We received some positive feedback and additional questions based on our last blog post, “How Sticky is Your Sales Training?”. In particular, several sales leaders asked for more on skill drills. We’re pleased to be able to share more on this topic.
One of the disciplines we see high performing sales leaders doing on an on-going basis is developing sales capabilities. One technique to use is what we call skill drills.
A skill drill is an activity that is:
- Short (15 – 20 minutes)
- Practice oriented
- Totally relevant
- Catered to your people
How does it work?
The best way to illustrate this is through an example. Imagine your team needs to do some work on handling objections in prospecting calls.
To develop their skills in this area, first have them bring an objection that’s on their mind, that’s relevant, and that they’ve faced in the last couple of weeks.
Second, review an objection handling process they can use. For example, you first want to acknowledge the objection – empathize. Then, you want to ask a question or ask why that might be an issue. Next, you want to confirm back as a salesperson what they are saying and summarize it. Then you want to respond. With objections, it’s usually empathizing before leaping to a response.
The third step is to practice. Do some practice in the sales meeting around handling that objection. Then facilitate feedback.
That’s a skill drill example. In twenty minutes, you can weave it into a sales meeting. You can take the same kind of process with other skill areas: for example, with a positioning statement, or questioning, or opening a call. You can do the same for knowledge.
There might be an offering or product area that your team really needs to work on. You can have them practice in the team meeting to position that product. Skill drills are a discipline that will really help embed sales capabilities.