Four Pillars of Sales Success. Sales Training for Large Organisations

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1 Four Pillars of Sales Success Sales Training for Large Organisations

2 Contents Introduction 3 Confidence & Belief 4 Knowledge 5 5 Skills of Successful Sales People 6 Process and structure 7 Brian Abram ACII 8

3 Introduction 3 The Credit Crunch and subsequent recession has changed the UK retail landscape forever... especially in financial services. Some institutions, once revered and considered to be rock solid brands, have disappeared and some of those that remain are now viewed with suspicion by consumers. Government and Regulators are responding by demanding ever higher standards of governance from business leaders and ethical behaviour from staff at every level. But the need for good advice and well designed products has never been greater and sales people are still needed to ensure that consumers benefit from them. As we all try to thrive despite the ongoing recession, the businesses that prosper will be those that embed the very highest standards of ethics and professionalism throughout the organisation, from the very top right through to everyone involved in sales and service delivery. Brian Abram has spent more than 25 years in senior positions in the heavily regulated world of retail, financial services and most recently with one of the UK s leading banks. He has lead sales forces several thousand strong to success and headed up a business with turnover in excess of 100m. Brian has recently been working on a successful OnTrack Sales and Sales Management solution with a large insurance company. Brian s experience shows that we need to examine the four pillars that support our sales personnel - whether experienced or novice and then strengthen these pillars through practical training that works in the real world. The four pillars of successful sales; Confidence & Belief Knowledge Skills Process & Structure

4 Confidence & Belief 4 A common misconception of sales people is that they are confident outgoing individuals, at all times. In reality this may not be the case, but if the sales training has achieved its goals then the knowledgeable, confident sales person will increase your customers confidence in the company they represent. What are the main considerations of this pillar and how do we, as Sales Leaders, address them? A new challenge Staff who are new to a sales role (especially where they are being asked to go from order taking to selling) can feel they are taking on a challenge that is unfamiliar to them. They often lack the confidence to make the transition and sometimes resent the change they are being asked to make - e.g. I didn t come into this job to be a sales person. Preconceptions of selling Your staff will have preconceptions about what selling entails - often these are negative perceptions based on what they have experienced themselves or seen and heard in the media. Brilliant. Makes you think and actively make changes in what you do. Interactive and fun. A Delegate Rejection Whether new to selling or experienced, all sales staff can be held back by a fear of failure. The fear of rejection is a basic human emotion and hearing customers say no over and over again will lead to a lack of confidence unless staff are helped to understand how to deal with this inevitable consequence of selling. If this is not covered up front, initial disappointments can leave lasting scars and lead to inevitable failure for newly appointed sales staff. Believe in the product They must believe in the products and services they are being asked to sell. It is a fact that some financial services products have been miss-sold by some organisations and have been the subject of much negative press coverage, e.g. PPI. Your staff will be aware of this and need to be shown that your products are valuable - if sold professionally and well. Regulations They may be fearful of the regulations surrounding the sale of some products. They need to be shown that the regulations are in fact there to protect them and support them where they sell professionally and correctly. In order to build confidence and belief in the sales personnel each one of these points needs to be addressed. Having identified the weakness, steps can be taken to build the necessary skills in the relevant areas.

5 Knowledge 5 Knowledge and Confidence in sales personnel are intrinsically linked but we are not only concerned with the knowledge of the sales personnel. The Savvy Buyer The increasing use of the internet and especially price comparison sites has lead to growth in the number of savvy buyers. So your staff had better be well informed about what they are selling! Whilst the training of product knowledge is your company s responsibility, any sales training should re-emphasise the importance of strong product knowledge and test this by using role plays and exercises that also help to address the issues of confidence identified in the previous page. Psychology of selling Sales staff will benefit from having some understanding the psychology of selling and why people buy things. A little time spent on this can help build confidence and success. Incentives If there are incentive arrangements for successful selling, it is important that these are fully understood and the rewards visualised. The Do s and the Dont s Finally, sales staff in a regulated environment need to understand what they can and cannot do/say during the sales process. It is up to the Company to define the rules and parameters but good sales training will test and reinforce this knowledge and fill in any gaps

