If your organization frequently engages in sales training, but you sometimes think you’re not getting where you need to be, maybe it’s not the sales team; maybe it’s the way you’re training them.
More specifically, it might be about what you’re teaching them.
Typically, sales training focuses on understanding behaviors and buying motivations, but this may not be enough to prepare a sales professional to connect, persuade and win today in what is without a doubt a tougher environment, thanks to the economy.
According to new research from Hermann International, teaching behavior isn’t enough; sales trainers should be teaching sales personnel how to think properly. This is because selling approaches and buying decisions are rooted in thinking, not behaviors.
By embedding thinking into development strategies, companies will be able to improve sales training results and generate higher revenue, account penetration and client loyalty levels, according to Herrmann International.
“Our more than 30 years of research on the brain and business performance has shown that thinking styles impact how we process information, how we buy and sell, what we pay most attention to, and how we make decisions," said Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO at Herrmann International, in a statement announcing the results of the research. "Behavioral approaches can help the salesperson manage a sales conversation in an efficient way, but they don't reflect the mental processes that actually drive sales activities or purchasing decisions, so they don't provide the complete set of tools to be persuasive, effective and responsive.”
The theory is that although behavior is important, there are many external factors that affect behavior, which means it’s not constant. Thinking, on the other hand, is constant, said Herrmann-Nehdi.
The company recommends a number of approaches to matching training to the best way to teach selling, including mapping the mental demands of the sales job to find alignment and uncover gaps, using thinking preference data to maximize time spent in training, optimizing coaching strategies by taking into account the thinking styles of the manager/coach and the salesperson, and providing training and tools to uncover customer thinking preferences.
It’s time to adapt to a tougher service environment, and communicate, present and sell with the customer in mind.
Edited by Braden Becker