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How Do You Develop a Salesperson?

By Bruce Michalowski

We often get asked the question, "How do we develop a Salesperson?" The key is to getting the whole organization on the same page in the way they approach sales. In this video blog, I explain the four components to developing and communicating during the sales process.

00:00  Hi I'm Bruce Michalowski, Senior Consultant with Strategic Enhancement Group. We often get asked the question, "How do you develop a sales rep, how do you start with them and develop them over time?" We've got a process at Strategic Enhancement Group to do that. We start with the basics, getting everybody on the same page about selling. Now that sounds maybe rudimentary, but we want to make sure we get everybody to understand there's a process to that. We look at really answering four key questions that are in the customer's mind. One of them is, "How do I know I can trust you and your company to deliver results?" That's what we call the relating phase. We talk about how a sales rep can get better at forming relationships with a customer.

00:41  Then the next phase is, "Do I have a need for it and do you have it to offer?" We talk about discovering skills, those discovering skills help us to clarify the need the customer has. Making sure it's clear to us and the customer what their need is because sometimes the customer has got an implied need. We need to make an explicit need. They need to agree that that need is there. Then the next part is, once the need is established, how do we form the solution to that need? The customer question in the customer's mind, "Do I have a need for anything they have to offer?" We use advocating skills to do that. Now once the sale is made, we take care of the customer and we call this the supporting phase, because the question on the mind then is, "Will I be satisfied with what I've just bought?"

01:22  So through that process we established the relationship, find out needs, sell a solution, and take care of the customer after the sale. So that's the basic in the formative stage of a sales rep. Now as they deliver results, we give them some other development processes. The next one is a way to deal with different styles of people. People are more tell assertive or ask assertive, they're more responsive to people or they're more focused on the task. And so you have to be able to adapt to those different social styles to be effective at communicating and sales. Now another part of the sales process is usually around negotiations. So, part of that process is again, giving that sales rep some tools to get a negotiation in a win-win situation. It's based on some tried and true techniques that have been developed by Harvard Business School that helps to get both parties to a negotiated agreement.

02:19  And if there's not a way to do that, then you know that another piece of that is not only those interpersonal skills that's part of the sales development process, but it's also the strategy of working on your territory and your accounts. And through that, there's different aspects of sales strategy that we go through. So, if you look at that full process and it takes usually a span of two years or so to do this, you develop individual skills and strategy skills, along with negotiating skills to help that sales rep be the most productive they can be. If this process has been adapted and coached, I've seen it work throughout the world with different companies. Everybody that I've seen embrace it, and again, the coaching is key from the manager's standpoint, you'll see an above average performance.

03:08  This has been benchmarked in a number of different ways. I did this personally in companies I worked with and also in a wider sense, we've done research to verify that performance level. So we've got a very solid process if it's followed and coached to develop sales reps and deliver the best results you can get.

Best of luck and let us know how we can help you achieve more effective training!

Published: November 5, 2015


Bruce Michalowski

Senior Consultant

Bruce brings over 35 years’ experience working within some of the finest companies and organizations in the nation, as a production manager, sales representative, sales manager and training manager. He also brings a global perspective to SEG’s clients having conducted training and consulting in 25 countries outside the U.S. Bruce graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a B.S. degree in general engineering. He left the Army as a Captain. He has a master of science degree from Boston University in business administration.

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