Sales, Negotiations, and Presentations
The sales environment has become increasingly complex. There is a gap between what clients value and what many salespeople are prepared to address. Significant changes in buyer behavior require that salespeople adapt how they approach clients and prospects in order to remain relevant and successful and to prepare them to negotiate profitable deals that leverage the value you provide for your clients.
Sphere offers an extensive sales training curriculum designed to help you find, win and grow your business. All programs are customized to reflect your unique sales environment and challenges. A few key programs are highlighted here:
“Executive decision makers prefer discussions about business trends, issues, and insights four times more than product knowledge-driven conversations.”
Appropriate for any sales team and customized for each team, this program addresses the mindset, strategy, and skills necessary for sales success. It provides a consistent methodology and language for engaging your clients by preparing sales teams to effectively open conversations, explore business goals, objectives, challenges and needs, navigate the decision process, create and communicate solutions, resolve concerns and objections, and gain commitment to move forward – equipping your sales team with the skills and tools they need to drive revenue by moving opportunities more efficiently through the sales process -- balancing the science and the art of selling. Using real life typical, challenging sales situations as the basis for training activities, participants immediately see the relevance to their day-to-day environment, enhancing buy-in. They receive in-the-moment feedback, increasing self-awareness and bringing about an immediate behavior change.
Once a consistent approach to selling – ideally process and skills – is in place, this advanced sales training program prepares sales teams to change the client conversation, leading with insights rather than product, which increases the sales team’s relevance and the value they bring their clients. This approach to selling requires in-depth industry knowledge and deep understanding of each client's business. Throughout the training participants learn how to gain that level of knowledge and use that information to develop thought provoking statements designed to capture attention, enhance credibility, demonstrate your business relevance and help gain access to more senior level decision makers. All training activities are based on your own unique, challenging sales opportunities and participants receive in-the-moment feedback to ensure they grasp and can execute what for many is a nuanced selling skill. This program includes development of two InsightSource® documents salespeople leverage to craft insight messages for your clients, with the option to develop more and/or train your own team to do so.
Storytelling predates writing, possibly even speaking, and in more recent years has become a "buzzword" in sales training. However, it is important to go beyond simply training people to create and deliver a good story. While storytelling absolutely is a relevant tool for salespeople, it is important that they use stories thoughtfully -- strategically -- understanding their audience and the intent of the story, as well as how to structure the story and consider when and how to incorporate it into the sales conversation. This program prepares salespeople to use storytelling effectively at various key points in the sales process, to identify a clear purpose for the story, to build compelling, relevant stories designed to influence the audience and to deliver their stories with impact. When delivered as part of the Sphere curriculum, the program also addresses how Storytelling can be integrated into a broader sales methodology, increasing adoption and minimizing confusion for the learner.
Sales Strategy: Territory, Account, and Opportunity/Pipeline Management
Hope is not a strategy – and the best selling skills in the world won’t compensate for a poor strategy – or complete lack of strategy. Yet, in our experience, one of the most under-served topics across sales training curricula is an integrated useful approach to various levels of sales strategy. With our programs, we work with your sales teams to move plans from the drawer to the dashboard. Using their own book of business in hands-on workshops, webinars or coaching sessions, we help your sales teams prepare territory, account, and opportunity plans/pipeline management processes that become road maps for driving their day-to-day businesses -- increasing the return on the investment of their time, enhancing key client and prospect relationships with increased clarity, accelerating the movement of deals through the pipeline, and improving forecasting. We also prepare your managers to create a cadence around analyzing those plans and addressing strengths and areas for improvement in their coaching conversations.
Relationships are built during the sales process; profit is made during the negotiation. While we are all in business to make money, the best relationship-building and sustaining outcomes are those that are fair for both parties. Negotiations have to be approached strategically and ideally collaboratively with careful thought given to the client’s anticipated position and reaction to your position. Participants learn the relationship between selling and negotiating and the inevitable overlap between the two, as well as typical negotiation tactics, the need to understand priority issues (on both sides), the impact of alternative solutions, the relationships between items being negotiated and how to use that information to develop a trading strategy and the mindset and skills to achieve a positive outcome for both parties. Where relevant, they are also prepared for the unique aspect of negotiating with Procurement teams. When delivered as part of a broader sales curriculum, the program integrates key sales training models essential for a successful negotiation. Using real life typical, challenging negotiations from your organization as the basis for all training activities, participants immediately apply the concepts being taught and receive in-the-moment feedback, accelerating understanding, adoption and behavior change.
Presenting requires its own set of unique skills – and lots of preparation and practice. Our presentations training provides participants with a variety of presentation structures and planners based on their specific presentation situation(s) (sales, capabilities, panel, large/small group, etc.), as well as the mindset, delivery skills, and materials/tools guidelines necessary to make a professional impression and deliver a compelling message regardless of the setting or medium. This program highlights the importance of understanding what you want your audience to think, feel and do and how to develop the relevant content and delivery skills to get them there using the appropriate tools available. Working with their own real life presentations, participants are videotaped and receive in-the-moment feedback, increasing awareness and bringing about an immediate behavior change visible through playback during the training.
Research tells us that more people and specifically, more executives are entering the decision process. Given that, it is increasingly important for salespeople to be able to engage at the executive level -- gaining access to and developing relationships with executive level decision makers well before sales efforts reach the decision-making phase. Their ability to generate executive presence helps enhance their credibility and increase client receptivity. We help participants develop executive presence by addressing the industry and client knowledge, sales and communication skills, and confident, collaborative mindset necessary to excel at the executive level. Using typical, challenging executive level conversations drawn from your own sales team as the basis for training activities ensures that the content is completely relevant for the training audience,increasing receptivity and application of the skills to their own relationships. This program is also appropriate for high potential employees being groomed for more responsibility in your own organization.
Strategic Prospecting and Networking
Whether identifying net new opportunities or expanding existing relationships, prospecting and networking requires a concerted, focused, strategic effort. We help you define your ideal client and research and qualify prospects based on agreed upon criteria and available tools. We also help your team determine how to identify sources of leads, network effectively, and gain access to targeted organizations and individuals by navigating and leveraging gatekeepers, making initial contact with decision makers, and crafting and consistently communicating your relevant core capabilities and differentiators. The program includes techniques for effectively prospecting and networking in today's social media intensive world. Participants leave the session with a prospecting plan they can implement back on the job.
Selling while Servicing
Satisfied clients stay with you longer, buy more, share their positive experiences with others, provide valuable feedback and cost less than new clients – all compelling reasons to ensure your service teams are trained effectively to not only address client service needs but to leverage service conversations as opportunities to expand relationships. This program prepares participants to effectively navigate the service dialogue, appropriately greeting clients, asking questions to fully understand client needs and taking responsibility for addressing those needs, resolving the reason for the call or escalating where necessary -- and when appropriate, transition to a sales conversation. The program also prepares service team members to navigate challenging client conversations and can be applied to both inbound and/or outbound calling environments. All training activities are based on your own typical, challenging service situations, and participants receive in-the-moment feedback, ensuring that the training is completely relevant and immediately applicable back on the job.