In the final stage of Wirthy’s three-part field force blog series, leaders close the loop from staffing great teammates to creating a culture of accountability through adoption. If you’re reading this, perhaps your company has already invested in training only to have it be an expense without a return because the field force didn’t embrace the change.
Through process improvements, sales and product training and finally the criticallyimportant sales and product certification, field force members move from hearing about topics to continually practicing the methods with your OEM or dealer clients.
Nothing frustrates remote field force workers than cumbersome, HQ-focused processes that result in increased administrative work. Through the lens of your field force, consultants should identify, troubleshoot and remedy some of your most pressing process improvement areas. The results will be great for profits, efficient for work teams and a natural associate retention tool.
Determine which consultant is best for your company – a strategy consultant or an implementation consultant. Strategy Consultants approach challenges with an unbiased, innovative and emotionally detached view of the challenges and provides recommendations toward addressing the challenges Implementation Consultants are an extension of your team who dirty their hands into executing on the strategy to build process improvements companywide.
Previous Wirthy Implementation Consultant Process Improvement projects:
1. CRM Mass Opportunity development
2. Step-by-step hot sheet development to ensure long-term adoption
o Linking Outlook to Salesforce
o Mass updating account ownership
o CRM mass communication distribution,
o Merging CRM accounts
3. Effective Contact Report writing
4. Team and individual video role plays
5. Social Prospecting
6. Social Selling via LinkedIn and Sales Navigator
Quality field force consultants generate more time for your company’s revenue-drivers by constantly improving the way business is completed within your company. When there is less friction in a sales model, customers buy. The same with internal processes – smoother processes generate more sales and better employee retention.
With all tools in place (experienced veterans, specialist new hires and proper processes), now is the time to move toward the team adopting your desired sales process.
Internal trainers are a fantastic resource to quickly produce and deliver specialized content. Be sure that your trainers possess the credibility required by your field force. There is a big difference between telling someone how to sell to a car dealership and being trained by a true sales professional. Your field force, just like your clients, will make snap judgments on the lessons if the trainer isn’t credible.
The Internet is filled with trainers promising the ‘golden ticket’ to sales training. Unfortunately, most of the training could have been conducted via an email or a webinar. High priced trainers are some of the most experienced and successful salespeople in the industry – and they want to show it off!
Unfortunately, only a portion of your automotive sales and account managers are motivated by someone else’s story. They want and need to have their own success stories to share. Instead of listening to a talented trainer, they want to perform on their own. The adult learners learn by doing not by listening to bragging lectures.
Fine tune and re-frame your sales process. Typical sales training classes last an hour and focus on one-way communication. The Socratic Method approach opens the floor for full participation with group debate, competitions, best practice sharing and role plays.
(Source: The Socratic Method: Fostering Critical Thinking)
Since all field force professionals are different from one another, the training should be varied to meet each individual at their own pace and need. Training sessions should be made available in-person, conducted virtually, as team sessions, pre-recorded for continual use and even as one-on-one sessions.
Homework is simple, but few companies require post-training homework. Unless students are encouraged or required to apply the training, your company won’t experience adoption. When students apply the day’s lessons with structured homework to reinforce the ‘learn-by-doing’ method, your company wins. Do you offer homework for every training class? Any class? Build your sessions and homework on the current day’s lessons to consistently develop employee adoption. Sales training establishes the groundwork for your expectations.
Homework improves results, but it doesn’t close the loop on adoption. Try adding an accountability measure to the training through certification to increase practical use!
With sales expectations properly established, accountability brings everything together. Establishing a pass-fail Certification creates a moment of stress that requires participants to put it all together correctly. This moment reveals your field force’s grasp of the concepts and the ability to apply with your clients in the real world.
Your teammates benefit from sales certification as much as the company. Salesperson certification benefits include:
• Mastering new sales and account management techniques
• Increased peer-to-peer support
• Recognition – certification is an inexpensive way to build prestige
• Dealerships and clients who view sales certification online may build more trust in your company and their field personnel
• Certified salespeople and account managers can leverage certification into career advancement opportunities
• Celebration – reasons to celebrate individually and as a team
• Create better habits – training, practice and certification will help your team develop better-performing habits
Certification is customizable. Samples of Wirthy’s previous sales certification include:
1. Written Quiz
2. Territory Planning
3. Building a Distributed Marketing Campaign
4. Self-Recorded Account Management Video
5. Self-Recorded Sales Presentation Video
Training is vitally important, but adoption is the key! Invest your company’s training approach to practice the lessons learned and soon your field force will be delighting customers and exceeding sales targets.
To learn more about the Wirthy Foundation, Evolution and Adoption consulting, schedule a call with Mike Wirth at https://calendly.com/mikewirth/30min.