Safeguard Business Systems offers hundreds of printed products, promotional items, and corporate apparel to over 600,000 business customers across the U.S. and Canada. The company’s products are delivered through a network of more than 270 distributors. In the past, Safeguard distributors concentrated mainly on selling single-product solutions to small business customers. But more recently, the company identified a need for distributors to also focus on selling Safeguard’s full suite of products and services to larger, more strategic customers. Safeguard wanted to elevate and broaden distributors’ selling skills, as well as strengthen their confidence in interacting with prospects and clients.
The ABR Solution
ABR designed and developed an Executive Sales Training Program for Safeguard’s distributors. The overall goal was to shift from an “order-taking” mentality to a more proactive, consultative sales approach. To do this, the training needed to arm distributors with effective prospecting techniques, as well as cover the planning aspects of selling and how to effectively conduct research on an account. Because distributors were located in various places across the country, in-person training would have been challenging and expensive. ABR and Safeguard, therefore, decided on a self-paced training program that was easily and independently accessible. The Executive Sales Training Guide included three learning modules:
- The Consultative Sales Process
- Strategic Account Management
The purpose of the guide was to lead distributors through the training experience – it provided short reading assignments to build awareness of the skills they were learning and best practices for use. The guide also included self-paced activities for distributors to apply what they were learning to their real-world situations.
The Executive Sales Training Program has allowed Safeguard and its distributors to expand their focus from selling single-product solutions to small business customers to more strategically selling their products and services to larger customers, and this has happened across the entire organization. The solution has also given distributors the knowledge and tools they need to fully understand and conduct consultative sales conversations; better leverage new sales opportunities; effectively engage in conversations with executives; and fully grasp the overall landscape of these larger opportunities and how to manage influencers and other key contacts.