Action Selling Blog

Why Do They Talk Price Too Soon?

Customers often will ask about price before the salesperson wants to talk about it. Some will demand a price quote up front. If your competitors sell on price, they have educated your customers to expect an early price quote.

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The Best Sales Process Wins

In business to business selling, the race does not go to the swiftest. It might go to the biggest or most famous competitor, or the one with the glitziest product presentation — but only if none of the sellers succeed in differentiating themselves.

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The Supercharged Sales Channel

Seller and supplier both know that great sales calls are built upon great questions, not slick pitches. They know how calls should be structured—the order in which things should happen – and why.

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Without a Plan, You Have No Value

Today, more than ever, salespeople have to add value to the relationship between buyer and seller. Customers should be glad to hear from you. And they would be if they saw you as a trusted advisor who helps them improve their business.

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Did You Get Some Training?

Everyone in the sales training business is teaching salespeople that they need to ask more and better questions. They instruct you to use open ended questions. They give you some tricks to pull, like, “Tell me more” or “What happens then?”

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The Sales Training Series: Make Every Buyer a Coach

Of all the tragic misconceptions that afflict salespeople in selling environments with multiple buyers, the worst might be the notion that lower-level “influencers” are mere obstacles in the seller’s path to the big honcho-the person with final buying authority.

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The Sales Training Series: Stopping Objections Before They Start

Action Selling defines objections as the customer’s response to questions you failed to ask earlier in the sales call. If you can ask all the right questions before making your formal product presentation, you will uncover every potential objection that otherwise would come back to bite you and you can modify your presentation accordingly.

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A Selling System that Works Every Time

Instead of taking a reactive approach, suppose that a proactive sales communications system provided a step-by-step guide to understanding and managing the customer’s decision-making process, using a proven model of buyer decision-making that applies to every customer.

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The Sales Training Series: Sell With TFBR’s

Customers don’t care about your product features or even about the benefits those features offer to the world at large. Customers care about one thing only: How can you help me solve problems or seize opportunities that matter to me?

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Customer Loyalty Starts With Employee Loyalty

A satisfied customer will stick with you until a better, more satisfying offer comes along. And your competitors are always looking for ways to make a better offer. Loyalty programs can be copied. Loyalty itself cannot.

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How to Build True Customer Loyalty

People who are skilled at generating loyalty understand that loyalty must be earned. Beyond that, however, real masters of loyalty creation know that loyalty itself must be marketed and sold, just like any more tangible product.

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The Sales Training Series: The Right Way to Sell

Three-quarters of the secret to professional, strategic selling boils down to asking the Best Questions and listening carefully to the answers. Most of the Best Questions have to do with uncovering the crucial, underlying needs your products or services might serve.

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The Sales Training Series: Listen to the Customer

Blessed with the “gift of gab” are you? That’s nice. But true sales professionals know that before they start gabbing to customers about their product features or anything else, they need to listen to what the customer has to say – and demonstrate that they’re paying attention.

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Action Selling – Training Industry.com – 2017 Top 20 in Sales Training

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The Sales Board announced today its selection as a 2017 Top 20 Sales Training Company by TrainingIndustry.Com. This is the sixth time that The Sales Board and its Action Selling training were recognized by Training Industry, as part of TI’s mission to continually monitor the training marketplace for the best providers of training services and technologies.

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The Sales Training Series: How to Sell Solutions

Salespeople are commonly told to sell “solutions” and “value” rather than just product features. But when the time comes to present their products, they fall back on generic scripts with no direct connection to any specific needs the customer has revealed.

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Sales Training Resources

Sales Training is a must if you want to increase your sales effectiveness. But of the many sales training programs out there, who are you going to turn to and why?

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The Sales Training Series: Five Buying Decisions

Have you ever had a customer that seemed to reject nearly everything that you were presenting? We all have. Research on the customer’s buying decisions has revealed that a customer’s resistance may not be caused by what you present.

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Sales Training Success Story

The following is a customer testimonial of the Action Selling program. Brian: I thought you would appreciate some feedback from my first week’s experience with Action Selling! This is a bit long but I am so darned excited and enthusiastic about this that I have to get...

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Satisfied or Loyal?

Every company wants more loyal customers. Your organization is no exception. And you’re probably pretty clear about why that’s a goal.

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Never Stop Learning to Sell

Some 30-year sales veterans can honestly tell you that they still learn something new every day. No matter how formidable the sales skills they already possess, they just keep on getting better.

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Healthcare Industry Sales Training: Sales Call Planning Skills

HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #2: SALES CALL PLANNING SKILLS SALES CALL PLANNING is primarily focused on the salesperson’s knowledge and ability to plan sales calls that include a Commitment Objective. A Commitment Objective is a goal that...

