There are hundreds of sales consultants and trainers in the marketplace. All of them promising a motivating and change-filled program for your reps. However, anyone who has been in the sales game for awhile knows that many of these sales programs fall flat. Sure, they can be motivational for your team, but if the right steps aren't taken before the training, the initiative loses steam the minute the compelling speaker leaves the room. There are a lot of steps that a leader needs to take to create lasting change, but one key component to any successful change initiative, is to ensure that the content, tools and processes are customized to your organization and your buyers.
Here are three ways to customize your sales training in a way that sets your organization up for the greatest success:
1. Ensure there is a defined process to customize
The easiest way to customize the components of your sales initiative is to have a process defined for how that customization will happen. Whether an outside consultant is helping you define a new messaging framework, a new customer engagement process, or a new qualification methodology, there should be a process outlined for how that customization is going to happen. Typically, a consultant firm will bring in a defined set of best practices that are proven to be successful. To ensure the right customization, there should be a set of workshops, draft reviews and vetting with a cross-functional group of stakeholders to ensure the customization will make the training roll-out as relevant as possible for the sales organization.
2. Take ownership of content and process creation
Content and process creation shouldn't be solely delegated to an outside firm. You know your company best. You know your buyers and what's going to work inside your organization. For that reason, you need to take ownership during the development of any tools, processes and content. That involvement will make certain that what is developed for your teams is consumable and adaptable to the entire organization. One of the worst things you can do as an initiative leader is to delegate the creation of the processes, tools, content to an outside partner without you and your team's involvement in critical stages.
3. Involve more departments than the sales organization
Bring cross-functional leaders into the customization process. This involvement creates buy-in and alignment across your organization. Include departments that are involved in the sales process in any workshops where the content around your value and differentiation is defined, created and vetted. Consider the value that would come from involving finance, for example, in the creation of a negotiation framework that included must-have items in every closed deal. Engage non-sales leaders early on in developing the content so when it is rolled out to reps, there’s buy-in throughout the company.
Customization is a critical component to any sales initiative you roll out. If it's not relevant to your organization, your solution, your buyers, it won't be relevant to your sales organization. Do the work necessary on the front-end to ensure that it is tightly connected to what your account teams are doing every day.