A question I get ALL the time: How are you so good at coming up with top tracks? How are you so good with words and knowing exactly what to say in sales conversations?
The answer is practice. We have all heard the data before that to develop mastery it takes 10,000 hours. It takes 10,000 hours to master sales. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a sales expert.
When it comes to developing sales mastery, we must run the drills. As entrepreneurs, as CEOs, we tend to get frustrated with our sales teams when they’re not performing at the rate that we want them to.
Maybe it’s because they haven’t run the drills or had enough practice.
We kind of get stuck between a rock and a hard place because we don’t want them practicing on real leads, but we need them practicing on real leads in order to actually hit sales goals. It creates this chicken or the egg problem.
We wind up with salespeople that we never fully train. They never get up to speed because they haven’t run the drills and we’re afraid to let them practice.
So how do we develop mastery?
It all comes down to TWO things. Study & practice.
#1 Start Studying Sales
That’s why we create all this content for you.
- Read the books.
- Listen to the podcast.
- Start recording your sales calls so that your sales team can listen to it as you bring them on board, and you can use that as teaching opportunities.
We are constantly studying.
Kelly Roach and I were talking about the idea that we want to train for business like athletes train for sport.
What is something that athletes do?
They watch game tape. They study. That’s why we have so many resources out there available to you. There are fantastic sales books that you can read. I’ve read all of them, some of them multiple times. Becoming a student as sales is an excellent way to develop sales mastery. I encourage my sales team to become a student of their craft.
I don’t care if it’s books, blogs, videos – whatever.
They are always studying. My team members are experts at sales, experts at social selling, and they study constantly.
#2 Practice makes perfect
We need to make sure that we practice. This could be in the form of roleplay. Doing role plays before the team is a fantastic way to practice. What I tell our clients at Social Sellers Academy when we role-play is that role-playing is the hardest thing you will ever do. If you can roleplay sales conversation in front of your peers, in front of your boss, it will never be that hard in front of a prospect.
Role-playing in that environment, you’re going to:
- Be nervous
- Be uncomfortable
- Trip over your words
- Do the wrong things
Once you can get comfortable in that environment, you’re going to crush it. Make sure that there is time for role plays with your team. Role-play all different parts of the sales process. The objections, the consultations, asking for the sale – all of it.
Another fantastic way to help your team develop sales mastery is to audit their direct messages. We call these DM audits. Direct message audits (or email audits) – however your team is reaching out to new prospects.
Make sure that you’re going through those together and you’re coaching them on things like:
- “Hey, we’re here I would have said this”
- “Here you could have asked this question”
- “Here’s an opportunity for improvement”
- “Here’s something you could have done a little differently”
Offering that coaching in real-time based on those conversations is going to give them that feedback in real environments. Sometimes it’s really hard to create just situations just hypothetically, but when they’re in the DMs, taking time every single week to take a look at their DMs, to talk about what’s going on, where are they getting stopped looking at their response rates, it’s a really excellent way to master that, but ultimately the most important part of all of this is not waiting too long to let your sales team get their hands dirty.
- You’re monitoring them.
- You’re making sure that they’re good.
- You’re helping them with their verbiage.
- You’re helping them with their language.
- You’re making sure that their responses are great.
We want them in the DMs within the first couple of weeks on the job. Then we want them in consultations – even if it’s a 3-legged sales call (one with you, the rep, and the client).
We want that happening within that first 30 days. Because then they don’t have that fear. If we get if we wait too long, we create fear. We make it a big deal. They’re worried about screwing up. They never really get the practice and the drills that they need.
Let them get their hands dirty. Understand that YES, of course, they’re going to screw up.
When you first started you screwed up.
When you first started you said all the wrong things in consultations.
When you first started, you had no idea what you were doing.
You learned to do it by practicing.
That’s how we develop mastery.
If we can do as much practice as possible in-house, which is ultimately what we do in Social Sellers Academy, then by the time they’re on the phone with an actual prospect, they’re prepared.
They’ve run the drills, they’ve rehearsed, they know the different scenarios, they can hear your coaching in their ear.
If they’ve watched the tape of you running sales consultations, they kind of know the flow. There are all these different ways to set them up for success, but unfortunately, we don’t really focus on this enough. We don’t focus on the idea of mastery and studying and getting good and training for sales. We just expect when we hired a salesperson that this person should be good at sales. Just because they’re good at sales does not mean that they’re going to knock it out of the park every single time.
Again, to use the athletic reference, I tell my people all the time, we strike out more than they hit. We hit more base hits than we do home runs. We hit more base hits than grand slams.
But, we have to take the swing every single time.
That is how we develop mastery.
That is how we become above average.
- Create a culture of excellence.
- Create a culture of learning.
- Create a culture of performance.
Watch your sales team thrive.