The certification of individual salespeople, or entire sales teams, can be a valuable strategy for tracking and enhancing your company’s level of in-house QBS expertise.
Upon request, QBS instructors can acknowledge the completion of the initial QBS Methodology Training by providing Certificates of Participation. Though a Certificate of Participation isn’t the same as earning a Masters degree or Ph.D., recognizing the completion of a Question Based Selling program emphasizes the client’s commitment to sales development and provides participants with one more line item that can be added to their continuing educational profile.
As companies work harder and harder to convey greater value, especially in today’s increasingly competitive business environment, the messages being communicated are becomming less and less impactful. —Thomas A Freese
Implementing a Train-the-Trainers model for Question Based Selling requires a higher level of expertise, certifying that client resources are appropriately trained on how to teach and coach QBS internally.
The first step toward certifying a team of internal trainers is participating in the initial QBS Methodology Training. In order to effectively teach or coach Question Based Selling, one must first have a good understanding of fundamental QBS concepts, like:
- The Herd Theory™
- Conversational Layering™
- Conversational Dynamics™
- PAS Positioning™ vs. SPA
- Manufacturing Mini-Invitations™
- Gold Medals™ & German Shepherds™
- Turning Cold Calls into Luke Warm Calls
- Leveraging Curiosity to Increase Mindshare
- Managing Scope, Focus, & Disposition
- Mismatching™: The Avoidable Risk
- Humbling Disclaimers™
- Global Questions™
From there, learning how to teach QBS requires at least one Advanced QBS session, where candidates are exposed to the curriculum progression and underlying logic that maximizes the transfer of knowledge and ensures a rapid adoption of the specific techniques and strategies taught in Question Based Selling.
Prerequisite: QBS® License Agreement
Clients who implement a Train-the-Trainers model must first have a QBS® License granting usage rights according to the terms of the agreement. Otherwise, all QBS content, courseware, and training materials represent copyrighted intellectual property, and all rights are reserved. Click for more information about Train the Trainers programs or QBS® Licensing.
Top 10 Fallacies of the Old School
Certifying sales leaders or internal trainers “how” to teach (and coach) Question Based Selling can be very rewarding, but that doesn’t make it easy. Given the ‘headwinds’ that sellers now face in terms of increased competition, customer skepticism, and the need to differentiate themselves from the rest of ‘noise’ in the marketplace, a fair amount of old-school sales thinking needs to be ‘unwound’ and sometimes discarded in order for sales teams to implement and adopt a more effective approach.
For example, below is a “Top Ten” list of outdated tactics that no longer make sense in today’s selling environment, even though much of this thinking has been deeply ingrained into the traditional sales mindset over the last 30+ years.
- The Elevator Pitch: In competitive markets, a 30-second introductory ‘pitch’ filled with hype and industry buzzwords is one of the quickest ways to commoditize your value proposition, causing customers to shift their focus from the value of your solutions to a discussion about price.
- Probing for Needs: In addition to a customer’s reluctance to share information with a salesperson they don’t yet know or trust, attempting to uncover a need tends to limit your opportunity, as potential buyers don’t always recognize the full extent of their need(s).
- Building Rapport: Old-school approaches taught salespeople to first build personal relationships in order to create opportunities to provide value. Today, the opposite is true. Providing value first is the key to developing successful business relationships.
- Always Be Closing: Gaining credibility, differentiating yourself, and conveying value are just a few of the prerequisites required prior to asking for commitments from the customer.
- Pain Points: ‘Pain’ represents only a small fraction of the motivations that drive purchase decisions. Understanding a customer’s goals, wants, desires, and objectives can unlock many revenue opportunities that would otherwise go untapped by focusing solely on identifying pain points.
- Qualifying Too Early: While qualifying questions are beneficial to the vendor, they offer little or no value to customers. That’s why it’s important to pique the customer’s interest and gain some level of traction with the customer before asking self-serving questions.
- “Killer” Phrases: What you say matters. What customers hear matters more. You’d be amazed at how many phrases have been embedded into our selling vernacular over the years that can “kill” an opportunity.
- Asking Too Much, Too Soon: Given that people are reluctant to share information with someone they don’t yet know or trust, sellers must first ‘earn the right’ to ask in-depth sales questions.
- Abusive Slide Decks: What’s more important to customers—their goals, or listening to a long-winded sales pitch? If your PPT deck opens with your company’s logo slide, followed by a mission statement, a history slide, an industry growth slide, a testimonial slide full of customer logos, and then a consulting study, that’s a sure-fire way to lose the customer’s attention in the first 5 minutes of your presentation.
- Features vs. Benefits: The features your solutions offer are only beneficial if they address one or more recognized needs that have been acknowledged by the customer.
Customers today are more discerning and more sophisticated, and they are no longer willing to endure a steady stream of cold-callers from vendors wanting to “probe” for needs. Thus, it’s more important than ever for sellers step outside the box of traditional sales thinking, in order to separate yourself and your team from the rest of the “noise” in the marketplace.
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