Designing a Sales Training Program Your Employees Will Love

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Sales training is critical to business success. Companies of many types have sales departments that help ensure a healthy bottom line. But in order for sales teams to operate at peak efficiency, they must receive regular, effective sales training.

A Few Benefits of Sales Training

The most obvious benefit of sales training is increased business income. But there are other advantages of providing consistent sales training to your sales team. They include:

— Greater upselling and cross-selling

— Deeper knowledge of products and services

— Retention of sales reps

— Better sales forecasting

Most companies provide sales training to their sales staff. However, only training that is continuous and engaging will drive the results you want.

3 Tips for Creating a Sales Training Program Your Workers Will Love

You can design a sales training program your staff will engage in. Here are a few tips for doing this:

1. Offer blended learning — Different employees prefer different modes of training. However, blended learning can be especially engaging. It gives sales staff the best of both training worlds: online and in-person.

To create a blended sales training program, deliver content digitally as well as traditionally. For example, you might offer a live, instructor-led 2-hour sales class bi-monthly while giving staff 24/7 access to online training materials.

Using a learning management system can be helpful in crafting a blended learning program of any kind. An LMS allows you to create your own online sales courses, and LMS learning paths leave room for in-person, classroom-style learning that gives sales training a human touch

2. Give employees the content they want — Sales reps are much more likely to regularly interact with training that is interesting to them. Company leaders who get feedback from employees concerning this end up creating successful sales training programs.

Finding out what your sales representatives want to learn about is as simple as asking them using online or paper assessments. Another way to get feedback from sales reps is by creating Facebook groups for individual sales teams and conducting polls using the social platform. Some employees may feel more comfortable giving feedback anonymously, via assessment, but others may prefer social sharing.  

3. Include one-to-one coaching — There is no better way to engage an employee than by offering one-to-one coaching from a sales trainer. One-to-one coaching for sales reps can get quite costly, especially if your salesforce is large, so you may want to consider coaching only team leaders or those moving into leadership positions.

A more cost-effective way to provide a measure of personal sales training to staff is to assign peer accountability partners. “If you design a program with at least two partners for each person, there is a good chance the participant will stick to the (training) plan,” stated Training Industry. “These partners can meet in person or by phone or web conference; the important part is maintaining communication and good habits.”

Is Your Sales Training Program Getting Results?

If your sales team isn’t performing satisfactorily, your company’s sales training program could be one of the culprits. The results of an effective sales training program are increases in sales, cross-sells and upsells, productivity, and performance. If you aren’t seeing these results, add elements of blended learning, personalized content, and coaching into sales training.

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