Now is the best time of year to get your sales team together for training. They are the soldiers you will rely on to win the battle and gain the sale. A well-trained sales team is vital in today’s competitive marketplace. They aren’t just out there taking orders. Arm them with knowledge, arm them with tactics, and arm them with top-notch sales tools.

Well-informed salespeople are confident, and this means they are competent. Educate them on all aspects of the window system – the construction of the frame, the insulating glass unit and the hardware system. A great resource for educating sales people is your vendors. Vendors love to meet with their customers’ sales staff.

The problem is that when the vendors visit, the salespeople are seldom around. (After all, sales people are usually out selling.) So get all of your salespeople together for a spring sales meeting and invite the vendors in to teach. The sales people will love you for this.

The extrusion supplier loves to talk about the features and benefits of the window system. They have information on energy and structural ratings vs. competitive designs.

Likewise, glass and spacer suppliers love to talk about the features and benefits of Low-E glass coatings and warm edge spacer systems. These vendors can not only address information on the energy performance of their glass products but also the creature comforts they bring to the table. This can be invaluable knowledge when it comes to the salesperson sitting down with a prospective buyer. After all, when it comes right down to it, everyone wants the most comfortable viewing experience.

The hardware suppliers love to talk about how their designs are ergonomically better than the competition. How does the hardware make the window easier to open, easier to clean, or safer? Vendors have lots of information to share.

Tactical discussions are the next major benefit of a sales training session. Set up a roundtable discussion about different sales scenarios. Let each salesperson describe his or her most challenging recent sales scenario and the outcome. Who was the competition in each scenario, and how did we stack up? What particular sales strategy was employed and how did it work— or alternatively, why did it fail? Who won the sale on that particular day, and why? These tactical discussions can be invaluable. They might spark ideas for product improvements so be sure to invite the window design engineers to the sales meeting.

They might also spark a discussion regarding a particular sales aid that could have made a difference, so be sure to also have the marketing or product manager in the room. The interchange of ideas and tactics that takes place can be invaluable when it comes to beating the competition on the battleground in upcoming months. It can also set the stage for product improvements or marketing strategies that can help the company successfully compete in the long run.

Lastly, be prepared to spend money on sales aids. Window samples and sales presentation kits should be top-notch. I’m shocked when I see a window sales sample with obvious flaws. How could any company expect their salespeople to convince someone to part ways with their hard-earned cash with anything less than a perfect sample? Everyone wants to buy a perfect window, so the sample should be as close to perfect as possible.

Also, a great investment is to provide salespeople with all the gadgets to enable them to show prospective customers how their window is superior to that of the competition. I’ve always been a big fan of the sales tools marketed by EDTM and remember the company from its infancy. EDTM offers a slew of window sales aids and pre-assembled kits designed to help the salesperson demonstrate energy transfer, solar heat gain, visible-light transmittance and UV transmittance. The old adage that a picture paints a thousand words is certainly true when it comes to window sales, and these aids definitely help paint a picture in the mind of a consumer.

So there you have it. Arm them with knowledge. Arm them with tactics. Arm them with sales aids. This simple agenda is the key to a successful spring sales training meeting, which is one of the most important meetings your company should hold. It sets the stage for the busy selling season, where daily battles are won or lost.

There are many meetings organized during the course of the year. Many could be canceled and the company would not skip a beat. The spring sales training meeting is not one of those. It’s one of the most important meetings of the year!

1 Comment

  1. I LOVE this Post, JIm. You very succinctly list the ingredients for a successful Sales Force Spring Meeting.

    The benefits of a well executed “Spring Training” program can mean the difference between a winning season or a losing season for any team… This time of the year, it is so important to get the sales team ready to hit the field and make plays. Having the right attitude to win is great, but the salesperson needs the right education, preparation and tools to win at the kitchen table during the long selling season about to begin.

    Thanks, Jim… Well done!
    PS… This time of year in 2013, I wrote a post here, comparing the start of baseball season to the start of the door & window selling season. Although I think you did a better of job of offering concrete advice to follow, I will share a link to my post, too…

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