Sales training can provide the technical knowledge, product knowledge, and selling knowledge your sales people need to sell more effectively and close more deals. Given how vital your sales people are to your organization’s financial success, it pays to achieve the greatest payoff from your sales training efforts.
But not all training programs are alike. Some are more effective than others. Some create a bigger impact on sales than others. To ensure you get more value from your efforts, use these strategies.
Train Your Trainer
Thinking your sales manager has what it takes to train your team is risky. Sure, your manager may be well-versed in your company policies, understand your sales process backwards and forwards, and know your products intimately. But does he have the latest sales knowledge? Does he understand current selling best practices? Does he know what trends are happening right now in the industry? Does he have the effective communication skills required to provide adequate training sessions?
To get the most value from your training program, consider pre-training your trainer. Ensure your sales manager has the training techniques required to succeed. This way, your manager can offer meaningful and relevant communication and create a training program that successfully improves sales performance.
Another option is to bring in a professional inbound sales trainer rather than rely on your current leadership team to offer training. This will help you generate more value from your investment.
Tailor Training to Your Industry
You want training to be meaningful, helpful, and informative. This can’t happen if your training materials aren’t tailored to your unique industry. For example, you shouldn’t use case studies or examples from pharmaceutical sales if you’re in the automotive sales business. Similarly, you shouldn’t use exercises or stories tailored to B2B sales if you work in the B2C world.
Your sales people will be less skeptical and gain more value from the training if the content you present is adapted to their specific industry, challenges, and context.
Partake in Ongoing Training
This is one of the most important tips we can offer. It’s vital to understand that sales training cannot be a one-time activity. It must be continuous and ongoing.
Cramming too much information in one or two eight-hour session won’t do anyone any good. Your sales people will fail to retain the information presented in front of them.
Ongoing micro-training can enhance information retention. This ensures your sales people can use the new skills and strategies they’ve learned.
In addition, sales training should be continuous because sales is constantly evolving. The way customers buy has changed and continues to change Technology advances. Your organization comes out with new products or services. The markets fluctuate. Continuous training ensures your sales people are always up to date with the latest best practices and information they need to succeed.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
If your sales materials aren’t engaging enough, sales people will get bored and their minds will wander. Sitting in a classroom for eight hours a day listening to a presenter go on and on isn’t appealing to the majority of learners.
Embrace the power of technology to create more engaging training sessions. Consider using gamification to make learning more exciting. There are mobile apps, videos, and unlimited resources at your disposal. Get creative and make training more interesting with technology.
At every step of the learning process, you should be offering feedback. Your sales people could misinterpret best practices or use strategies they’ve learned in a less-than-effective manner. It’s important to offer assistance when it’s required. Participate actively in the training. Tracking learning, analyzing trends, and offering feedback will help you gain more value from your training program.