“Telesales is probably the hardest sales job. While in-person conversations are ideal, they often aren’t realistic in today’s virtual world. That can lead account teams to chase numbers, rather than focus on quality calls.”
Not-for-profit organizations must translate stellar reputations into equally outstanding revenues, all while competing with limited resources.
Such is the case for a US-based business nonprofit organization. The Executive Director of Sales believed her 10-person account team could bring in more business and called on ValueSelling Associates to show everyone how it’s done. She chose ValueSelling based on her previous experience at another organization.
“I didn’t look at anybody else,” she said. “I went with something I already knew to be ef- fective and to work.”
Her primary goal was to meet her annual goal. Secondarily, she wanted to hit the ball out of the park by coming in over plan. But to achieve such an increase, the account team would need to overcome key (and common) obstacles including:
“While they are industry recognized, they are also playing in a busy market space with both large and boutique competition,” explained ValueSelling Associate Jim Roche, who designed a curriculum that began with a 4 to 6 hour, Web-based preliminary course. This allowed everyone to enter a two-day, onsite workshop 10 days later with a basic understanding of ValueSelling’s methodology.
A prerequisite web-based 4-hour course introducing the ValueSelling Framework® methodology, principles, tools and nomenclature.
ValueSelling Framework® 2 Day Workshop
With customized curriculum and case studies developed specifically for the non-profit organization.
A version of the ValuePrompter® that works inside the non-profit’s CRM/SFA platform.
“The training gave people a level of confidence and energy as well as reasons to call back people and reengage them,” the sales director. “We are definitely over plan so far, and it looks like the energy is still here. We, as a group, now are looking at things differently and creating our own questions using the methodology.”
With the average tenure among the account team from 5 to 7 years, some among the group weren’t convinced that training would make any difference in their performance.
“Anytime you introduce something new, people are going to be a little wary,” she said. “They were telling me, ‘I already know how to sell.’ That all changed during the first class.”
Using a customized, real-world and company specific case study, the sales professionals quickly began practical application of ValueSelling in the classroom. They soon realized that the training provided a method to understand a prospect’s business issues, reach the right levels of decision makers, and develop a greater sense of urgency.
By asking the right questions of the right people, they could then better demonstrate the unique value of their products and services.
“Telesales is probably the hardest sales job,” Roche said. “While in-person conversations are ideal, they often aren’t realistic in today’s virtual world. That can lead account teams to chase numbers, rather than focus on quality calls that take longer, but yield greater results.”
Roche introduced the team to easy-to-use, repeatable tools within the ValueSelling Framework: the ValuePrompter®, Qualified Prospect Formula® and Opportunity Assessment Tool. He also provided a follow-up coaching session with the sales director, who plans to deploy the electronic version of the ValuePrompter later in the year.
In particular, the team will be taught how the eValuePrompter® integrates with their customer relationship management system. One big benefit of the ValuePrompter® is to help overcome an obstacle common to many sales teams: accurate forecasting.
Within a month of the ValueSelling Framework being introduced, the team saw dramatic results. For instance one account rep who after four years had never closed an opportunity at list price, closed four in that month.
“The training gave people a level of confidence and energy as well as reasons to call back people and reengage them,” the sales director observed. That momentum has continued into 2011. “We are definitely over plan so far, and it looks like the energy is still here. We, as a group, now are looking at things differently and creating our own questions using the methodology.”
One way she helps reinforce the lessons learned is through friendly competitions. Recently, everyone was asked to submit questions to engage prospects for a new product being offered. The account rep who submitted the best set of questions, as determined by popular vote, received a $25 movie gift card.
Roche believes that momentum will continue and lead to real results for the nonprofit.
“They are going to get better than expected growth year over year with the same size account team,” Roche said. “The cost of goods sold as a percentage of revenue will go down, while revenues will go up – which is the best equation in the world for any organization.”