Over the last 100 years, organizations of all sizes have had sales meetings, often on a weekly basis, in an effort to train, educated, and improve the company’s sales numbers.
Companies big and small have embraced this culture and up until now, it has worked quite well.
But as they say—all good things must come to an end.
In the Buying Process, Marketing is More Important than Sales
And in this case, “the end” has arrived for traditional sales meetings and trainings, at least the way we’ve always understood them.
Now don’t get me wrong folks, the essence of good selling is an eternal principle—understanding the prospect’s problems, clearly communicating empathy and solutions, and then finding a way to earn the business are critical skills that will always be essential.
But the fact of the matter is, as I’ve stated before here on TSL, the digital age has ushered in a new way of doing business. Consumers have the ability to reach unheard-of education levels *before* they ever talk with a sales person, which is exactly why the following statement is one organizations globally must soon not only accept, but embrace as well:
Marketing departments are more important than sales departments.
It’s true, at least in terms of consumer buying behavior, so let’s just all get over it and start to deal with the consequences. The studies are blatantly obvious and if anyone wants to argue with this reality, all they need to do is look at their own buying patterns to see that the thing we call “the internet” is going to be every company’s “Salesperson of the Month” from now until the end of time.
This point brings me back to the subject of this article.
What the Future of Sales Trainings Will Look Like
Today, if an organization thinks that doing role-plays and upping cold-call quotas is going to suffice for an effective sales training, they are grossly mistaken. In fact, as I look ahead, here are 5 components to company sales meetings that will become a standard practice moving forward:
1. The CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or at least someone in the marketing department will always be in attendance, with the main purpose to continue to instill the vision of the company’s digital and content marketing (including overall messaging) to the sales department.
2. Content brainstorming sessions, based on the questions the sales department is currently hearing, will be a common practice so as to ensure the best, real-time content is being published by the company/brand.
3. Instead of just “Sales Quotas” being pushed and talked about, “Content Quotas” from the sales department will be emphasized as well, as each member will be expected to produce a certain amount of content with assistance from the marketing department.
4. There will be heavy discussion on the company’s current content marketing efforts. This will help those in sales be fully aware of what tools are available to them (eBooks, webinars, videos, etc.) to help prospects further advance down the sales funnel.
5. Because the sales department will be so heavily involved in producing the content (Insourcing), there will be trainings (likely from someone in marketing) on writing/video/communication best practices, with the constant goal of helping each employee to understand the “What,” “How,” and “Why” of Content marketing.
Content Marketing Workshops are Not Enough to Establish a Culture
A few years ago I started teaching Content Marketing Workshops around the country in an effort to help entire organizations eliminate silos and catch the vision of this incredibly important movement. Although those workshops have often been the catalyst of some of the most incredible case studies within the content marketing realm today, I also realize that simply having one company-wide workshop is not enough.
Here at The Sales Lion, most of our clients are now doing some type of content marketing workshop with their staff on an annual basis. Furthermore, as this article has discussed, sales trainings have taken a dramatic shift as well with the inclusion of the five items mentioned above– something that is having a HUGE impact on both the sales and marketing departments.
The bottom line is cultures are not established overnight, and if a culture of content marketing is going to occur where silos are eliminated and all those persons in sales (and other departments) see themselves as “marketers” the efforts need to be constant, consistent, and built to last.
Embrace the Change
Although very few organizations are currently doing what I’m describing in this post, I have seen the possibilities that can happen if these principles are embraced.
Without question, sales departments can become a company’s greatest marketing evangelist and asset.
Silos can be eliminated.
A new vision can be created.
And something as simple as changing the way we’ve always done sales meetings is the perfect place to start.
What say you?