Sales Training

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Sep 16

What’s the best way to train your SMEE salesforce?

In my experience, it’s to bring each sales trainee with you on sales calls so s/he can hear what you say, and learn what you do to land a deal.

Your longterm goal should be to bat .400, ie, convert 40% of your marketing leads to sales. If you’re higher than that, you’re an all star. If you’re much lower than that, it gets harder to create a sustainable business.

Recently, the founder of a deck and fence building business asked me how he could bring that type of sales training to an inside sales team.

I thought about it for a few moments and said, “What if, when you get a call, you ask the potential client if you can add one of your inside salespeople to the call to help with training? If they agree (and only the most churlish won’t, which also happen to be the clients you don’t want anyway), use the 3-way calling feature on your smartphone to add him or her to your call. Then they can learn directly from your experience.”


So the company founder can be anywhere–helping to take care of his five young kids or digging post holes on a job site–and still be teaching his staff.

Later on, he can reverse the program. If an inside salesperson (or, for that matter, anyone in the company) is having trouble converting a lead or an existing client calls with a problem that they can’t solve, s/he can conference in the founder wherever he is, and find a solution to the problem together. His business can be a learning one, and a more cohesive one.

I used a form of this with a tech company a decade ago–when clients rang the call center, if the junior tech couldn’t solve the problem, s/he would conference in a senior tech (conference in, not hand off), s/he would summarize what the customer’s problem was and what they’d already tried, and then together they would solve the problem. 

Customer satisfaction increased, churn went down, retention went up, and junior techs learned how to solve more complex problems. QED.

@ profbruce @ quantum_entity

postscript: a few things to remember about selling–

-selling is telling

-people want what they can’t have

-they move towards that which moves away

-they tend to only value that which they pay for

postscript 2: I also learned that Dropbox is an amazing sales tool. If you ask and your client agrees, you can share a folder with them. Once, they’ve accepted, every time you put something new in the folder, they’ll be notified FOREVER (or as long as they share that folder with you.) 

It’s a legal form of “spam”. Obviously, you don’t put anything in there that is inappropriate or irrelevant, but there you have it–a direct connection to clients.

I’d also use it in my supply chain too as well as within my watershed of co-workers and others who participate in my world. 

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.