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Sales Coaching Any Time, Anywhere

In the last issue of this newsletter, I began to describe our new online sales-coaching tool, Plan to Win + Replay the Call. It is a mobile application that allows the sales manager to act as a real-time coach to guide every salesperson through every sales call, using and refining skills learned in Action Selling training.

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Fortune 500 Sales Training: Buyer/Seller Relationship Skills

FORTUNE 500 IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #1: BUYER/SELLER RELATIONSHIP SKILLS BUYER/SELLER RELATIONSHIP is the salesperson’s knowledge of and ability to use a sales methodology to navigate through each of the customer’s incremental buying decisions in the...

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The Non-Stop Sales Coach

If you have trained your salespeople in Action Selling, you are already way ahead of the game. But now, what is the optimum thing you could imaginably do to supercharge that training and squeeze the most value out of it? How about this: Suppose you had a mobile online...

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Sales Skills Subpar In the Fortune 500

How can you know if a sales training program actually delivers on its promise of improvements in skills and knowledge? And how can you know that trained salespeople are actually using their new skills to generate new revenue and other measurable evidence of better...

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How Do Technology Salespeople Stack Up?

Sales training traditionally has been a “spray and pray” undertaking: You sprayed on some training and prayed that your salespeople put it to use in ways that benefited the company. After all, it wasn’t as if we could tie training directly to specific changes in...

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Construction Industry Sales Training: Presentation Skills

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #4: PRESENTATION SKILLS PRESENTATION SKILLS are best when Company/Product capabilities are presented as solution to a need that the salesperson and the customer had previously agreed upon. When Company/Product...

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Sales Training Delivers Wins for Professional Services

Can you prove that a sales training program actually delivers on its promise of improvements in skills and knowledge? I can. As I have explained in previous editions of eCoach, my company, The Sales Board, has been using a validated instrument to reliably measure...

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How Do You Know Your Sales Training Works? (Part 6)

The sales training industry traditionally is long on bold claims but short on proof. When you come down to it, sales training always has been a “spray and pray” proposition: Spray it on the sales force, then pray that something positive and lasting happens to your...

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Automotive Industry Sales Training: Sales Call Planning Skills

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #2: SALES CALL PLANNING SKILLS SALES CALL PLANNING is primarily focused on the salesperson’s knowledge and ability to plan sales calls that include a Commitment Objective. A Commitment Objective is a goal that...

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How Do You Know Your Sales Training Works? (Part 5)

Suppose you had a very large database—an ocean of “Big Data”—that you could mine for reliable answers to questions like these: Which key sales skills will a given sales training program improve, and by how much? Assuming that these skills can be measurably improved,...

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How Do You Know Your Sales Training Works? (Part 4)

“Big data” is not a term you hear in connection with sales training. The sales-training industry has never had a convincing, validated, data-driven methodology to evaluate the claims that suppliers make for their programs. Truth be told, sales training almost always...

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Agriculture Industry Sales Training: All Skills Combined

AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN ALL CRITICAL SELLING SKILLS Mastery of the sales process requires salespeople to achieve Knowledge and Application scores of 75% or greater in each of the 5 Critical Sales skills. When this is accomplished, salespeople increase...

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How Do You Know Your Sales Training Works? (Part 3)

Suppose you deliver a sales training program to your sales force. And suppose that in the next quarter, or the next year, your company’s sales revenue increases. Well, good, right? But now suppose you are asked to prove to a skeptical CEO or CFO that the additional...

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How Do You Know Your Sales Training Works? (Part 2)

Action Selling operates from the research-proven principle that the most effective way to boost a company’s sales performance is to train salespeople in a way that improves five Critical Selling Skills. Those critical skills are: Buyer/Seller Relationship Sales Call...

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How Do You Know Your Sales Training Works?

“Big data” is a hot topic in the business world these days, but it isn’t a term you hear in connection with sales training. If there is one thing the sales-training industry has always lacked, it is a solid, validated, data-driven methodology to evaluate the claims...

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Technology Industry Sales Training: Gaining Commitment Skills

TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #5: GAINING COMMITMENT SKILLS GAINING COMMITMENT is the ability to complete sales calls with a commitment that moves the sales process forward. The Application data shows that prior to training, 64% of sales...

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Fortune 500 Sales Training: All Skills Combined

FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES IMPROVEMENT IN ALL 5 OF THE CRITICAL SALES SKILLS Mastery of the sales process requires salespeople to achieve Knowledge and Application scores of 75% or greater in each of the 5 Critical Sales skills. When this is accomplished, salespeople...

