Sales Excellence, one of our Zift Zone Strategic Alliance partners, has been training companies to meet and exceed sales goals for 18 years. We’re excited to add their knowledge and expertise to our customers’ toolkit through the Zift Zone. We recently talked with Bill Stinnett, president of Sales Excellence, about our partnership.
A: Bill Stinnett, President of Sales Excellence: This is a terrific opportunity for us to work as a team with Zift to support customers with channel sales best practices — it’s a value-add for both of us. We’re also excited to be the first Zift Zone partner that’s specifically focused on training content, along with training and supporting suppliers and partners.
Q: What can Sales Excellence and Zift do for channel organizations and their partners?
A: Our Channel Sales Excellence program meets channel salespeople where they are. We provide online courses geared toward addressing the specific needs of channel sales, which gives attendees the tools they need to succeed in this really unique space. We offer two different paths, or what I like to call ‘flavors,’ for training, one for suppliers and one for partners.
The Supplier Learning Path is geared toward selling through channel partners and the unique challenges that poses. The Partner Learning Path is specifically for channel partners who sell directly to end customers. The two learning streams can also be delivered together to provide a complete roadmap for suppliers and partners to maximize their revenue results by working together.
Q: How, where, and when is the training offered?
A: Most of our clients are embracing the latest in learning and development technology leveraging both live and on-demand video to bring training to their sales teams as opposed to the other way around. Our programs can be delivered in a traditional classroom setting, but more and more companies are opting for an online, anytime and anywhere approach. Many of our clients have been able to dramatically reduce time out-of-the-field while saving 60-75% of the cost of traditional training models.
We’ve also discovered that on-demand learning delivered over time can actually drive knowledge retention and practical application even more than a big dose of learning all at once. People can digest it a little bit at the time giving them a chance to go out and use what they learn before they take on the next topic.
Q: What is Sales Excellence’s primary focus area of expertise?
A: Since 2001, Sales Excellence has helped hundreds of companies on six continents achieve breakthrough sales results. We deliver innovative training and development experiences for salespeople and sales leaders that focus on impacting very specific objectives, such as increasing the number of opportunities in a sales pipeline, maximizing deal size, accelerating sales opportunities, improving profitability, etc. Every project is a unique engagement based on helping our clients solve specific sales problems and achieve clearly defined results.
Q: Do you integrate with or provide specific services around ZiftONE?
A: As a Zift Zone Service Partner, we offer creative training and development solutions to both suppliers and partners. World-class learning content is our primary contribution to ZiftONE, which integrates perfectly with ZiftONE’s inherent LMS functionality.
Q: What are the broader business challenges that Zift and Sales Excellence can help tackle together?
A: We’ve worked with companies like Star2Star Communications, who is also a Zift customer, and other channel-focused companies to train their teams and partners to provide a common language and approach to sales that enable suppliers and partners to work together more closely on deals as a team. We bring proven strategies, processes, and sales tools that harmonize partner-supplier efforts, such as forecasting and qualifying deals together and negotiating as a team.
Many of our clients’ partners are smaller businesses with limited resources, so suppliers need to leverage all they can to help train their partners on how to sell better and add more value to the relationship. We’ve seen the addition of a strong sales skills training component, combined with whatever product training suppliers already provide, help to ensure partner success and retention while driving sales growth for both partners and suppliers.
Bill Stinnett, president and founder of Sales Excellence, Inc, is a thought leader, best-selling author, and one of the most engaging and in-demand sales teachers in the world today. With over 25 years of experience in complex business-to-business sales, Bill regularly speaks, trains, and consults for some of the world’s largest and most highly-respected companies including Verizon, General Electric, IBM, Microsoft, Metso, Ansell, and Continental AG as well as a variety of smaller companies from a wide range of industries. Mr. Stinnett is the author of two best-selling books: Think Like Your Customer (McGraw-Hill 2005) and Selling Results! (McGraw-Hill 2007).