As channel manager, you have numerous responsibilities in maintaining your growing indirect sales ecosystem – and one of the most important is encouraging ongoing development in your partner sales staff. If they aren’t selling, you aren’t profiting. Worse, if they aren’t selling your products or services, they’re probably selling someone else’s instead.
So, enabling smart sales training among your partners helps your ecosystem in multiple ways. Beyond helping your bottom line, it will also increase your mindshare among your partners, and encourage them to see you as a leader among their sales partners.
These are some of the skills you should emphasize, whenever discussing or delivering training to your partners.
Six Critical Sales Skills Your Partners Want To Perfect
1. Lead generation
Even if your ecosystem emphasizes inbound marketing, that doesn’t mean your sales staff has to wait around waiting for opportunities. Work with them to develop their social media investigation skills, and how to nurture leads in danger of being lost. This is a great opportunity to use role-play, or crafted scenarios in e-learning modules.
2. Rebutting common objections
As the vendor, you’re in a perfect situation to compile lists of common objections your sales partners hear – and develop rebuttals to them. We’d even suggest maintaining a database of such objections and responses, so your staff can train on them whenever they’re working on their sales skills. Once well-trained, they should know those responses by heart.
3. Screening and qualifying buyers
Have you made buyer personas, or otherwise defined your ideal customers? Your sales partners need training on exactly who your products/services are for – as well as who they’re not for. Run some tests or exercises to help your partners properly identify your most qualified buyers.
Remember: most of the time good lead-nurturing is about quality, not quantity. Your partner sales staff shouldn’t be wasting time chasing poorly-qualified leads. Let the small fish go, and focus on the big ones.
4. Listening skills
Salespeople today must have great listening skills. Buyers don’t want to be told what they want; they want to describe their problems and then hear about solutions. Canned sales pitches will turn most buyers off, particularly if they’re under 40. Work with your sales partners to improve their staff’s listening skills, encouraging them to always adjust their sales tactics to match each individual lead.
OK, so maybe your partners know your products backwards and forwards – but do they know your competition? Just about every field and industry is flooded with competing solutions. Your sales partners should be well familiar with your major competitors, and how your product is differentiated from theirs. This will also help your partners with buyer qualification as well!
Finally, don’t neglect closing strategies in your training. Chances are your partners are already emphasizing this in their own internal development, but you can help by adding data and strategies. Look through your database for your top-performing partners and – hopefully – their top-performing individual agents. Give them an opportunity to present the closing strategies they use, so that staff throughout your ecosystem can benefit from their insights.
Create Great Opportunities For Ongoing Development With LogicBay
Our centralized Partner Relationship Management (PRM) platform allows you to offer robust e-learning and resources, paired with individual per-person success tracking. With LogicBay PRM, your partners can come to see you as a valuable resource for training – increasing their engagement and investment in your ecosystem. Contact us directly for a free demonstration!