Effective sales training ensures that salespeople have the essential skills to succeed in selling. People with aspirations to become a salesperson usually think that their outgoing personality is enough to succeed. However, this is not the case for most of them! It takes a lot more competencies and qualities than simply having an extrovert nature to efficiently sell products or services and attract more customers.
Having the right sales training provides your sales staff with well-rounded communications skills, knowledge of sales methodologies and the ability to overcome objections among others. These are some of the critical skills needed for sales success, both at the individual level and for your business.
Just knowing the benefits of sales training alone is not enough, though. An action plan is required, which involves taking steps to plan a proper program that ensures employees are well prepared for the cutthroat nature of modern sales.
This following provides a step-by-step guide on how to properly plan your sales training program:
Define Skills & Competencies
Always begin with the basic skills and competencies you consider necessary for sales success in your company’s industry. Keep in mind that not every salespeople needs expertise in all sales skills. Even the competencies required for different salespeople within an organization can differ.
For instance, positive body language is important for outside salespeople who meet prospective customers face-to-face on a daily basis. On the other hand, being competent at cold calling is imperative for inside salespeople.
The following are the foremost knowledge needed by every salespeople:
- Sales psychology
- Handling objectives
- Understanding the target market
- Knowledge of key competitors
- Entering data into a CRM tool
The next step is to evaluate gaps between the skills you think your salespeople need versus their current skill sets. Of course, new sales staff will most likely be at a beginner level in most of your key competencies, making it easy to identify those gaps. Employees with significant sales experience may possess high competencies in some areas and lack other necessary skills. Sales Academy helps you tailor a more individual training approach to address specific skills gaps to improve your salespeople’s capabilities.
There is no doubt that a structured training program can quickly advance beginners from their current level of competency to an intermediate level, which leads to a big difference at the end of the day. Continuous training coupled with sales experience can then provide the means to progress to advanced levels of skills and competencies.
The next stage is offering a quick-hitting impact training for immediate awareness and baseline knowledge, which employees can instantly apply in their daily tasks. It is important to make sure your salespeople are enjoying their training.
For example, Sales Academy provides application-based e-learning solutions, in the form of scenario-based videos, which makes the training process more interesting. Employees quickly get a grasp of new skills since they are exposed to real job situations, which prepare them to face any professional challenge in the future.
Encourage feedback and communication
An effective way to ensure the successful transition of your employees into a powerful agile sales team is by encouraging feedback from all channels daily. Your sales team members need to feel that their opinions are valued, and this can be achieved by encouraging them to communicate more. For example, ask salespeople about their training courses and help them place it within the context of their jobs, aligned with the overall objectives of the organization. This will help them open up regarding any issues or suggestions they may have concerning the training. Furthermore, it allows you to track their productivity without being overbearing and aggressive.
One of the most useful features of e-learning is that it allows employees to track their progress during the training. Only one click is required for learners to have access to their overall performance. Employees are therefore more motivated to do well and earn their valuable certifications at the end of their program. Besides, e-learning allows learners to be more independent and responsible due to the absence of tutors.
Make sales training an ongoing process
It is certain that sales training programs have a better chance of succeeding if you view it as an ongoing process of continuous learning and improvement. Customer expectations, products, target markets, and sales methodologies can all evolve quickly, necessitating an ongoing approach. Besides, the only way to improve your training program is to find out which aspects are working, and which aren’t, and you achieve this by constantly evaluating and asking for feedback.
As far as sales training is concerned, the learning never stops, even for the most experienced salespeople. However, by implementing the above steps when planning your training programs, your salespeople will have the best chance of success, which in turn improves the success of your business. The key is finding the right training solutions, fit for all your employees.