3 Keys for Building Solid Sales Relationships


Lauren Taylor

You just got played!

Do you remember a time when you wrote off the entire company or product based on an initial conversation with the sales team? How long did that bad impression sit with you? If you’re like me, it probably stuck with you for quite some time & to this day you remember how they made you feel. We are human and more than anything else we remember how people make us feel.

Setting a Foundation for a Sale

Trust, honesty, and transparency are at the center of a solid sales relationship. No one wants to buy from a person or company that they cannot trust. At the root of this, sales teams cannot possess these characteristics if they don’t fully understand the product(s) and service(s) that they are selling as well as how it solves the customer's challenges.

A sales team can make or break a customer relationship by not building a good foundation. They are the first line of contact and make the first impression of the company/product. They have the immense opportunity to build trust, understand customer problems, and articulate how they can help solve the challenges. Trust is built by knowing the product & truly understanding the challenges the customers face. Not just head knowledge but real application-based knowledge by understanding the customer's challenges and how the product helps them. This can’t be done if the sales team doesn’t know the software interface, interactions & have a solid understanding of the industry challenge.

Story #1: Be Authentic

I have two personal stories where one company lost a customer and the other gained a very dissatisfied customer. One situation resulted from a bad gut feeling from the sales rep that presented the software. Leaving the potential customer hesitant to trust what they were saying the entire presentation & ultimately left the team convinced that it wasn’t the product for their needs. Given it was more than purely the unsettling feeling from the salesperson that turned the team away from the product; the admin side was a nightmare! However, in the end, what I remember most is how the team felt leaving that meeting. It’s been 3 years since this occurrence and I still get that grimey feeling thinking about that sales call, and the company.

Story #2: Be Honest & Transparent

Encounter number two dealt with dishonesty. When coming across a salesperson who answers your “can it do this?” questions with “absolutely!”, every — single- time, it is a red flag! If a sales member doesn’t show the customer, makes excuses, and can’t in detail explain how the process would work… then they are probably feeding up some hogwash. Sales need to be prepared to answer detailed questions and show the customer exactly how it works. The customer should question everything! The salesperson should be able to answer most questions. Most importantly, if not they should respond with the honest answer, “I’m not sure but I will find out.”

Sales teams should avoid giving generic answers as this is a sign of either the software not working as the customer intends or dishonesty. The potential customer should be asking questions about their user's experience and how the process flow works. In some cases, maybe the software can “technically” do xyz but only after jumping through 30 hoops to jimmy rig the system. In this case, the salesperson should honestly answer the limitations.

Put in the work upfront

Building a team of knowledgeable experts in the software & customer challenges is crucial to a successful sale. We need sales to have accurate information at their fingertips. As well as the product training to be up to date as the software changes. It’s not a one & done situation, it’s ongoing as the software changes. Up until this point, this has been near impossible to keep sales in the know with all the documentation of the latest interface updates & feature enhancements. Not impossible but requires a ton of resources including people, time, and screenshots!

We need to provide training to the sales team, upfront & also have it accessible in the application to reference when they are at the place in the application and not sure of something. Putting together a workflow to teach them the different aspects of the application ahead of time in conjunction with how it solves the customer's problem is an absolute must. Expecting them to remember everything, is not realistic. This is when having those training available outside of the LMS or platform of their initial training is a huge benefit as you support their learning journey.

Using iorad makes this possible with limited resources. Fewer people, less time creating & updating, and an easy way for the sales team to consume the application knowledge. Create iorad’s, embed them in an LMS platform, and then give your sales team access to all these tutorials in the iorad browser extension while they are in the application learning.

Want to learn more… contact us!