With the supply chain disrupted, longer sales cycles put added pressure on distributors. While there is no magic wand to fix current problems, distributors can start implementing these four strategies to shorten the sales cycle and provide a more enjoyable customer experience.
#1 Align Marketing and Sales with On-Brand Messaging
Too often, marketing and sales don’t see eye to eye, even though they have the same goals: grow sales and extend reach. This problem increases in channel marketing since it involves different companies working together.
Nearly 20 years ago, BlueVolt, a channel marketing company and SaaS provider, recognized that using eLearning as a marketing tool significantly improved channel partner communications and sales growth. BlueVolt implemented their findings and built a digital network with up-to-the-minute product information that keeps the entire supply chain on message.
Therefore, aligning marketing and sales starts with supplier-created product training. Distributors can share this training with their team members worldwide, ensuring everyone delivers the same brand message as they engage in meaningful conversations with customers.
#2 Raise the Salesmanship Bar by Developing Soft Skills
When you learn more, you sell more, but sometimes you need more than just product knowledge. The world’s problems today are making customers easily agitated, so enhanced people skills are critical to helping sales professionals recognize customer needs and deliver better experiences.
For these reasons, several distributors use BlueVolt’s learning management system (LMS) to administer soft skill courses that help team members grow. BlueVolt customers can also access premade courses through the BlueVolt Course Library (BVCL). Plug and play courses accelerate skills training in multiple topics, including communication tactics and conflict resolution.
#3 Provide Memorable Customer Experiences with Knowledgeable Team Members
A salesperson armed with extensive brand knowledge and enhanced soft skills possesses all the tools they need to deliver excellent customer service and shorten the sales cycle.
For example, let’s say a customer comes to a team member for a project, but their plan has gaps. After completing communication courses, the team member knows how to keep calm and ask the right questions. Plus, all that supplier-created product training has improved the team member’s brand knowledge. They can make informed recommendations that impress the customer.
Thanks to their training, the team member has more confidence and can help the customer fill in the gaps. Doing so enables them to deliver a higher standard of service that closes the sale faster.
#4 Embrace the Digital Revolution Brought on by the Pandemic
Investing in online digital training platforms has kept businesses afloat in the pandemic and will be essential moving forward. Not only are these platforms scalable, but they eliminate several traditional training costs.
Furthermore, digital training platforms can integrate with other systems. BlueVolt’s platform, for instance, can integrate with sales CRM software, so distributors can see precisely how training increases their sales and extends their reach to new markets.
When you combine sales data and training data, you can see all the opportunities and how you can speed up your sales cycle even further. Those benefits come from adding digital tools to your business and your training strategy.
BlueVolt is a pioneer in the eLearning industry. Their solutions help organizations increase sales, build brand awareness, and enhance employee knowledge. BlueVolt's unique Sharing Center connects its product training LMS to a network of more than 5,000 manufacturers, distributors, buying groups, associations, retail partners, and contractors. Customers inside the network leverage the Sharing Center to extend their reach and educate partners about their brands. For more information, visit www.bluevolt.com.