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October 30, 2018

Darren Stordahl on 3 Ways To Get Your Team On Board With A New Sales Method

Darren Stordahl B2B podcast episode

GUEST: Darren Stordahl, VP of Sales and Marketing at FMT Consultants

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Is your selling method not working anymore?

Have you and your sales team been doing the same old thing without any new results?

Then it’s probably time to pick a new method of approach. 

But picking a new sales method for your company is hard enough with the countless options available.

Darren Stordahl, VP of Sales and Marketing at FMT Consultants, joined us to talk about 3 ways you can get your team on board with a new sales method. As the leader in customer engagement at FMT, he knew the sales method his team was using simply wasn’t working anymore. There had to be some change for there to be growth. 

When looking at all the available options, he knew there was one particular thing that was important to his team: people buy from people. The method he would choose had to be centered around engaging the client personally.

Darren was hoping to address two things in his company:


1. Complexity:

FMT had fundamentally different options, solutions, and approaches that were available to their clients. With a small sales team, the variations were impossible to match making it difficult to grow as a business.

2. Customer Alignment:

A sales team member that is confident and clear on what they are saying can actually execute independently. Darren wanted to end the confusion in how to move through each engagement. By cutting out all the different practices, the sales team would have one efficient and proven method to be successful.

Hoping to address these two issues, Darren chose ValueSelling as FMT’s new sales methodology.

 

He felt confident that ValueSelling would:

  1. Allow the sales team to engage the client better. Engagement is fundamental to their business, and this method put more emphasis on connection.
  2. Give them the means to collect important information from their clients. ValueSelling is a customer-centric approach to business that puts a focus on listening.
  3. Minimize the tricks and techniques in sales and instead focus on finding that genuine conversation with each client. It would give his team a structure they could follow while still being able to personalize it to their own styles.

But getting internal buy-in can be an even bigger hurdle to jump than choosing a new method. So how do you it successfully?

“There’s compliance and there’s pretend compliance and then there’s commitment,” Darren said.

There’s no magic bullet, but here are three things that helped FMT get internal support:


Show them it’s not working:

Darren was very intentional about laying out what they already had and what within that was not working.

Ask yourself and your team one critical question: Will what we have in our approach allow us to reach our goals and objectives, and service our customers well? 

If the answer is yes, great. You’re in a good place and probably don’t need to seek out a new methodology. But if it’s not, then the first step is getting your team to see that what you currently have is not working. You have to start with getting everyone on the same page by agreeing to the truth in that critical first question.

 

"There's compliance and there's pretend compliance and then there's commitment."
 
DARREN STORDAHL,
VP OF SALES AND MARKETING AT FMT CONSULTANTS
 
 

Spend time in the pre-engagement period:

FMT didn’t rush into adopting this new sales method or force it upon the consultants. They began by talking to other folks that had been using the ValueSelling method. Not only did they have to get their team to recognize there was an issue in their current method, but they had to spend time understanding the repercussions of not changing.

That pre-engagement and the pre-commitment period was crucial in allowing FMT’s team to understand why ValueSelling would be the best method to help them scale. They were persistent in the need to adopt this method.

Get them comfortable with new words:

In the beginning, a new set of vocabulary was intimidating for the consultants. You’re changing the way they’re used to engaging with their clients and making money, and these brand new terms come with an expectation of fulfillment.

But repetition can help.

Darren using the new terminology consistently helped make that transition more seamless. In the pre-engagement period, he continuously talked about things like defining a qualified prospect and QP formula. New words they would all soon adopt.

 

"It becomes something you are, not something you do."
 
Darren Stordahl,
VP of Sales and Marketing at FMT Consultants
 

 

So if you’re hoping to adopt a new sales methodology at your company, make sure you’re thinking about these three main takeaways from someone who’s done it successfully.


1. Make it a part of the DNA:

ValueSelling works and uniquely aligns the sales team with the customer. But you need to understand how the process works; you also have to take the time to get comfortable with the new language. And really this goes for any sales method you choose.

FMT added the ValueSelling method into their internal CRM so their sales team could have the resources readily available as they move through an engagement. Through this, they have a way to find really good, accurate information really quickly. Getting into the CRM made the method a part of the documented structure of the business; a part of the company’s DNA.

2. Training and repetition is everything:

Consistent training makes everyone more successful. Training isn’t something you do once and then forget about. Once you get to a certain state, you should take your team to the next level and work that for a while, then do some corrections and go to the next level again.

FMT looks for the tools that help move the method forward and work within that method- until everyone can see that it works. It may take a few times, but it’s worth the effort.

3. Don’t Push:

If you get your team on board the right way, the training becomes requested. All FMT does is show everyone the value of the methodology and then they request it because they can see that it works.

They show them how it helps one make better decisions and engage clients more deeply. They teach them the value at the initial level and then keep going deeper. When your team sees it in action, they get excited because it streamlines their work process as well.

Whatever new sales methodology you’re thinking about adopting, it’s possible to get the internal buy-in that will make the transition smooth sailing.

This post is based on an interview with Darren Stordahl, VP of Sales and Marketing at FMT Consultants. To hear this episode, and many more like it, subscribe to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience Podcast.