Sales Standards if set well and followed will deliver predictable revenue and consistent outcomes.
Sales Standards are the answer. Sales standards are not policies and procedures. They are a set of best practices, lessons learned, and minimal operating procedures that help create a discipline that forms the baseline for team learning.
One particular element of Sales Standards that really resonates with me is knowing the difference between knowledge and capability. Let me explain – Did you know that you can start a fire by rubbing two sticks together? Of course, you did! Everyone knows that right? But can you do it? I expect the answer for most people is… “No. I’ve never tried it.” And there in a nutshell is the difference between knowledge and capability. Too often training revolves around bombarding learners with theories and conceptions, and that’s fine.
Theories and concepts lay the foundation for future understanding, but capability means not just knowing something… it means being able to do something. To build capability you have to practice. Sometimes that means practising one on one with an actor, or a facilitator and sometimes that means going through a demanding immersive experience etc.
Knowledge often turns into capability through a spark and you never know where that spark will come from, and it may take a while to spot some smoke, but eventually, with enough practice, support and dry wood, flames will appear. We don’t understand complex emotions like love, loss and loneliness by just reading the words.
We understand these emotions from experiencing them. The elements of Learning and Development are no different and that’s why Alchemist creates training experiences that help you do more, not just know more.
Why are sales standards so important today? If you’ve not read it yet then you must, Daniel Pink’s book, ‘To sell is human’, tells us that 9 out of 10 people sell. Be that persuading, convincing or influencing others, you’ll be doing it all day long.
Many say that history is our best teacher and that’s exactly what Arthur Miller said in Death of a Salesman in 1949; ‘The only thing you got in this world is what you can sell and the funny thing is, you’re a salesman, and you don’t know that’.
Alchemist was founded on the idea that knowledge can only take people so far. And no matter how far it takes them, it will only ever be for a limited period of time. If you give someone a pamphlet on How To Lead they will read it, try to do it, forget it, then just go back to what they were doing before. If you demonstrate leadership to someone, they will try to mirror you, think about what you would do in a situation, and never think for themselves, and try to fit one size of shoe on every foot that pokes in the door. But if you force someone to lead, in a safe environment, whilst providing guidance and assistance, they will have no choice but to become a leader, and to create their own style of leadership built on knowledge and tried and tested methods. And that embeds the learning deep within. So that in real life situations the learner knows how to apply the knowledge, rather than just regurgitate it. They become capable.
We don’t understand complex emotions like love, loss and loneliness by just reading the words. We understand these emotions from experiencing them. The elements of Learning and Development are no different.