For greater sales and profits, salespersons must be intimately acquainted with their products. With deep knowledge and understanding, only then will they be able to present products to the greatest advantage during the sales processes.
A large automotive arm of a multi-faceted conglomerate.
Many of the company’s sales staff fell into either of two categories:
· They knew their product(cars) but they lacked good selling skills.
· They were good sales persons, but had low levels of automotive acumen.
Our challenge was to bring together those two attributes. We had to develop the sales team to have:
1. Good selling skills to engage customers
2. Decent technical knowledge of their products
We are consultants of various backgrounds – business, genetics, finance, marine biology and more. Quite the variety, but no automotive engineers. Therefore, while we could easily train on selling skills, there was a challenge for us to enhance the automotive knowledge of others. We took up the challenge of this assignment through the following stages:
We decided to get trained ourselves in technical knowledge of the automotive industry. Our team attended an intensive automobile course. And we did it at the academy of The Company itself so that not only would we be become much better versed in automotive knowledge, we would also know The Company’s cars intimately.
Additionally, we took the extra mile by researching and looking up The Company’s direct competitors in the market in order to conduct a product comparison analysis from the customers’ perspective.
Then we developed a whole syllabus that addressed both selling skills and detailed product (car) knowledge. We included activities and practical application that made the programme much more practical and fun rather than just theoretical.
Every salesperson, manager – whether from direct outlets or dealerships – were required to go through this programme.
To enhance the process, actual cars were brought to the training venues – The Company’s own models as well as those of the competitors. These gave the participants a valuable hands-on experience of the product, as well as a near-reality sales condition to practice and implement new concepts and skills.
All participants were required to undergo written and practical tests at the end of the programme. The results of the test was used as reference to determine job match and promotion of the team. As such, the participants took this programme every seriously.
1. Improvement of Sales Revenue
In the period immediately following the completion of the programme, The Company recorded an increase of 20% in their overall sales revenue.
Skills in both areas – skills and product knowledge – of the sales personnel increased significantly. Additionally, they were able to provide markedly improved customer service and engagement levels as they also became aware of its importance within the sales process.
The customer engagement experience became identical throughout the country — because the sales force was using identical terminology, dissipating consistent product information and treating customers with uniformly high standards. All because they had been through the same intense Sales Enhancement programme.
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