What is the purpose of a sales training program? You might have heard of it, or even implemented a program of your own, but you might be struggling to figure out if it is really worth it. Is it worth the time and resources to build and maintain?
The best sales training programs equip reps with the tools that they need to succeed. This sets your sales reps up for success, which in turn benefits the company as a whole. Building a strong sales onboarding program is the best way to engage new reps, increase retention, and drive sales performance.
Sales training programs are all about preparation and practice before sending reps out on their own to perform. It gives them an opportunity to gain understanding, enhance skills, and become knowledgeable on products and services. A training program should cover the entire spectrum of the sales process.
So, what does it look like to equip your reps? Glad you asked. Let’s break it down with a few sales training best practices.
1. Gain Understanding
First things first. Your sales reps should fully understand how their role fits into the grand scheme of things at a company-wide level. This is especially important for new hires. Experienced reps have likely figured it out during their time with the company. The goal is to make it clear as soon as they begin to help jumpstart their success.
Providing reps with a high-level view of how their work affects the success of the company gives them motivation and a sense of responsibility to perform. They will understand the impact of their work and take ownership of their success.
2. Skills Enhancement
The second purpose of a sales training program is pretty simple: it’s meant to train employees on sales skills. We want our sales reps to be expert communicators, active listeners, masters of persuasion, and adaptable. And while we may see glimpses of this in our current and prospective employees, a great training program accelerates and hones-in on specific sales skills.
Think of a training program as a recipe. Anyone can whip something together in the kitchen with little direction, similar to how reps can go along trying to sell a product using whatever strategies they think are best. However, if you give a recipe card to the cook, they now have clear directions to use as a tool in navigating their dinner pursuit. By giving a sales rep clear direction and the tools necessary, like a recipe card, will get them to their goals faster and more efficiently.
3. Improve Morale
Sales reps should leave training with an uplifted spirit on their role and their contribution to the team. “They should feel like a respected and important part of a cohesive team and take away a sense of pride for their company and the products and services they represent.” says Chris Wolski in his article on sales training objectives.
You can improve morale by including team building exercises into the sales training curriculum. Fun sales training activities will make the team more cohesive. For example, you can implement role-playing scenarios or collaboration sessions amongst team members to build morale.
At the end of the day, it’s important to do what’s best for your team. Building morale and enhancing skills may look a little different for your company than it does at another organization, and that’s ok. In reality, all types of sales training programs look different for everyone. What’s important is that you understand the importance of the program and allocate the right resources and effort to making it a beneficial experience for your sales reps.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
Yes, we know it sounds cliché, but it’s true! There is a certain level of comfort and familiarity that your reps will only be able to gain through practice. You’ll never make it to the NBA without countless hours of practice. The same applies when it comes to sales. Reps have to put in the work if they want to hit their goals.
You can help them achieve their goals by creating realistic practice scenarios. It can help reps hone-in their skills in areas like negotiating and overcoming customer objections. Keep in mind, practice can take many forms. For additional sales training ideas on implementing practice, you can check out our all-encompassing sales training program ebook.
So, what comes next?
Now that you understand the importance of an effective sales training program, what’s the next best step to develop and conduct your own sales training program? The best place to start is with this helpful resource to teach you all about sales training best practices so your team sees phenomenal results.
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