Sales Training: Taking Your Team to the Next Level
While monitoring sales pipeline and ensuring adherence to your company’s sales strategy are both important, the primary focus of good sales management should always be on sales training and coaching. Managers are never going to be able to be on all the sales calls that each sales representative on their team has. The next best thing is to develop a good sales training program that helps reps ramp quickly and learn to generate sales revenue more effectively.
There are a number of sales training techniques and methodologies such as “baseline selling” and “solution selling” that can help your reps improve. However, the most important factors in sales training are sales activities. Even good salespeople are going to run into bad sales leads and may even miss their sales quotas on occasion. The important thing is to focus on the sales activities, such as sales calls and meetings that reps can directly control, and which are directly correlated with closing more deals.
Developing a Sales Training Program
While there are certainly general sales techniques that you can follow, your company and product offering are unique. No other sales organization is going to be 100% the same. In order to develop a sales training program that will most effectively improve your reps’ performance you need to focus on what works in your organization. Who are the top performers on your team that you wish you had more of? How do they spend their day? How many calls do they make? How many meetings do they attend?
Once you have the tools in place to track top performers’ activities – whether through People.ai, Excel or a homegrown solution – you can direct your sales training efforts towards encouraging reps to follow that same set of activities. Modern sales is ultimately a question of process, not personality. Understanding the activities that help you win and incentivizing your reps to spend their time on those activities is what’s going to help you close more deals and generate more revenue.
Elements of Sales Training
While the monitoring and encouragement of specific sales activities make up the bulk of sales training, the process goes beyond that. AI will be an increasingly important part of sales in the future, but it’s unlikely to completely automate our jobs. There will always be some tasks that can’t be automated and that reps must learn from their managers and colleagues in training sessions. How flexible can you be on pricing? How do you handle objections? What’s the best way to position yourself against the competition?
The focus of good salespeople will always be where it should be, closing more deals. As such, it can be hard to ask salespeople to focus on anything that doesn’t immediately lead to more revenue. You therefore need to incentivize managers and senior sales reps to devote a significant amount of time to training their more junior colleagues. Everyone wins when you have more well-trained salespeople plying their craft, and your sales veterans are going to be invaluable in making that happen. As long as it’s focused on the practical applications of how to close more deals, any investment you make in sales training today is likely to pay off in the form of greater revenue generation in the future!