The use of an online sales training platform can have multiple benefits within any sales organization. Due to time pressure, cost and changing learning preferences, classroom-based or day long sales training is becoming obsolete. Today, many sales leaders and trainers see the use of an online sales training platform as the best solution to improve sales performance, no matter the size of the sales team.
Due to advances in video, technology and bandwidth, giving access to salespeople to improve their sales skills with online sales training is not the big decision it once was. Typically, an online sales training platform will have a number of sales training programs that covers a multitude of topics from sales prospecting, cold calling, business development, digital selling, presentation skills etc, so a sales training program could be implemented relatively quickly.
Let us look at some of the reasons why sales training is moving away from live classroom or on-site classes. Apart from the fact that online sales training courses eliminates the need for salespeople to gather in one place, the modern, young, social media engaged salesperson prefers video and bite sized chunks of training.
Benefits of sales training
The purpose of continuous sales training is so the business can educate their sales staff on how to improve their ability to sell more effectively. The output of any sales team training program should result in salespeople sharpening their sales skills, developing communication skills for better customer engagement and improve the rate at which deals get closed.
To reduce costs and speed up the delivery of sales training, a business does not have to invest in developing their own custom sales training program. While the online sales training platform can help the sales team to reach their full selling potential with courses on all the core sales skills training, the business can focus on rolling out product and company specific training.
The end result of combining internal and external sales training is a sales teams armed with the knowledge to understand the products value proposition and the sales skills to communicate this to customers so they motivated to buy.
Online Sales Training Platform Can Improve:
Communication: Every salesperson must be able to communicate the companies “why us” when talking to a client or prospect.
Conversations: Salespeople can open up sales conversations with the use of great discovery questions and business acumen
Commitments: The salesperson understands how to gain commitments from the customer or prospect to progress the relationship or sale.
Active Listening: The ability of a salesperson to know when to talk and when to listen. Active listening skills to really uncover challenges, problems and solutions.
Research and Preparation: Customers and prospects are now more selective on whom they talk to, salespeople need to be able to answer “why are you contacting me”. This obstacle is overcome by research and preparation using social media, news, insights and data. Salespeople need to be able to convey why the client should listen to them using information and market intelligence.
The role of sales enablement in sales training
When we talk about sales training, we are referring to the specific process of education on selling skills, while sales enablement usually encompasses the entire training journey from beginning to end. The sales enablement plan would include such areas as salesperson on boarding, ongoing product, company and sales training. It would also include a framework or sales playbook to get the salespeople from the point of a first contact, steps in pre-sales prospect engagement and sales process communication guides. Better sales begin with sales training. But bigger, better and more consistent sales only happen as part of a continuous sales training strategy.
The importance of continuous sales training to a company
The shift in the buyer’s journey, the influence of social media and increased competition requires sales strategies that work. So, the importance of ongoing sales training as a driver of growth can’t be ignored. Access to sales materials, videos and content within a sales training program is a proven way support salespeople, enable them to exceed quotas, and outperform the competition.
Sales effectiveness improves
One of the key benefits of sales training is that salespeople become equipped with the necessary tools and skills to increase the win rate they achieve relative to the amount of leads generated.
Sales staff turnover decreases
Where an investment has been made to properly train salespeople, they are less likely to leave the business. This improves knowledge retention, grows the experience bank, lowers turnover which also lowers all associated recruitment or on boarding costs.
Sales productivity increases
Another valuable benefit of continuous sales training is that all the salespeople will become better equipped and more adept at winning over customers. Any sales team that has achieved a good level of mastery of the sales process can align the product and the customer needs in a mutually beneficial way.
Cultivates a winning sales mindset
Sales training helps to create a winning mindset, it teaches salespeople to be comfortable with the uncomfortable (such as cold calling), how to overcome rejection and how to build a winning sales habit loop, leading to a more sales-focused mindset to bring in more revenue.
How do Online Platforms Benefit Sales Training?
An online sales training platform is a benefit due to the evolution of video, bandwidth and learning technology. The use of an online sales training platform can enable a modernized approach to training that matches the expectations of today’s sales force. A platform that boosts and empowers salespeople to learn new skills, establish themselves as subject-matter expert and to lower the overall cost of sales training.
Here’s a few tips on how to use an online sales training platform:
- Use short, bite-sized easy to digest learning content in a variety of formats that’s related directly to identified sales skills (prospecting, etc.)
- Combine on the job training linked to the online training courses being completed
- Set clear timescales and objectives that need to be met
- Ensure there is a management feedback process to discuss learning
- Select some “champions,” as subject-matter experts to help other salespeople with their training
- Outline expected course completion and the metrics to measure participation
- Measure sales performance after completion of a full sales training program (not modules)
Ways Online Sales Training Platform Improves Sales Skills
Flexible learning times: An online sales training platform provides the tools for salespeople to access the latest content and modules on the selling skills they need to succeed plus do it at their own pace (in their own time). While it’s important that the company establishes deadlines for completion, giving the salesperson the option to complete their training at their own pace is an effective way to improve sales knowledge retention (because they’re taking ownership for their own self-education), thus boosting productivity. Importantly, the salespeople do not have to travel to training sessions or miss selling time.
Consistently repeatable: Unlike traditional, in-class formal training, e-learning sales training courses can be repeated with the same consistent content to improve knowledge capture. It gives the salesperson a way to improve and assess knowledge retention with quizzes, and via questions in online forums. This provides an easy way to establish not only the effectiveness of their learning and the content that is being delivered, but also how the salespeople are interacting with that content and whether or not it’s giving them the knowledge they need to succeed. Also due to consistent flow of content and modules, it can be easy for a salesperson to get input from their colleagues on the course topics and the suggested tactics to improve their sales skills.
Always on easy access to training content: As the online sales training programs are available 24/7, salespeople learn faster, they have the comfort of accessing the training content after a sales call or in preparation to contact a customer. It can quickly reassure and reinforce the selling tactics without over exposing themselves to outside help. The entire sales force can have access to all the sales training course material at their fingertips, they can review tactics, insights and answers to most sales situations easily to help them close the sale.
Online training is easier to roll-out and cost effective: While every company has to invest in sales training, they also need to get the balance right between supporting all the salespeople without over investing in salespeople who are new or under performing. Using online sales training courses prior to selecting salespeople for the more expensive in-house training can improve results and weed out the ones who show little motivation to improve. Because most online training can be updated quickly to the latest methods, the sales force will have access to highly relevant, accurate content and messaging that can be effectively deployed across the entire sales organization.
It makes learning sales skills portable: Salespeople do not need to be tied to a desk, room or device. They can self-educate on selling skills at anytime, anywhere, on whatever device they choose. The millennial salesperson values the portability and freedom technology has allowed them to acquire new skills. As previously stated, this training delivery method puts the onus on them to continuously learn and upgrade their sales skills with no excuses on having to miss out on a training session. All the necessary resources and content are available to them whenever they need them.
In house sales training is not dead. Similar to everything related to selling and growing the customer base, sales training has to evolve for the modern sales environment. The use of an online sales training platform in combination with the traditional sales training delivery methods is a winning formula.