Training sets the foundation for a competent and successful sales force. Finding and building the right training program takes effort and patience. Sales training techniques should be honed through honest criticism and experimentation. The right sales training techniques set the tone for a successful sales team. For 2021, make a commitment toward improving the longevity of your business by focusing on sales training.
Sales Training Techniques
Sales training techniques include all of the ways a sales manager or trainer might help the sales team develop the skills necessary for success. The importance of training can never be overstated. The success of any salesperson directly correlates with how prepared he or she is. The quality of that training matters just as much as receiving it.
Sales managers must practice the best sales training techniques with their teams to truly get the most out of the valuable time spent training. Training is an investment and often an expensive one. Like any investment, you want to put your efforts behind something that will pay off big. It takes time, effort, money and patience to adequately train new hires in any field but especially so when it comes to sales teams. The right sales training techniques help ensure that you get the maximum return on your investment.
Some techniques work better than others, but to really get the most out of them, diversify the techniques you use. Be critical of your training process and alter it as needed. If you continue improving your training and honing the right techniques, your team will continue to improve and grow.
Here are some different types of proven sales training techniques.
One of the most effective training techniques for many industries is to have new hires directly participate in the learning process. The best way to accomplish this goal is to have them do the job they are being trained to do under the supervision of an experienced trainer.
Begin hands-on training by sending your trainees into the field with a seasoned salesperson. Observing someone work a sale in real-time familiarizes that person with how to apply what has been taught. Once a salesperson has seen the action firsthand, it is then time for your trainees to start participating in the process.
Hands-on training should be done with a few different established salespeople so that trainees can see the different ways of going about the sales process. But, it is crucial to have a mentor in place as the trainee’s rock.
For hands-on training to be successful, the trainee should have a steady and consistent mentor to whom they can go with any questions. Mentors give feedback to their proteges on how to refine methods and make more sales. They can act as coaches directly in the field before the trainee is ready to go solo. Additionally, mentors are a resource new salespeople can call upon whenever it is needed. Instead of having a manager handle all issues the trainee encounters, a mentor offers a buffer to deal with minor questions and concerns.
Mentors are not only great for coaching, they also create bonds with new hires. Once a mentor/trainee relationship is established, new hires are more likely to remain with the team through the training process. Research shows that those with a mentor are more than twice as likely to stay with a company for at least five years than those without a mentor.
To get the most out of this sales training technique, rotate your new hires through several mentors to ensure a good fit. Having the right mentor is just as important as having any mentor at all. Listen to feedback from both the mentor and the student to make sure you have a match that will be good for the long run.
Innovative Sales Training Techniques
One of the best ways to stay on top of the game is to continue learning new techniques and seeing how well they work. Always retain what works, but be open to refining the process and experimenting with the newest practices.
Sales Training Courses and Seminars
One of the best ways to learn about new training techniques and stay up to date is to send your sales team through courses and seminars. There is a broad variety of courses available in several formats. You can select a course that offers a general overview of the sales process or one that focuses on one specific step. Courses are offered in-person and online and can be adapted to fit into any team’s busy schedule.
Any sales training course has the benefit of hearing from an outside source. Perhaps the course instructor has figured out a special practice that works incredibly well which you may not come across without the course. Gaining a new perspective can lead to breakthroughs to success for your team. Look for a course that falls in line with your needs or one that offers insight into new and exciting sales training techniques.
Sales Training Techniques for Managers
Managers are responsible for ensuring the sales team stays on top of their goals. Any sales manager should be looking out for ways to improve training as well as constantly offering motivation to the team.
Taking a good long look at your own and your employees’ strengths and weaknesses keep you from getting stuck in a rut. When a team member exhibits a sales technique that tends to work, applaud them for it and see how to get the rest of your team using that same practice. When a team member does something that just does not work, acknowledge it and coach them out of the habit.
You can evaluate how your team is doing by looking at sales numbers or by using examinations. Sales numbers will show you who is on top and who needs some help, whereas examinations will usually just tell you which skills your team needs to brush upon. When you look at sales numbers, do not focus on only the salespeople at the bottom of the list. Look for top performers as well so you can recognize their success and try to learn from it.
Whenever you see a salesperson either succeeding or struggling, it is a good idea to have a manager or another salesperson shadow them and record their process. This way you can correct bad behavior and implement successful techniques into your training program.
Incentives and Motivation
To get the most out of their teams, sales managers must properly incentivize and motivate salespeople. The best kind of reinforcement is positive reinforcement, where you reward good behavior. Giving bonuses to the top performers or offering rewards for exceeding a specific benchmark gets the team moving. Disciplinary action might sometimes be required, but only when team members exhibit intentionally negative behavior. Pay attention to what kind of motivation is working and change it up to stimulate excitement and action.
Sales Training Techniques for Sales Representatives
Sales representatives are the bread and butter of any sales organization. In order for their continued success, they should work to continue growing their skills and knowledge.
Sales teams should start every day with a few miniature training exercises to get them in the selling mood. They can either recite important steps in the sales process or team up with other members and practice the steps of a sale. Remember that the best way to have your team grow is to challenge them. Having members act like tough customers while practicing a sale will help them handle objections and keep their cool in a tough situation.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more salespeople train, the better they will become. Sales representatives should review all initial training materials on a consistent basis to make sure they cover all the steps. Working with another team member or manager can help them hone their sales techniques in a consequence-free environment. Learning out in the field might be the best way to learn, but in the real world, errors might kill a deal in their tracks.
Sales Training Techniques: A Constant Process
All sales teams need to keep up with their training, no matter how much experience they have. Sales representatives should practice daily and attend training seminars as needed. Sales managers are not safe either and should attend a few training seminars annually to keep up on their management skills. Everyone has something to learn day in and day out. Learning the best sales techniques does not stop once initial training is over. It needs to be a part of every organization’s environment.
When it comes to honing your sales training techniques, Wizard of Sales is here to help. No matter what kind of experience you and your business have, we can help you stay on track to reach your goals. We focus on helping our clients improve sales numbers through coaching, recruitment and analysis. Schedule a no-obligation call today and see where Wizard of Sales can take you.