Is your sales team certified to sell your products and services or do your sales people just pick it up as they go along? Expecting sales people to figure out for themselves how to sell in your company is a recipe for slow results and poor performance. Many companies just send a sales manager along with a new sales person for a few calls and then leave them to it. Not surprisingly the average time for good sales people to become effective in a new role is sales cycle plus 90 days and average performers can take much longer. It is also common to find experienced long tenure sales people with poor skills and unsuitable sales support collateral. Furthermore, many business owners and sales managers don't know what suitable sales collateral looks like. Its not about marketing brochures!
The best companies have structured sales certification programs. They don't trust their sales process to luck, they test for competence and actively manage a structured certification process for every sales person in the company.
There are two parts to a structured sales certification program:
1. Creation of suitable sales collateral (dialogue scripts, call scripts, customer behaviour profiles, customer business profiles, playbooks, customer stories, proposal templates, presentation templates and negotiation scripts - to name a few.
2. Structured training, coaching and assessment of every sales person in your organisation, including the sales managers in the use of the collateral. With formal assessment steps to prove competence and training effectiveness.
Bronze, Silver and Gold Certification
Recognising that some skills are fundamental and must be mastered before other skills can be attained, the Growth in Focus Bronze, Silver and Gold certification process ramps up the skill level over a nine month period.
Sample Certification Program
Bronze Certification (Months 1-3 )
Mastering the sales dialogue for face to face meetings and customer calls.
- Creation of "ideal" customer meeting videos
- Creation of customer call scripts with video and audio recording examples
- Workshop training on customer dialogue skills using the Diamond Dialogue technique and video coaching
- Sales Dialogue one-on-one coaching sessions
- Sales Simulation Test 1 - Customer phone call
- Sales Simulation Test 2 - Customer meeting - video test
Silver Certification (Months 4 - 6)
- Creation of proposal templates
- Creation of presentation templates and presentation story lines
- Workshop training in proposal writing and presentation skills
- Proposal and presentation coaching sessions
- Proposal writing Test - written test
- Presentation Test - present a major in-process deal to the company management board
Gold Certification (Months 7 - 9)
- Deal negotiation collateral - typically video
- Negotiation skills training workshop
- Account planning and major deal strategy workshop
- Account Strategy Presentation - presented to the company management board
A certificate is issued at each stage of the process.