A 5-Step Plan to Improve Solution Selling Skills
Once a clear sales strategy has been created and a high performance sales culture has been designed, most sales managers want to measurably improve the solution selling skills of their sales team to boost performance.
The most successful sales leaders lean on internal and external solution selling training experts to help take the next steps. While experienced sales managers typically have a good idea what activities and behaviors are most needed to improve performance, they often need help with the design to make it happen. If you want to develop the right value and solution selling skills and behaviors and transfer them to the job, make sure that you work together to:
- Agree upon the one or two key sales metrics that you want to improve – e.g. revenue, margin, win-rate, cycle-time, portfolio-mix etc.
- Create the profile of a successful salesperson in your industry, your market, your company and your sales culture. Learning experts can interview the teams, assess quarterly results, solicit stakeholder feedback and do the broader research around best practices and current obstacles to sales effectiveness. Blend the results of their analysis with your in-the-field experience and agree upon what specific behaviors spell success and what sales scenarios matter most.
- Include executives in the planning stages. Present a case for investing in targeted consultative sales training that will yield measurable business results. Ensure your sales training plans are 100% aligned with the overall business and sales strategies of the organization. When the leadership agrees that your training initiative aligns with the current and future needs of the company, you should have their backing.
- Determine who needs what. Not everyone on the sales team will need the same solution selling skills or support. With a sales training needs assessment for skills gaps, you will be able to zero in on the right skills for the right audience. Make sure that your solution selling training program is 100% customized to your specific sales strategy, culture, industry, scenarios, success metrics and skill gaps.
- Applytraining measurement adoption and impact metrics to gauge and track progress and to provide targeted feedback for sales coaching and reinforcement. Not only will the data show what is working but it will also help you analyze the impact it is having on business outcomes.
Two heads are better than one. When you pull together in the same direction, your speed to goal will be accelerated.