Selling is hard, and according to Marc Wayshak, 61% of sales professionals, it has become harder than it was half a decade ago. A corporate sales training program imparts knowledge on selling skills, technique, strategy, and process, which helps executives in this industry achieve targets and businesses to churn better revenue.
Nowadays, many companies have started conducting in-house courses on how to be an empathetic and successful salesman. But even with this effort, the sales departments require top-level executives and employees to perform under pressure. This is where your role as a sales head comes into play.
What is a Sales Training Program?
The marketing and sales industry is very dynamic. It requires salesmen to understand consumer behavior better to be able to close the deal. Sales training is the process of enhancing this skill to drive maximum success. The sales training course comprises theories required to solve real-life problems, especially to work on customers’ senses.
One of the primary objectives of having sales training is finding the best strategy to pitch to potential customers. Good sales training helps executives of the sales industry increase the exposure for a new product, irrespective of your competitor's action.
Development and training are closely knit and administer specific motives in an association. A progressive organization tends to spend a huge part of the revenue on its sales force training. Organizations want employees to contribute to the accomplishment of companies' goals. Statistically speaking,
Companies spend around $20 billion a year on sales training.
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Evaluating Sales Training Programs
This market is no longer a monopoly affair, and so is the case with effective sales training programs. Since it often gets a little difficult to choose the best program, organizations should gain brief insights into the budget, team length, objective, and needs before opting for one.
Here are some points that can help you know the cores to choose the best sales training program.
Location plays a key role in selecting a corporate sales training programs. The training program is either held via a digital medium or in person. The trainer takes a few sessions to provide brief insights on sales. However, many people still prefer face-to-face training, as it becomes easier for the trainees to soak up all the suggestions. So, you need to consider the location factor at an individual sales- level to decide which medium suits your organizational needs better.
Most of the sales program training is done online, and after COVID19, online seems to be the way to go. You can choose various free and paid online sales training programs from platforms like Linkedin and Skillshare.
Companies that shift to online sales training programs recoup 30 to 70 percent on traveling.
Many companies are sticking to online classes because they can train as many people as they want in a limited time frame. You need to pay attention to the fact that In-person training is mostly restricted to 20 persons and consumes many time and resources.
Online programs: Sales Management Foundations (Linkedin), Sales Training Masterclass (Skillshare), and Sales Training: Practical Sales Techniques.
It would be best if you choose programs that can fit into your team's routine as well as yours to avoid consequences. Sales training programs are often short, but individuals or organizations may even choose ones with a long course duration. This makes in-depth training possible. As a thumb rule, large corporate entities would not have many problems bearing the expense of longer training for their employees. If you run large entries and feel the need to include a training program that provides complete sales training, you can choose Double-Digit Sales. Also, if you have a startup, you can choose Altisales.
The purpose of choosing a sales training program is integral to the appointment process. In simpler words, the objective should be questioned - does your sales team face any challenges in dealing with sales procedures? Sales training is managed by organizations in two major situations - either at the time of onboarding or for employees who fail to achieve the given targets. For instance, if you need to streamline sales and work on business development, then for meeting such objectives, you can choose Customer Centric Selling. Several companies want their employees to learn the tactics asap. Fast learning can make your salesforce less efficient.
Set a budget based on your revenue goal. Critically examine whether the program's price returns at least five times its actual price (a general thumb rule). A company gains $4.53 in return for a dollar invested in the training program. The whole ROI sums up to 353%. Do not choose a program that cannot help you garner a higher return on investment. To set the context, if you are a part of a thriving startup, then choosing a training partner like Corporate Visions will only stretch the budget even thinner. Thus, finding a training solution with a higher ROI is important.
According to an account from Bersin by Deloitte, the year over year shift in training expenses has not only recovered but also doubled up by 7% in 2006 and 15% in 2013. Small scale enterprises can also change their sales training budget as per last year's ROI.
Ensure the training program incorporates concepts and strategies relevant to the industry, market, and position your company deals with. Extrinsic sales training will not yield positive results. One of the easiest ways to understand this is to understand the endpoints of B2B and B2C form of market operation.
In B2B form, the target audience is a business client, which in turn provides services. Now, in the case of B2C, the end recipient is the consumer itself. So, different forms of sales training are required to deal with different audiences. For a B2B form business, you can opt for IMPAX, while for B2C, you can go for Customer Centric Selling.
Some Statistics to Help You Consider Top Sales Training Programs
- Almost 90% of the buyers say that they want the involvement of a salesman from the initial stage.
- 27% of companies do not organize any sales training programs.
- 26% of the representatives state that they are not benefited from the training program.
- The companies which have dedicated sales enablement function enhanced their training efficacy by 29%.
- More than 60% of companies accept an idiomatic approach to sales training.
- 79% of business prospects state that it is very important to have a salesman in the purchase process.
- 60% of the employees are quitting the sales department because of a bad manager.
- Only 15% of sales managers admit that their companies have provided perfect sales training.
Effective Practices in the Best Sales Training Programs
Initially, sales training was about knowing the products and their advantages, reading a handbook on how to pitch and sell and receive some practice tips from the manager. Even now, many small companies opt for this method, while large organizations provide an advanced type of sales training program to yield optimum returns.
However, advanced sales training modules include a more scientific and rigid approach with technical and psychological coaching. The training also includes practical scenarios and learning how to close deals in various situations.
- The sales training program should incorporate the classic method of teaching, testing, and grading. Each trainee needs to overcome certain skill parameters and perform well in the test.
