Amid the century’s largest health crisis, businesses around the globe have been upended. Sales organizations are no exception, as customers cut spending and paused normal operations to adjust their business models to the changing times. Yet, as sales professionals are met with challenges relating to unavailable and resistant customers, their role within their organizations has become more important than ever. Success largely depends on them, and sales training can help.

Sales training can equip your sales teams with the skills they need to connect with their customers and ultimately catapult your business to new heights, despite the volatile business environment. Excellent sales training will invest ample time in covering the interpersonal side of selling in addition to the functional, tactical side.

Many interpersonal selling skills learned in training are more important now than ever before, as professionals are struggling to make or maintain meaningful connections with others. Here are the skills and best practices that can help your sales team excel during this time:

1. Use a Model for Communication and Handling Objections

Around the world, people are stressed, and a stressed person’s behavior is often unpredictable. Whether customers are impatient, irritable, depressed or demotivated or have responded any other way to their stress, sales professionals would benefit from even more training in how to work with customers exhibiting atypical behavior. An effective communication tool that demonstrates empathy and reduces tension can often result in a resolution to difficult issues.

2. Think and Act in Response to Your Customer’s Concerns, Not Your Own

Everyone has his or her own perspective; no two of us are exactly the same. It is difficult to set aside our biases and understand someone else’s world, but to sell in today’s environment, doing so is imperative. We must understand how the pandemic has impacted our customers’ businesses. We must enter their world, and sales training can help emphasize this mindset.

3. Perfect Your Digital Selling Skills

We need to train our sales reps to be more cognizant of the impact of their voice, which has more significance in a virtual setting (as does eye contact). Many of us have a habit of looking at our customers on the screen when talking with them, but for the interaction to be effective, we need to look directly at the camera, which will simulate eye contact.

Voice and eye contact are just a few examples of the challenges brought about by a shift to virtual communication. Sales training can teach your team members virtual selling tactics and strategies they need to be effective and successful.

4. Connect With Customers in a Way That Builds Trust and Advances the Relationship

Bonding results largely from frequency of contact, so coach your sales professionals to keep in contact with customers, whether by text, email, phone or video. To be customer-centric, sales professionals must engage with their customers in the way they want to be engaged, and sales training can help your team members tailor their approach to each customer.

As organizations put spending on hold and work to adjust their business models to the changing times, sales professionals are struggling to get customers to talk with them. Yet, it is sales professionals on whom organizations are relying to succeed through the turbulent times. Sales training provides these important team members with the tools they need to build strong connections with customers and maintain thriving business relationships, even in the midst of unpredictability.

Training is more important now than ever before. Effectively using a model for communication and handling objections, thinking from your customer’s point of view, improving virtual selling skills and building trusting relationships are all especially critical outcomes of sales training in the current times.

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