Imagine if each member of your sales team was equally as effective at sharing the stories told by the top 10% of your salespeople to help customers get past the five most common value gaps.
You would achieve higher win rates, shorter sales cycles, and higher margins.
But if you don’t teach your salespeople how to tell stories that shines the light of insight on unrecognized value, then won’t you continue to be forced to pay for airplane tickets that send your salespeople on sales cycles that lead down the road of commoditization and discounting?
How hard could it be to teach your salespeople to share five insight based stories? You’re not asking your sales team to do anything different except share at a minimum one 90-120 second story in a meeting. That’s less than 3% of a 60-minute meeting.
If you can’t teach the most basic way to communicate value, then how are you going to scale your sales team?
But once you collect the top five stories, you wonder how are you going to ensure that each member of the sales team adapts the story to their local market and internalizes it?
If you send the stories out to the sales team, won’t most just look at the story once, and then not be able to use it in the heat of a sales call?
You could require the salespeople to deliver their story to their sales manager, but will your sales managers provide the coaching? If a sales manager is managing 10-salespeople, then these coaching calls could take 5-hours with telephone tag, interruptions and chit chat. With the pressure to achieve quota, will your sales managers invest 25-hours to coach their team to deliver all five stories?
It’s my experience that most salespeople will not learn the stories and most sales managers will not do the coaching. In the end, like all well intentioned training initiatives, only the top 20% of your sales team will take the trouble to learn the top 5-stories.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is now video role-play software that will track which salespeople do practice delivering their story, and which sales managers do coach their salespeople on delivering their story.
Every two weeks, for instance, a salesperson will receive a video of the best person in your company delivering one of the top five stories. The salesperson will then be asked to adapt the story to their local market. Once completed, the software will ask the salesperson to press record in their iPhone, and record their story. Because salespeople on average record themselves delivering their story six times before they hit send, your salespeople will gain the practice they need to internalize the stories so that they can use it in the heat of a sales call. When was the last time your salespeople practiced a skill six times outside of a sales call?
Once the salesperson hits send, the sales manager will receive the recorded story in their dashboard. The sales manager can then either provide written coaching comments below the video as they come in, or they can provide comments all at once. So a sales manager could watch, for instance, 10 of her salespeople’s stories in under 20-minutes, and in a further 10 to 20-minutes, she could provide coaching comments all from her iPhone while she waits for a flight at the airport.
To make it happen, a VP of Sales only has to do the following:
To find out if this exercise is worth your time, go ask one of your top salesperson to share a story that bridges a common customer value gap, and then ask one of your average salespeople to share their story. Now imagine you're the customer.