I often discuss growth strategies with some of the most brilliant business leaders in Canada. Their minds are full of innovative concepts and technologies that are set to transform the world we live and work in. I’m honoured to work alongside these talented professionals as they seek investment for strategic growth projects.
But while these leaders often excel in the technical aspects of their product/service platforms, there is often a disconnect when it comes to bringing that new technology forward to a large group of customers. This presents one of the most common challenges businesses face: how to develop and execute strong sales and marketing processes.
Sales and marketing skills are necessary for businesses to function optimally, however few businesses commit to training their employees on either of these skillsets. They’re often overlooked at the expense of operational excellence.
But what could be possible if we treated the sales and marketing disciplines as if they’re worthy of training and professional development?
How to Enable Your Sales Team’s Success
Recently, I’ve been on a journey to identify why training and process management of the sales discipline is often overlooked. Often times, business owners state that the ROI of previous investments in such training programs didn’t show a positive return.
The consensus of our clients and business network is that their internal sales/marketing processes are weak. Some of these clients have made strides in the systemization of data by reporting into a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, but these metrics can only go so far towards enabling the organization’s success. A good CRM does not equate to good sales results.
Understanding Your Organization’s Value Proposition
Sales teams can benefit the most by having refined processes and materials that provide a value proposition to the customer in a straightforward way. By establishing a sound sales process and integrating the right marketing materials, companies can become more efficient and increase their engagement rates.
Consider your business – do your sales and marketing teams understand how to propose the value of your product or service? Are your sales processes and materials addressing the most important sales considerations? Some important points to cover are:
- Issue: what problem(s) are you able to overcome for your clients? What is the most common goals that you solve?
- Impact: Is there a path for results-based analysis of the solution’s value? What happens if the solution does not solve the problem? What downstream problems are the issues causing? How is the issue hurting or holding the buyer back?
- Buyer Importance: Compared to other things on your plate, how important is this?
- Solution: How does the solutions compare to other products/services in the market?
Training Sales to Communicate their Solution’s Value
The value of your solution is much more important than the solution itself. Your sales team must learn how to present the value/impact of the solution being sold. Understanding this and being able to communicate this effectively is essential to the success of sales and marketing teams.
Professional training programs are often necessary to define and demonstrate these impacts. It can be extremely helpful to receive the guidance of trained professionals who can make your team think in new ways and better understand clients’ problems. Training ensures your team is headed in the right direction and feels comfortable with the messages they use.
We are seeing a growing interest in sales/marketing training as buying practices are going through a great transformation. The ways buyers search for, evaluate and buy solutions is constantly changing, and your sales team must be prepared to engage customers at the right time and through the right medium to succeed. In my opinion, the old cold-calling techniques, intro emails and phone calls are yesterday’s news.
Canadian Government Grants for Sales and Marketing Training
The good news is that there are Canadian government funding programs that support sales and marketing training. These programs are specifically designed to help businesses develop and retain highly talented employees.
Businesses providing specialized training to their sales team may be able to receive up to 66% of third-party training expenses through the Canada Job Grant. Provincial variants of the program, such as the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) can reduce the cost of training and enable small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) to accelerate their employees’ skills development. Businesses may apply for the grant every 6 months, making it a go-to source of funds for your next training program.
Join The Conversation: Discuss Your Sales and Marketing Breakthroughs
I wanted to use this blog to seek your input and share best practices on critical sales development processes. Who are the top trainers that you have had experience with and been exposed to?
Let me start. I recommend the book “Same Side Selling” by Ian Altman – he also has a solid webcast series. As an excellent speaker and trainer, Ian’s work is focused on building sales processes and skills to address the impact of your solutions as the seller.
Please use the comment field at the bottom of the page to engage with me and share your thoughts. Don’t forget, there are lucrative government grants to develop your workforce through hiring and training available!