VARs Grow Sales With New Sales Skills Testing Program

Carl Jones of ChannelTestFactory

The more you know about the skills of your sales representatives, the more you will grow your sales revenues

It is obvious that stronger sales-skilled sales reps most always out perform those who are weaker. There are two parts to solving this problem. The first is to find out how can you truly know the sales strengths and weaknesses of your sales reps in a cost-effective way. The second part is what can you do to improve upon these weaknesses.

The Channel Test Factory may be the answers to both of these problems. Its online sales skills testing tool is not designed for personality-type evaluation. It assumes that you already hired a well-suited sales representative with the right aptitude. Instead, it focuses on strengths and weaknesses of their sales skills! However, their scores on the sales skills test will also flush out wrong-fit sales people very quickly.

Here are 10 components that Channel Test Factory will test your sales representatives for:

1) Sales Prospecting (including C-Level management) and Lead Qualification Ability

2) Cold Calling and Appointment Setting Ability

3) Professional Quotation and Presentation Ability.

4) Objecting Handing Ability

5) Negotiating Ability

6) Sales Closing Ability

7) Customer Retention Ability

8) Getting Customer Testimonials and Referrals Ability

9) CRM, Sales Process and Sales Forecasting Ability

10) Research and Marketing Ability

The test is composed of about 100 questions including some essay types. The system analyses the answers to generate a report card on the strengths and weaknesses in several sales ability disciplines. Regardless of how much business intelligence one puts into a system to determine the results based on user responses, nothing can replace the insights of a live professional sales coach who reviews the information to make an assessment. This is the big difference in the approach of The Channel Test Factory. On top of the basis analysis, the essay questions are reviewed by a professional sales coach to ensure a more accurate report card. On top of this, the coach will also do a one-on-one interview and consultation by phone with the Sales rep to ensure that the results are accurate and understood.

The second part of the solution is to know what skills you will need to improve and how to do it. The Channel Test Factory System will present a list of sales training courses that the sales rep should take in order to improve upon their weaknesses and in some cases to build more upon their strengths. The goal is all about helping sales reps to become more effective "Hunters" so they can generate more prospects in their sales pipeline, closed them faster and make more money for them and their company.

"Being in the VAR channel for over 20 years has given us great insights into their business challenges. Sometimes the bottleneck is simply the limited skill-set of the sales people. The tragedy is that it is one of the things that is very easy for a VAR to understand, assess and fix. We partnered with the Channel Test Factory to make it that much easier for VARS to overcome this problem and generate more sales growth and profits. Any VAR can easily get started today by simply taking the test." Commented Julian Lee, President of TechnoPlanet Productions Inc.

The sales coaches can deliver the training and coaching by phone, online or in-person (one-on-one or groups). More importantly, the coaches stick with the sales reps for months after the training courses has ended to ensure that they are executing properly and staying on track. Today's skills training has to be executed differently from the traditional ways. There is less time for big doses of training. Instead, people are more receptive to training on demand in "bite-size" chunks - over time. It allows them to better digest the techniques and implement them into practice. With the right guidance and feedback from the coaches, the sales rep can truly become a sales performance leader.

There are a lot of studies (google them) that shows that when companies invest in the ongoing education and skills improvement of their employees, that their satisfaction levels increase along with their job productivity. It is a win-win for both the company and their sales staff. Some studies show that ongoing skills development is as important as increased compensation. Interestingly, the better skilled that the sales person is, the more they generate revenues for their company as well as themselves. It seems obvious that every company should be investing in the sales skills of their team. This should also expand beyond the sales team to customer service, support and management. Everyone needs to be firing in the same direction to generate the synergy that will grow the company's business.

When the sales rep completes the test on Channel Test Factory, they will receive three things:

1) A report outlining their scores, strengths and weaknesses in their sales skills with a benchmark to compare to the industry

2) A FREE consultation on the phone by one of our VAR Coach Experts to discuss their results and action plan to improve

3) A written report on the types of sales training courses to consider to improve upon their weaknesses

It is important to note that once the sales rep is able to compare their score with that of the industry's average, they will quickly realize how they are positioned. That's their competition that they must compete for customer sales every day in the real World.

The manager will also receive a valuable report:

1) A report outlining the scores, strengths and weaknesses of the sales skills of each sales rep with a benchmark to compare to their sales team as well as the industry.

2) A FREE consultation on the phone by one of their VAR Coach Experts to discuss the results and action plan to improve

3) A written report on the types of sales training courses to consider to improve upon their weaknesses

They crucial difference is that the manager will also know how the individual sales rep compare to their sales team's average and to top performers. This information, in conjunction with the comparison to the Industry average, will give management greater insights into being able to measure performance of each sales reps. More importantly, it will give them a roadmap to help each to improve their sales performance. Taking the test periodically throughout the year, will also help measure the improvements of each sales rep as well as to the industry's average and top performers.

VARS can also use this tool as part of their hiring process. It is best to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of their sales candidates before they hire them. Some studies show that as much as 60% of new hires will not be effective for the company. Do your own internal assessment to see how many people you hired and fired over the past 3 years. In some cases sales reps also leave companies because of dissatisfaction of the company's employee retention policies. Helping your employees to improve their skills is one of the key factors in employee retention. Managers should also be aware of keeping poor performing employees for too long. It is best-practice to evaluate the performance of all employees at least annually. When it comes to sales representatives, can you really afford to review only once a year?

A more skilled sales team will feed each other to improve performance. It will generate friendly competition resulting in more revenues and profits for the company as well as themselves. Weaker sales staff will be quickly identified to allow the company to make the appropriate corrections in improving their business. In some cases weaker or bad-attitude sales people can pull down the moral and performance of the entire sales team. Sales representatives are your revenue generators and as such, companies must ensure that they are nurtured properly to deliver the best results.

The cost to use the online Channel Test Factory ranges from $40 to $175 per sales reps depending on the number that take the test. Each subscription allows the rep to take the test as many times as they wish over a 12 month period. Typically a VAR would subscribe to the number of users that they would need for their sales team + new sales candidates applications. For example a 25 user subscription will cost $110 X 25 = $2,750 for a full year. When all things are considered, this may be one of the more powerful tools for a VAR to become more competitive and make more money. Ask yourself, if you could improve the performance levels of your sales team by just 25%, how much more sales and profits would that generate?

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