Training your salespeople is vital to the continuing success of any business. Even if they can’t turn back time by flying around the world in reverse, sales superheros can turn a bad pitch into a closed deal. In a rapidly changing world, it’s a mistake to assume that your best sales reps don’t need any more training. Whether your salespeople are veterans or just entering the world of sales, it’s necessary to provide them with the training they need to best represent your company. Training sales reps is important for:
- Improving knowledge of your company: You want your reps to be evangelists for your business, but they’ll be duds without background information that gives them a good story to tell.
- Clarifying responsibilities: Increase the efficiency of your team by ensuring they understand how their day-to-day activities affect the company as a whole.
- Increasing product knowledge: Give reps a reason to get excited about the products they’re selling. Not to mention there’s nothing more off-putting to potential buyers than a sales rep who doesn’t know everything about the products they’re touting.
- Knowing your customers: Part of sales training should be devoted not just to your own products, but your customer base. Use big data analytics to plug yourself into your customer’s world.
- Enhancing skills: This the No. 1 reason for training. It’s vital to be 100 percent confident in your products and your market, but if you lack the skills to wow your prospect, none of that information is worthwhile.
Here are some ideas for training your sales people:
Hire a trainer
Most businesses can benefit from hiring a trainer. However, be careful that you hire the right person, according to Geoffrey James for Salesforce. Different professionals have different areas of expertise. If they don’t have what you need, the investment won’t be worthwhile.
Make development of sales staff a part of every sales meeting. Try to set a goal for how much time you’ll spend on it. According to Caron Beesley on the government’s Small Business Administration website, one training session is rarely sufficient. Make sure your reps are up-to-date on the state of the market and even new research that would be beneficial in sales tactics.
An often overlooked way to increase the success of your sales team is to make sure they know your competitors as well as they know your company. As Beesley says, it’s a good idea to encourage role playing exercises that involve competitive selling techniques.
Make training part of your routine
Have sales reps incorporate training into their day by encouraging them to share information via social media or over group lunches.