Sales is arguably the most critical department for any business. Without sales, you don’t have customers…simple as that. However, it’s not enough to just hire s few smooth talkers, hand out some manuals, and have them sit through a workshop or two. Managers should never send their sales professionals out into the field unless they have been given the proper tools needed to be successful. Without effective sales training and techniques, your sales team is likely to feel like they have been thrown to the wolves. In today’s competitive market, there is no room for failure. So, equip your sales team with the best techniques to help them succeed.
- Field Training
Perhaps the most important training any sales professional can receive is field training. It gives your sales team the real world experience they need to be more productive. Hands-on experience is the only way for your sales team to really become more competent and confident with the sales process. It takes repeated action and practice for sales professionals to become fluent in the sales process and successful in their role.
- Improv Training
Your sales team will also really benefit from improving training. The best way to prepare for a live call or meeting is through improvisational practice. This allows your sales reps to learn in a safe and less risky environment. It also gives trainers the ability to control the conversation and take it anywhere they want. It allows for practicing a variety of different scenarios. Play back some of the recordings and critique the call together. It’s a great way to come up with some fresh insight while providing helpful feedback.
- Motivate with Success Stories
It’s not enough to simply walk your sales reps through what a successful call should look like. They need to actually see it for themselves. Select a few real-world stories that demonstrate what worked, what didn’t, and why. It gives the sales reps the chance to look for common patterns so they can better understand what a successful sales call looks like. Once your team has listened to the success story, break it down into actionable steps so your team can replicate it.
- Crafting Useful Scripts
There is nothing worse than a sales professional who reads directly from a script. However, scripting can be a helpful tool for new sales reps. Start by identifying some of the most common scenarios you are likely to face. Now, jot down a few things you can say to address each of these scenarios. This is not intended to make the sales rep sound like a robot, but rather empower them with a solid foundation on which to build from.
- Identify Bad Customers
Wasting time chasing the wrong prospects can kill your sales numbers. Big accounts can sometimes take several months to close even if they are good prospects. Bad customers can waste your energy and take valuable time away from true prospective clients. Train your sales reps to look out for a few red flags that can keep them away from bad customers. These include: bad attitudes, demand for immediate response and lack of respect for boundaries, expecting a guarantee, impulsive buyers.
- Learning Effective Listening
Sales reps often choose sales because they love to talk. However, too much talking in sales can actually be counterproductive. Active listening is actually the silent skill of sales. Many rookie sales reps make the mistake of rushing to explain the benefits of their product but fail to actually listen to the needs of the client. Throughout a sales call, the client will discuss their needs and problems. The sales rep must be listening in order to address these specific needs. Active listening exercises are a great way to get your sales rep in the habit of listening over talking.
- Product Training
So much time is spent on training for the sales call but the rep must first be adequately trained on the product or service they are selling. If your sales team doesn’t know your product inside and out, how could they possibly sell it? Salespeople need to have a solid understanding of the product details in order to boost their confidence when selling it. Sufficient product training is a must so your sales reps can provide the perfect solution to the customer’s needs.
- Incentivize the Sales Team
Today’s sales reps need more than just the industry standard and a commission salary to get motivated. If you really want your sales team performing its best, get them on board with a commission boost, flex time, extra perks, or by removing commission caps. Otherwise, they will naturally lose their motivation to keep working hard. You want to retain your top sales reps and reward them for their achievements.