Today's post is by Matt Tuson, EVP of Sales at NewVoiceMedia.
Do your sales training efforts change the behavior of your sales reps and make your business more money? In many cases, sales training amounts to a booklet of old-fashioned ideas that have little to no impact on your business culture.
However, proper sales training is essential – not only as a way to ensure you’re getting the best out of your team, but also to make sure processes are uniform across the company. And training isn’t just about new recruits. Every member of your team needs training from time to time.
Here are five tactics for effectively training your sales team – from beginners to experienced sellers.
1. Role play is still effective!
Most people learn best if they’re actually doing something, as opposed to just listening. Role play can give your team practical, hands-on training that forces them to think on their feet. Here are some good situations to role play:
- how your team works in CRM
- how they overcome objections
- elevator pitches
- cold calls
- negotiation tactics
This is also a great opportunity to look for common selling mistakes, such as talking too much, over-educating, or failing to ask questions.
To make the most of role plays, record them. For example, ContactWorld for Sales allows you to record calls for training and legal compliance; this means you can analyze real calls with your team to see how they’re performing and whether they’re putting their training into action. Sometimes it’s only by evaluating what you do on a day-to-day basis that you can truly learn and improve.
2. Set up a peer mentor system
Peer mentoring is obviously essential during ramp-up for new hires, as there’s so much about the company itself to learn before you can begin selling effectively. But having input from a senior sales professional can also be useful later on in a sales person’s career.
3. Ensure your training covers why people buy
Too often, sales training covers the ‘logical side’ of sales – in other words, the features, functions and business benefits of the product or service and how to best communicate these to the prospect. While this is still important, sales training should also cover the emotional, political and subconscious forces that have an impact on the decision.
4. Build confidence with easy sells
Confidence is an essential skill for any salesperson. But, if you’re new in a job or you’re struggling to start out, your confidence – and, consequently, your ability to sell effectively – can take a knock.
For the first few months, focus new hires on products or prospects that you know to be an easy sell. Let your new sales team make sale after sale, and watch their confidence grow. When they come to tackle the riskier prospects later on, they’ll be filled with self-confidence, which will swing the sale their way.
5. Ensure training is consistent
Training needs to be consistent. This is because the only way you can get every member of your team to use a CRM the same way is if they all get the same information at the start. Experienced sales reps may be great at what they do, but, if the way they log progress on the CRM is different to everyone else (or lacking detail), they’ll be harder to manage and some information could get lost.
Without the right information, you’ll be missing valuable insights and will be unable to forecast accurately, which could have a direct impact on the business’ goals.
How do you train your sales team? Do you have any tips you’d like to share?