Creating, maintaining, and improving a sales training program takes a crazy amount of work. From preparation and planning to thoughtful development and implementation, a training program that’s refined and well-suited to help reps succeed is hard to build—and even harder to change and improve over time. Luckily though, we’ve got tips and tricks on how to develop a sales training program for your team right here.
So now that the hard part is done, you can sit back and relax right? Wrong!
Maintaining a sales training program is kind of like owning a home. You work hard to move in, get established, and arrange everything how you like it. But after all the initial hard work is done, there are still ongoing tasks to be done. You’ll have to mow the lawn, oil squeaky doors, and fix the things that break over time.
A sales training program is exactly the same. After it’s up and running, it will still require maintenance, fixes, and even some adjusting. Don’t let this seem daunting to you. If you know how to effectively improve and update your program, it will be beneficial to you, your sales reps, and the company as a whole.
So where should you start? These three tips will be your guide to understanding the importance of continuously improving your training program. For more information and all sorts of free sales training ideas, check out the 75 things we think all great sales training programs need!
1. Keep Your Training Material Fresh
Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of your sales reps. You go through training as you onboard with the company, and within the first week of your job, you realize things have changed. The training you went through does not align with the current sales training best practices of your team. You now have to re-learn certain aspects of the sales process.
This is exactly what you don’t want. It’s important to keep your training materials fresh and up-to-date so not only are they engaging, but they effectively prepare the sales rep for the job they are about to do. For ideas on fun sales training activities, check out this resource!
Glance through your sales training curriculum on occasion to make sure everything in there matches how your team actually operates. Making consistent edits over shorter spans of time will be far less overwhelming than putting it off for a year or two. It’s like picking up items that clutter the house: If you put things away at the end of the day, it takes less time and energy to do it all at once on the weekend.
2. Feedback is Your Friend
No one knows the process better than the sales reps themselves. Asking more experienced teammates, and even freshly onboarded reps, too, will help you gather accurate feedback on your program and show you where your program needs tweaks. Your team may have insight on advanced sales training topics that you wouldn’t have thought to include initially.
You can approach this a couple of different ways. Maybe you talk one-on-one with those you come in contact with, or maybe you send out a survey. Do what makes the most sense for your team; the point is simply to get their thoughts and feedback in an efficient, effective way.
Not only is feedback important for tweaking training materials, but it’s important in helping you gauge what the reps are experiencing and thinking. It’s a prime opportunity to pick their brains in a collaborative way, while also gaining valuable insight that will impact your program. There are many types of sales training programs, so there will be just as many ways to incorporate feedback.
3. Go Out and Explore
One of the most important reasons to continuously improve your sales training program is because there are always new strategies to be tried and methods to be tested. Like bell bottom jeans and 8 tracks, nothing lasts forever. Foundational concepts may stay, but new approaches and methodologies will come and go, and it’s important you stay up to date.
Now, we’re not saying you should jump on every new trend like people do with diets and fashion. But what we are saying, is that you should be aware of the emerging approaches and methods.
How exactly do you stay up to date? Get outside of your bubble and see what others have to say. Start by going to conferences or seminars where you can listen and learn from others in your industry. Widening your perspective will only help you and your employees in the long run.
Owning a home can be a lot of work, but it’s benefits far outweigh the costs. It provides a shelter over your head and a place for your family to convene. The same applies to a sales training program! It will require a lot of maintenance along the way, but in the end your sales reps and company as a whole will reap the rewards.
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