Supply Chain Services is a small Stillwater, Minn., company that sells barcode equipment to clients in the manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing industries. After it adoptedsales training programs and sales coaching based on the Action Selling system, SCS posted a one-year increase in revenue of 50 percent, with no drop in profit margin and an increase in the average size of its deals.
That happened in a sluggish economy, at a tough time for the industry.
“Our sales force was already good, but we’re doing a lot of things better today,” says SCS’s chief operating officer Dave Green. “We use what we learned in the sales training courses to differentiate ourselves in a commodity marketplace. We’ve stopped selling hardware and started selling our company values and capabilities…. We have dramatically improved our ability to assess the customer’s needs and fit our solutions to those needs. And we confidently ask for commitment. We didn’t do that before we gave sales training and sales coaching to everyone.”
One reason for the resounding success is that, unlike many sales training programs, Action Selling teaches the research-proven handful of critical sales skills that really can be taught and that really make a difference. For instance, SCS’s salespeople posted a 98 percent improvement in the skill of “gaining commitment” from customers—which means that performance doubled in that crucial category.
But another reason for the success is because when Green says that SCS gave sales training to “everyone,” he means it literally. SCS made sure that not only salespeople but every one of its employees, regardless of job position, went through the sales training course.
Supercharge sales by training everybody
SCS is not the only company that has seen a “supercharging” effect by extending sales training and sales coaching beyond the formal sales force to all employees in an organization.
A tremendous synergy occurs when every employee understands that every interaction with a customer, or potential customer, is a sales call—one that leaves the customer either more sold or less sold on the company. Tearing away the veil of mystery that surrounds the sales process allows non-sales types, including managers, to offer advice and guidance that is actually helpful to the sales force.
When everybody in the company is on the same page, speaking the same language, good things happen. That is especially true when the language they’re speaking is based on valid knowledge about the way customers make buying decisions and the surest ways to win those customers’ lasting loyalty.
For information about how to improve sales skills and make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.