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Distribution Industry Sales Training: Presentation Skills

DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #4: PRESENTATION SKILLS PRESENTATION SKILLS are best when Company/Product capabilities are presented as solution to a need that the salesperson and the customer had previously agreed upon. When Company/Product...

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Animal Health Industry Sales Training: All Skills Combined

ANIMAL HEALTH INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN ALL 5 OF THE CRITICAL SALES SKILLS COMBINED Mastery of the sales process requires salespeople to achieve Knowledge and Application scores of 75% or greater in each of the 5 Critical Sales skills. When this is accomplished,...

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Agriculture Industry Sales Training: Gaining Commitment Skills

AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN THE CRITICAL SALES SKILL #5: GAINING COMMITMENT SKILLS GAINING COMMITMENT is the ability to complete sales calls with a commitment that moves the sales process forward. The Application data shows that prior to training, 64% of sales...

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Technology Industry Sales Training: Presentation Skills

TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN THE CRITICAL SALES SKILL #4: PRESENTATION SKILLS PRESENTATION SKILLS are best when Company/Product capabilities are presented as solution to a need that the salesperson and the customer had previously agreed upon. When...

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The Sales Board Website Video

#1 Source for Sales Since 1990 The Sales Board is your authoritative source on Sales Training and selling. The How to Sell from A to Z database has hundreds of sales training articles, white papers, videos and books to choose from – no ads, just facts. Type in a few...

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Manufacturing Industry Sales Training: Sales Call Planning

MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN THE CRITICAL SALES SKILL #2: SALES CALL PLANNING SALES CALL PLANNING is primarily focused on the salesperson’s knowledge and ability to plan sales calls that include a Commitment Objective. A Commitment Objective is a goal that...

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Action Selling Differentiators: #6 Action Selling COACH

DIFFERENTIATOR # 6 - ACTION SELLING COACH - Our coaching program is not an afterthought. All of our competitors teach coaching in a separate program that follows sales training. Action Selling COACH training is embedded into the salesperson’s learning plan. Coaching...

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Healthcare Industry Sales Training: All Skills Combined

HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN THE 5 CRITICAL SALES SKILLS: ALL SKILLS COMBINED Mastery of the sales process requires salespeople to achieve Knowledge and Application scores of 75% or greater in each of the 5 Critical Sales skills. When this is accomplished,...

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Fortune 500 Sales Training: Gaining Commitment

FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES IMPROVEMENT IN THE 5 CRITICAL SALES SKILL #5: GAINING COMMITMENT GAINING COMMITMENT is the ability to complete sales calls with a commitment that moves the sales process forward. The Application data shows that prior to training, 64% of sales...

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Distribution Industry Sales Training: Questioning/Listening

DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN THE 5 CRITICAL SALES SKILL #3 DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRY QUESTIONING/LISTENING. Great listeners ask great questions. The best salespeople don’t just ask questions; they ask the best questions. These are the questions that allow you to...

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Construction Industry Sales Training: Sales Call Planning

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN THE 5 CRITICAL SALES SKILL #2 SALES CALL PLANNING SALES CALL PLANNING is primarily focused on the salesperson’s knowledge and ability to plan sales calls that include a Commitment Objective. A Commitment Objective is a goal that...

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Automotive Industry Sales Training: All Skills Combined

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN THE 5 CRITICAL SALES SKILLS COMBINED Mastery of the sales process requires salespeople to achieve Knowledge and Application scores of 75% or greater in each of the 5 Critical Sales skills. When this is accomplished, salespeople...

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Action Selling Differentiators: #3 Action Selling 6.0 Video

DIFFERENTIATOR # 3 - ACTION SELLING 6.0 VIDEO - All phases of the Action Selling Certification Plan and the Action Selling COACH program are based on high-definition video learning modules. None of our competitors use video as extensively as we do. High quality video...

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Agriculture Industry Sales Training: Presentation Skills

AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #4: PRESENTATION SKILLS PRESENTATION SKILLS are best when Company/Product capabilities are presented as solutions to a need that the salesperson and the customer had previously agreed upon. When Company/Product...

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Action Selling Differentiators: #2 Online LearningLink

DIFFERENTIATOR # 2 - ONLINE LearningLink™ - Action Selling utilizes more web-based learning technology than any other training program. Even though our entire learning plan can be orchestrated on-line, most of our clients choose to do the training phase in the...

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Technology Industry Sales Training: Questioning/Listening

TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #3: QUESTIONING/LISTENING QUESTIONING/LISTENING. Great listeners ask great questions. The best salespeople don’t just ask questions; they ask the best questions. These are the questions that allow you to develop...

