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 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.
5 Steps to Measurably Improve Solution Selling Skills
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:
1. Select the Top 2-3 Sales Metrics that Matter Most
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. While they can be leading or lagging sales metrics, the 2-3 most meaningful sales metrics should account for fifty percent or more of the success at the individual and team level.
2. Create a High Performer Seller Profile
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.
3. Actively Involve Executive Stakeholders
Include executives in the planning stages. Present a case for investing in targeted business sales training that will yield measurable results. Ensure your sales training plans are 100% aligned with the overall business and sales strategies of the organization. When leadership agrees that your initiative to improve solution selling skills aligns with the current and future needs of the company, you are ready to take action.
4. Target and Prioritize Your Investments
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.
5. Measure Results and Hold people Accountable for Follow Through
Apply training 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.
The Bottom Line
To improve your ability to sell complex solutions to target clients, clarify sales success metrics, identify what skills matter most, and then hold sales managers and sales reps accountable for living the new ways.
To learn more about how to set your sales startegy, culture and talent up for high growth, download this research-backed Sales Toolkit for Sales Leaders