- The training strategy must be continuous. Research indicates that the human brain forgets about 50 percent of the information presented to him (theoretical knowledge) within an hour, so for transferring the information to the brain's frontal cortex, a continuous effort is of utmost importance. After sitting for a sales training program, without practicing the theory, one cannot conserve the knowledge for long. Think of a production department, where the workers must be continuously trained to work in sync with other departments for reaching a production goal to meet the sales demand.
- Honing basic conversation and convincing skills is important for any sales training. Starting with ‘how to interact’ can be the perfect foundation for ‘how to sell’.
- Corporate Sales training programs are most effective if the course structure is divided into different modules. And evaluation at the end of each module will help the trainees be on the same page as the organizational requirements.
Different Types of Sales Training Programs
Primary Sales Skill Training
Every employee from the sales force needs to know the power of basic sales skills to turn potential leads into buyers. The trainees need to enhance their listening and interaction skills to grow in this profession. Sales need a lot of patience as the prospects can be rough to handle; sales training offers basic skills training.
The sales manager can concentrate on imparting proven tricks and tips, considering the recent market trends and situations. There is no certain time limit where a salesperson can be called an expert because versatility is the key to success in this ever-evolving landscape.
Hubspot Academy provides a free online sales program focusing on Inbound sales methodology and identifying potential buyers, targeting salespeople, sales managers, and inbound marketers.
Seller Differentiation Training
This is the second type of training that will motivate your employee to handle clients and questions like "how customers should go for your product?" This training has many approaches and depends entirely on the organization. However, this training type will augment an employee's negotiation abilities. This sales training will make your employees self-reliant and will also help to sustain in a rough market.
Market Creation Training
If your organization receives huge demand, this training type is not for you. The organization with latent demand can use this training type to elevate sales and productivity. For example, if your organization has a new commodity, you will require market creation in the sales program. The salesforce should be prepared with the basic market skills to sell the new product. The training process is not loose as there is no rule book, so the execution depends on the individual.
Motivation based training for crunch situation
This type of sales training program is used quite often in B2B type of markets. Here, the sales reps are provided a series of lectures to get them all pepped to go beyond the targets. Here, you can witness the use of cliche quotes to fire up the enthusiasm factor. Quotes like “if you are not taking care of customers, your competitors will’ are commonly thrown around. The effect of such a type of training program is short-lived, and so it is strategically used to get the best out of the employees during the make or break situation.
Credibility and Trust-based selling program
These types of sales training programs mainly focus on improving crucial field sales skills of the sales rep. Ensuring that the company's agents carry the company's brand with integrity while selling the products. Such training programs deal with improving the client handling skills of sales reps. Trying to make sure that the agents stay away from gimmicky stunts and focus on communicating the product's real value. You need to understand that, It is hard to build customer rapport, and a slight mishap can spin the trust factor for a toss.
Tips to Incorporate Top Sales Training Program
Corporate sales is a high burnout job profile but can be tough at times due to constant failures. However, continuous effort and the right approach to training are the keys to success in the industry. The idea behind the training is to make the executives competent or socially confident to ensure empathic interaction.
This may take many new additions to the training programs, especially considering that personality development can be key. So here are some tips that can help your company grow exponentially in a limited time frame.
Start the Training Soon
After hiring, starting the sales training program saves a lot of time and money, especially if the executive is a fresher. This way, you are not risking the time when the particular salesman might not yield any results while still incurring the CTC.
You might want your employee to start contributing as early as possible, preferable right after the onboarding process. However, according to the Bridge group, in 2018, an average salesperson needed three months to perform well. Thus, training!
Improvise your training manual based on the market trends as it will help employees develop certain skills immediately after they are hired. As per the recruiting roundtable, a good onboarding strategy can elevate the sales performance by 11.53%.
One Size Does Not Fit All
A sales team comprises employees with unique abilities, so they don't need the same training. Some you may have a great personality but don’t have convincing skills, while others may know what to say but lag in social confidence. Your star employees need to inculcate leadership qualities, while the other employees require listening and interaction skills. You can build a variety of modules and offer skill training based on individual ability. If you are investing in LMS, you will be allowed to stipulate learning for each individual.
Guiding or Coaching Approach
This approach is a proven practice in sales training and yields high ROI. All the leading companies spend maximum time coaching their employees to be perfect. Sales coaching and sales performance are related to each other. However, not a lot of sales managers spend time coaching their employees. This happens because the approach is high touch, and the manager of a large team might not have the time to sit and plan the approach.
Soft Skills Are a Must
Your salesmen are the first contacts a buyer has with your organization. So they are not only working on closing deals but also maintaining good relationships. A new LinkedIn study suggests that prospects and buyers get attracted to a product when the salesman understands their requirements and distinct pain points.
Good customer service is all about being pleasant and aware of the product you trade. The best sales executives listen to the customers’ problems and suggest products that are relevant to the issue. They build a relationship based on trust so that the customer sticks to the organization.
Skilled employees are vital for any medium to large organization as they are the building block and direct contributors to the ROI. Selling a product requires some special skills and efficient strategies and that’s why corporate sales training programs are an important factor to prepare your sales team for future challenges.
Since your salesforce is your biggest asset and contributes directly to revenue generation, a training program is just indispensable for building your organization's future. According to a study, companies with a very dynamic sales coaching set up for their employees have 28% better win rates. So, incorporate such modules and then take reviews from the successful candidates to improve the training.
But before you can do that, don’t forget to take a look at all the necessary additions and considerations for evaluating sales training programs. Rest assured, your investment will have greater revenue.
Choosing the right sales training program is crucial to the success of your sales team. As they say, well begun is half done. Start with the sales training program, and you’ll be able to attract the right talent for your team and keep them motivated. Evaluate and fine-tune your training program based on the company’s growth and your team’s performance to retain the right talent and sustain your growth.