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Healthcare Industry Sales Training: Gaining Commitment

HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #5: GAINING COMMITMENT GAINING COMMITMENT is the ability to complete sales calls with a commitment that moves the sales process forward. The Application data shows that prior to training, 64% of sales calls end...

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Action Selling Differentiators: #1 Preparation

DIFFERENTIATOR # 1 - PREPARATION - Action Selling takes a very different approach to prepare students for the learning experience. We focus preparation in two areas: A deep level assessment of the student’s pre-training skills. Provide students with foundational...

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Fortune 500 Sales Training: Presentation Skills

FORTUNE 500 IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #4: PRESENTATION SKILLS PRESENTATION SKILLS are best when Company/Product capabilities are presented as solution to a need that the salesperson and the customer had previously agreed upon. When Company/Product...

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Big Data-Driven Sales Training

Every Company Wants to Grow Sales. Using sales training as a mechanism to achieve that goal is certainly plausible. Unfortunately, whether the programs are developed internally or purchased from a supplier, most sales training initiatives fail to produce truly...

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Distribution Industry Sales Training: Sales Call Planning

DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #2: SALES CALL PLANNING SALES CALL PLANNING is primarily focused on the salesperson’s knowledge and ability to plan sales calls that include a Commitment Objective. A Commitment Objective is a goal that...

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Construction Industry Sales Training: Buyer/Seller Relationship

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #1: BUYER/SELLER RELATIONSHIP BUYER/SELLER RELATIONSHIP is the salesperson’s knowledge of and ability to use a sales methodology to navigate through each of the customer’s incremental buying decisions in the...

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Sales Training Top Content – 2

The "New Wave" of Private Equity Capability The best way to raise funds, make deals and grow organically. Tonka Bay Equity Partners showed significant organic growth as a result of the Action Selling training initiative. DOWNLOAD When the Selling World Isn't Flat 85...

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Automotive Industry Sales Training: Gaining Commitment

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #5: GAINING COMMITMENT GAINING COMMITMENT is the ability to complete sales calls with a commitment that moves the sales process forward. The Application data shows that prior to training, 64% of sales calls end...

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Sales Training Top Content

The "New Wave" of Private Equity Capability The best way to raise funds, make deals and grow organically. Tonka Bay Equity Partners showed significant organic growth as a result of the Action Selling training initiative. DOWNLOAD Your First 18 Months as a New Sales...

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Animal Health Industry Sales Training: Presentation Skills

ANIMAL HEALTH INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #4: PRESENTATION SKILLS PRESENTATION SKILLS are best when Company/Product capabilities are presented as solution to a need that the salesperson and the customer had previously agreed upon. When Company/Product...

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Agriculture Industry Sales Training: Sales Call Planning

AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY IMPROVEMENT IN CRITICAL SALES SKILL #2: SALES CALL PLANNING SALES CALL PLANNING is primarily focused on the salesperson’s knowledge and ability to plan sales calls that include a Commitment Objective. A Commitment Objective is a goal that...

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Timing: An Unappreciated Sales Skill

How many human endeavors can you think of in which timing is critical? In the world of sports alone, examples are endless. Hitting a baseball. Completing a forward pass. A distance runner’s decision about when to launch the final kick.  A jockey’s decision about when...

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Sales Training in Action: What a Difference a Plan Makes

One of my all-time favorite voicemail messages came from George Hudson, an account executive for Perfecto Tool & Engineering in Anderson, Indiana. He had recently completed one of our Action Selling sales training programs. Here’s his message: “Hi, this is George...

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What’s Your Plan?

Are your sales training programs based on a coherent sales system, or are they more like a grab bag of tips and techniques masquerading as sales skills? When sales training and sales coaching are grounded in a full-scale system, they give you a plan to follow during...

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Sales Training in Action: Rx for Great Presentations

Daktronics Inc. of Brookings, S.D., is in the business of electronic signage. Most of its products are relatively small, intended for use in retail stores, churches, parking lots, and other such venues. But because the company is well known as a supplier of giant...

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Quantity vs. Quality

If you have sharp enough sales skills to ask great questions and uncover a precious few vital needs that a customer truly cares about, why don’t you then go ahead and sell to those needs—only those needs? Before you say, “But I already do that,” ask yourself this: How...

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Sales Training in Action: First, Redefine Your Product

“It is awesome to see the growth in confidence in our sales force after we got everyone crystal clear about our sales process,” says Todd Eber, president of W.A. Roosevelt Co., a wholesaler of electrical and plumbing products based in La Crosse, Wis. Eber is referring...

