Nowadays, a highly effective and well-groomed sales team is the need of the hour for any business.
A competent sales team can help you reach heights that you have never imagined.
But to have such a team, you need to work on improving their skills because you cannot expect a recruit to know everything.
Also, you cannot have a common sales training program because every individual is different.
Therefore, you need to design sales training for the salespeople in such a way that everyone can work on those skills in which they lack.
Here are a few different sales training ideas that can help you build a robust sales team.
A. Why do we need sales training?
Investment in sales training is essential if you want to remain ahead of your competitors.
A well-trained sales team can find and identify leads that have a high probability of becoming clients. It means more revenue for the company.
Sales training is essential because:
1. It improves communication that helps to onboard new clients easily.
2. It improves confidence in sales reps.
3. It helps sales reps to convert more leads into clients, thus increasing revenue.
4. It makes a sales rep efficient and productive.
5. Sales reps can easily face objections from clients.
6. It develops administrative skills in sales reps.
7. It improves the retention rate.
B. 12 interesting sales training ideas to try today
1. Do an assessment of your sales reps
It has been observed that many times organizations believe that sales reps who have completed their training are ready to sell to a customer.
But it proves to be a disaster as sales reps are low in confidence in front of the buyers, costing important deals, tossing up the brand reputation, and wasting the time of everyone.
Sales managers should not only focus on the training part but also the assessment part to help sales rookie to increase their knowledge base and be sales-ready.
You can assess an individual in different ways like:
a. Giving quizzes and tests to test their knowledge of key concepts.
b. Having a manager to overlook sales reps’ performance
c. Do role-plays to know whether reps are ready or not.
2. Analyze win/loss reports
You can learn a lot from your key wins (and losses). For that, you must prepare detailed reports of key wins and losses and make it available to sales reps.
The information derived from these reports can help sales reps to grow and be well prepared for tough situations.
For example, if a sales rep has closed an important deal, then you must appoint someone from your team to interview the customer about their challenges, what makes them choose your product, which features or benefits attracted them, what steps were taken by the sales rep to close the deal, etc. All this information can help you identify the areas where best practices made the difference and ensure reps are trained on those.
Similarly, you can learn a lot from the deals that were not successful. You will come to know the mistakes that sales reps have performed, based on which you can revise the best practices and develop new practices that you can follow in your next sales cycle.
Whatever the case, you must provide detailed reports of wins and losses to sales reps so that they can apply best practices that proved useful and avoid the one that leads to losses.
3. Emphasize on peer learning
Peer learning is very useful for sales reps because it involves learning from the best, i.e, sales veterans.
The knowledge of sales veterans comes from valuable experience, so you must use that knowledge and turn it into training material for the other sales reps.
As per ATD, 91% of the sales reps believe that peer learning will help them succeed.
You can turn the best practices into useful training content that will help sales reps to learn and grow their career.
One of the ways to use this knowledge is through video coaching technology, in which sales veterans record videos mentioning best practices, tips, and tricks, etc.
All the knowledge in the form of videos can be turned into formal learning content and made available for future reference.
4. Providing industry news and trends
Salespeople should be aware of the latest developments going in the industry.
It helps to project themselves as an expert or advisor which can have a positive impact on the sales.
Most of the salespeople focus more on understanding the sales process and their product instead of knowing about industry news and trends.
So you should hire someone that can look into industry trends or news and gather all the important information for the salespeople.
Then this information can be included with other training material or blog posts can be created that can help salespeople to increase their knowledge of the industry.
All this information reminds salespeople that the profession is still changing and they need to be up to date.
This will help to increase their confidence and also they can show the information to the prospects to start the conversation.
5. the Elevator pitch
Salespeople do not have much time to make an impression, especially during calls or in conferences or when networking.
They need to be at their best during the first 30 seconds.
Perfecting the short elevator pitch could make a difference in the sales.
To do that, you need to remember four things about the elevator pitch:
a. Everyone should understand clearly about your product, company, or service.
b. It should be brief and straightforward.
c. Make your pitch in such a way that no one can refute or deny your claims.
d. The risk taken is worth the rewards.
In your sales training, you must have a universal elevator pitch ready for your sales team. Though you can let salespeople make minor adjustments to the pitch based on their personality the overall elevator pitch must be on the same lines.
Once you have a core pitch ready, then you must start using it in your sales and see how different people react to it. Based on that, you can work on improving the elevator pitch.
6. Objection handling
You cannot go close the deal without facing the objections from the prospects.
So you must know how to handle objections if you want to close deals, otherwise it can be a bumpy ride closing the deals.
