Fire Your Tailor: Why Tailored Sales Training is Not the Answer
I have consulted with hundreds of companies over the years, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the comment: “Our business is different.” I understand, and I agree. But I would take that difference down another notch or two. Every salesperson and every sales call is different; to treat them as the same is a huge mistake.
That’s exactly why it is so important to provide sales training that is focused on developing universal sales skills that can be applied to every situation, rather than attempting to identify the perfect situation where sales training should be focused.
That is the fatal flaw in the promise of sales training that supposedly will be tailored to your company’s situation. The promise sounds appealing, but it ignores the fact that your situation is fluid, not static.
When sales-training companies say they will tailor their programs, they usually mean that they will make adjustments in their standard content so that it applies to your environment. That might work fine for a month—or a week, or a day. It might work longer, but only when a particular situation arises in the field.
In today’s evolving sales environment, sales training needs to be as nimble as the atmosphere in which you work. Furthermore, sales training that is truly worthwhile needs to last a salesperson’s lifetime, not just until something changes or another selling challenge arises.
Sales training should last a lifetime
How, exactly, will a sales training company tailor its programs for you? Typical areas for customization include topics such as positioning against the competition, price negotiation, cross-selling, and handling objections. Here are a few flaws in that plan:
Activities such as positioning, price negotiation, cross-selling, and handling an objection all involve the correct use of several sales skills. It isn’t a matter of applying just one skill per activity.
Each salesperson has a different level of competency in each of these sales skills.
The circumstances in every sales call will always be a little different. You can’t possibly give enough examples to cover every situation in which an objection, a negotiation, or a cross-selling opportunity will arise.
The same fatal flaws apply in cases where “tailoring” sales training means that you are invited to pull a module here and a module there from someone’s “training library.” There just aren’t enough modules to handle the unique needs of every salesperson and every sales call.
So forget that brand of tailoring. What you need instead is a flexible selling system that focuses on developing a few key, core skills that can improve every salesperson’s ability to handle every selling situation.
How can you teach a single sales training program to every salesperson so that each becomes capable of handling every selling situation they are likely to face now and in the future? The answer does, indeed, involve customization. But what you need is a customizable sales training approach in which each individual can tailor the content to fit themselves as well as the situation they face.
The only sales training system that takes this approach is Action Selling. It is completely customizable because it focuses on the common buying decisions that all customers make. It develops critical sales skills within a flexible process that applies to every selling situation and every salesperson.
Now, that kind of tailoring is worth a second look.
Have a question about truly customizable sales training? Ask the eCoach.
Action Selling in Action
Envision Imaging of Dallas operates a multi-state network of world-class imaging centers that provide MRI Scans, CT Scans, and other medical services. Envision’s salespeople have varying backgrounds and levels of experience, and its selling situations are different from those facing most companies.
“We strategically sell to the unique needs of each medical office,” says regional marketing director Stephanie Corbin-Helms. “We tailor our approach on every sales call. We aren’t scripted. We want our sales conversations to occur naturally, so they match the way people think.”
Envision has “lots of competition,” Corbin-Helms says, and it adopted the Action Selling system, because “in order to differentiate ourselves it is important that we have a consistent approach that everyone uses. Action Selling is imbedded in our CRM system, our field-coaching procedures, our strategic planning sessions, our team calls, and interactions with our center managers who deliver the service that we sell.”
“Action Selling is a great communications system,” she continues. “We use it every day, all day. Not only are we ahead of our sales goals for the year, we consistently gain referrals from satisfied customers. That’s the biggest compliment you can get.”
Want to learn more about how Action Selling is customizable for every salesperson and every selling situation? Please call our training consultants at (800) 232-3485.
Discover a quick, easy read that can change your life. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You Are One).