At Stuart I manage the Commercial Team, a cross-functional squad of Business Development Managers, Account Managers and Marketers.
The team works well together, taking care of our customers from acquisition, to onboarding and support. The reason we work well together is based on the fact that we all understand each other’s roles and our tasks overlap quite a lot. During one of our bi-weekly commercial meetings, when my team all get together to discuss what’s happening in the business and what challenges we are facing, I realised that our teamwork was missing something: the Sales Team Mentality.
This does not endorse sleazy sales tactics, rather it puts our goals and objectives at the forefront: growth.
So, we set up a two-day workshop on Sales Training.
On the first day we covered our mission values as Stuart salespeople and went through a number of exercises to help build their confidence in our techniques.
Firstly we covered our sales values:
- Hustler Mentality: Working hard to get new opportunities, never giving up at the first hurdle and maintaining the balance between internal and external projects.
- Solutions Oriented: Maintaining a positive mentality, seeing new ways to grow the business and thinking outside of the box when problem-solving.
- Consultative Approach: Sharing our industry expertise and giving our customers a better insight into what will benefit them and what won’t. By being honest and transparent you can build up trust, which is invaluable. Don’t sell everything we have just for the sake of selling something, but see how they can adopt our model to their internal capabilities.
For each value we thought about examples within the wider team of people embodying these, and slowly it started to become apparent that we all shared the same drive and mentality.
With the stage set, we moved on to some exercises to get the Account Managers and Marketing Team into the more practical sales mindset: you never know when you might need to pitch!
The exercises we ran were split into three parts to tackle the first two elements of the Sales Mentality:
- Cold Calls, to help build confidence
- Prospecting, to better understand who our target customers are, and
- Customer Problem Solving, to embrace a proactive mindset and solve issues when put on the spot.
Day two of the workshop saw us all migrate to our colleague’s house. It was nice to get away from the office and share our knowledge in this welcoming setting. This time we focused on the consultative approach, finishing the day with a masterclass in pitching — every sales person’s badge of honour.
We ran through scenarios of clients with challenging delivery setups, uniting our solutions-oriented mindset with the consultative approach, followed by a group analysis of how there are different ways of approaching challenges. Each team member shared their approaches and methods to help our customers optimise their journey with Stuart. Marketing, the AMs, and the BDs all had different approaches and everyone was furiously typing down the things that they were learning: which newsletters should I sign up to? What are the best tools to use for my tasks? How should I think about approaching this problem?
Thanks to this set of activities, everyone came away feeling more confident as Stuart Ambassadors and with a better understanding of the sales mindset and how it complements their own roles: marketing might need that hustler mentality when negotiating trade show prices, whilst AMs need to help customers on a daily basis. During our retrospective, which included a well-deserved round of beers and Aperol Spritz’s, we concluded that we
- Better understood the sales team’s day to day
- Embraced values that are important in all sectors of the business
- Built up the confidence to talk about Stuart and share the mission with potential customers
- Strengthened our instinct to grow opportunities, as well as problem-solve in a constructive and consultative way
But above all, spending time with our colleagues taught us more about each other’s talents, skills and strengths, bringing the team closer together.
Great work, team! 🚀
Interested in becoming part of the team? We’re hiring! ⭐️