The argument for the best sales training programs has never been greater, with shrinking margins and a tough economic climate of concern for many industries.
The real value of sales training is that it allows businesses to regain control of their own growth and profitability, rather than be subject to the whims of the greater economy. With a superior sales force that knows what it is doing, new markets can be reached and business created in seemingly impossible conditions.
For those that doubt this, they should simply consider some of the well-known anecdotes in the business press regarding companies that had explosive growth during down cycles, or even recessions.
Not all sales training can create a superior sales force. Great sales teams share some common characteristics, which we call the “4 Factors of the Best Sales Training Programs.”
It is a waste of time to train someone who has no aptitude for sales, especially outside salespeople who require specific traits in order to excel in the face of often unforgiving competition.
Despite this, millions of dollars are flushed down the drain by companies that operate a “revolving door” system of hiring, training, and offloading — money which could be put to much better use. As most sales in any company are produced by a small contingent of top-producing salespeople, it is imperative to identify candidates with the potential to soar, and invest the resources necessary to help them succeed, rather than on low-performers that will never make it due to a lack of inherent talent.
The best sales training program will test all trainees beforehand to ensure training dollars are being utilized in the most effective manner.
Sourcing new business. Drawing up proposals. Building trust. Closing the sale.
All of the above are critical salesperson skills which, along with just few others, really comprise the foundation of the day-to-day life of sales professionals. If these skills are shortchanged in training, as when trainers assume “everybody knows this already,” salespeople might drift aimlessly throughout the day.
Teaching these skills is like training athletes for a sports team. If these basics are missing, the team can be expected to falter. If they are drilled in, then the team can live up to its potential.
The best sales training program will gauge the experience level of trainees, and teach skills that are lacking, while reinforcing concepts which might need constant improvement.
It is not enough to simply make great salespeople. They must be supported by excellent sales processes.
There are 15 sales processes identified by ASHER Strategies which are used by the top salespeople in the world. The processes are a roadmap to success in pursuing B2B sales opportunities, but it is rare that an organization has them all in place naturally. Getting them all in place will improve sales performance dramatically.
The best sales training program will help determine which of these processes are weak in an organization and rapidly bring them up to best practices levels of performance.
Agricultural machinery should not be sold the same way as a 1,000-seat software license. A cookie-cutter approach to sales training can therefore be expected to be less effective than one which is tuned to the specific needs of the client company.
Some areas which should be customized for each company:
The best sales training program will explore the specific needs of the client company in order to positively impact that business’ top line and profitability in the most powerful way possible.
ASHER Strategies incorporates the above four key components in its training programs, which have been used to improve the skills more than 50,000 sales professionals over the past three decades. Experience the difference these can make in your own sales training program with a customized solution from Asher.
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Richard Lenahan, President, Praxis
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