In short, the point of sales training is to improve the skills necessary to create better sales opportunities for your team. Holding a sales training workshop, taking a sales training course, or conducting sales training exercises or sales training seminars can demonstrate different ways to sell or reinforce forgotten techniques. But even the best sales training isn’t enough to increase sales.
Your corporate sales training has to be designed properly, fit your team, and be followed up with a discipline to put the training into action.
Before You Begin Training, Start At The End
Effective corporate sales training starts with the design of the sales training course itself. If the training does not align with your company’s goals and strategies, it will likely not be effective.
Before you start, you should take inventory of your sales process from team strengths and weaknesses to training needs and measurement.
Sales Training Inventory
- Team strengths and weaknesses
- Areas that need development
- Current sales model
- Existing training programs
- Desired outcomes
- Measurement mechanisms
In each case, ask yourself what outcome you hope to achieve with your training and how will you measure success.
That means before you begin training, you need to start at the end of the process and work backwards. By identifying the key areas that you want to improve, you can craft the right training. Here are some of the more common focal points for sales organisations:
- Cold calling
- Social selling
- Determining needs
- Handling objections
- Negotiating skills
- The sales process
- Closing skills
- Build client relationships
- Onboarding new salespeople
- Effective follow up
This list of sales training ideas could probably go on for pages. Which training you decide to do isn’t as important and making sure it’s the right one for your team.
Create specific objectives and then design training to help your team build the required skills.
Not Just For Rookies
New team members will need training. The amount of sales training activity may depend on the experience each salesperson has. If they are really rookies, there’s a big learning curve. If they have experience in sales, but not in your industry, they’ll need training as well. Even if they have experience in sales and in your industry, there’s still a learning curve on systems and sales processes.
A common mistake that some companies make, however, is to do onboarding and then not continue with ongoing training. In these cases, they only provide training for a young or inexperienced sales team. In reality, learning is a lifelong journey. Even experienced sellers need to learn new techniques or be reminded of the things they have forgotten to do. Often, experienced sellers take shortcuts or skip past key sections of the sales process.
Sales Training As A Recruitment Tool
Many companies have found corporate sales training can be an effective recruitment tool. People switch jobs for a variety of reasons, including increasing their compensation. They also want an environment that will help them achieve greater success. Training provides a way for salespeople to improve their skills and make more money.
Whether it is sales training games or a specific sales training topic, providing consistent training is a selling point for recruiting.
Sales Training Leads To Success
A recent study that examined the top 20 percent of salespeople based on exceeding quotas found three keys to success:
- Strong incentive programs
- Confidence in their companies’ products and systems
- A structured sales process
Sales training focuses on items two and three, helping build salespeople’s confidence and create a structures sales process. Done well, they help salespeople to meet their personal compensation goals, which helps with item one as well.
Another study connects the dots on sales training and performance. 69% of sales team that report their sales training exceeded expectation are meeting or exceeding their sales quotas. In other words, solid training from sales training companies work. Sales management training pays off as well. Sales organisations that have implemented sales coaching for sales managers see – on average – a marked improvement in sales performance.
Finally, You Need To Monitor And Measure
If you want sales training to be effective, you have to monitor and measure the progress.
If you designed your training properly with your end goals in mind, you already have the mechanism in place to measure success. These objective goals will determine whether the training worked.