The best sales training seminars fit a lot into a limited amount of time. As the lines continue to blur between marketing and sales roles, demand increases for even more content to be squeezed into workshops.
Regardless of this demand, I believe the best sales training seminars must include the following key elements if they are to have real value for attendees.
If it seems odd to mention selling skills should be part of the best sales training seminars, it is because some trainers lean too heavily towards teaching marketing skills (lead procurement) and too little towards revenue generation (closing deals).
The basics of selling must be taught in order to put money into both the salespeople’s pockets and the company coffers. Excellent fellow sales trainer Tom Hopkins does a good job breaking these down to 7 fundamentals:
Asking for Referrals
It is not enough to soak up a day’s worth of selling theory. The information must be practiced in order for students to apply it in their day-to-day jobs.
The safest way to do this without letting students go out and potentially blow deals is through role playing exercises. In this way, kinks in technique can be worked out in the safety of the classroom, which builds confidence before selling to actual prospects.
Any and all parts of the selling skills mentioned previously can be role played in the best sales training seminars. Scripts can be provided to help students learn effective things to say at each step of the selling process, rather than have them wing it.
It does not make sense to teach selling to students who lack the natural aptitude needed to succeed. The best way I know to determine aptitude, aside from observing on-the-job performance for several months at least (which can be costly if the person is inept), is through aptitude testing.
The test which we provide, the APQ, is particularly excellent in determining aptitude for a variety of sales roles – from outside sales hunters to inside sales farmers. It also providesa means to objectively coach people towards better performance. This is done by stretching their personality extremes towards behaviors proven to lead to increased sales success.
For example, someone might know the script to ask for referrals cold, but might be so aggressive that it turns off the customer. Through self-awareness brought about with the APQ, that salesperson can be coached to take a softer tone with certain personality types, and therefore get more referrals and close more deals.
The best sales training seminars don’t lose sight that selling education requires adherence to the basics, emphasize realistic role play, and that salespeople should possess an inherent knack for sales if they are truly going to make it.