The importance of sales knowledge and how such knowledge is developed.
The use of computer technology to make the salesperson’s job easier and to provide better customer service.
That persuasive communication is a fundamental aspect of sales skills development.
The selling process as a vital tool for the salesperson and the importance of each step.
That quality customer service is a necessity.
The research that reinforces the sales success strategies discussed in this chapter.
L EARNING O BJECTIVES The training of a salesperson makes all the difference between a successful sales career and an unsuccessful one. This chapter should help you understand:
S HOULD I T B E C ALLED T RAINING OR E DUCATION? Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior occurring as a result of experience. Training is included in one’s experiences. Thus, training is part of an individual’s total learning experience.
FIGURE 11.1 THE LEARNING PROCESS INVOLVED IN TRAINING THE INDIVIDUAL SALESPERSON
O N-THE- J OB B EHAVIOR The positive attitude and the OTJ experience result in the trainee: R ELATIONSHIP OF T RAINING TO L EARNING
Operational and behavioral information: Operational learning involves sales knowledge development such as new procedures, new product information, how to call in orders, new territorial forms to complete, new technology, and changes in the financial incentive program. Behavioral training involves the sales skills development area.
Improves speed and accuracy in finishing and sending reports and orders to the company.
Helps develop more effective proposals and persuasive presentations.
Several reasons to train salespeople to use a PC are: continued
Computers are at the heart of salespeople’s ability to provide top-quality customer service by receiving and sending out information efficiently. Technology not only helps salespeople increase their productivity but also allows them to gather and access information more efficiently. S ALES AND C USTOMER S ERVICE E NHANCEMENT
Contact Management – A listing of all the customers contacts a salesperson makes in the course of conducting business. P ERSONAL P RODUCTIVITY Calendar Management – The management of time. Automated Sales Plans, Tactics, and Ticklers – Sales strategies often involve a sequence of events that can be identified and plotted.
Geographic Information Systems – Allows salespeople to view and manipulate customer and prospect information on an electronic map. P ERSONAL P RODUCTIVITY continued Computer-Based Presentations – The computer can be a powerful presentation tool.
C OMMUNICATIONS WITH C USTOMERS AND E MPLOYER Today's most popular sales force automation systems involve:
Fax capabilities and support.
C USTOMER O RDER P ROCESSING AND S ERVICE S UPPORT The process of obtaining, generating, and completing an order is much more complicated than it may seem.
Salespeople’s Mobile Offices Salespeople have begun installing small offices directly into vehicles such as minivans.
Developing a Customer Benefit Plan Step One: Select the features, advantages, and benefits of the product to present. Step Two: Develop the marketing plan. Step Three: Develop a business proposition. Step Four: Develop a suggested purchase order.
The sales opener, or approach, is the first major part of the sales presentation. The first impression is critical to success. T HE A PPROACH – O PENING THE S ALES P RESENTATION
FIGURE 11.5 THE SALESPERSON’S PRESENTATION MIX IS TYPICALLY DEVELOPED BY SALES MANAGERS AND TRAINERS Persuasive Communication Dramatization Demonstration Visual Aids Proof Participation Salesperson The Sales Presentation Mix
This method assumes that the prospect’s needs can be stimulated by exposure to the product or already have been stimulated because the prospect has sought out the product. Stimulus-Response Method
Some of the method’s shortcomings are:
Talks about product features not important to buyer.
Uses same “pitch” for different people.
Assumes salesperson is in total control.
Has little prospect participation, making it difficult to uncover needs.
The salesperson may use a structured series of steps such as the AIDA approach. Formula Method
Need-Satisfaction Method The need-satisfaction method is different from the stimulus-response and the formula approach in that it is designed as an interactive sales presentation.
Develop relationships and trust before getting down to business.
Learn the language and its nuances, or get a good interpreter.
Respect the culture.
Five rules for successful selling abroad:
T HE B OTTOM L INE Sales training is now defined as part of a salesperson’s overall educational experience. Training can be divided into two categories: operational and behavioral. Companies are using and teaching technology more frequently than ever. Sales skills development includes two key elements: persuasive communications and the selling process. The selling process is usually seen as a series of steps. The close is the last step in the actual selling process.