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Is Anyone Doing Sales Training for the New Economy?

October 21, 2006

You’ve just finished reading your favorite sales newsletter and that creepy feeling starts to set in. Or, you’ve just attended a sales training workshop and you know you’re missing something, but you just can’t put your finger on it. So, you read the blog the sales trainer directed you to, but you still feel strangely empty and edgy. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. It’s the fault of your sales trainer. They missed a small event called – shhhh… don’t tell anyone – the Internet.

Yes, something called the Internet has been invented, but you would never know it from most sales newsletters, web sites or training sessions. These days, too many sales trainers have a bad, bad case of living in the past. And, when it comes to such a crucial and timely topic as your sales process, living in the past is a disease that will cost you a ton of money.

Now, how fair do we want to be in this article? Well, very fair. It is true that sales trainers are not the only people that seem to be missing out on this gargantuan resource. Our school systems are not preparing students with information literacy skills, our corporations are not empowering their employees with online search skills and individuals remain indifferent and overconfident when it comes to the vast resources of the Internet.

But our topic is sales training. So, here is a simple sales training survey that you can conduct on your own. You can make this survey the next time you read a sales newsletter, attend a sales training workshop or visit a sales training web site or blog. Read carefully, take notes carefully and then ask these two questions:

  • Did the training take into account that today’s economy is powered by the spectacular sales resources of the Internet?
  • Did the sales trainer (or writer) help you understand how the online information explosion can empower your sales process?

Unfortunately, we already know what the results of your survey will be, but, please, take the time to do it for yourself. Did something seem to be missing? Was the subject of the Internet covered at all?

We believe they are missing the greatest sales resource of all time. It’s called “information literacy” and it’s fast becoming the next essential sales skill. In fact, information literacy is already the currency of the new sales economy.

What specifically are the sales skills most trainers are missing? They include the following:

Search Engine Skills – can give you the power to surgically pinpoint customer and competitive information in seconds. They can also let you collaborate anywhere and anytime with your sales team. Are you hearing about them from your sales trainer?

News Retrieval – can allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry, know immediately when something is up with your customers and track your competitors’ every move. Are you hearing about this from your sales trainer?

The Invisible Web – allows you to get to the information that even the best search engines can’t find – as well as the information your competitors can’t find. The invisible web is estimated to be many, many times larger than the “visible web” that Google (and other search engines) can find. Are you hearing about this from your sales trainer?

The Paid Web – is where you’ll find new sales leads. The astonishing fact is that many of these resources are incredibly low cost and high value, even for small businesses. Are you hearing about them from your sales trainer?

The Business Resource Web – is comprised of all the incredible online inventions, tools and services that Internet companies are offering to supplement your sales process. Many of these services are free, or ridiculously inexpensive. Are you hearing about these from your sales trainer?

The “Virtual” Invisible Web – is the time saving and empowering stuff you would never know to ask Google for. These services and products are so inventive that most of us have no idea they even exist. Are you hearing about them from your sales trainer?

The Networking Web – allows you to expand your networking relationships into the world’s largest networking arena – the Internet. You’ll meet decision makers, mentors and potential customers you never dreamed you could have access to. Are you hearing about it from your sales trainer?

The Interactive Web – is the fastest growing and hottest sales empowerment area of the Internet. It includes social networking, customer surveys, blogs and more. These services can explode your selling power. Are you hearing about them from your sales trainer?

That’s a long list, and it may seem overwhelming. But, not only can you learn these skills, the best news is that you don’t have to change your current sales approach at all. In fact, Internet literacy powerfully enhances the effectiveness of what you’re already doing.

That’s why we were intrigued to find a sales seminar that included references to the Internet and online sales awareness. Colleen Stanley is giving an executive briefing, “Getting Face Time with Decision Makers” on November 3rd that gave us hope. She will be covering three main topics and this is one of them:

“The second part looks at the impact of the Internet on professional selling and helps participants understand why old selling techniques don’t work with today’s buyer.”

Well, hallelujah! Sheryl and I almost jumped for joy. It seems that maybe we are not the only sales trainers out there who know that the Internet exists. Colleen Stanley seems to know about it, too.

Here’s what we already know about Colleen. She is the founder and president of SalesLeadership. She is an experienced sales trainer who works with both corporations and smaller companies to build high performance sales. And she is an accomplished NSA speaker who is able to weave facts, specific examples and stories to communicate the importance of today’s most critical selling skills.

We can’t wait to see what the second part of her executive briefing is all about. But, just by giving people a glimpse of the “impact of the Internet on professional selling,” she is already light years ahead of the typical sales trainer. Come if you can, but if you absolutely can’t be there, we’ll be reporting on it in an upcoming article. Stay tuned.

Getting Face Time with Decision Makers
Denver, CO – Friday, November 3, 2006
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ($49)
Suite 445D
2420 W. 26th Avenue
Denver, CO 80211

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