SOURCE: Paradigm Learning

September 08, 2008 14:07 ET

Building Better Sales Professionals

Podcast Series Explores 5 Critical Business Acumen Skills as a Competitive Edge

TAMPA, FL--(Marketwire - September 8, 2008) - What separates the best sales professionals from the rest of the world? What do they know that the others don't? The very best salespeople have a keenly developed business sense they can use as a powerful weapon against competitors.

That's the key message behind a new podcast series, "The 5 Critical Business Acumen Skills Your Salespeople Need," from the financial literacy experts at Paradigm Learning. The free six-part series, available at The Insider Corporate Learning Blog, helps lay the groundwork for sales training methods that increase business acumen for sales professionals.

Andy Smith, vice president of Paradigm Learning, offers valuable insight that listeners can use immediately, sharing how sales representatives can quickly differentiate themselves from the others by understanding how their clients' businesses operate. After a brief overview, Smith drills deeper into these five important skills:

-- How to gain access to senior executives and have meaningful, insightful conversations. Learn what prevents sales reps from making high-level connections in their accounts and the consequences for those who don't, as well as the tangible things sales reps can do to connect with senior executives.

-- How to get past being seen as a vendor and become a trusted adviser. Discover what being a "trusted adviser" actually entails and how it's very different than "preferred vendor" status.

-- How to align with customers' strategic issues while growing the size of the opportunity. Develop ways to make sales conversations more meaningful, revolving around results for the client instead of around products or services.

-- How to create a sense of urgency with customers to avoid the "no decision" decision. By understanding a company's financial metrics, a sales rep can help customers see the real cost of doing nothing with a sales proposal, whether it's lost revenue or unnecessary expense.

-- How to create greater customer loyalty by quantifying the value added. Learn how to create relevant terms so clients can see actual value, whether it's revenue growth or cost reduction, and discover what happens to sales reps who can't do that.

Since 1994, Paradigm Learning ( has created award-winning business games, simulations and communications tools for the world's leading organizations. Its flagship program, "Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy," has been played by more than 1 million people worldwide, including a version for sales professionals. Other products address talent development, leadership accountability, building teams, project management and organizational change.

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