A career in sales can be in equal parts exhilarating, rewarding, stressful, and lonely. No one understands this better than salespeople themselves. Each day in the life of a field sales rep is hectic. Constantly bouncing from one task to the next each day is also full of new and different challenges. After having spent days and hours making calls, sending out follow-up emails, and scheduling meetings with the prospecting clients, they finally cross the finish line and win a deal. The best part of working so hard in sales is to celebrate the wins as a reward for all of our hard work. However, we should not only celebrate our win, but also share our best practices and lessons learnt from sales wins.
Sharing best practices:
Sales reps are competitive by nature. But their individual quotas and competitive spirit don’t minimize the opportunity for teamwork. After all, sales teams as a whole also have numbers they strive to meet, and the ultimate shared goal of driving more business for the company is ever-present.
In her article, Rachel Clapp Miller of Force Management maintains the importance of “best practices collaboration.” She writes, “Highly effective sales teams have something in common that merely adequate teams rarely possess: a high level of sharing among salespeople. When individual performers hoard information and best practices, it may benefit them individually in the short term, but it does nothing for the whole team.”
The takeaway? – Sales reps can be sharing stories of their wins, how they approach deals, and even recognize the key players who helped to close them including details of the challenges they faced, and the tactics used.
Sharing Success Stories:
In Sales, a success story is a valuable learning tool to the rest of the team. The success stories may also give insights into how customers used the given solution and how it impacts their business. Hopefully, these stories will give other sales colleagues valuable insights into the sales process that can be applied by the whole sales team — and start winning more deals.
Make it Relevant:
It may be important to note that success stories are useful only if the content therein is useful and if they are delivered to sales reps in a way that they can understand easily. That’s why it is important to enable sales reps with success stories that have been well researched and delivered.
The method of delivery:
There are several ways that the success stories can be shared with other sales team members. For example: via sales enablement tools, in sales team meetings, in coaching sessions, and peer to peer meetings, etc.
Out of all the methods of delivery, the most effective way of sharing is peer-to-peer meetings. These meetings can also double as training sessions for new sales reps on understanding the process, product or services, demonstration, etc. on how deals have been won. The sales reps can then use this information as inputs in customer conversations over the call in face-to-face meetings to demonstrate the value our services can provide to a prospect and how it brings the impact to their business.
The key element in the sales success stories are the content and the tools of delivery. The content format recommendation would be to create nuggets that can be in the form of PowerPoint slides, a standalone PDF file, or even an animated video. PowerPoint slides having supporting narration can be effectively used as podcasts while travelling, jogging, exercising, etc. The duration of each method can be maintained around 5 minutes.
The actual core content of the 5-minute success story cover a quick background of the customer’s business – their revenues in the last few years, number of years they’ve been active for, divisions in their organization, and number of employees. Adding a little bit about the culture of the organization is helpful too.
The core content should also include the goals the customer had in mind. Identifying the pain areas and challenges the customer was facing and how our solution helped them provides a greater understanding of our own offerings. Including how our solution was mapped against competition offerings and how any objections raised by the customer were handled is also valuable insight for the whole sales team.
Summing it up –
Some of your sales reps may be hitting or even exceeding their individual quotas. But, as they say, knowledge not shared is knowledge wasted. To truly build shared success, communicate those wins—so everyone wins.