Now is the best time of year to get your sales team together for training. They are your soldiers who you will rely upon 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 tools. Well informed sales people are highly confident, and this in turn means they are highly passionate. Educate them on all aspects of the window system – the construction of the frame, the insulated glass unit, and the hardware system.

A great resource to draw from for educating sales people is your vendors. Vendors love to meet with their customers’ sales staff, and I am recently seeing a resurgence of window customers’ wanting to meet with vendors to gain more knowledge and thereby strengthen their sales teams! During routine vendor visits the salespeople are seldom around – well of course not since they are out selling. So, round up your sales people for a spring sales meeting and invite the vendors in to teach. Your sales people will love you for this!

The extrusion supplier loves to talk about the features and benefits of their window systems and of course future products that are coming down the pike. They have information on frame thermal ratings as well as structural ratings vs. competitive designs. Likewise, the glass supplier loves to talk about the low-E glass coatings and how these contribute not only to lower U-value ratings but creature comforts as well. Low-E glass not only lowers U-value, but also cuts down on drafts that can occur as a result of convection currents developing when adjacent air that is cooled falls to the floor pushing warmer air up toward the ceiling. This knowledge can be invaluable in sales presentations as the salesperson explains why it feels so drafty sitting next to a window with poor thermal ratings. Even the spacer supplier can get into the act as data is presented showing the impact that warm edge spacers have on condensation resistance factors (CRFs). Warm edge spacers help fight the formation of condensation on the inside pane during winter months when moisture is trapped inside the home and it condenses on cold glass surfaces. When it comes right down to it, everyone wants the most comfortable and clear viewing experience and they deserve it given the state- of -the art technology that is currently available with modern window designs.

Do not forget the hardware suppliers either. They love to talk about how their hardware designs are ergonomically better than the competition, making windows easier to open, faster to clean and more secure against forced entry. Vendors have lots of information to share.

Tactical discussions are another major benefit to be gained in a sales training session. Sharing case studies during roundtable discussions is an excellent way to let sales people share and compare various sales tactics and to talk about what works when it comes to closing the sale. Allow each salesperson to describe his or her most challenging sales scenario that was recently encountered, the approach he or she used and the outcome that was realized. Who was the competition in each scenario, and how did your product line stack up?  Who won the sale on that given day and why or why not? If the vendor brings their product manager along, hearing these tactical discussions can be invaluable when it comes to designing future sales aids and even future window and door products. This might spark ideas for product improvements. The exchange of ideas and tactics that take place in such sessions can be invaluable when it comes to beating the competition on the battleground in upcoming months.

Lastly, be prepared to spend money on sales aids. A soldier can only be as good as the weapons he carries so window samples and sales presentation kits should be top notch. I am shocked sometimes, when I see window sales samples with obvious flaws!  Why would any company expect their salespeople to convince someone to part ways with their money with anything less than a perfect window or door sample in hand? Everyone wants to buy the best at each given price range so quality should be consistent across the range of your good, better and best offerings with features and benefits setting the three apart. Also, a great investment is to provide salespeople with the key gadgets to enable them to show prospective customers how their window is superior to that of the competition. In this respect, I love the meters! The light transmission meters, the infrared meter, the ultraviolet radiation meter and even the sound dB meter!

At the end of day, the meter that matters the most is the passion meter, and that is what you will build in your sales force when you invest in proper sales training and arm them with current knowledge and top -notch sales aids. And when it comes to winning the battle, nothing can beat the combination of knowledge and passion!

1 Comment

  1. Jim, as a former in-home sales guy, and sales manager, I couldn’t have said that any better. Especially when your vendor’s salespeople have retail experience. The connection with your sales team and the help positioning the product the best way in the home to make the sale is invaluable.

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