6 5 Skills of Successful Sales People 6 Establishing the need Soft skills such as being able to build rapport and demonstrate empathy are crucial. This will ensure the success of the questioning and listening skills needed to establish the customer s needs in relation to potential product sales Translating Features to Benefits Translating product features into meaningful benefits that customers buy. This is critically important for all products but especially when selling financial products. Staff need to understand the differences between selling tangible products (such as TV s or sofas, etc) and intangible products (such as insurance policies, warranties or finance packages). OnTrack International has developed a powerful way for staff, new to selling, to do this successfully from day one. Removing Uncertainties Closing and Objection handling (which we prefer to call removing uncertainties ) are essential skills for anyone in sales. But we concentrate on practical steps that are proven to work in the real world and lead to sales that stick, not elaborate theories that seem to rely on coercion. Such approaches have no place in modern selling practice. Overcoming the Fear of Failure Practice is vital - especially for staff who are new to selling. They need an opportunity to try out what they have learned in a safe environment where failure isn t a problem. We use role plays and sales exercises that allow delegates to show what they have learned and which can also inject fun and competition into the training Stunning Service And finally, in a world where mediocre customer service sometimes seems to be the norm, our training goes in depth into what customers (like us) really want and deserve. We promise to inspire your staff to deliver simply stunning customer service.

7 Process and structure 7 Good sales training needs to give staff a structure to follow so they feel comfortable and can use the skills they have learned. Of course we need to ensure that everything covered during our training supports your company s ethical standards and compliance processes. This should not be as rigid as a scripted approach (unless absolutely necessary for your business) as this can prevent individuals from using their own style of communication. It can also be off putting to customers where the staff member s language tells the customer that a script is being used. The trainer, Brian, obviously has great experience in selling and this helped immensely A Delegate Rather, the process should allow individuals to use their own words where possible but should ensure that the flow covers all the essential aspects of the sales and advice process, meets regulatory demands and leads to a successful conclusion. An appropriate structure can be developed in conjunction with you, the client and, once trained in, practised and used live, this flow should quickly become second nature Summary OnTrack s new approach to sales training has been developed to address the challenges your business faces in For a free consultation please contact Joe Birri or Robert Alp to discuss your requirements further. +44(0)

8 Brian Abram ACII 8 Brian has very recent experience of leading large scale, sales operations in the financial sector and has held several senior executive positions in the UK banking sector. Having started out as a salesman, Brian s success led to him joining a major high street bank in 1986, where he progressed into sales management. Rising quickly through the ranks, he eventually became Head of Regulated Sales, where he lead a 2,000 strong sales force that was the most productive of its kind in Europe. He also spent several successful years as the Managing Director of one of the UK s largest IFA businesses. Brian s most recent experience was as MD of a UK wide service provider with turnover in excess of 100m. Brian now provides training in Sales and Sales Management for OnTrack International specialising in helping clients to develop a sales culture where the workforce has no previous sales experience. I worked with Brian over many years in a variety of roles. Brian is a skilled presenter whose enthusiasm for selling never failed to motivate and engage his audience. One of Brian s greatest strengths is that he understands the demands of today s regulatory environment and can explain the role of professional selling in a way which helps salespeople appreciate the importance of regulatory responsibilities. Stephen Young Chief Operating Officer, Sesame Bankhall Group By working closely with Regulators, Brian has developed a deep understanding of how to manage risk in a heavily regulated environment. Throughout his career Brian has demonstrated that it is possible to deliver outstanding sales results whilst also achieving the very highest standards of professionalism in everything you do. An accomplished speaker, coach and trainer, Brian inspires sales people and sales managers, experienced and novices alike, to realise their potential. His insights lead to real understanding of what drives outstanding sales performance, true professionalism and the delivery of simply stunning customer service. Brian attended a Savills Private Finance management seminar and presented to a tired audience at the end of a long day. His presentation was energetic dynamic and instantly made people sit up and take notice. Presenting to a mildly cynical audience of know alls is always a challenge, particularly in the 'graveyard' slot, but Brian overcame all these challenges and proved a great success. Mark Harris, Managing Director, Savills Private Finance

9 9 Global Head Office Suite 2 The Stables Cannons Mill Lane Bishop s Stortford Herts CM23 2BN, UK Tel:+44 (0) Fax:+44 (0)

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