Looking for some sales training ideas to boost salesperson engagement? Here are some sales training ideas to give you some food for thought on what information to impart on a sales training course.
Sales training is mainly separated into two categories, the first is learning about the core aspects of different sales techniques such as – lead generation, sales prospecting, business development, the sales process, sales presentation skills etc. This sales training would be customized for the sales techniques that work best in a specific industry or profile of buyer. The second category is very company focused training such as – training on the company’s products or services, the sales process deployed, the internal sales playbook, and the sales assets, tools and resources the sales team will use.
While successful salespeople have similar characteristics, the truth is no one is born with all the sales skills and knowledge to sell at a high level, these are acquired skills. This is why sales training is a crucial part of helping new and existing salespeople deliver on the potential they displayed during the interview process. Sales training should help the new and existing team of salespeople to develop and practice the skills they will need to succeed. Sales training should also include elements that help increase the confidence levels of the salespeople not just in the sales techniques but in the company’s unique value proposition.
Sales Training Ideas for Sales Success
Sales Training Tip 1. Teach salespeople to know what they want.
Research shows that the No.1 question salespeople have is “What do you want me to do”, which is very relevant. So maybe the first sales training session could be to answer this question and then proceed to asking the sales people what do they want to achieve in their career. What goals are they setting in place, what are their expectations, what time will they set aside to invest in their own self development, what do they believe are the traits of a successful salesperson. People perform best when they already know what is wanted out of them plus it’s much easier for them to do what the business is asking of them if during the sales training you tell them exactly what that is.
Sales Training Tip 2. Teach the salespeople the companies value proposition plus get them to craft their own personal value proposition.
It is amazing how many salespeople do not understand or can communicate their companies value proposition. Also, if the new salespeople are involved in prospecting or business development, they will need to have crafted their own personal value proposition. Any salesperson whether new or experienced needs to be able to clearly explain why a customer should choose them over a competitor. It may sound simplistic but if your salespeople can’t convey a value proposition, they will struggle with buyer engagement. In modern selling, every salesperson must be able to create value with a customer by (a) what they sell AND (b) the way they sell.
Sales Training Tip 3. All salespeople should understand the sales process.
The new salespeople should be taught that the sales process is a set of predictable, repeatable steps that they take with a customer/prospect to progress them through the sales funnel to becoming a paying customer.
This is an example of a straight forward sales process used by many companies.
Step 1. Sales Prospecting: Salesperson (using Ideal Customer Profiles), researches and identifies list of potential customers with 2 or 3 contacts per company.
Step 2. Sales Touch Points: The salesperson plans out a series of sales touch points (email, social selling, phone call) to engage the prospect.
Step 3. Closing the Conversion Gap: Now the salesperson will use sales tools and sales assets along with seeking to understand the prospects needs and challenges in order to close the conversion gap and get the prospect to enter a buying process.
Step 4. Presenting and Selling: This is the top of the iceberg in selling terms, the salesperson will outline to the customer (and buying committee) how the product/service can solve their needs plus why buying from them will make their lives easier.
Step 5. Customer Verification: Every good sales process should have a series of customer verification points along the way, this high-level customer verification is constructed to qualify the prospect. Customer verification at this point in the sales process can include free trials, proof of concept, budget confirmation, timescales, free consultancy etc.
Step 6. Closing the Sale: This is negotiating and contract phase around final pricing, roll-out, implementation or delivery.
Sales Training Tip 4. Teach salespeople the sales habit loop.
This is about teaching salespeople in sales effectiveness. Helping them to cue up sales activity, to have sales routines, time management, how to reward themselves for tasks completed. The output is for salespeople to take ownership for their roles and success.
Sales Training Tip 5. Show them how to use a multi-channel approach.
Today, for a salesperson to increase their sales funnel and drive up the close rates, they need to be skilled in using a multi-channel approach in engaging customers. They need to understand the impact of social media and content on the buyer’s journey, learn social selling, how to use digital assets, how to do social listening, how to craft well written emails and how to use content (whitepapers, research) in the sales process.
Sales Training Tip 6. Make the sales training digestible.
The days of a 5-day sales training courses are gone, research shows that training works best in consolidated chunks of information. Keep each sales training module short. Use concentrated (ten to twenty minutes) learning sessions that contain focused material that immediately hits the point with the salesperson on that particular topic. Give them access to online sales training and point them to freely available learning material for their own commitment to improving their skills.
Sales Training Tip 7. Show them where to find and access sales assets.
From using LinkedIn, researching profiles and in accessing sales assets, to boost a new salespersons productivity you need to make information easy to access, searchable and fast. Where to access sales tools and sales assets such as content should be part of their daily sales habit loop. If using CRM, them make such all information integrated.
Sales Training Tip 8. Introduce Gamification.
Create sales games using real customer case studies, then introduce interactive activities. Set challenges for the salespeople across all steps in the sales process. Then have them provide answers and plans. Gamification in sales training is fun and can rapidly improve retention.
Sales Training Tip 9. Start with easy steps.
Depending on your business model or product, start the new salespeople on the easier (nothing easy in sales!!) steps in the sales process. That could be identify 100 prospects for a new product launch, to phone back lost business for research purposes or helping out on the products that are easier to sell. Nothing builds confidence more than successfully completing a sales task with the managers approval.Sales Training
Tip 10. Use E-Learning to Educate.
We live in the digital age where technology has replaced the need for traveling and lost sales time. The use of online sales training, video and E-learning allows salespeople to continually refresh their sales skills outside of working hours or while on the go. Using online training videos and modules, it drives ownership back to the salesperson for knowledge acquisition.
Sales Training Tip 11. Don’t overload them with information.
In line with sales tip 8, be careful not to overload a new hire with every aspect of the sales (and even if you do teach this information right away, it likely won’t be retained).
Break down each step in the sales process and learning the next step in the sales process should be a reward for mastering the previous one.
So, there you have some sales training ideas to use on a sales training course. The buyer supplier relationship along with how buyers engage with vendors is changing rapidly. So, sales training will have to become more dynamic and digitally driven, just like our buyers.
Note: This article was has been republished courtesy of The Digital Sales Institute from their article – Sales Training Tips and Ideas