Missed-TargetA senior vice president of sales told me he needed sales training for his team. I asked “why?” His answer: “So our millennials can learn to sell to the C-suite.”

This goal is unattainable and useless. There isn’t a sales person worth his or her bonus that would not say that the first and most important factor in sales is relationships. No matter how terrific your sales process, or your unique value proposition, if there is no peer-to-peer relationship, there is no sale.

When was the last time you observed a CXO with a relationship with a millennial that was peer-to-peer? Never.

So trying to train younger people to sell to the C-suite will result in a waste of money, time and opportunities.

Set the right sales training
goal before you buy professional development. For example for entry level or junior sales persons set these goals:

  • The entry level or junior sales person needs to learns the art of conversation.
  • They need to learn to take every single feature and benefit of your product or service and articulate the extensive and meaningful, tangible and intangible values the buyer will enjoy.
  • They need to integrate the value conversation so it is second nature and they never slip back into features/benefits and pricing models. This only comes from many, many times in front of prospects with whom they are peers.
  • They find or are given buyers with whom they are peers, so they experience how peer-to-peer improves their success.
  • They are evaluated on and rewarded for a range of qualitative efforts, not only quantitative results.

Buyers are smarter, more informed and more protective of their interests than ever. You can’t bludgeon them with facts and prices. You can win them over with highly polished and effective relationship building-skills. That should be the goal of every SVP who has young sales people to train.