Thread Started by #Advance Selling Skills Academy

Its unfortunate to find that many organisations confuse between product training and sales skills development training. They try to address the low productive sales employees with Product Training and hammer them with refresher training on product features again and again.

Any sales transaction goes through 7 main stages. Sales Skills requirement differ from one stage to another. Many a times, it may happen that a particular sales employee is good at sales presentation but lacks the skills of closing the sales deal.

Now, if the employer organisation tries to develop this particular sales employee with repetitive product refresher, will it add any value? No, it will simply frustrate the employee and may led to attrition.

So, as professional sales training consultant

, we strongly recommend to follow a scientific skill gap analysis for each stage of sales cycle and prescribe appropriate training programs.

Sales Training Modules for 7 stages of Sales Cycle:

A sale is a 7 step process irrespective of product or service categories. These 7 stages are sacrosanct across industries and geographies. All marketing and sales professional have agreed on the complexities involved on each of these 7 stages.

Organisations need to plan out an adequate sales training methodology to support its sales force on each step of this 7 stages cycle for its own success.

The selling skills required for each of these 7 steps vary from one another and requires a deep understanding of the salesman’s ability and consumer behaviour.

The sales training catalogue also needs to be designed on the 7 stages requirement format. Mechanisms need to be implemented to mend the gap areas of the sales persons’ skills at each level.

Stage 1:

Prospecting – It’s basically the hunting stage of ‘Sales Cycle’. It requires customer interaction and meetings. The salesperson needs to hunt profiles that are looking out for a solution for their ‘pain’.

Skills Required: Product Knowledge, Industry knowledge, Market insights.

Recommended Training Program: The art of cold calling, Cold calling Techniques, Telephone etiquettes etc.

Stage 2:

Lead Generation - In this stage, the salesperson needs to identify prospects are willing to share their information and details to fix their need or ‘pain’.

Skills Required: Customer Interaction, Techniques of Need Analysis.

Recommended Training Program: Methods of Need Analysis, Art of Lead Generation.

Stage 3:

Prospect Qualification- In this stage a salesperson needs to assess the prospect against parameters like intent, interest, ability to pay etc.

Skills Required: Listening skills, Assessment Skills, Solution Mapping skills.

Recommended Training Program: Methods of Sales Qualification

Stage 4:

Sales Presentation: In this stage the salesperson needs to communicate his proposals and solutions to the prospect.

Skills Required: Product Knowledge, Competition knowledge, Communication Skills.

Recommended Training Program: Professional Selling Skills Program.

Stage 5:

Objection Handling: Every salesperson needs to go through this unavoidable stage. Queries and objections should be taken positively and to be addressed professionally.

Skills Required: Communication skills, product Knowledge, Evidence sharing skills.

Recommended Training Program: Major Account Penetration Program

Stage 6:

Closing the deal: It is the most important decision making stage. With elimination at every stage, few deals come up to this level.

Skills Required: Negotiation Skills, Communication Skills, Relationship Skills, Product knowledge

Recommended Training Program: Major Account Selling Skills program.

Stage 7

Reference Generation: An effective salesperson should not leave the ‘sales cycle’ at stage 6. He should always try for generating reference from his customers. A reference from existing customer is always appreciated.

Skills Required: Relationship Management Skills, after sales servicing skills.

Recommended Training Program: The techniques of Relationship Management, Up-selling techniques.

In few of the stages ‘Off the Job’ may fit in but in most of the 7 stages, ‘On the Job’ training should bring an ideal outcome. The sales trainer needs to play the role of a ‘mentor’ than a ‘teacher’.

The sales trainer should run the program on the job and need to conduct refresher programs for the weak candidates. The training modules also require several role plays and group activities (part of Off the Job training) before going on for live testing.
25th October 2013 From India, Mumbai

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The sales profession moves faster than ever today. In the blink of an eye, new competitors emerge, products similar to yours are released, and before you know it, it’s a race to the bottom.
No matter what industry you’re in, what worked well a few years ago isn’t good enough today. This is no time for trial and error or order taking; this is a time to sell. Here are some basic steps you can take to improve your sales performance, reduce your cost of selling, and ensure your survival.
1. Clarify your mission.
Begin by understanding your business niche. What do you do best? Who needs what you do? How do you best approach these prospects? How much are they willing to pay? If these questions are not answered easily, campaign at the top for clarity and vision.
2. Break the mission into specific goals.
Write down the activity goals (calls per day, proposals per month, referrals per call, etc.) that you can control. Set results goals (sales per month, amount per sale, profit per sale, etc.) to measure your progress, and track them closely. Increase your activity and measure the results. Goals focus your attention and energize your action.
3. Sell to customer needs.
Always assume your prospects will buy only what they need. How can you convince them of that need? Emphasize the features of your product or service that reduce costs and solve problems for the customer. Sometimes you can reposition your wares. For example, you sold wool uniforms for their look and feel; now stress wool’s durability and lasting value. Be creative in your sales and marketing.
4. Create and maintain favorable attention.
Effective marketing, referrals, strong sales skills, and strategic questions are the keys to creating favorable attention. Diligent follow-through and above-and-beyond customer service are the keys to maintaining it.
5. Sell on purpose.
Know both what to do and why you’re doing it at every step along the way. Who are you targeting and why? What are you going to tell them and why? What are you going to ask them and why? What is your proposal going to look like and why? When are you going to ask for the order? If you don’t feel sure of yourself at every step of the selling process, get some training or guidance.
6. Ask, listen, and act.
Better than any others, these three words summarize success in sales. Your questions must be creative, planned, relevant, and direct. Your listening skills must be highly developed. You must respond and take action that proves that you listened to the customer and want the sale.
7. Take the responsibility but not the credit.
Realize that you are the team leader. The company looks to you for direction and supports your effort. To build a strong support team willing to go the extra mile when you need it, give your team the credit for everything that goes right, and take the blame when it goes wrong.
8. Work on the basics.
Even the best of the best have room for improvement. Make a decision to improve your weaknesses, and set goals to force yourself to do the things you don’t like to do. Be more creative in your prospecting, fact finding, and presentation skills. Imagine the perfect salesperson and compare yourself to the ideal.
9. Develop your attitude.
Your attitude is controllable. Conquer your fears. Change the beliefs that limit your success. Your thought habits control your commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, resilience, happiness, and confidence. Be aware of them, decide which ones are unproductive, and then make a commitment to change. With time and effort, you can become the person you want to be and also HRIS Software can be helpful in a way to achieve a prominent database for your organization.
10. Maximize your time.
Focus on your goals. Test every activity for its importance and urgency. Create an ideal schedule, and test your actual time use against it daily. Remember, just one hour a day used more productively adds up to more than six extra weeks of productive time a year.
24th August 2018 From India, Rajkot
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