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How Achieve Competitive Advantage Through Your Sales Force or Team!

Written By: Felix . C. Poudeu on November 4, 2012 Comments Off on How Achieve Competitive Advantage Through Your Sales Force or Team!

In the twenty-first century’s changing landscape, sales force training creates a competitive advantage in an otherwise commoditized marketplace. Sales force management is a process. For salespeople to be successful, they need training in product, competitor, customer knowledge, and sales skills. Therefore, they need a full support of the sales managers, who must create the framework of their success.

The salespeople success = The sales managers success.

 Why invest in training and executive education?

“The reasons to invest in training and executive education in good times are even more compelling in bad times: you want to equip your best people with the knowledge and tools they will need to separate your firm from the competition.”

– Gary Lilien, ISBM Co-founder and Research Director “Winning Strategies for B2B Marketers Facing Tough (Or […]

Training makes direct salespeople and indirect salespeople as well as support personnel more confident, cooperative and productive. However, increase revenues.

What are the strategic training issues and challenges?

Most of sales managers don’t even understand the strategic training issues and objectives of training. If you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there.  Key strategic objectives for training include reducing the time it takes to make a salesperson fully productive, teaching salespeople how to reduce the sales cycle from customer search to purchase, and reflecting buyer behavior in the training program.

Strategic training topics include pricing, targeting, change management, group decisions, complex decision-making processes, negotiations and differentiation.

Depending on your industry and the skill and experience level of salespeople hired, it may take one year for a salesperson to generate revenues or gross margins or net income equal to his or her compensation, benefits, and expenses. It may take two years for the salesperson to reach full productivity and become a profit center.

Do you know the break-even point for a salesperson in your firm?  

The break-even point is the level your salesperson start to be profitable for your organisation. From my expertise the new hired  salesperson require at least one year to break-even and to become move from being a cost center to a profit center, and two years to become fully productive.

Example Illustration of Break-even point (BEP):

The purpose of strategic training is to reduce the sales cycle and create a competitive advantages. The focus of strategic training is depending of the industry for examples:

  1. A firm dealing primarily with new systems or first time or one-time buyers – telephone or security systems- must emphasize salesperson training in consultative sales and product knowledge.
  2. But a firm dealing with existing systems buyers or modified rebuys – semiconductors, truck tires, business software – must emphasize training in relationship sales, negotiations, pricing, and customer knowledge.
  3. A firm calling on new buyers – toys, apparel, or consumer electronics – must emphasize training in selling skills.
  4. Last, a firm calling on commodity buyers – die casting or plastic injection molding – whose companies often delegate the purchasing task, must emphasize time management and IT training for salespeople.
If your firm expects salespeople to negotiate price, delivery, and product customization, you must train them in negotiating skills and pricing theory and if don’t, your customer will have an advantage. Salespeople will sell at the lowest price unless they are trained to maximize margin and revenue over time based on their competitive advantage, type of customer, and type of product.
Marketing and sales management must work together in training salespeople on strategic differentiation: Who are your direct and indirect competitors, what are the competitive issues, what product or service features are expected and demanded – delighted factors -, and how does the customer make a choice? All those will help your salespeople to create a very powerful strategic differentiation, which help to better product positioning.
What are the benefits of a well-trained sales force?
  • Increasing productivity and capability.
  • Enhance turnover and revenue.
  • Improving confidence, enthusiasm and persuasive as well as motivation.
  • Making salespeople feel useful, important, and worthwhile.
Statement: Achieve competitive advantages is the main aim of top salespeople and channel partners. Therefore they require knowledge, both of their own products or services, of their customers and of their competitors. To sell effectively, a salesperson must know the competitive advantages or disadvantages of each style, model, or service in the marketplace.

How Create High Competitive Advantage and Increase ROI & ROMI! Through Training! Click…


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Diplom Kaufmann BWL/ Master Degree in business administration ABOUT THE EDITOR- FELIX C. POUDEU, HEAD OF MARKETING PERFORMANCE & ENTERPRISE MARKETING MANAGEMENT

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