Smarter Selling is the Future of Selling

 Oct 10, 2017



Ever tried managing a sales team full of individuals? 


Happy days, months, quarters, pipelines, clients, and results when their differences and the differences of their sales manager brings them altogether. When they don’t, it normally ends up ugly, soon followed by very ugly, sometime after very ugly comes realisation. One realisation is that their differences divided them. It all starts with differences in their training.  

Too many organisations have salesforces that have been trained differently, have used different sales tools, have different approaches to sales, and have different sales philosophies.  

Put all these differences together in one sales team and what do you have? Different everything. Smart organisations struggle with ‘different’ because it often leads to inconsistent sales results, team conflict, and a sales culture of individualism. These practices are the bane of the Sales managers and often leads to ‘very ugly’.  

Expectations of Sales Managers 


Sales managers have high expectations of their sales team members. They expect them to understand themselves and how their behaviour affects others. They expect them to improve their sales strengths and reduce their sales weaknesses. One strength they want to see relentlessly is the practice of building trust between the sales team their clients.  

Another given is the sales team understand clients are motivated by different things, are in different financial situations, and play different roles in the sales process.  

So there’s a few expectations to mull over, let’s look at some of the bug-bears sales managers have to put up.  

Bug-bears of Sales Managers 


One bug-bear of sales managers are the questions they hear and read their sales staff ask, or don’t ask their clients during meetings, on the telephone or via email. There is often no structure, no purpose, and no strategy to their questioning. Just random questions that often have the client at best confused at worst repeating themselves while the meeting clock is ticking.  

Another bug-bear is how the sales staff actually sell the organisation’s products and services. Some present the ‘client-need’ they think they’ve found, others discuss the features of their products and services until the cows-come-home, others deride their competitors, and some just rattle off statistics that mean nothing to ‘that’ client. A few talk benefits without really knowing how there derived from the features of their products and services. An awful and dangerous approach.  

All big bug-bears! Which often leads to the biggest bug-bear of allno reporting of client interactionsno update, no notes, no records, no data, and no nothing, which means no history! And we all know what no history leads to. Trouble! 

So where do I start and how do I bring my sales team together? 


How do you bring a team individual stars to form a star team? 

Well one place to start is to train them all the same way.  

Start with getting back to basics.  To be successful in sales today, you need to focus on developing a greater effectiveness in four key areas: 

  • The value you offer your customers 

  • The strength, breadth and trust of your relationships with clients 

  • Doing the right thing – developing sustainable, consultative partnerships with your buyers that deliver long-term value to all parties 

  • Analysing your customer data 

Following these basics will move the team from where they are now to where the company needs them to be in the future.  Here's how: 

Build trust: 


Create sustainable, trusted relationships with the right buyers through:  

  • Identifying which relationships to invest in and how best to do it 

  • Quickly building rapport and establishing trust 

  • Focus on and delivering value in every conversation 

  • Positioning your ideas and offerings for maximum impact 

  • Collaborating and seeking commitment to move forward 

Use sales tools and data repositories better: 


Octagon™ profiling is one way to understand your behavioural preferences and their impact on others: 

  • I We U openings to establish rapport and start to build trust from the first words 

  • SHAPE™ questioning -an engaging way to discover buyers' priorities 

  • Levels of Thinking, Spicy Questions and Focus-5 to lift relationships to a higher level  

  • Value Sheets to demonstrate a focus on value to the buyer 

  • N-F-B and Storytelling to better position offerings and prove capability 

  • CC Notes to maintain collaborative momentum 

Smarter Selling incorporates the use of Octagon™ if you'd like to learn more. 

If you're using a CRM, or ERP  

  • Work with your analytics team to model past sales trends 

  • Workshop scenarios  

  • – why did you win that opportunity?  

  • - what could others learn from your won and lost opportunities? 

  • - who are your at risk clients? 

  • - what stage in their lifecycle is best to connect? 

  • - what patterns are emerging when you align industry and internal data? 


No matter which CRM you're using, you've got more information available now than ever. Dynamics 365 for Sales is one training program we offer, but check with your CRM supplier what solutions are available for yours. 


If  you would like more information on the Dynamics 365 training we provide, please visit our Dynamics 365 Training Courses page, or take a look at the Smarter Selling ®  course we offer. Contact ustoday to speak with one of our Learning Solutions Advisors or visit our website. 

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About the Author:

Stan Thomas  

Stan has been working in a professional training capacity for over 15 years and possesses a wealth of knowledge in the areas of adult education gained through both formal study and practical training delivery both nationally and internationally. As the Professional Development Manager for New Horizons Melbourne, Stan is responsible for the delivery, quality control and enhancement of existing and new programs at New Horizons.

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