January 3rd, 2013
Sales Training: Prepare to Seize the Moment and Win the Sale
Cold and snowy Januarys are typically the slowest month of the year in the building related industries. However, spring will be here before we know it and the fenestration sales battles will begin. So now is the time to get the troops together for training. Even the most seasoned sales people need training to stay on top of their game. This is a very dynamic industry and an ongoing sales training program is absolutely crucial to make sure your sales staff is on top of their game!
Technology is constantly evolving and so are market dynamics. For example, a few years ago, if a potential customer would ask you about the pros and cons of a hard coat low-E coating on surface number four, you might chuckle and think he or she was misinformed. But now if he broaches this subject, you had better be ready to answer and defend your position. Are surface number four coatings a practical and cost effective way of achieving high level energy performance or are they a shortcut with possible condensation issues during cold winter months?
New Energy Star requirements will go into effect this year. Does your product line meet the new requirements? If not, what glass or glazing enhancements are you in the process of implementing that will ensure compliance so that you can remain competitive? Will you have an offering for the new “Most Efficient” category? Since there are a number of ways to get there, your sales staff should be brought up to speed on what you are doing vs. your competition and the advantages which your product revisions encompass. The key thing to emphasize in this category will be value. There are many ways to get to Most Efficient but the advantage goes to he who can do it at the best price point and without sacrificing quality!
Sales training sessions should run two days at the most, and there should be some fun activities or breaks thrown in to keep everyone’s mind fresh and alert. A typical agenda should focus on the following: 1). Recent developments in the marketplace such as new technologies and Energy Code requirements; 2). Product changes and strategies being implemented by your competition – nobody knows this better than your own salespeople – provide time for them to share stories and findings; 3). What do you have to offer that is better than your competition and discuss areas in which competitors offer potential advantages over you; 4). How to most effectively convey your product advantages to prospective customers while minimizing the significance of your competitors’ strengths ; and finally 5). How can your salespeople seize the moment and win the sale?
Always be prepared to leave your sales staff with tools which they can carry out to the field which will help them win the battle. These tools might be new product samples, superior financing tools and programs, new sales strategies, sales aids, visually appealing yet simply devised literature sheets, feature & benefit comparison sheets, and product feature demo aids.
Sometimes the simplest sales aid or demo is all that is needed to convince the customer, seize the moment and win the sale!