What is the mark of a successful business? One trait is that it consistently meets and exceeds sales goals. This means recruiting and hiring highly-qualified sales talent. The journey doesn’t end there, though, as proper sales training and a focused sales philosophy is essential to maintain growth and to continue developing the team and individual contributors.
What do your sales training sessions look like? Are they dynamic and engaging? Here are some great ideas to make sure your company’s sales training is providing you with a solid foundation for ongoing development of the team.
Eight Sales Training Ideas to Implement Now
1. Knowledge sharing
A great resource that shouldn’t go untapped is your own sales team. We like to use the term “re-living” what sales reps are experiencing in the line of fire, and these scenarios allow you to coach back to your sales training and the “way” your company sells. Understanding your value proposition can start by higher exposure to common objections.
Some sales people fear objections and look for ways to avoid them. When, in fact, these are fantastic opportunities to deliver how your value will fill the customer’s needs. Convincing, bullet-proof response suggestions to difficult objections are a crucial part of the sales process. In the end, they demonstrate authority and integrity on behalf of your company and make a successful close more likely.
The members of your sales team have all had varying experiences in their sales roles. Whether they are meeting sales goals or not, they can contribute to sales effectiveness by sharing these experiences.
To spice up your sales training sessions, variety is key. In addition to identifying common objections and effective responses, it’s important to practice. You will also get the chance to perform assessments. One useful technique for practice and assessing your team is role-playing.
Role-plays are a great tool to use in terms of practicing useful information in an engaging manner. This is because your sales reps can actively participate in the training sessions in a refreshing way. Therefore, role-playing immediately makes the material more meaningful and memorable.
3. Tailor training for different roles
Continuing sales training is a vital part of long-term sales success. At every stage of a sales professional’s career, he or she can benefit from additional training.
Does your newest hire need the same training your most experienced sales rep?
Are your top performers getting useful information and practice in all sales meetings?
What you can do
To keep training sessions relevant and challenging, tailor different types of sessions for different types of sales roles.
Here are some varied sales training ideas:
- New-Hire course
- Advanced Sales Techniques
- Top Performers
- Account management
Try inviting top sales performers and especially experienced sales reps to lead mini-workshops or give presentations on their strengths. This is knowledge sharing at its best.
A sure-fire way to continue improving your sales team is to make them feel like they are where they’re supposed to be. Each training session should feel relevant and meaningful to the sales team. Continuing professional development that is tailored to the sales reps will yield long-term results.
4. 30-Second Commercial
It’s no secret that sales reps don’t usually have all the time in the world to make a sales pitch. Often, it’s a very small window in which they must make an impression that counts. Whether it’s in person, on the phone or in writing, a perfected elevator pitch can make all the difference. Use sales training sessions to give every member of your sales team this tool.
First, identify the criteria of a solid elevator pitch. It should be:
Short and to the point
Don’t lose their attention! You’ve only got 30-60 seconds.
Easy to Understand
Confusion is the enemy here. To be memorable you’ve got to be understood.
What do they need to know?
Showing is better than telling. Share an impressive statistic that shows your value.
What you can do
After you’ve gone over these criteria, get your team to work together to craft an elevator pitch that represents your company well. Once you’ve developed a draft, practice. Have your team practice delivering the pitch to each other and listen for language that sounds unnatural or clunky. Then, use this part of the session to refine the pitch.
Establishing a refined elevator pitch that your entire sales team uses helps in everyone sharing the same vision of the company. Individual sales reps can later tweak the pitch slightly to better suit specific contexts or personalize it.
For added value, include a follow-up session on this topic after a few weeks. Let your sales team share what worked and what didn’t. What lessons did they learn?
5. Consider Specialized Help
Since sales training is an important part of achieving sales success, it may be tempting to take full control of this aspect of your business. But it’s not always the best answer. Bringing in professional help from the outside can save your business time and money by reliably yielding results.
Sales leaders and the sales management team may be top performers and experts in their roles, but this doesn’t guarantee they’ll make exceptional trainers. An effective sales trainer must be an expert on the art of training as well as a sales expert.
What you can do
If your sales training program isn’t delivering the necessary results, don’t waste valuable time and effort reinventing the wheel.
At 360 Consulting, we are dedicated to developing and training sales teams.
6. Public Speaking
Skills that are specific to the practice of selling benefit from consistent development. Not to be overlooked, however, is soft skill training. Practicing soft skills like public speaking will elevate all the other skills your sales reps possess.
Sales professionals who are skilled public speakers are:
- better at making proposals
- more efficient negotiators
- able to develop better client relationships
And these are all a part of attaining great sales.
Essentially, good public speakers are able to hold someone’s attention while expressing ideas and a sense of urgency. They are able to speak openly and genuinely and elicit a response from the audience. Great speakers accomplish these things by understanding what the audience wants to hear and using the art of storytelling.
7. Active Listening
It’s been said that the most advanced form of communication is sales. The words we use are clearly an essential part of quality communication, but what may be even more important is how we listen. In the words of ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
The art of active listening is one that isn’t often formally taught. In fact, many people find it difficult to make a distinction between different types of listening.
What does good active listening look like?
An active listener isn’t doing anything else but listening. This includes thinking about the next call or personal concerns. Your environment isn’t being allowed to distract you.
An actively listening sales rep will frequently rephrase what the client has said in his or her own words. This shows the client that the sales rep is hearing and understanding what they are saying.
Listen to words unsaid.
A good active listener will also listen beyond the words of the speaker. By exploring the meaning behind the words, you can learn what the client values and what they want or need. This is information is vital in closing a sale.
Equipping your sales team with solid active listening skills can give them an edge on the competition. It will help your team build rapport with clients and improve sales opportunities.
Maintaining a professional environment in the office may be important, but fun and games can still have their place as well. Games can be a great way to engage your sales team while reinforcing sales methodology, boosting confidence and improving quick-thinking skills. It’s also another opportunity for assessment.
Playful competition and the aspect of enjoyability set games apart from other training methods. Yet best of all, this practice will boost their confidence and improve their ability to think quickly, both qualities of sales professionals with high closing ratios.
We’ll Help You Surpass Your Sales Goals
Make sure you’re getting the most out of your sales training.
Sales meetings don’t have to be dull and repetitive. If you’re looking for a fresh way to improve sales, try these sales training ideas with your team.
- Motivate your sales team by making training sessions more engaging and memorable
- Facilitate growth for sales reps of all experience levels
- Give you the opportunity to assess and provide tailored feedback
To expedite meeting and exceeding your sales goals, it might be time to call in reinforcements. Schedule your free consultation here to find out how we help sales teams break sales records.