Presumably, you’re here because you have a nagging suspicion that your sales team isn’t quite fulfilling your expectations, leaving you to conclude that, ultimately, your sales team needs training. However, it may not be entirely apparent why. For this reason, this article explores eight major warning signs that your sales team needs training and how you can fix it!
Table of contents | 8 Major Warning Signs Your Sales Team Need Training
- 1. Pricing is their competitive strategy
- 2. They don’t know how to differentiate from the competition
- 3. They’re doing more talking than the customer
- 4. They waste time by not asking the right questions
- 5. They don’t up-sell or cross-sell
- 6. Referrals are scarce
- 7. Complaints are rife
- 8. Managers micromanage
- Smash targets faster with SOCO/
1. Pricing is their competitive strategy
In today’s world, customers have a wealth of information at their fingertips about you – and your competitors. So naturally, they’re in a much more robust and influential position to find deals and offers than just a few years ago.
More so, because the customer has access to such vast resources, it is unlikely that a low price will ever go unmatched. So what happens when sales teams compete on price is that prospective customers are more likely to view your solution as a commodity – it’s easily forgotten.
Furthermore, when your sales team only focus on pricing, they’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to ask the questions revealing what the customer truly needs. Not to mention that it’s a common notion that the lower the price, the lower the risk and the higher the price, the higher the risk, whether real or perceived. So it’s effortless to play the low price game, but you have to sell a lot to make it worthwhile because the volume has to be there.
So how can you negate this situation quickly? Sales teams who have made price their competitive strategy benefit from the Differentiation Dominance Certification by identifying what makes them better than the competition.
2. They don’t know how to differentiate from the competition
Are your sales team consistently losing deals to competitors? Leading on from our first major warning sign that your sales team need training is the inability to differentiate from the competition.
The problem is that brands that hover in the middle and the ones that don’t know how to stand apart from the competition are the ones that tend to get lost. They end up just competing on price and getting lost in the sea of competitors, as we discussed above.
Think about it, are you an established brand, or are you a newcomer? Are you a high-priced luxury brand, or are you a low-cost brand? Perhaps you stand apart in terms of service, or you pride yourselves on offering the best level of service possible?
Maybe you’re the opposite! No-frills. No support at all, and, as a result, you’re probably low cost. Maybe you stand apart in terms of being specialised, niche, targeted and focused. Or perhaps you go the complete opposite, and you’re a generalist -a jack of all trades, and you do a little bit of everything!
Above all, there’s no perfect way to differentiate – but you must differentiate.
In a world where buyers are inundated with choices, it’s important that you can stand out from other solution providers. To do this, it all comes down to positioning. It would be best if you studied the competition, determine how you’re better AND effectively communicate it. In our Differentiation Dominance certification course, we help you do all of this in a way that’s important to your buyer because at the end of the day if your differentiator doesn’t matter to your prospects, your sales team will compete on price.
3. They’re doing more talking than the customer
The third major sign that your sales team need training is that they’re doing all the talking. We get it – silence can be uncomfortable – but that doesn’t mean the prospect isn’t interested, or the sale is doomed to go nowhere.
Instead, it needs to resonate with salespeople that the route to getting a sale is picking up the breadcrumbs of information from the customers’ words.
That’s why in our Selling Your Solution training, we focus on the foundational sales skills everyone in sales needs to master.
Whether that’s asking the right questions to uncover problems, presenting your solution effectively, tactfully overcoming objections or presenting so efficiently that closing becomes easy.
Above all, we equip participants with the knowledge and application skills to assess customer needs better, adopt a consultative selling approach, and avoid losing deals by not proposing inadequate solutions.
4. They waste time by not asking the right questions
By asking your prospect the right questions, you can find out exactly what they’re looking for and what’s in the way of them saying ‘yes’. These questions will help move them down the sales funnel.
But not any questions will do. They have to be the right ones because when you ask your prospect the right questions, you will discover a treasure trove of valuable information. Including what your potential customers are looking for precisely and what’s preventing them from saying ‘yes.’
Prospecting is a vital activity for getting leads to the top of the sales funnel. However, the world has evolved, and old ways of prospecting aren’t useful anymore. For this reason, sales reps need to learn modern prospecting activities that incorporate an omnichannel approach to successfully reach out to their prospects using multiple platforms, tools and touchpoints.
Think about it -there’s a good chance your prospect is receiving over 100 emails a day, and that one spammy email sent will never be responded to. That’s why our Prospecting training programme trains reps to be creative, persistent and most importantly, adopt an effective strategy that generates real results.
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5. They don’t up-sell or cross-sell
Cross-Selling is the process of offering customers a relevant product or service that complements their purchase. Upselling is the process of increasing a customer’s value by encouraging them to purchase extra services or products – particularly of a higher price range.
The fifth major warning sign that your sales team needs training is those who haven’t invested in creating a foundation of trust and respect beforehand will likely be rejected immediately upon mentioning the cross or up-sell offer.
