Today’s marketplace is changing faster than at any other time in history. This is particularly true with electronics that may only be on the market for months before a new version is available.
The reality of a rapidly shifting marketplace means that sales managers must train their teams to sell new products and services quickly before the competition does. Below are some best practices for selling in new and evolving markets.
Customize the Sales Training Process
Effective training with sales representatives starts with trainers showing that they understand their challenges and how they typically sell to customers. That gets salespeople more engaged in the training process from the start. One way to build this level of empathy early on is to make it clear that the trainer will reference case studies, examples, and scenarios from the same line of business. Using specific examples from the sales representatives themselves also helps the entire training group feel more in tune with the process.
Consider a Contest or Rewards System
Breaking into a new market or learning how to sell a new product can be challenging for even the most experienced sales representatives. One way to increase personal motivation and to create excitement among the entire team is to start a contest or set up a system of rewards. The winning prize can be something as simple as earning a prime parking spot for a month or switching to a preferred work schedule.
It can also be helpful to adjust compensation to match new expectations. This could mean sales representatives earning a higher percentage of the profit when selling specific new items or when meeting quota in a new market. This is one instance when sales managers must be intuitive enough to understand what motivates their sales staff and then provide the most personalized motivation possible.
Space the Training Out Over Several Days or Weeks if Possible
Learning a lot of new information in a short time can cause cognitive fatigue even among those with a sharp attention span. The brain will simply tire after a while and not be able to retain information from the training sessions as well towards the end as it could in the beginning.
It’s always better to teach people when they’re at their sharpest. Instead of sitting all day in a conference room, sales trainers could consider sending out short training modules that the representative views on his or her computer and then takes a test to indicate mastery of the new topic. Spreading these modules out over a few weeks just might help salespeople retain information better and have greater success with new markets, products, and services.
How to Begin a Sales Campaign in a New Target Market
It’s one thing to desire to move into a new market and another to plan how to be successful with it. Sales organizations should consider which techniques have worked well in the past such as direct email campaigns, online marketing, and networking in person.
However, it’s also important to consider that what worked well in one area may be less successful in another. Tracking campaign results is essential to determine what is working well and what may require some changes.