Do you need help establishing your own internal corporate sales training program for team development? If so, I have some tips for you in this post.
At Asher, we have trained countless salespeople and executives in over two thousand companies around the world to close sales faster and easier. We’ve continuously streamlined our training to deliver the best results in the shortest amount of time, improving the curricula with every seminar. It is fair to say we’ve built a fairly well-oiled corporate sales training machine because we’ve distilled things down to the essentials.
Many customers supplement their Asher training with internal corporate sales training and ask for advice on establishing their programs. In the following text, I’d like to share some of the essential ingredients for successful corporate sales training for anyone who would like some guidance for their own company.
Pre-test trainees for sales aptitude
There is a sobering fact which I think many trainers realize, but won’t admit to, because they would see a drop in enrollment. And that fact is:
You cannot train everyone to make a living in sales.
It is estimated that 50 percent of sales success is attributable to natural talent. If you invest training money into someone without it, while they might improve a bit, the chances of them succeeding are very small.
Hiring and attempting to train the wrong people can cost $150,000 or more per each salesperson, the first year due to wasted resources and lost business.
The solution is to test for sales aptitude for the specific role they will execute before enrolling them in corporate sales training, and preferably before hiring them in the first place.
A fault of some sales trainers is their singular focus on the process and procedures of sales, such as product knowledge or using a CRM platform, to the neglect of the most important part: tee emotional aspect. Your corporate sales training should teach what emotional intelligence is all about and how to leverage it to close deals faster.
If you are new to the subject, please read the past articles on my blog where I cover emotional intelligence, like this one. But suffice it to say that buyers always decide emotionally, and then rationalize their decisions after the fact. When you understand common emotional triggers, you can train your salespeople to sell more effectively.
Spend a little bit more on your corporate sales training programs to invest in a sales and marketing keynote speaker. Here’s why this makes sense.
First, a good speaker will motivate your trainees. You could experience a nice lift in morale and revenue just from that.
Second, if they can tie your curriculum into their presentation to some degree, they can increase buy-in of the material you are trying to teach.
Third, bringing in a speaker makes the training session memorable and special. It’s a tremendous value-add which signals “Hey, pay attention, because this is not your usual boring training program.”
It is not enough to hear lectures, fill out workbooks, and watch videos on selling – you have to practice to really “get it.”
Role play is a fantastic way for corporate sales training students to work out the kinks and practice without risking live deals.
Sky’s the limit as to what you can have them role play, consider these:
- Elevator pitches
- Ice breakers
- Matching buyer personality type
- Handling common objections
- Recognizing the buyer’s shift
- Delivering closing questions
- Asking for referrals
Strangely enough, teaching actual closes has fallen out of favor in some circles as “old fashioned.” I suppose if you deliver classic closes in a robotic way, they will come across as unnatural or corny. But to dismiss the techniques, which have built fortunes for the best salespeople in the world (and continue to do so today), is unwise.
Closes help sellers guide prospects to make buying decisions, and the more expert salespeople become in them, the faster they will close deals. They work because they are based on understanding basic human emotions and reactions, not because they hypnotize people. Teach them!
Finally, every corporate sales training program requires some way for trainees to revisit the training material. Failure to establish this reduced the effectiveness of any learning session, because most humans forget the data very quickly – within hours even. You have to repeat the data and repeat it again, so they don’t forget and continue to apply.
Most often, reinforcement is accomplished through regular refreshers at sales meetings or through personal coaching from managers. You could also set up an online directory of training material or a private video portal which covers the topics learned. The point is, just don’t teach them once and expect them to remember it all.
If you have any questions about setting up an effective corporate sales training program or would like to license our curriculum for your own use, please contact us.