Therefore, your sales teams end up only selling what the prospect asks for, which in turn loses vital opportunities to introduce prospects to products or services that they would likely benefit from – but don’t even know you offer.
However, ideally, your client needs to feel valued, listened to and respected; if not, your sales team will just come across as disingenuous. So, focus on their most pressing needs or challenges first, satisfy them and then try to delight them with an additional extra.
6. Referrals are scarce
Whether you’re a small business or a sales professional, referrals are vital to your company and sales growth. Why? Because the initial sale isn’t the only time when your sales team have a chance to bring in revenue.
However, the problem is that quite often, when your sales team aren’t closing deals. Or, even worse, finding prospects or leads to meet with – they panic. They start looking through their database, phone, contact lists, and reaching out to people in a frenzy.
“Hey, who do you know who might need our product or service?”
But, by then, it’s too late.
It may seem like they got it right the first time, but now they can’t increase referrals or expand their scope of work at all. So what happened? Well, we’re firm believers in “whether you believe you will fail or succeed, you’re right.”
So how can you prevent this issue from happening? To be successful in sales, you need to make connections—but not just with your existing customers – so we created the Networking Skills Mastery programme to help you generate business leads and get feedback on your products or services.
The most important parts of networking are, first, just getting out there and making yourself known— letting the world (or the room) know what you do. As the famous saying goes, “it’s not who you know; it’s who knows you.”
7. Complaints are rife
Have you noticed a rise in unhappy commentary from your customer service team? It may indicate that your management team needs to readdress how the sales team approaches customer complaints and issues.
For this reason alone, you need to keep data and analytics about the buyer’s journey. Think about it -your customer service team, in particular, knows the problems customers have during onboarding. On the other hand, your sales teams understand the issues they’re trying to solve with your solution. Therefore, both departments can use this information in tandem to fine-tune every aspect of the customer journey, which will ultimately help to reduce any instances of complaints, hopefully!
That’s precisely why our Coaching Skills Training focuses on different coaching styles and how they’re used in various scenarios. You’ll learn how to use effective questioning and listening to provoke team members to create their own solutions, resulting in a dramatic increase in their motivation and dedication to the task.
8. Managers micromanage
We get it; as a manager, you’re on the hook for results, whether that’s goal attainment or sales performance. Sometimes you feel as if you need to take the matter into your own hands to ensure the job is complete. However, Micromanaging is awful for several reasons; most notably, its position indicates a lack of trust, experience, or even insecurity. Therefore I think we can all agree that this isn’t a recipe for collaborative success.
Instead, sales managers need to tap into strengths and address weaknesses to build strong teams. A high performing team is highly motivated. They take on challenges with an eagerness to exceed expectations; they don’t blindly follow orders. Instead, they look to improve upon them.
Sound like a dream? In our Management Mastery course, we teach the essential management skills every leader needs to possess to bring out the best of their team.
Remember – leading a team to new heights takes understanding your team’s unique strengths, how to navigate uncharted territory and how to inspire them to reach their maximum potential. It takes a talented leader to do that.
Smash targets faster with SOCO/
SOCO/ is an expert-led, award-winning sales training company. We’ve spent decades working with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies across Asia and the world.
Have SOCO train your team in the top sales skills needed to take on 2021 through either Virtual Instructor Led Training through video conferencing software or let your team learn new skills in their spare time using our popular e-learning platform – SOCO Academy.
Not sure which of the top sales training programs is right for you? Book an appointment with one of our program advisors who will be happy to build the right training plan for you.
Don’t just take our word – see what others are saying!
“We recently had Tom conduct a virtual external Sales Training Program for our entire commercial organization at Carousell Group for our different brands in 5 countries.
Tom shared great insights on consultative selling and needs analysis to win new customers. He energized and fuelled our sales & trade marketing teams to apply the concepts they learned into their day to day interactions with customers. Throughout the session, all 200+ attendees were fully engaged and inspired to apply the concepts shared into their interactions with clients.
At the core of Carousell, we constantly raise the bar, growing and inspiring one another. Thank you Tom for helping us raise the bar. “
– Vishal Salunkhe | Head of Sales Operations & Enablement Carousell
“I had the pleasure of working with Tom to deliver a live webinar to our customers across 3 continents! From the discovery and planning meetings right down to customizing content to meet our objectives and engage our audience, Tom is a pro. He is energetic and has the ability to cut through – so it feels as though you are right there in the room with him. If you are hesitating don’t; we already booked him for a keynote at our next virtual event!”
– Kiera Kramer | Brand and Experiences Marketing for QuickBooks
“I had a great sales training with Tom! I have learned so much especially on the prospecting part. He gave me more motivation in making cold calls and building better relationships with my clients.”
–Mathilde Ramoisy | SaaS Enterprise Business Development at Perx Technologies