Some of the objections are:
a. Your product is too expensive
b. I already have a product that is working for me
c. Your product does have a good reputation in the market
It is a skill that you need to develop if you want to outshine while making sales.
Most of the companies have written instructions on how to handle objections. You must have training sessions where you can be taught the art of handling objections.
During making sales, if sales reps listen to a new objection, they should write it down and then discuss the same with the team to come up with solutions to handle the objection.
Then, a sales meeting can be done to discuss the new objection and the solution to that objection with the team.
You must practice before going into sales. For that, you can do mock calls with managers or colleagues to understand how to handle objections in a meeting.
7. Selling through curiosity
In this, you ask the prospects with questions that help you uncover prospects’ pain points, short-term goals, long-term ambitions, fears, and concerns.
The prospect must feel that the sales rep is genuinely curious to know about him and his business.
So, sales reps must strike a balance between conversational and genuine. It should feel like a two-way conversation rather than an interview.
You must go deep into conversations and understand what they do and most importantly why they do it.
At your training sessions, you must create different scenarios for your salespeople so that they can figure out different questions they’d ask the prospects.
8. Make sales reps understand buyer’s problems
You must put sales reps in prospect’s place to help them understand the needs and challenges of the buyer because as per Accenture, 77% of prospects believe that salespeople do not understand their needs.
Make the buyer’s journey the part of sales reps’ training.
In this, sales reps must face the problems that buyer’s face and let them come up with solutions. It is a great training exercise for new hire onboarding and the existing sales force.
Sales reps can also do role-play with their sales colleagues and find new ways to tackle common sales objections.
9. Focusing on Sales Process
Sales reps must be thorough with the sales process. They must know what each stage of sales process defines.
So, create courses that help sales reps to understand what activities need to be completed at each stage and how they can complete it.
Furthermore, you can provide them with sales assets and tactical training to handle common objections.
For example, your prospecting training could include modules on how to do research, what are the various ways to find leads and how to find them.
10. Pre-boarding training
Pre-boarding means that new hires are provided with training content even before they stepped into the firm.
It makes the onboarding process easy and helps sales reps to complete basic training before Day 1 at the company.
It saves time and sales reps can start selling fast.
11. Shares success stories
Top-performing salespeople should share their success stories in sales meetings because as per Propeller, just 8% of the sales reps are making 80% of all sales.
In these meetings, you will get to know what top salespeople are doing differently and how they are doing it.
Let’s say, a sales rep has closed a big deal. Then, let him tell his story in the training session.
The sales rep must tell what objections he faces and how he overcomes them, what questions he asked, how he positioned value and what he learned during the process.
Listening to these stories, some might pick up tricks that they can use in their next sales call.
12. External expertise
Even if you have the best sales managers in the team, then also there is no surety that they know everything.
So, it is always better to bring in experts from outside your company that can provide sales reps with a different view of the industry.
Sales reps can either go to workshops and conferences or some outside expert like industry leaders, hired consultants, etc., can come to speak to the team.
This exercise can help sales reps to learn new sales techniques and also what’s going on elsewhere in the industry.
Providing training to your sales team not only works for them but also has a positive impact on your sales.
A well-trained sales team will be able to identify leads that have a high possibility of turning into the customer, leading to increase revenue.
Also, it boosts the confidence of the individual when they develop skills that improve the retention rate.
Therefore, implement these sales training ideas and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales team.
D. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Who needs sales training?
Sales training is for those people who want to improve and develop their sales skills for a successful sales performance. While some people are a natural fit for this career, still effective selling is a skill that needs to be mastered.
2. What are the benefits of sales training?
Benefits of sales training:
a. It improves communication skills.
b. It increases the confidence of sales reps.
c. Sales reps become better at handling objections
d. It develops administrative skills in sales reps.
3. What should be included in sales training?
Important components of sales training:
a. Including necessary sales skills.
b. Team building exercises
c. Regular assessment of sales reps’ performance.
d. Sales process
e. In-detailed information about products and market.
4. What should be included in sales training?
Sales training should cover every aspect of your business, including your product line, service offerings, and pricing structure.
Your agent should learn how to attract new customers, encourage loyal customers to upgrade or replace their current purchases, and provide valuable insights to help you optimize your performance.
5. How do you make sales training interesting?
One good way to do this is with a game. Such as the popular game of “Bingo” or the “memory game” that is so popular with kids (We find it works well with certain clients).
The reason these types of games are useful is that they give you lots of practice doing what you need to do in actual sales situations.