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Why You Need to Redefine Your Product

On any given sales call, what are you actually there to sell? Suppose I said that in most sales calls, your “product” has nothing to do with what you are there to sell. Outlandish? No. In fact, this concept has enormous implications for sales training. Let me explain....

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Sales Training in Action: The Joy of Commitment Objectives

Even a lot of veteran salespeople have never encountered sales training that introduces them to the concept of Commitment Objectives. They’re often astonished when they discover how much money they have been leaving on the table because nobody ever explained it to...

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No Commitment Objective? Then No Sales Call

What is the single most important thing you can do before calling on a customer? The answer is to decide on an appropriate Commitment Objective for the call. Not a list of call objectives, mind you. A Commitment Objective. I believe that this concept should be...

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Sales Training in Action: The Question as Art Form

Selling is both science and art, of course, but where does one end and the other begin? Here’s why the answer matters: While it is crucial to practice the science of selling, it’s only when you master the artistic, creative part that your performance takes a quantum...

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The Art of Selling

Several things about selling are still terribly exciting to me. One, of course, is landing a deal. Another is seeing the moment, following great sales training, when salespeople realize that they haven’t just gotten a little better at their job, they have made a...

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Sales Training in Action: Transform Your Hiring

How’s your batting average in hiring new salespeople? Since the cost of a poor hiring decision in the sales field commonly runs to six figures, it’s kind of an important thing to get right. So what would you say if I told you that great sales training makes it...

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Why Not Hire Greatness?

When you hire salespeople, you probably look first and foremost for experience in your industry, product knowledge, and a strong background in sales. After all, history repeats itself, right? But do you seriously believe that the best salespeople are always the ones...

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Sales Training in Action: Fixing Mistakes, Step One

What is the first step toward fixing a sales mistake that alienates customers and costs you business? You have to recognize that you did, in fact, make a mistake. And you have to know what the mistake was. That’s one way that great sales training can come in...

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Mistake? What Mistake?

What is the first step toward correcting any mistake? You have to know it’s a mistake and that you just made it. In sales, as in any other endeavor, when you get a kick in the pants, it helps to know what you did wrong. What rule did you break? What sales skill are...

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How to Handle the Mystery Objection

Whoa! You’ve done everything right, you’re cruising toward a major sale, you think it’s in the bag. Then, suddenly, for no reason that seems to make much sense, the customer balks and the deal goes up in smoke. What just happened? When salespeople are defeated by...

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Sales Training in Action: Handling the Mystery Objection

Ken Prenger is general manager of the Prenger Implement Store Inc., an AGCO farm-equipment dealer in Minster, Ohio. He sells tractors that can cost $250,000 or more. On a flight returning from an Action Selling sales training seminar in another state, Prenger...

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How Sales Training Can Be a Secret Sauce for High Performance

Of all the salespeople you know, how many are gifted stars? How many are simply in the wrong line of work? How many fall somewhere between those extremes? Years of observation suggest to me that roughly 10 percent of salespeople are gifted, natural high-performers. At...

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Sales Training in Action. Replay the Call.

The rest of the story: Sales training best practices teach us that after every sales call you need to mentally review what happened. What you did right. What selling errors you made. What threw you off your game plan. Here’s an example of what happens when you...

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Improve Your Selling Skills. Replay the Call

Best practices in sales training teaches that after every call on a customer, you should mentally review everything that happened, step by step. If you replay what worked and what didn’t after the call you can uncover valuable information that will help make your next...

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Keep Replaying the Sales Call – Sales Skills

To Keep Growing, Replay The Call - Every Time Most salespeople continue to make the same mistakes over and over, never recognizing their errors. Therefore, beyond a certain point, they never really get much better at what they do. How can you avoid that trap? Top...

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Keep Selling Your Company – Sales Skills

"I didn't know that!" If you hear those words from an existing customer who likes and trusts you but who just bought something from one of your competitors, you have no one but yourself to blame. It was you who blew the opportunity and left the door wide open to the...

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Selling With Leverage Questions – Selling Skills

Turn Up The Heat If he had a long enough lever and a place to put the fulcrum, the Greek mathematician Archimedes said, he could move the world. "Leverage questions" offer that kind of power to salespeople. These are open-ended questions designed to uncover the...

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Plan and Prepare For Your Sales Call

Never "Wing It" Research shows that salespeople will never reach their performance potential without a well-defined sales-call procedure that they can follow and learn from. "Winging it" on sales calls has grim consequences - lost sales, extended sell cycles, margin...

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Asking The Best Sales Questions – Selling Skills

Effective questioning is a critical sales skill for several reasons. First, our recent research shows that there is a direct correlation between the success of a sales call and the type of questions that the salesperson uses.

