On yesterday’s post, we discussed how to begin the implementation process for a successful mentor program in your sales organization.Read Post
Today, let’s discuss the training and communication that is needed if your mentor program is going to be effective.
Be A Sales Tour Guide: Your mentors should be Sales Tour Guides, not sales travel agents. Teach your mentors that for the new hire to become a long term productive team member, they must become loyal to you, your team, and your company. The relationship between the mentor and the new hire will be one of the most important factors in the development of that bond. That bond develops from being side-by-side in live selling situations. Travel agents give advice from an office. Tour Guides get into the arena with the traveler.
Process Training: It is vital that your mentor team be on the same page with your organizational sales process. Of course, a certain amount of creativity and personality must be taken into account. However, there should be a consistent process that is messaged to all new hires. Don’t assume – confirm that your mentors are skillful at all of the basic skill sets that a new hire should learn, such as lead generation, prospecting, discovery, presentation of recommendations and closing. Have a mini-refresher course for them. I also would suggest your process training spend extra time on some of the following:
- Value Communication – spend time on establishing how you, your product and/or service, and your company bring value to the client that goes above and beyond the transaction. What are the value adds which differentiate you from your competition? Train your mentors on the methods that effectively communicate that value.
- Follow-Up Skills – how to maintain proper call records and planning for future contacts. Focus on developing the relationships and bringing additional value to the equation at each contact.
- Target Client Acquisition – identifying those larger clients that normally take longer to obtain, but are game changers for your sales team. My friend S. Anthony Iannarino calls these clients “Dream Clients”. In my sales career, we referred to them as target clients. All new sales people will find their “sweet spot”, or the average size of sale that is made for their industry. Those are easier to close and that is where 80% of the new hire’s time should be spent. However, 20% of their time should be spent identifying and effectively building relationships with potential clients that are in the target client area.
Effective Field Training Methodology: Mentors should be taught a consistent field training methodology and have opportunity to roleplay that process.
“The mentor must have the mentality that until they see the new hire’s success in live selling situations, the new hire has not learned the skill.”
- Demonstration – Your new hire needs to see the mentor successfully demonstrate your sales process in live selling situations – not just the classroom.
- Observation – The mentor must see the new hire successfully use your sales process in live selling situations. The mentor must have the mentality that until they see the new hire’s success in live selling situations, the new hire has not learned the skill.
- Feedback – Your mentor must learn effective ways to give feedback that provides excellent coaching in a way that builds skill and relationships. They can’t be unwilling to correct. However, they must do so in such a way that builds your new hire up.
I am running a little long this morning. We will discuss communication and accountability in tomorrow’s post.
QUESTION: A great question given to me by my friend Jason Sczepaniak in Wisconsin – In your current role, if you could have a day in the field with your sales leader – what would be the one skill you would have them coach you on for the day? What would that day look like?