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 programs he delivers to his reps are based on our Action Selling system.
George recently called his Action Selling sales coach, Tony Martin. He said that he was working on a deal that would bring his company an exclusive distribution arrangement so huge that it would change the course of his company forever.
In his sales coaching role, Tony asked great questions and listened carefully to George’s answers. When he had a complete understanding of the situation, Tony helped George develop a strategy and a game plan.
George called back a week later to announce that he had won the biggest piece of business in his company’s history. “We took this deal away from a competitor, and we don’t know how they’ll survive without it,” he said. “It gives a major credibility boost to our company. It opens unlimited future opportunities. A true game changer!”
Where is your sales coach?
If you are the top person in your sales organization—the one who is supposed to have all the answers—where can you turn for advice and guidance?
After all, CEOs have a board of directors to call upon and to use as a sounding board when they face difficult and complicated issues. If you are the top sales executive in your company, where can you turn for expert sales coaching? For that matter, regardless of your rung on the sales hierarchy, is there anyone outside your own company who can act as your sales coach when the chips are down?
Suppose that, like George, you have scheduled a sales call that represents the biggest deal in your company’s history. Or maybe you anticipate some tricky issues arising with a major new prospect. Or maybe a current customer is being wooed intensely by one of your competitors, and you’re not sure how best to handle the situation. In any case, there is a lot on the line.
At this juncture, you don’t need a sales training course. You don’t necessarily even need any new sales skills. What you need instead is individual sales coaching from an expert guide who can help you think through the moves and countermoves you will have to make to land this particular deal. Where is your “board” of sales advisors when you need them the most?
I believe that you ought to be able to get expert sales coaching help from the same organization that provides your sales training programs. That help should be available in person, online, and by phone.
When sales executives shop around for sales training courses, their criteria often don’t include the availability and quality of sales coaching resources that back up the training programs. When major deals hang in the balance, that can be a costly mistake.
About Duane Sparks
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 organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).
Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).