Read This Before You Give Your Team More Sales Training
by Mike J. Agugliaro
Your service business relies on marketing and sales in order to close more customers and generate more revenue.
… But what happens when your marketing brings in leads but your team doesn’t close them? Well, you don’t get the customers and you don’t get the revenue… and you realize that you have a problem to address in your company!
So what do most service businesses do? 99% of the service businesses in this situation will send their team to sales training. They’ll identify that the selling activities are happening properly, and the team is not closing properly, so they send their employees to get more sales training to increase sales, to push the effectiveness and closing rate.
And then they send them to more sales training.
And then to even more!
Well here’s what I have to say about these training programs: The problem is often not the sales process; the problem is often not the training that your sales team already has, and the solution is often not more training.
Look, this is an issue that runs much deeper than simple training: On the surface you think your team needs more sales training but here’s the deal: if they’ve already taken sales training then they probably already know the fundamentals—things like how to start the sale, how to close the sale, how to overcome objections.
Want to know where the real problem is? This might surprise you! There are two possible problems and it might not be more sales training! (Worse yet, these two possible problems are potentially related, so you might not realize that they are two separate things.)
The first problem is: your brand does not speak to your avatar—your perfect customer who you want to work with. Instead, your brand is speaking to A customer, but not THE customer you want.
The second problem is: your marketing is not building trust and value before the lead calls your company. It builds just enough curiosity for the lead to call but not enough trust and value for the lead to feel confident to close.
This is an insidious problem because your marketing IS bringing in leads… potentially even plenty of lead… but the fact that your sales team isn’t closing them is not necessarily because your sales team can’t close; it’s because your sales team is presenting your company’s offers but those offers don’t match what the lead is expecting.
When this happens, your sales teams are already set up for failure and end up taking the blame when they can’t close. And the ones they are closing are being closed because your customer service experts who answer the phone have a golden tongue.
To fix the first problem (your avatar problem) you must identify who your avatar is and clearly articulate it. Then, check all of your marketing to make sure that your marketing speaks directly to your avatar!
To fix the second problem (your trust and value problem) you must carefully dig through your marketing as well as other aspects of your brand and online marketing (including social profiles, social reviews, and search results) to ensure that you are reinforcing how trustworthy and valuable your company is.
If you don’t do this, your marketing may still work… but you get the wrong people call and they don’t trust or value your company, so fewer of them will close.
Your marketing and sales process is just that—a process! You move step-by-step through it and, just like any other system, each piece impacts the pieces that follow.
Think of your marketing and sales process like a machine. You can have a finely tuned engine (that’s the sales team) but if you are putting bad fuel (bad leads) into the machine, the finely tuned engine will sputter and stall. Don’t send the engine to the mechanic and tell them that there’s something wrong with the engine… because there is actually something wrong with the fuel. Likewise, your sales team may be adequate closers when they have the right leads in front of them. But your marketing might be hurting their ability to close by sending them the wrong leads.
Want to grow your service business? Of course you do. But the way to do that is not by just sending through any old lead then blaming your team for not closing! The better choice is to look at your entire marketing and selling system and optimizing all of it to grow.