A great sales training program can prepare you for a successful career in sales by giving you the confidence and competence to excel. For sales managers and executives, sales training programs can turn hapless sales people into producers as long as the raw talent is there.
This document will cover a few important elements of a good sales training program you should look for when deciding to invest your hard-earned dollars.
Test for aptitude
Aptitude testing should be at the start of every sales training effort. In a perfect world, everyone would be trainable. Unfortunately, you have to separate the wheat from the chaff in order to spend your training budget wisely; not everyone is cut out for a career in sales.
Aptitude assessment tests such as the Craft Personality Questionnaire have been used to save money and heartache by forward-thinking companies for over 30 years. Testing helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of prospective and current employees in order to assemble a team where there the right people occupy the right seats — rather than hope things just fall into place.
Consider testing your staff before sending them off to train — you will save a lot of money this way by training only the best.
Reinforce the material
Reinforcement is needed to prevent relapses of old behaviors . The right sales training program allows for ongoing coaching that reinforces what has been learned, either as a core offering or as an add-on service.
If coaching is not offered, check that there are follow up lessons or training material that sales managers can use during meetings to reinforce skills learned during the formal training sessions. Even PowerPoints with some of the key bullet points are useful.
Every sales training program should provide its students opportunities to role play what is being learned.
“Role-playing provides a safe environment to encounter different scenarios for the first time, which builds confidence in team members that can help them in their day-to-day roles,” according to Training Mag. Role playing scenarios will enhance the trainee’s listening skills and instill them with creative problem-solving skills. The more realistic the role play is determines the effectiveness of the training.
Of particular importance is to role play overcoming objections and closing techniques, two stages of the selling process which most salespeople have difficulty with. By refining their approach with a coach or partner, trainees can be much more successful in real world selling situations.
The last thing to look for is an emphasis on not only face-to-face selling skills, but on organizational and technological tools which can further lead to sales success — such as specific sales processes, efficient pipeline administration, CRM use, social media marketing, and more. As we move towards a more global business world, leveraging mobile apps is also of great importance to allow salespeople to be productive anywhere they happen to be.
For more information about sales training programs and how to choose one, please contact us at your convenience.