The Objective Management Group (OMG) leads the sales industry in sales evaluations and candidacy screening. Their test results have determined that only 35% of salespeople among almost 1 million are strong in consultative skills. On average, most salespeople have only 50% of the skills required to be able to sell consultatively.

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Why are test results so low? It likely has to do with a misconception of what consultative selling truly is. Many sales executives assume they are selling consultatively, but actually confuse consultative selling with solution selling, relationship selling, or finding a pain.

Why do so many sales reps go wrong with consultative selling?

Many salespeople don’t know how to lead a customer to an approach that the customer may have not considered previously. They are uncomfortable pushing back. During the selling process, it’s often necessary to challenge incorrect or outdated beliefs, strategies, and approaches that the customer may be considering. If the salesperson is effectively trained, he/she will ask thought provoking, relevant questions in order to assess a customers ability to achieve a new performance standard … set by the sales representative. The consultative sales rep teaches the client how to improve a business result, leads (all decision makers) throughout the evaluation process, and closes the sale on relevant value, provided at fair market pricing.

Why do salespeople have difficulty leading their clients? It often comes down to three main weaknesses.

  1. Their need to be liked by the customer transcends their ability to sell. Instead of asking challenging questions when appropriate, the salesperson will say and do only what will help them be more likeable Too much focus on likability and not enough on leadership.
  2. They’re better at presenting than listening. A successful consultative salesperson knows how to listen to the client carefully to better understand their need for survival. Many salespeople will talk to hide insecurities, awkward silences, or ignorance, instead of listening to help find a solution.
  3. Many salespeople have never been formally trained to sell consultatively. Some even rely on outdated methods such as relationship selling, the good ol’ boy approach, which is statistically proven to be an inefficient methodology.

Consultative selling can’t be learned in a weekend seminar. You’re asking your sales team for a complete makeover in how they sell. They need to be taught the principles, then coached by the sales manager through role-play until the process is second nature. We’re finding that many sales coaches don’t know how to teach consultative selling.

If you’re interested in learning more about consultative selling, contact us and we’d be happy to help. During our conversation, we can talk about feasibility, potential business return, and if Worldleaders is the best fit for your company.