Sales training is a common prescription to B2B selling organizations’ problems. Salespeople not hitting quotas? No problem — sales training! Rolling out new solutions that take a different value messaging approach? Sales training! A young, new sales team that needs onboarding to your unique sales strategy? Sales training it is!
Yet, no matter how valuable a specific sales training program can be, when the program alone fails to make any impact on revenue performance it usually is indicative of another organizational issue gone unchecked and unresolved.
For every business — from two-person start-ups to multi-national Fortune 50 organizations — there are five interdependent operational disciplines at play in selling that feed the overall revenue performance engine: demand progression, solution marketing, solution management, sales operations and sales enablement.
Sales training alone cannot fix the entire organization. Any investment in a sales training program while other parts of the engine are failing can lead to poor outcomes.
An Evolving Need Beyond Sales Training
One of our B2B selling organization clients realized this reality. The company’s leaders wanted to grow in the market. They felt optimistic too: Their products were widely viewed as top performers by their target customers, according to a survey commissioned by the company.
Yet that same customer survey revealed sales and service hygienic factors were also expected. While the organization claimed those factors differentiated them, customers saw those as essentials that the organization and any competition had to deliver. In the survey, customers pushed beyond the essentials and flagged problem-solving and competence / subject matter expertise as not only ways to establish a relationship but to serve as a trusted advisor.
With these customer insights, the selling organization moved to action. The company invested in sales training to level-up their salespeople’s value selling skills. They brought in Mereo revenue performance consultants to help.
But as the teams began working together, soon it became apparent that sales training alone would not address the main issue keeping customers from choosing their solution. Instead of charging forward with the sales training that was planned, the program evolved.
Enter a Holistic Sales Enablement Approach
In light of new insights, the program blossomed into a multi-functional platform that enhanced the entire customer lifecycle. The selling organization began serving customers as a trusted advisor.
Even while its solutions were in high demand, the organization intentionally chose to serve customers first by identifying their true needs — many of which are often not even recognized by the customer — and then by helping customers understand the compelling value proposition of addressing the underlying circumstances.
The results have been positive as the client continues to string together record quarter on-top-of record quarter, all while seeing a substantial uptick in customer service levels. The united and aligned front driven and reinforced through the program has played an instrumental role in building and scaling sustainable revenue performance.
That fundamental learning represented the value of embracing a series of leading practices in the go-to-market engine versus relying solely on a sales training fix. For this organization, the game-changing elements of this program included:
- Aligning Across Leadership, Sales, Marketing and Product Teams
- Identifying and Addressing Status Quo
- Gaining Third-Party Support and Validation
Defeat Sales Training Trouble
One of the major factors that set this program apart was the use of Mereo as a third-party consultant. According to leadership and front-line professionals alike, employing an outside resource offers focused expertise as well as credibility that overcomes internal oversights. The outside support also accelerated change management as it allowed the organization to gain buy-in with a novel program that had never been undertaken before — but that Mereo had a proven track record leading.
To learn more about the power of Mereo holistic sales enablement programs, explore the Pitney Bowes success story.