Sales is an ever-evolving profession.
Every day there are new practices, new ideas, tools and technology that can improve the output and quality of work any sales rep can produce. It’s fantastic, but it means we must always look to improve on our craft.
That’s where sales training comes in. It’s where reps are taught how to sell their product or service. It’s how they are brought up to speed with the best practices.
So, what does great sales training look like?
Development of core skills in prospecting
Obviously, this is key for new reps joining a company or entering their first sales roles.
There are different skills and practices that SDRs will use in their first role compared to a first-time Account Executive, so effective training should always cover an element of fundamentals.
If world-class athletes still practice using their weak foot to kick or catch with their weaker hand, you can hone your primal sales skills.
New best practices
Over time, new tools are added to the sales stack and the team may not have a proper chance to sit together and work out how they can use it at 100% efficiency.
It’s important that this is made into a regular occurrence. This prevents the sales team from getting bogged down in making quota without making their life more efficient.
Not just this, but new reps and successful team members will innovate and create new methods to reach prospects more effectively. There will be a new email subject line that is eye-catching, or a voicemail follow up that is engaging.
It’s good to share what you find is working well for you so that others can test it. A sales team working together can do more than a lone wolf rep.
Positive environment for change
No sales training is truly effective if the atmosphere in the room is negative.
Your team needs to be ready for a day of improvement; they can’t see it as a waste of time.
This comes down to one thing: The engagement level of the individual(s) doing the training paired with the attitude of the team.
Do they want to get better? Are they excited to learn some ways to do better work and get more results?
Is the trainer smart? Does s/he have actionable takeaways that can be used immediately? Does s/he add value?
All these questions must be asked. Nothing will happen at the end of a sales training session if the content was not relevant, useful or different to what the team has seen before.
Sales training and coaching are important for all reps so that they can correct their bad habits and improve as sellers.
Good data to build your training upon
If the entire team is targeting similar verticals and encountering the same issues, you may have a strategy problem.
Sales training will allow these discussions to take place. The team can share their experience in dealing with prospects and how they have overcome objections, problems, and obstacles throughout their process.
This will require an examination of your sales stack, the target markets, buyer persona, and everything in between. What is the valuable proposition, what content do you have, what stories can you tell, what can you use as a sales person to succeed?
If you don’t have data that can help you understand who to go after or who is a hot buyer, your best practices will not work as well as they could.
This could be classified as sales coaching rather than sales training, but having your sales manager or top performer listen in on some calls or observe your outreach to prospects can be very helpful.
It’s important to remember that your trainer or manager is teaching and going over best practices with you.
If you’re not sure how you can apply it or if you don’t understand, the best way to learn it is to try and get feedback.
CRM checking and training
The CRM logging part of sales is the least desirable part of a sales rep’s day.
There are tools and processes, even teams that take care of the CRM work for sellers, which just proves how much people in sales want to avoid being in the CRM.
This may not be the part of sales training your team is most interested in, but if you can talk to them about what they hate, what takes too long, what they can’t find in the CRM or can’t do easily, this is beneficial.
If you can train your team on what they have to do so that these problems are eliminated, then you have helped them.
If you can identify where a tool or process is not working well, you can solve that problem so that the sales team can do more of the selling and less of the CRM entry that slows them down.
In conclusion, it’s clear that the quality of any sales training session is largely dependant on the trainer and their skills combined with the openness and attitude of the team to take on new things.
Once you have these two elements, you can focus on the six points raised here.
But you don’t have to wait for a sales training session to learn…