Let’s not beat about the bush:
Your sales team is only as good as the training they get. If they don’t access the correct information and resources, they’ll be flying blind—and that’s a recipe for disaster.
Today, due to the abundance of online information, most customers are well informed about what they want and how much they’re willing to pay for it — making it more difficult than ever to close a deal.
And that can mean millions of dollars in lost revenue.
While many companies still operate under the assumption that they need only hire the best salespeople and leave them alone to achieve success, this approach isn’t feasible in this age.
As competition grows more fierce and customers become savvier, new strategies must be developed for businesses to thrive — including innovative training programs designed specifically for your sales force.
So what does such a program look like? Here are five ways to train your sales team to keep things running smoothly and increase your ROI.
Train Using A Hybrid (Blended) Approach
The best sales training programs follow a blended approach.
But what does blended mean? Blended learning combines digital and face-to-face training to provide the highest quality training possible.
Here’s what I mean in practical terms:
In-person learning in classes, digital modules, simulations, hands-on, on-the-job observations, and on-demand coaching are the methodologies involved.
A hybrid approach allows maximum flexibility and allows you to change tactics easily should your team need it. It also allows for more effective use of resources because you can use the classroom training for new hires or those new to the organization but then use online training for those who have been with your company longer.
Review Pitch Calls To See What Can Be Learned
Reviewing pitch calls with your sales team to see if they can learn anything from them is another effective training technique you can employ. It can be done by looking for common themes, asking questions about what the client said, and taking notes on any issues that need to be addressed when working with a new prospect.
During the session, it is essential to have a discussion with your team about why certain pitches were rejected or accepted. The goal here is to help each salesperson understand why they did what they did and to have a conversation about how they can improve in the future.
You can employ this method irrespective of the experience level -however, it is most beneficial to newly employed staff members. As for old hands, it will freshen their skills.
Important Note: Seek permission before recording calls with prospects.
Implement Short Micro-learning Sessions That Are consistently Delivered
You want to avoid lengthy mind-numbing classes.
We have all heard the old saying “excess of everything is bad” – even these words can apply to training. Training is good—but there’s a fine line between giving your sales team information and overload.
Need proof? Here’s one:
According to this study, participants would forget nearly half of the learning content within five weeks in multi-day sales training events leading to wasted time and resources.
So what should you do?
Short, bite-sized learning modules are a great way to keep your salespeople engaged on the road or in their offices. These sessions can be delivered through any number of channels, including email or webinars, and they can quickly be reviewed and applied as situations demand.
Your micro-learning sessions should be short, frequent, but relevant. They should include easily understood concepts so that your salespeople can get a lot out of them with little effort.
You can even create a schedule for them and make it part of your standard operating procedure so that it’s not just something you do when you want to push for new sales goals.
These short micro-learning sessions can keep your sales team engaged while giving them something to look forward to regularly as they prepare to go out into the field.
Customize Your Sales Training For More Impact
Your sales team has different goals and needs — and so should their sales training program. For example, if you have reps that aren’t closing deals as quickly as they should be, you might want them to focus on closing techniques.
This is an excellent idea because it will help them get the most out of their training and help you, the manager, retain more of their attention. Additionally, it is cost-effective.
When you customize your training program, you can ensure that each individual gets what they need to succeed within your organization. It means that each salesperson can develop their strengths and improve upon any weaknesses they may have had.
The point is to ensure that each employee gets what they need from their training sessions to learn new skills and become better salespeople.
Embrace A Mentoring System
Ask around; an element of successful sales training includes a more experienced mentor who shows you the ropes – a seasoned person acts like your friend and teaches you how to do something in a way that makes it easy to learn. It’s almost like having a personal trainer that can show you what to do and correct your form, so you don’t injure yourself or waste time doing things wrong.
This strategy can be helpful for both new hires and employees who need a refresher on specific skills or processes. Having someone around who can answer questions or show you how to do something is much more effective than reading about it in a book or watching an online tutorial.
The key is that the mentor isn’t there to tell you what to do but instead to show you how they do it so that you can try it yourself. For example, instead of just telling someone how to write an email, they’ll show them how they would write an email. It creates an environment where people learn from each other and share their knowledge with others in the company because they want others to succeed.
If you want to be successful in the modern sales world, your sales team must be well-trained and up-to-date on the latest trends.
You may think that training is only necessary when a new product or service requires explanation. But in reality, your team needs training constantly.
Salespeople are constantly learn new information, ideas, and techniques—and they need to keep up with them if they want to succeed.
So, don’t sit on your hands: use the information in this post to help create an effective sales training program for your company!