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Sales Training in Action: Why Organization Matters

Natasha Kraushaar, a crop insurance specialist for agricultural lender 1st Farm Credit Services of Normal, Ill., was so impressed by her recent experience at a sales training program that she couldn't wait to tell a friend. An abridgement of her email follows. See if...

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Sales Training in Action: The Evolved Sales Pro

Effective questioning is a critical sales skill for several reasons. First, our recent research shows that there is a direct correlation between the success of a sales call and the type of questions that the salesperson uses. On average, failed sales calls include 86%...

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Does Your Sales Training Make Complex Selling Simpler?

If you operate in a complex selling environment, can any sales training program make the process simple and clear enough that every salesperson on your team can become highly effective? Certainly...but only if your sales training programs and sales coaching efforts...

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Don’t Just Get Sales Training, Get Organized

How much more effective would you be if your life were better organized? I mean in every sense. Suppose that every time you were looking for a document or a screwdriver or a kitchen utensil, you could put your hand right on it because you always knew exactly where...

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Selling With a Commitment Objective – Selling Skills

Our recent research shows that nearly 80% of salespeople do not understand what their primary purpose is. Your principle mission is to Gain Commitment. The confusion stems from the variety of tasks we as salespeople are asked to perform. The end result is that 62% of...

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Make Influencers Your Best Friends

It would be funny if it weren't so tragic: By going over, around, or through a middle manager or two, maybe alienating them in the process, a salesperson gets in to see the ultimate decision-maker (UDM). This is like finding the Holy Grail, the salesperson imagines....

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Sales Training in Action: First, Sell Yourself

When you hear about some company landing a monster deal, how often do you wonder who the sales rep was? G.B. Rand, a senior rep in the wholesale division of Thomas Petroleum, is your guy. Rand attended his first sales training program based on the Action Selling...

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How to Sell YOU

How, exactly, do you sell yourself? The question is vital because customers will not buy your product unless they have first bought you—the salesperson. One of your fundamental challenges is to persuade customers that you are someone with whom they want to do...

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Sales Training in Action: Winning With Best Value Needs

Phil Underwood of Columbus, Georgia, is an area consultant who handles business clients for Veolia Environment Services, a waste-management firm. His basic offerings (size of dumpster, frequency of pickup) are commodities, easily matched by competitors. After...

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To Win Sales, Find Best Value Needs

"Commodities" used to mean things like wheat. Now yesterday's technological miracle becomes today's commodity at blinding speed. Regardless of your industry, chances are that your competitors sell wares identical or very similar to yours. This means that every day it...

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Sales Training in Action: The Sales Leader as Sales Trainer

Wieland Inc., based in Grabill, Ind., sells furniture to hospitals and other venues in the healthcare industry. Stan Schneider, Wieland’s national sales manager, acts as a sales trainer and sales coach in the ongoing rollout of Action Selling training for the...

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Who Should Teach the Sales Training Course?

I feel so strongly about this issue that I recently wrote a white paper on the topic. You can download that paper here: "The New Role that Drives Sales Leader Value". In case I haven't already spoiled the suspense, my answer is a resounding "Yes." Sales training and...

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Sales Training in Action: A Speedier Sales Cycle

“When we chose sales training programs and sales coaching based on the Action Selling system, my hope was that we would be able to translate a higher percentage of our pipeline into business,” says Lori Meredith, director of sales for Knowledge Learning Corp. (KLC),...

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Can Sales Training Accelerate Your Sales Cycle?

Why do so many deals take so long to close? And what part do salespeople themselves play in dragging out the sales cycle? It’s hard enough just to get business out there. If salespeople make the process take longer than it should, that’s a serious problem. Sure, on...

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Sales Training in Action: The Rule of Three

Why would any customer buy from you instead of from one of your competitors? It can only be because you have differentiated yourself somehow. Customers must believe that you represent a better answer to their needs. That’s why it is so critical to understand which...

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Questions: The Rule of Three

How long should you question customers to ensure that you understand their needs before you try to present your product or service as a solution to those needs? The best answer is, as long as it takes. You can seek advice from 100 sales training courses and 1,000...

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Action Selling COACH Program

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling.  He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales...

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Why Milestones Matter

What is the process by which sales actually occur in your company? I'm not talking about a sales system, such as Action Selling, which should be the basis for your sales training courses and sales coaching initiatives, identifying critical sales skills and providing...

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Sales Training in Action: Be a Partner, Not a Peddler

Think about the sales training programs and the sales coaching activities you have experienced. Did they prepare you to be an advisor or a vendor? A partner or a peddler? The answer says everything about the sales training courses you ought to be investigating. A...

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Partner or Peddler?

