources of misalignment. In most selling scenarios, the source is fear or communication breakdown
- Become adept at weaving differing customer perspectives into one case for change
- Build dialogue skills that help identify the different risk tolerances of all stakeholders and craft messaging that helps the stakeholders recognize the urgency and need for change
Up-Tiering to Gain Access
If sales professionals are only talking to a single contact in an organization, they’re only engaging a fraction of the customer. Up-tiering training helps sales professionals build the skills they need to expand their spheres of influence rather than leapfrog from one person to another. The skills up-tiering training should focus on building include:
- Building trust with the initial contact to reduce the risk of alienating the primary contact when making the request to meet with senior-level decision-makers
- Developing messaging that will resonate with more senior members within the organization
- Contextualizing insights around the customer’s challenges
- Building confidence in providing transparency
Providing skills training for experienced and top-performing professionals in areas in which building these skills will deliver rewards for the individual and the organization is a great way to retain and motivate top talent.
Andrea Grodnitzky is the chief marketing officer at Richardson Sales Training, a global company focused on helping drive revenue and grow long-term customer relationships. Richardson’s sales and coaching methodology, combined with an active learning approach, ensures sales teams learn, master, and apply new behaviors when and where they matter most—in front of the buyer. For more information, call 800.526.1650 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.