One of our client companies in the manufacturing industry asked us to work with their sales team. They had noticed a gap in the skills of their salespeople. After acquiring a company whose salespeople were adept at consultative selling, they noticed these salespeople were very good at uncovering unexpected opportunities. The new salespeople were listening to customers and coming back with ideas for developing new, innovative products. As a result, customers valued them as a rich source of deep expertise. The strong relationships and trust between the salespeople and their clients meant that the sales process involved little debate about fees and often times, no RFPs.
This prompted the company to offer our consultative sales training to a team of their sales people. They knew the transformation wouldn’t happen overnight. This group had relied on old habits and a mentality of “simply showing up to take the order.” It was clear these habits would be hard to break.
The program we designed went beyond sales presentation skills to help participants:
- Tap into their genuine curiosity
- Uncover needs through “productive inquiry”
- Build credibility through success stories
- Accelerate the process by offering insights
- Move meetings forward with four types of questions
After going through the program, the team was collectively much more adept at consultative selling and on-par with their new colleagues in their abilities to build profitable relationships with customers. They were able to shift their habits and begin to create a new culture, including:
- Align the team around the company’s customer strategy
- Transform how the salespeople worked in partnership with their customers to develop market-leading products
- Align the sales team’s approach with the company strategy, to help drive innovation for customers that helped them capture more market share and drive growth