If you’re a learning leader in sales training, you face the challenge of equipping your sales teams with strategies that work in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. Outdated approaches no longer resonate with discerning, risk-averse customers who now conduct extensive prep work before engaging.

This article recommends strategies to help your sales reps shape conversations that capture attention and drive results.

The Need for Speed

Train your salespeople to reply promptly to leads and requests, providing fast turnarounds on proposals. Timeliness signals dedication and eagerness to serve.

In sales, speed is critical, and the adage “24 minutes is the new 24 hours” holds true. Quick and efficient responses have a profound impact on closing a sale. According to Inside Sales, quick lead responses provide a huge advantage, as conversion rates drop exponentially after just five minutes.

Training Areas of Focus

  • Communication skills. Train salespeople in communication strategies that emphasize active listening, concise responses and empathy to help them understand needs quickly and respond promptly.
  • Time management skills. Provide training on prioritization and time management techniques to equip salespeople with the tools they need to manage their workload effectively and improve response time.
  • Utilizing technology tools. Help sales reps master customer relationship management (CRM) tools efficiently so they can streamline lead management and enable faster responses.

Tailor Proposals

While swift responses build rapport, customized proposals forge true connections. Generic proposals may temporarily grab interest, but tailored ones make prospects feel understood and compel them to act. If sales reps don’t define their product or service as unique, the customer will always choose based on price. Personal relevance sways decisions.

Customers want proposals that concisely convey value, not longwinded documents that require slogging through. In today’s technology-driven world of on-demand content, brevity and personalization are key.

Training Areas of Focus

  • Understanding the competitive landscape. Highlighting unique selling points can significantly enhance proposal effectiveness. Train sales teams on competitor analysis and how to effectively communicate differentiators in proposals. Guide them to lead proposals with a powerful a 3-4 sentence “highlight reel” pitch that quickly spotlights your value proposition and key differentiators.
  • Product knowledge training. Ensure sales teams are well-versed in the market and products or services they’re selling. This knowledge equips them to respond promptly and confidently address the customer’s specific needs, challenges and priorities in their proposals.
  • Understanding client needs and pain points. Train sales teams to conduct thorough needs assessments. This includes learning effective questioning techniques to uncover client pain points and understand their requirements comprehensively.

Leverage AI Strategically

The “highlight reel” approach to proposals is the perfect place for sales teams to leverage the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI). This very brief paragraph should present compelling, data-backed reasons that will boost engagement and simplify decision-making.

Given that prospects tend to scan proposals quickly, often jumping straight to the price quote, your highlight reel becomes even more critical. Help salespeople identify and communicate the high “sizzle” bullet points that could sway the customer’s buying decision. This paragraph should showcase key features, competitive advantages, noteworthy ratings and specific awards—all tailored to pique the prospect’s interest. AI can then assist in crafting a compelling highlight reel that showcases these strengths effectively.

The Art of Prompt Engineering

If your organization’s sales professionals haven’t explored the potential of AI yet, now is the time to start! The secret to harnessing AI’s full potential in sales is becoming a pro at prompt engineering.

In simple terms, prompt engineering involves giving the AI platform clear and specific requests, just as you would communicate with your learners or a colleague. The prompts should use natural language that directly conveys a goal. Remember, this is an interactive process so be prepared to test and adjust the prompts until you achieve the ideal result.

Let’s look at an example of a prompt designed to create a highlight reel:

Using conversational, persuasive language and spartan tone, write a 3-4 sentence “highlight reel” about (insert your company/product/service here). This should only include the competitive or exclusive advantages, notable ratings or specific awards that might be attractive to a prospective customer.

This is an effective prompt for several reasons:

  • Clearly defining your language and tone ensures that the content aligns with your brand’s voice.
  • Including the term “spartan tone” instructs the AI to provide concise, direct content, reducing the risk of receiving overly lengthy responses. You can specify other language styles, such as professional, technical, casual, etc. depending on your requirements.
  • Mentioning your company, product or service allows the AI to search its database for relevant information and pull the most impactful highlights.
  • By outlining the specific awards, notable ratings and exclusive advantages you want to see, you make it easier for the AI to understand your request and generate a response that matches your expectations.

Sales teams can experiment with the AI output by testing and adjusting the prompt language to come up with the ideal highlight reel that includes the impactful points and persuasive language needed to capture your customer’s interest fast.

The sales landscape has changed. Help your organization’s sales teams embrace prompt response times, customization and AI. With your guidance, they can pivot strategies to engage modern customers while still building relationships. Refine their skills, share insights and lead them through this evolution.

By directive sales training and providing strategies tailored to today’s customer, you empower salespeople to secure their spot on prospect shortlists time and again.