Do clients see you as an advisor or a vendor? A partner or a peddler? The answer says everything about the relationships you will build and the success you will achieve. A peddler's business can be taken away at a moment's notice by any competitor with a lower price...

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Action Selling Awarded Top 20 by Training Industry

The Sales Board, Creator of Action Selling, is again a Training Industry Top 20 Sales Training Company. Selection as a 2015 Top 20 Sales Training Company is based on the following criteria: Impact on the sales training industry Innovation in sales training Company...

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Sales Training in Action: Want Trust? Then You Need to Listen

In the world of professional services, sales success is rarely about demonstrating more expertise in your field than the next person. Instead, it's all about the questions you ask and the listening you do. A few months after receiving a sales training program and some...

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Want Customers’ Trust? Then Shut Up and Listen

If you want to forge a long-term relationship with a client, what is the most important skill you can have? If you say something like "deep expertise in my field," I disagree. The way to build the trust that leads to lasting relationships is to truly understand the...

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Sales Training in Action: The Real Secret in the Secret Sauce

In my firm's monthly eCoach newsletter, I've been writing about our clients' success stories for nearly 25 years. Each story describes a sales success and highlights the aspect of the Action Selling-based sales training program that contributed to the win. Recently,...

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It’s All About the Plan

In sales, a lot of deals are won (or lost) in the pre-call plan. If the sales training programs and sales coaching initiatives your company relies upon do not include extremely good advice about planning, you are wasting your money. My own sales training courses are...

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Sales Training in Action: Take Sales Skills to the Trade Show

Orange Tree Employment Screening of Minneapolis is in a highly competitive and price-driven business: It does background screening and drug testing for job candidates. All of Orange Tree's salespeople have graduated from sales training programs and sales coaching...

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Why Not Take Your Sales Skills to the Trade Show?

You say you have discovered and implemented a great sales training course, one based on a great sales system? And the system has dramatically boosted your success rate on customer calls? That's wonderful. But now suppose your salespeople used that selling process not...

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Sales Training in Action: Speed Up Your Sell Cycle

Thomas Petroleum, a fuels and chemicals supplier based in Texas, got a couple of pleasant surprises after it supercharged its sales team's selling process with sales training programs and sales coaching based on the Action Selling system. One surprise was that the...

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From Sell Cycle to Success Cycle

How long is your sell cycle? And how accurate are your projections about business in the pipeline? Let me guess: "Too long" and "don't make me laugh"? A key benefit of truly great sales training programs, coupled with great sales coaching, is that they can speed up...

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How to Steal a Loyal Customer

What can you do when a prospect says, "Thanks, but we have a strong relationship with another supplier and feel that we owe them our business"? I love that question because it goes straight to the heart of what a truly great sales training program needs to be all...

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Sales Training in Action: How to Escape the Price Trap

Action Selling client Dr. Mark Page, an optometrist with Phoenix eye clinic Arizona’s Vision, recently asked for some sales coaching help. Here is his question: "I have patients calling all the time who ask, 'How much do you charge for an eye exam?’ My staff`s typical...

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Struggling to Get Time With Customers?

Sales Training & Sales Skills that Sell Time Survey data from The Sales Board shows that 45% of salespeople lack the selling skills to “get time” with customers. If the sales process stalls when trying to get time with customers, ask this question:  Do I have the...

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Can You Prove Your Sales Training Works?

If you are shopping for a sales training program, and you’re not sure what criteria you ought to consider, let me recommend a great resource. For an eye-opening analysis of the reasons why some sales training programs produce better results than others, check out our...

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Sales Training in Action: It’s Never Too Late

Here is a message I got from a sales training client who sells industrial pumps: “One of our potential customers is a company that gets bids for pumps from three different suppliers, then pays an engineer to evaluate the bids and recommend the best buy. If they...

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From ‘Where am I?’ to ‘Where is my buyer?’

To have a real impact on business results, sales training programs and sales coaching efforts must be grounded in a great sales system. That system must guide the salesperson through the entire sales cycle. The Action Selling system, for example, has been described by...

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Sales Training in Action: Supercharge Your Whole Company

Supply Chain Services of Stillwater, Minn., sells barcode equipment and services to companies in the manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution industries. After adoptingsales training programs and sales coaching based on the Action Selling system, SCS boosted...

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Sales Training: It’s Not Just for Salespeople Anymore

When your company interacts with its customers, how well does your left hand know what your right hand is doing? To what extent are your people all on the same page and pulling in the same direction? For that matter, how well do your company's own managers understand...

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Sales Training in Action: Do Customers Know You Care?

Dakota Supply Group, based in Fargo, N.D., is a major Midwest distributor for a wide variety of mechanical, electrical, and communications products. When president Tom Rosendahl introduced sales training programs and sales coaching based on the Action Selling system,...

