Online sales training programs offer your sales representatives the opportunity to improve their selling skills directly from their home or office. With the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s not just convenient. It’s safe too. Because they occur virtually, you aren’t limited by geography when you’re searching for the best online sales training programs for your team. You can access experts anywhere in the world with the click of a button. The problem, then, becomes sorting through the numerous online sales training programs available to you.
Types of Sales Training Programs
The first step in finding the best training program to suit your sales team’s needs is to decide what type of training you’re looking for. Most HR managers use a combination of the following training types to ensure employees have a holistic training experience.
- Technical or Technology Training
- Quality Training
- Skills Training
- Soft Skills Training
- Professional Training and Legal Training
- Team Training
- Managerial Training
- Safety Training
Best Sales Training Companies and Online Sales Training Courses
A brief online search will reveal more sales training companies than you could ever sort through, which is why we have compiled a list of some of our favorites. In the interest of providing useful information for as many of our readers as possible, the following companies and online sales training courses encompass a variety of different types of sales.
Paid Online Sales Training
For those with the budget to take advantage of them, paid online sales training courses tend to offer in-depth information about specific topics.
21st Century Sales Training for Elite Performance
Brian Tracy’s 21st Century Training for Elite Performance is an online sales training program that offers a solution to the problems facing sales representatives struggling to adapt to rapidly shifting technology and attitudes. He addresses three factors that he has pinpointed as being the most important to your success in sales: smartphones, smaller wallets, and competition.
Your potential customers have the entire internet at their fingertips given the prevalence of smartphones, which means they can know everything they want to about you and your competitors within seconds. Businesses and individuals alike are leery of spending too much money, which is where the idea of a smaller wallet comes in. Finally, you’re facing local, national, and global competition no matter what industry you’re in thanks to the availability of information about starting a business and online marketplaces.
B2B Inside Sales Training
Salesbuzz offers a collection of helpful online sales training courses for people working in B2B inside sales. The courses are comprehensive, covering topics ranging from how to increase the callback rate on voicemails you leave to how to stay motivated in the face of rejection. The B2B inside sales program is meant to last two months. Because inside salespeople operate entirely through phone calls, emails, and other virtual methods of communication, they lack the benefit of in-person interactions with clients. Pursuing training that aims to overcome that particular barrier can be valuable. Additionally, Salesbuzz offers a certificate to everyone who completes the courses and passes the final exam, so it’s a useful professional development opportunity as well.
Virtual Sales Pitch Training
Julian Mayhew’s virtual sales pitch training is an essential investment for anyone who has had to adapt to selling remotely over the past year, although the training will be applicable in a post-pandemic world too. Mayhew’s training focuses on how to give a sales pitch over a video call, which is a difficult skill many people have found themselves scrambling to acquire as of late. If you’re used to relying on your potential customers’ body language and demeanor when making a sales pitch and have found yourself at a loss as to how to transfer your skills to a virtual setting, this course is for you.
Virtual sales pitch training can be useful even if you feel relatively comfortable interacting with clients over video calls. Video conferences are still a relatively new medium, and any opportunity to practice and increase your confidence should be taken.
Free Online Sales Training
If you’re hoping to find the best online sales training free, the following companies and courses might be a good fit for you.
HubSpot Academy offers a brief course on inbound sales, which are sales that focus on meeting the needs of potential customers. While free, you will still have to invest roughly two hours of your time. However, there’s no financial risk involved in trying the course of inbound sales. Like Tracy’s program, it focuses on what HubSpot refers to as empowered customers—the customers who can and will do plenty of outside research before making a purchase. As empowered customers make up an ever-increasing percentage of the market, it’s helpful to know how to catch and keep their attention.
Top Sales Academy
From Top Sales World comes Top Sales Academy, an online training program meant to help keep you up to date on the latest trends and best practices in sales. It’s free, available on-demand, and features a range of topics, making it another low-risk choice if you’re experimenting with different training programs to find something perfectly suited for your needs. It’s also an excellent choice if you’re a salesperson looking to improve your selling skills and knowledge on your own rather than at the behest of the company you work for.
Sales Strategy: Mastering the Selling Process
Sales Engine offers a lengthier training program compared to some of the others on this list. It stretches over five weeks and has a fairly broad focus, including everyday situations you might not think of as relating to sales, such as job interviews. Sales Engine focuses on the human element of sales, including storytelling and interpersonal relationships. While the training itself is free, you will have to pay a fee if you would like to receive a certificate.
The Best Training Program for Sales
Every sales team’s needs are different, so the best training program for sales will depend on your specific requirements. The parts that make up a successful training program for you will vary depending on your team’s focus, but some components appear over and over again.
Essential Sales Skills
No matter how experienced the members of your team are, the right training program for sales will present a chance to refresh basic sales skills like making cold calls and closing deals. Practicing essential sales skills, particularly the ones that your team might not use regularly, helps your team stay up to date and prepared for any situation. Roleplay and practical demonstrations can be great for team-building as well as training.
Training for a Great Customer Experience
Your customers are the reason your company exists, so the experience they have when interacting with your sales team is paramount. Keeping track of every client you have through every stage of the sales process isn’t easy, but it’s the best way to ensure your customers are all having their needs met. When you understand the issues your customers face, you’re better able to build relationships. Online sales training programs that focus on the customer experience should be service-oriented.
Understanding Your Products and Market
Understanding the product you’re meant to be selling is vital, particularly if you are in a technical or mechanical industry. You never want to be caught wrong-footed, unable to answer a potential customer’s question, so thorough knowledge about your product is a must. You also need to understand your market if you want to predict the kinds of questions they will have for you and prepare for arguments against making a purchase. An online training program for sales tailored for your specific industry will offer a good return on your investment, as will programs that emphasize preparation.
Defining Your Sales Process
For something so crucial to your company’s success, a sales process can be rather nebulous and hard to pin down. Think of a sales process as a scientific experiment. You want clear steps that produce a repeatable result. That’s what makes it science, and that’s what makes it useful for sales too. Having a well-defined sales process and a training program devoted to it means that your new hires will fall into place quickly and with minimal disruption.
Customer Relationship Management Training
Customer relationship management (CRM) software can make your life much easier if you know how to take advantage of it, which is why providing your sales team with thorough training when it comes to the software is essential. If you’re using a software program a new hire isn’t familiar with, or they’ve never worked with CRM software before, they’re bound to miss out on valuable information without the right training. Make sure your employees have the opportunity to experiment with the software firsthand. Don’t just have them watch a tutorial video that will leave them more confused than when they started the day.
Your sales team needs to operate as a team rather than working together in name alone, which is where team-building exercises come in. Whether you hire new employees in batches or one at a time to expand or maintain your sales team’s numbers, the new hires must mesh with each other and the existing team. Gamifying training exercises and giving your team a common goal to work toward are often highly effective ways of building relationships and fostering teamwork.
How do you know if an online sales training program was a success? It’s easy to say that you’ll never settle, that there’s always room for improvement—all of the usual platitudes. That kind of attitude and intrinsic motivation is helpful in some circumstances, but not when you’re trying to assess the efficacy of a training program and encourage your sales team to feel good about their accomplishments. Many online sales training programs include assessments, particularly if they come with a certification. You can also look for success in improved sales numbers after a training program has taken place.
For expert sales advice from an experienced industry leader, you can book a call with Selling Revolution’s Ryan Chute today.