Sales training firm SalesGym360 has linked arms with recruiter Michael Page in a move it hopes will help improve the channel by developing its salespeople.
SalesGym360 was set up a year ago by Darren Spence, who used to run Bytes' Document Management Solutions business, and was later sales and marketing director at Content and Code.
The company works with resellers to train sales staff through task-based activities in four key areas: prospecting and connecting; selling value, not products; structuring communications; and forecasting.
"Unfortunately, salespeople have a tendency to vomit information"
The Michael Page tie-up sees the firm work exclusively with the recruiter, training the sales staff it places. Existing sales teams placed by the recruiter can also get the SalesGym360 treatment.
Spence (pictured, right) said the partnership is an exciting step for the company he founded and added that a new type of training is becoming increasingly important in today's cloudy world.
He said he thinks selling today is harder than it was in the past.
"I grew up in a time where people invested in sales training and now people don't. If you're an IT director, you have to be business savvy. If you're a 25-year-old salesperson trying to compete with someone who has been selling for 15 years longer than you, you have to be credible and understand how businesses work. That requires a lot more training," he said.
"Back when I was growing up in sales, I could have got away with understanding about features, prices and benefits. It's so much more than that these days. It's about being relevant and encouraging organisations to come to you. And you didn't have to do that so much."
Spence said the biggest problem salespeople have today is oversharing with customers.
"Unfortunately, salespeople have a tendency to vomit information," he said. "We've all seen examples of emails on LinkedIn when once you connect, all of a sudden you get that inbox of horror where it's just vomit. Unfortunately, salespeople are guilty of this. We like to give away too much information. The challenge with that is, if you write everything down and send it to a client, you've given them no reason to contact you. It's trying to help them understand that less is more."
Talk of cloud technology and solutions has taken over the industry in recent years, with large vendors keen to help their channels pivot from traditional product and software sales to solutions and cloud services instead. Coupled with the boom in social media and the ease of searching companies online, salespeople have to work harder than ever to sell to prospects, Spence said.
"We try to encourage them to stop talking about the feeds and speeds," he said. "In the cloud and with solutions, we need to be thinking about why organisations would think about investing in cloud technology.
"We're still working in a culture where we're encouraged to hit the phones and make 100 calls a day. While I am not anti-phone - I think phones are a good thing - it's about before you phone people, take a little time to do a bit of research."
Ian Moyse, cloud expert and sales director at Axios Systems, welcomed any approach which aims to improve the sales process, and agreed that in today's world, sellers need to be more on the ball than ever.
"Sales has changed and continues to change," he said. "Gone are the days where the buyer didn't know your wares, wanted you to explain who you are, what you do, and hear the story. Now the buyer dynamic has changed and your prospective customer is more informed than ever before about your company, your products, your competitor, how you rate, and you personally.
"It's all available online 24/7 and not just what you promote, but what they can find. It used to be 'buyer beware', it's now 'seller beware'. Any reputation - good or bad - is all there for you to be confronted with. I advise individuals consider your personal online bio: what does it say about you? What impression does it give? What could they find on you by searching your name? Does it show you in the right light?"
Vendor giant fires love arrow at New Signature and SAP partner Edenhouse
CEO Klaus Schlichtherle says 'sizeable' deal close to being inked as distributor chases €1bn turnover
Deloitte has been appointed as administrator for the struggling distie
It's been announced that billionaire tech pioneer Paul Allen died on Monday from non-Hodgkin lymphoma