10 Effective Sales Training Ideas For Your Team
In a continuously changing and dynamic business world, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, the best way to do so is to learn and adapt. Sales reps need to go through constant training and upgrading of their skills to adapt to new technologies and sales methodologies. This helps them stay up to date with new sales and marketing techniques as well as stay on top of their toes when dealing with clients and prospects.
There are several different responsibilities, industry practices, and team structures for varied companies to be able to create a one size fits all template for sales training. Whilst you always have to give thought to company-specific training, there are also certain skills and knowledge that salespeople can retain through training activities and gamification to achieve success in their careers.
Make sure your salespeople are always ready for their customer calls by incorporating some fun and effective sales training ideas and activities that can help become a motivational factor in learning new things. Whether you want to help reps who are new to the sales world or experienced ones, sales training can be done at multiple stages of their career.
Here are some effective sales training ideas to help your team!
Keep updated with industry-related media and content
One of the first things any company needs to do to stay relevant is to keep updated with industry-related content. Always stay on the learning curve as complacency can kill a salesperson’s career. Encourage your team to read newsletters from industry leaders and brands, podcasts, blogs, and more. With new thoughts and industry trends, the knowledge and information from these publications as well as video and audio sources can help them stay in touch with updated industry best practices and increase their knowledge base.
Sales training and onboarding templates
A sales training and onboarding template can be the Holy Grail for salespeople, especially ones that are just starting on the job. This template helps in outlining training timelines, role expectations, and all the necessary resources in one consolidated place. The template also works as a custom training plan that is specifically made for your company and helps make the onboarding process of newly hired sales members simple and timely.
Having this process pre-planned and organised can also help in reducing the time and effort it takes for the new sales hires to transition into their jobs without any confusion on expectations, from the rep or the company.
Analyse call recordings
Going back and analysing previous call recordings with prospect or clients is especially helpful for new sales reps as it gives them the opportunity to analyse what could have been done better and what was handled well.
Going through this exercise with team managers or leaders can definitely help the reps get some expert insight into how to handle customers who are difficult. Give your team advice on their tone, confidence, and vocabulary they use and ensure they are more than ready for their next call!
Play a round of “What did you hear?” as a way to assess the rep and weed out what was right and what wasn’t. Take notes on what stuck out in a good way or what needs to be worked on and assess the rep based on how attentive they are towards addressing the right and wrong way of problem resolution.
Assess buyer personas and journeys
A great exercise for new sales reps is to analyse and understand your company’s buyer personas and the typical buyer’s journey for your services and products. This presentation could be of any of your previous clients or a general typical buyer person. Include points like how they found your company, why they chose you, what their problems were, and how they were solved by your products or services.
Such exercises help salespeople properly understand your audience and customer base while being sympathetic to their problems. It also helps represent a clear picture of the sales cycle and how each customer goes through it efficiently.
Objection handling exercises
Objection handling and resolving customer or prospect problems is a big part of every sales rep’s job. Try an exercise with your team where they state the different objections they had to deal with over the past few months and what is the best way to handle and resolve this problem. They can do this activity individually or in groups. It is a great way to train new reps so they can be prepared when these objections or problems arise on the next client call.
There are several certifications that sales reps can aim for at different periods of their career to upgrade their knowledge base. Whether free or paid, these certified courses are created to help the rep take their career to the next level and ensure they are doing the best at their job.
Always teach your sales reps to take accountability for their actions and learn from them instead of thinking of them as a setback. At the end of the day, ask them to list out certain pain points they had throughout the day and try to understand and resolve them so they aren’t a roadblock again in the future. This also allows them to hold themselves accountable while taking the necessary risks and reviewing every growth opportunity.
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors is beneficial information to ensure you can always answer the question, “How are your products and services better than XYZ?”
Providing reps with insight into your competition and sharing relevant info-ration and documents on the same can help ready them for their future sales calls. Reps can also conduct their own analysis on competitor brands and find comparison points such as products, services, features, profitable marketing sources, sales revenue from certain strategies, and more.
A very effective way of training salespeople is to let a rep follow you around and shadow you. This allows the rep to completely understand the day to day working of sales managers, team heads, and other sales professions higher up in the chain. It will not just help with personal and professional growth, but also provide them with complete insight on how to handle tough situations and clients.
Training games for the sales teams
Gamification is a known way to increase employee engagement and help them get more focused and excited about their tasks. There are several training games that are not just fun for your team but can also help in quickly picking up important details about your company, sales techniques, and must-know facts.
The most commonly played game in the sales circle is “sell me this pen” where the rep that finds the most innovative pitch to sell a mundane office stationery item wins! Similarly, play games like ‘Jeopardy’ or pop quizzes to test their knowledge about your company, products, and their features. You can even ask them to do a 60-second elevator pitch idea to keep them on their toes!
To know more about gamification and its benefits for your sales team, read our other blog – Use Gamification to increase employee engagement.