Ignite’s Steve Gielda recently sat down with Selling Power’s Gerhard Gschwandtner and discussed how sales teams feel inundated with sales collateral material they aren’t properly trained to use.
Gerhard Gschwandtner: Hi, my name is Gerhard Gschwandtner. Welcome to Selling Power TV. Today we have the great pleasure of meeting with Steve Gielda, who is the founder and CEO of Ignite Selling. Welcome, Steve.
Steve Gielda: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
Gerhard Gschwandtner: So a lot of marketing collateral that is produced by the silo people that’s given to salespeople is ending up in drawers or it is never used, am I correct?
Steve Gielda: Yeah, there’s no doubt about that. That’s a true statement.
Gerhard Gschwandtner: There’s a huge waste. So what do companies need to do so that salespeople will actually use the sales collateral the way it’s intended to help themselves?
Steve Gielda: We conducted a survey and showed over 50 percent of the people that responded, simply stated that they’re inundated with marketing collateral, product materials, competitive knowledge and sales tools. If you sit back and you think about a brand new sales representative coming into your company, how much stuff do we give them? I mean, they’re walking around with backpacks of sales tools, sales knowledge, competitive knowledge, product information, and marketing information. It is just a ton of stuff. And so what we’ve actually found is that sales managers and sales representatives are just kind of becoming numb to all of this and they just don’t know what to use when. So, therefore they’re not, and the real unfortunate fact is that money is being wasted.
Gerhard Gschwandtner: How does Ignite Selling help?
Steve Gielda: You know, one of the things that we recognize and we help clients do is to be mindful of when collateral is being put out to the field. Sometimes marketing sends out information and then you have some sales intelligence or sales operations giving you competitive data that’s coming out. Then you have sales training giving you value calculators and different kinds of tools. Yet they’re not integrated and so everybody just sends out a bunch of stuff. So one of the things we do recommend is to be mindful, collaborate. Figure out what tools you need to be going out when. Also, we recommend that you should be more thoughtful about when collateral is being sent out. It’s often best when it’s sent out in alignment with the particular sales strategy. So, be thinking that if in fact, the strategy is going after a particular competitor or entering into a new marketplace or leveraging a new product, leverage that opportunity to provide collateral in support of the strategy.
Gerhard Gschwandtner: Is the use of collateral actually part of skills training in any company?
Steve Gielda: Not often enough. One of the things that we offer at Ignite Selling are these Capstones Simulations that provide salespeople that opportunity to learn how to apply the particular marketing materials and collateral knowledge that they have. It’s unfortunate that marketing and product teams don’t take that into consideration. They merely just kind of push that data out. They take it for granted. They make the assumption that sales representatives know what to do with it. So what we actually do is help companies do a better job of knowing how to apply all of that stuff. We do that through these competitive Capstone Simulations. Capstone Simulation is an opportunity for you just to take the realities of your world that you operate in, bring it into a classroom environment to where they actually get the opportunity to share information, to partner, to learn how did you apply this particular direction. What should I be doing in that particular case? So capstone simulation is just that. We take a realistic account, we bring in all of the collateral, the sales tools, everything that they’re supposed to be doing out in the field, and we provide that opportunity for sales representatives to work together in teams to compete against other teams to win the business.
Gerhard Gschwandtner: Amazing. How can people learn more about the Ignite Selling?
Steve Gielda: They can go to our website at igniteselling.com and we encourage you to download some of our website’s resources and some of the topics that we’re talking about today.
Gerhard Gschwandtner: Well, thank you for contributing to raising the level of proficiency of the sales profession through your innovative learning technologies. Appreciate it.
Steve Gielda: Thank you very much, Gerhard. Appreciate your time.