4 Ways you can get your sales colleagues ready for interviews.
Level 1: Blueprinting for Sales site: Send them the link to www.blueprintingforsales.com. Think of this as the “minimum” preparation level. In many cases, this level is “necessary but not sufficient.” Without added preparation, you may still find them a) reluctant to schedule customer interviews, and b) poorly prepared members of the interview team. You’ll probably be glad if you take it to a higher level.
Level 2: Interview them: Many successful interview teams begin by conducting a Discovery interview with their own sales reps. Tell them you’d like them to respond as “the customer” in whatever way they’d expect the real customers to respond. You can easily do this using a web-conference format. This will be great practice for you, and help you “preview” what real customers are likely to say. More important, the sales rep will experience the Discovery interview from the customers’ perspective. This will likely be the most convincing thing you can do—short of the actual interview—to convince sales colleagues that customers will “like this.”
Level 3: One-day sales training: We offer a one-day Discovery interview training workshop, specifically designed for sale professionals. It includes many of the same hands-on interview role-playing that you experienced in the full New Product Blueprinting training workshop. This training not only prepares sales reps to help you in Blueprinting interviews: It helps them become better sellers in any setting. In the landmark research behind SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham, it was found the most effective way to sell big-ticket items is to ask good probing questions. So with this training, your sales teams’ probing could lead to either a) better selling of current products, or b) learning that leads to better future products.
Level 4: Full Blueprinting training: Most Blueprinting clients invite some of their more senior sales professionals to the full training workshop. Why? This is a good way to signal the sales function is an important part of market-facing innovation… not just marketing, product management and technical. If you don’t have another in-house Blueprinting workshop on the horizon, consider sending them to an open Blueprinting workshop with learners from other companies. (See www.blueprintingworkshop.com)
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