If two sales representatives were competing for the same Managed Print contract, who do you think has the better chance of winning? A sales rep with no formal training or a sales rep who has been trained to ask the right questions, assess the current state, handle objections and create a professional proposal?
For elite MPS providers, sales training is not an option. It’s a money maker.
Assuming you have hired the right candidate (which is a whole other story), here are five areas sales training can help.
1. UNDERSTANDING PRINT PROBLEMS
The typical business lacks any formal print policy to ensure volumes and costs are kept under control. This often leads to avoidable waste, operational inefficiencies and overspending.
A sales rep that’s trained to look for common print-related problems has a huge head start over the untrained rep who lacks a roadmap to create the need for MPS. Training helps the rep ask the right questions and collect the right information to support the change from an unstructured to a structured print environment.
2. KNOWING WHERE TO FISH
The trained seller knows which verticals are the most prone to printing mistakes. Prioritizing these paper-intensive verticals accelerates the growth of a prospect funnel because you’re fishing where the fish are. In addition to the industry, knowing who to contact is also a critical skill. Starting with the wrong person or the wrong level of contact can also prove to be critical to success. For example, the office manager may have bought the copiers in the past but may not have this authority to ink a Managed Service agreement that integrates hardware and service delivery around a networked appliance that needs both IT and finance approval.
3. BOOKING APPOINTMENTS
Unless you’re the only one selling Managed Print, you will need your sales reps to engage with new contacts by phone, email, social media and at local business events. Your approach strategy will be critical to your success. This is why so many of the elite MPS providers invest in training their reps in the latest strategies to connect with key decision makers and secure that critical first meeting.
4. PRESENT THE MANAGED PRINT STORY
We use the word “story” because that’s what the top reps do. They tell a story about how customers have faced similar challenges the prospect is likely to face and then ask for the opportunity to take the next step which can be an appointment, an assessment or something else that creates a sales cycle. Visuals are often key to presenting a compelling story because people tend to absorb data and information much quicker when it’s in a visually consumable format. Using visuals and a presentation also helps MPS providers “standardize” their pitch across their entire sales force so everyone is singing the same song. A compelling one that attracts senior executives to endorse the initiative.
5. HANDLING COMMON OBJECTIONS
There’s nothing that crushes a new sales rep like a tough objection. By nature, people tend to avoid those things that will embarrass them or cause them harm. Objections are no different. A trained MPS sales rep is aware of the common objections they are likely to face and are prepared with rehearsed responses they are confident in delivering. Not preparing new people for resistance you know they will face from real customers is like sending a young athlete onto the football field without a helmet. It’s only a matter of time until they get clocked! Top dealers know the objections that will come up and they role play with new reps to make sure they can handle them in the heat of the game.
Naturally there’s more to train any new sales rep, but this list is a good list of “soft skills” to get started.
If you’re looking for benchmark MPS sales training, over 3,000 salespeople have graduated from our on-demand video training platform at LMI University.
Whether you use our help or you train on your own, hopefully you agree that your investment in sales training will go a long way towards winning more pages under contract and reducing sales turnover.
Remember the training you received when you started? Don’t your new salespeople deserve the same?