Preparation leads directly to success. No matter the field or discipline, better preparation results in better performance. And like all fields, sales team training is a necessity for any business wishing to succeed. A properly trained sales team will deliver more consistent and promising results than a sales team with either the wrong kind of training or no training at all.
Of course, that means your business must understand what differentiates good training from bad training. Training is an investment and the returns can vary. Here are five sales team training tips to get the most out of your training investment. Whether you already have a working training program or need help finding your way, keep these tips in mind to make the sales that drive your business.
Sales Team Training Ideas
1. Selling Through Curiosity
Sparking genuine interest in your customers strongly tilts the favor of negotiations towards making a deal. When a customer engages with the salesperson through a thought-provoking presentation they often do so by asking questions. Catching a customer’s attention regarding the product or service being sold means they are no longer wondering how to get out of the conversation. Now, they are invested in the pitch.
Curiosity can be sparked through flashy advertisements and the like, but the commonplace commercial desensitizes audiences. Good conversations more successfully pique the interest of potential customers much more thoroughly than any advertisement can. Getting a lead’s curiosity might not come naturally, but it can be taught, practiced and mastered.
Selling through curiosity takes the fundamentals of the Socratic method and gives them a modern spin. Staying conversational yet remaining on the topic usually results in a successful sale. Now you might be wondering how you can teach your team to get into the habit of selling through curiosity. To do so, implement hands-on training and practice. Getting the selling through curiosity method down just takes time, but you do not have to invest a whole lot of it at once.
Start with small group training exercises where your sales team can get comfortable trying to provoke their partner’s interest. It should almost feel like an interview, but the key is to keep it more conversational. Grilling anyone loses their attention instead of drawing it in, killing the sale. Once the “buyer” starts asking questions you know things are working.
2. Motivate Motivate Motivate
Your customers will only get as excited as your salespeople. When you train with enthusiasm you train for success. Create an energetic and inspiring atmosphere where you employees can take that energy with them into the field. Retain professionalism at all times, but allow your salespeople to be passionate about what they do.
Allowing your sales to feel how good their success brings excitement and is its own motivation. Sharing success stories shows that it is all possible. Other incentives such as financial bonuses are also great ways to get your team excited. When they truly want to succeed, they will. Motivate at all times especially during training. The world of sales can look daunting to an outsider and you do not want to scare away potentially high earning talent.
Showing the benefits of success early will get new hires pumped early, too. When they set the bar with high energy it sets a baseline. Sales team managers must continue to motivate the crew through training and into the everyday company environment.
3. Practice Presentations
When it comes down to that pivotal moment where your sales representative delivers the pitch, you need to know that they can get through it without a hitch. Throughout a salesperson’s tenure with your company and especially during their initial training, mock presentations allow them to put the fundamentals they learned into play. Plus, you can have a dedicated trainer there with them to correct any mistakes and create a comfortable environment.
Practice and Perfect
The more presentations a sales representative has under their belts, the more confident they will be in their delivery. Before sending any sales team out into the field they should have a thorough mental outline of what points they need to hit when trying to make sales. Catching a potential lead’s attention usually varies and so initial introductions can be difficult to rehearse while remaining genuine and professional. Presentations however are usually less conversational. This is where the salesperson takes the reins and drives the deal home.
Getting new hires comfortable presenting to clients is a must, but your team benefits the most from continuous practice. No matter what stage of their career all salespeople can learn a great deal by practicing their presentation skills with their peers. It might help them correct a tic that distracts the potential buyer, or maybe they will learn to better handle objections. Practicing in front of their peers allows them to make mistakes and then learn from them immediately.
However, sometimes the best salesperson on your team does not believe they can benefit from more practice. Even if this were true, the rest of your team can always benefit from watching their sales team leaders in action. They can stand as a representation of how a presentation should go down. By bringing the techniques that work directly into the office without outsourcing increases morale and saves your business time. You might have some natural leaders just waiting for their moment to shine. Everybody benefits when you give them that moment.
Keeping your team limber allows them to adapt to a changing environment. Practicing presentations regularly also acts as an assessment so that employees’ progress and status can be monitored and adjusted accordingly. Managers should perform check-ups regularly during training to smooth out any uncertainties and questions. But the training never stops, so neither should the assessments.
Giving your team the opportunity to discuss any questions publicly or privately allows for quicker problem resolution. Whether it be a personnel issue or a performance issue, assessments open up the door to little tweaks and bug corrections. Plus, all sales representatives can find some new wisdom or knowledge in a healthy and cooperative environment. Sharing ideas and offering advice during checkups helps build a collective relationship.
Incorporating check-ups allows you to better understand where your training program falls short. That way, you can make the appropriate adjustments or change the program completely if need be. Assessing your business and sales team on a routine basis makes sure all members remain successful.
5. Keeping Up to Date
The more the industry evolves the more important it is to attend regular seminars for updated training. Staying up to date with the latest trends and techniques gives your sales team the best possible chances of making sales. Spend the time to increase your company’s knowledge or spend it with something of a refresher course. Either way continued learning helps retain your team’s focus and best efforts.
Seminars can be attended online or in person, by an organization or an individual. The choice of how to continue the training of your employees should be made at your own discretion. The needs of every business vary so find the right match for your business by doing a lot of research or consulting a professional.
Sales Training Program
Whether you develop your own homemade program or use a virtual one, sales training programs are a great way to ensure a universal foundation of skills and knowledge. Uniformity makes it easier to build on top of further training. Before settling on a program consider what kind of training your business is lacking. And if you just cannot find what it is, an expert can help you out.
Sales Training for Managers
Sales managers spend most of their time directly with the sales team and helping with in-field support. In all fields and industries, it is important for managers and leaders to follow through with their own continued training. Leadership may come naturally to some, but consistent practice and effort keep it refined. The best sales managers can lead their team to an oasis in any desert.
Look for a training program that keeps itself honest about the success of your managers-in-training. Honest feedback allows for real, permanent growth. Shying away from anything that might help just because it is difficult is a clear path to failure. Give your managers the skills and understanding they need to lead a successful sales team.
Whatever kind of sales training your business needs, Selling Revolution is here to help. We take an in-depth look at your business to see exactly what your specific needs are. No matter what step of the journey you are on, whether you be a veteran or a beginner, we can work with you to drive your sales-based business to peak performance. Schedule a no-obligation call today and start getting your business the results you need.