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‘I Didn’t Know You Cared’

What is the worst thing you could hear during a sales call on a customer who has known you for a while? Here's a scenario that would be high on my list: You ask an insightful question about the customer's business needs, and the customer says, "I didn't know you...

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Want Quantum Growth? Supercharge Sales Skills

What would it take for your company not only to prosper but to achieve dramatic growth, regardless of the prevailing economic climate? How could you boost revenues by, say, 50 percent? One way might be to develop a red-hot new product—and if you have one,...

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Sales Training in Action: How to Turn Stalls Into Sales

Just when you think you have a sale in the bag, the customer hits you with a stall: "Let me think about it." "Call us next week; we want to mull this over." If you are like a lot of salespeople, you have no good answer for how to handle stalls. And chances are, the...

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Turn Stalls Into Sales With Better Sales Training

You have done everything right. You established rapport with the customer, you identified a need for your product, you asked good questions, you made your presentation, you asked for commitment…but instead of a "yes," you hear a stall: "Let me think about it." "Call...

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Sales Training in Action: How Sales Coaching Changes the Game

Here is a true story about a guy I'll call George. George is vice president of sales for a company in the distribution business. He is the top executive in the company's sales organization. He also is a customer of my company, the Sales Board; the sales training...

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Send in the Sales Coach

Think about the elite salespeople who land those mega-deals that make headline news. I’m talking about the multimillion or billion-dollar deals that change the game for companies. Here’s a question: Who coaches the heavy hitters who pull off such coups? After all,...

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Sales Training in Action: Quit Telling and Start Asking

The "gift of gab" is the most overrated sales skill I know. Salespeople who think that success depends primarily on their silver tongues are doomed. Any sales training programs or sales coaching initiatives that encourage this belief are criminal. The most effective...

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Cut the Gab

“Wow, that guy is the ultimate salesperson!” Over the years I have come to hate that phrase. Why? Because whenever I hear it, the salesperson in question is someone with the “gift of gab.” And he’s talking up a storm. Truth be told, the gift of gab never was a...

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Sales Training in Action: The Nontraditional Sales Force

Fluke Calibration is part of the Test and Measurement segment of Danaher Corp., an $18.3 billion company.  When Mark Martin, North American sales director, set out to provide sales training programs and sales coaching to a team of experienced technical engineers, he...

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Can You Measure the ROI From Your Sales Training?

When you invest in sales training programs or sales coaching initiatives for your company, what would you most like to achieve? Sure, your list of goals for enhancingsales skills might include better prospecting skills and an improved ability to secure new business....

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Why Redefine Sales Training?

Because It’s Not Just for Salespeople Anymore “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” “Everybody sells.” “You are always selling.” How many times have you heard those old expressions? For decades the business world has paid lip service to the idea that...

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Fire Your Tailor

Why Tailored Sales Training is Not the Answer I have consulted with hundreds of companies over the years, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the comment, “Our business is different.”  I understand, and I agree. But I would take that difference down another...

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Sales Training in Action: You Need a Process, Not a Project

When you invest in sales training, what would be the ideal return on your investment? Using  various tips and techniques from sales training programs as tools to fix a particular gap in sales skills won’t give you much in the way of ROI. If what you’re after is a...

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Is Your Sales Training a Project or a Process?

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you are doing.” So said management theorist W. Edwards Deming, the world’s leading expert on quality improvement. All work involves a process. That includes sales work. Yet most sales training...

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Sales Training In Action: How’s Your Confidence?

“A lot of the folks who enter the accounting profession are introverted, and selling is not natural for any of us,” says Jim Stelten, a partner in the CPA Service Group of KDV Wealth Management, LLC of Minneapolis. “But our firm has realized that each of us must be...

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Sales Training’s Greatest Side Benefit: Confidence

Confidence is a feeling of certainty that you will succeed at some endeavor.  It is a tremendous inner resource that some salespeople can summon whenever they need to. It can give you a massive edge in making sales calls, meeting with C-level decision-makers, and...

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Sales Training: A Secret Recipe for Growth

It is one thing to explain the sudden, spectacular growth of enterprises like Facebook or Google. When a start-up company succeeds with a brand new idea or technology, or when it takes off like a skyrocket in an emerging market, we are impressed but not mystified....

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Sales Training in Action: Why Timing is a Vital Sales Skill

How often have you gotten into trouble because the timing of your sales process was off? Bad timing can ruin a golf swing, a game plan, a great kitchen recipe—or a big sale. Timing is a vital sales skill and a key factor in any good sales process. You must maintain...

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