Much has been written on the subject of improving the performance of sales teams. In fact, companies are spending more than ever on corporate training to help bring their seasoned professionals up to speed and make them 100% productive.
According to The Corporate Learning Factbook 2014: Benchmarks, Trends, and Analysis of the U.S. Training market, US corporate training spending grew by 15% last year (the highest growth rate in seven years) to over $70 Billion in the US. The industry brings in over $130 Billion worldwide.
Even the most successful sales people benefit from understanding the power of habit. The brain naturally looks forward to rewards provided by habitual routine. Making good habits (that lead to bigger and faster sales) part of a day-to-day routine fosters an environment of success.
Starbucks understands the importance of training their employees to respond to customer negativity. They call it the LATTE method.
Listen to the customer
Acknowledge their complaint
Take action to solve their problem
Thank them for their business
Explain why the problem occurred
Armed with this knowledge, every sales person should ask themselves, “am I giving my customers the level of service they’ll get at Starbucks?”
Starbucks makes their LATTE method of dealing with customer angst a habit loop for their employees. The cue is an unhappy and complaining customer. The barista immediately launches into the routine of the LATTE method, and the reward is customer satisfaction, or successful resolution of the problem.
Starbucks teaches their employees to focus on inflection points, or triggers that may weaken their willpower like an unhappy customer. They practice the LATTE method until it becomes second nature and they do it habitually.
While there is a lot of value in corporate training, cultivating good habits within a sales force is an area that is worth further study. Understanding which specific habits create sales and repeating those actions regularly is an important part of engineering the behavior of a sales team in order to foster success.