Every entrepreneur goes into the business fully committed to being the best at what they do. If you want to be successful, it’s the only way to run things. The sales team for any successful business also needs to be made up of high-performance sales representatives.
They are the primary drivers of growth and the lifeblood of any young company. If your team is crushing their numbers, you need to do whatever you have to keep it that way. That includes high-quality retention programs and the best training. No business owner wants to see their best sales reps get poached by the competition.
You also want to get the most performance you can out of your existing team, especially if they have been with you since launch. Loyalty and trust count for a lot, and training your sales team to earn well for themselves and your company matters.
So how do you pick a good sales training program for your outside salespeople? Moreover, why do they need alternative training compared to inside sales representatives? Finally, while we are on the subject, how do outside and inside sales support one another to crush sales goals? Let’s look at the best answers we’ve got to all those questions together.
What is Outside Sales?
In simplest terms, outside sales representatives do business with customers where they work or live. The U.S. Department of Labor uses the term to describe both “door-to-door salesmen” and corporate sales executives. From skyscraper boardrooms to back offices of local businesses, outside sales representatives go to the customer to get sales.
Inside Sales Vs. Outside Sales: Key Differences
Knowing what we know now, it’s probably important to make a quick list of distinctions for inside and outside sales
- Travels to the customer’s home or place of business.
- Evaluates the customer’s needs prior to making the trip.
- Suggests pre-planned alternatives likely to meet customer needs and budget.
- Gains agreement/signature while meeting the client, then completes the remainder of the sales process off-site.
- Works from a call center or sales office (does not travel).
- Takes inbound sales calls.
- Makes outbound sales calls.
- Evaluates customer’s needs during their sales call.
- Suggests several alternatives for products and services after conducting an evaluation remotely.
- Order is processed and signed during the same call/virtual meeting (the process is completed all at once).
Clearly, both roles are in stark contrast to each other, but each is critical for sales team success. How do they work together to meet or exceed sales goals? To answer this question, we first need to define the sales cycle and how inside and outside sales keep the cycle running smoothly.
Understanding The Sales Cycle
Both inside and outside sales follow a cycle from lead to contact to closing. Marketing casts a wide net to draw in potential buyers for your company’s product or service. Depending on what you have to offer, some leads get funneled straight to inside sales. Leads for products and services that require face to face interaction generally end up on the outside sales slate.
Small, transactional purchases are best handled by an inside sales team because it’s largely order processing. The inside sales representative is suggestive selling products and services, but the buying decisions are generally already made. This is particularly true of inbound sales calls for more information about a product or service. It’s a short, efficient sales cycle
Conversely, the outside sales cycle is more time-consuming and complex but also yields greater rewards. Outside sales representatives are accustomed to reaching out to leads directly. With the right training, they can quickly and easily interpret a buyer’s motivation. Moreover, they know the common objections and pain points their potential customers may have regarding big-ticket products or services.
Most importantly, they also have the product and service knowledge to answer difficult, complex product and service questions. Outside sales representatives are experts at helping new customers find the right fit for their budget and needs. Well-trained outside sales representatives rarely fail to close a deal.
If this sounds like the sales team you want to build, you need to find the best training program to get them into shape. We’ve curated a list of some of the best training available to help you build your top-notch outside sales team.
Best Outside Sales Training
Advantage Performance Group
This program focuses on skill enhancement and sales training at every level. Corporate leaders, sales reps and marketing can all benefit from the services and training Advantage has to offer. The training specifically aligned for sales focuses on topics like negotiation tactics, client empathy, prioritization, emotional intelligence and accelerating B2B sales.
All in all, the Advantage program provides excellent outside sales training with both beginners and veteran salespeople in mind. Every one of your reps will develop the skills they need to successfully meet with and close clients in person.
ASLAN Training & Development
Few corners of the internet these days have not echoed with quotes from master sales guru Brian Tracey. When he isn’t authoring numerous books and appearing as the keynote speaker at conferences, Brian works on developing better sales training programs.
Regardless of what program you choose, your outside sales team will participate in a virtual master class. Each rep will learn how to make the sales process work for them while improving their presentation and closing skills.
ASLAN Training and Development also offers specialized training for more experienced teams: 21st Century Sales Training for Elite Performance. It’s a three-month class that focuses on winning every stage of your selling process from prospecting new business to selling renewals.
Bringing their award-winning training methods to over 70 countries, RAIN Group has a proven track record of success. Each module focuses on both building skills and driving behavioral changes within your sales team.
For RAIN, it’s all about the mindset as much as the method. They also grant training partners access to their extensive training library that covers every aspect of the sales process. If you are looking for an all-in-one solution that will bring needed change, RAIN Group is definitely worth your time.
The Brooks Group
An esteemed elder statesman of sales training organizations, The Brooks Group first formed in 1977. They are best known for their ground-breaking IMPACT Selling program: a data-driven, results-oriented sales methodology that is the result of decades of research.
Their success and longevity speak for themselves. Since its inception, The Brooks Group has applied its patented six-step process across 350 industries. Best of all, workshops can be held in-person, online or both.
Sometimes the best outside sales training solution is one that grows with your team. New Velocity offers comprehensive training built to be ongoing, even after your team masters their initial curriculum and methodology.
You can request in-person training or request online sessions, and members can always access their digital learning library online. They focus on four key areas, which they refer to as pillars:
- Prospecting & Approaching
- Closing & Presenting
- Follow-up & Referrals
- Leadership Development
Best of all, their program is scalable for businesses at every level. They’ve trained sales teams for startups as well as massive corporations like Google and Oracle. For companies seeking a long term training solution, New Velocity is definitely a promising option.
While their focus is primarily on high performance B2B sales, there is something for everyone at IMPAX. Not only do they provide a dizzying array of sales training, but they also provide consulting services for custom solutions. Workshops, public seminars and online classes are combined to provide your team with the best fit for their training needs.
IMPAX trainers are experts at identifying areas for growth and providing team/company-specific training solutions to remove impediments to progress. You would be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive training solution, especially with such personalized service. Their services are not inexpensive, but it is difficult to argue with the extensive track record of proven results. IMPAX was even listed as one of SellingPower’s Top 20 Sales Training Companies for 2019.
Ultimately, to operate a high performing company, you need a highly trained outside sales team. If you can’t hire the talent you need, you will need to train the people you have. The better their training, the faster you will grow. Even if you employ experienced sales reps, do not overlook the need for additional training.
No matter your sector of the industry, business and customer needs are always in a state of flux. Training your sales team needs to stay a top priority regardless of your business’ scale. Check out the training programs we’ve evaluated for you. Find a training solution that will help your sales force stay at the top of their game. If you don’t have a program in place now, get started today. You owe it to your business and to your team.