Any sales training guide should ultimately impact how selling is conducted in any organization. For a company to win, their salespeople have to win. The more a salesperson trains, the more likely is that they will generate more revenue for themselves and the business. Successful selling needs continuous upskilling to keep improving close rates, customer engagement, higher value sales and a more motivated sales team.
Well trained salespeople are more skilled at approaching prospects and existing customers. They know how to ask the right type of questions, they can uncover needs, have meaningful sales conversations, build trust and when the time is right, offer the right solution. An organizations sales training guide must boost the confidence of the sales team when it comes to using sales tactics and strategies.
Sales Training Guide Insights
Most salespeople are hungry for success and a long career in sales. Getting access or exposure to the right sales training can go a long way towards helping them achieve their goals. Like any skill, acquiring the knowledge to improve selling results can be a steep learning curve whether that is a someone who is new or the more experienced salesperson eager to expand their skills or take on a new sales role. So, with the right topics, lessons and delivery in place, sales training can turn team all members of the sales team into effective sellers. Here are some sales training guide ideas to consider.
Sales skills Focus
Understand what is selling.
So, in selling, a customer-focused solution should be the end result of all efforts in the process. The role of the salesperson is to be really effective, so the actual sales activity must facilitate the decision making for the customer. To do this, salespeople must be able to.
Open meaningful conversations with a customer.
Understand the business issues of the customer.
Help customers to understand these issues.
Build an effective solution.
Link the proposed solution to the issues.
Paint a picture of what the future looks like.
Gain commitments along the way to keep the sale moving forward.
Buyers are most likely to rethink their current position or reset pre-established buying criteria only when “given a reason to change,”. The buying decision is the result of both how well information was transferred from the business to the buyer, that buying has been made easier and the believability of the information.At the most basic level, it’s important to understand that most people buy for one of two reason –– they buy to move closer to pleasure or to move further away from pain. People buy to move closer to pleasure or further from pain (or in some rare instances both), so when selling any product or service be very aware of why that customer is buying. To improve selling opportunities, salespeople need to understand the buyer, their pain, what they want to gain and then they need to add value to open the buyer to change.
Selling today is all about recognising the true motivations of buyers and aligning conversations, presentations, and solutions to match their needs and desires. One study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that getting a person to agree on one issue will boost the likelihood of getting their agreement on another issue.Psychology tells us that people do not like making tough decisions, so we need to make buying easier.
Measuring sales progress.
The only way for salespeople to know whether their sales efforts (ROSE- Return On Sales Effort) is successful is by monitoring their sales progress. In the sales training guide, there should be a section on how to improve sales outcomes, topics on how to identify Yes Commitments or Yes points at each of the stages in the sales process that can be tracked and improved upon. Yes Commitments = One commitment at a time. Yes Points = Series of Yes commitments that the salesperson wants in any sales stage. The sales training should start by breaking the sales process down into its logical chunks, such as, for instance:
- Presenting Value
For each logical stage in the sales process, identify the Buyer Yes’s that impact the sales teams ability to move a sale OVER and not just UP.
Competing for mindshare.
In any sale, salespeople aren’t simply competing against competitive offerings. They are competing for “mind share” (5 Why’s of why listen, why care, why change, why you and why now ). They are competing for internal resources, competing against alternatives including The Buyers Status Quo. Competing against internal Buyer Roadblocks also known as the silent stages.
To overcome roadblocks, salespeople must understand that the Decision-Making Journey relies on active decision making, with a focus on cognitive and behavioral influence and engagement.
Research shows that significant challenges faced by salespeople when selling into an organization include the lack of urgency of the part of senior management to implement new technologies, as well as the necessary budget to move forward with these initiatives. In contrast to the salesperson, the prospective buyer does not share the same focus on just one offering. They are looking at multiple even overwhelming numbers of things that they could invest in. Salespeople have to overcome the many implications that a potential customer must consider before purchasing any offering. Implications include concerns about change, risk, user-training — the many tangible and intangible factors that are associated with the actual adoption of a new offering.
Be clear on who you sell to.
The sales training guide should pinpoint who the company sells to. As with most things’ sales, the simpler, the better. As customer target selection is directly linked to “creating an organizations value proposition”, defining one to maybe three target customers will do a much better job when it comes to customizing the various value propositions, go-to-market plans, and the sales activities mapped to the customers’ needs. Truly understanding who the target customers are is a fundamental step to almost any type of strategy and sales training. One of the easiest ways to improve sales results is to establish and fix onto the ideal target customer(s) and their persona(s).
If you truly understand who the target customer, then the sales team can:
- Differentiate and customize the value proposition to the customers’ needs
- Supercharge & align go-to-market tactics to each customer set
- Customize every facet of the sales activity to the target customers
- Ultimately, drive better customer value than competitors
Clear messaging and value propositions.
The value proposition(s) used in sales conversations by salespeople is a short, compelling statement that articulates the specific benefits the company/product/service is offering the target customer. It is the acid test in sales to make sure a salesperson has something to say, which answers the customers “Why Listen” and “Why Care” questions if they were to consider a buying journey. In other words, value propositions are a key building block in answering a customer’s question “why should we buy this product or service?”. Every good sales training guide should contain lessons and content on clear sales messaging and well defined value propositions.
Sales Training Guide Done Right
When sales training is deployed and correctly utilized then the organization should expect the following outcomes:
Consistent sales approach. The sales team understand and follow the documented sales process including assets, procedures, and sales playbook.
Drives sales behavior: Salespeople embrace implementing the new sales skills learned, and their mindset changes to a more positive state.
Improved sales productivity: As the selling skills become second nature, it allows the salespeople to be more productive, to own their roles, customers see more value in engaging with them and so sales go up.
Sales training costs go down: Online sales training programs can be one channel to ensure training costs go down and sales time goes up.
Consider using E-Learning
eLearning is growing in sales training for numerous reasons, beside the fact that it works, it makes financial and business sense. Many organizations are still reluctant to include e-learning in their corporate sales training guide. In a remote working environment, one where salespeople need to take more responsibility for their upskilling, the use of online sales training or even free sales training can counteract the lack of classroom based training.
In time poor noisy world, nearly everything anyone consumes is becoming quicker and shorter. That’s why microlearning is now the go-to sales training channel. A learning experience that is effective, affordable, and flexible. A training system that allows salespeople to be on top of their selling skills, so their results constantly improve.
The online sales training programs up for consideration should include some of the following:
- Bite sized videos: These engage the learner “also called microlearning” in ten to twenty minute lessons on all the topics in the sales process. This facilitates a proven sense of faster completion plus fits in to suit the salespersons schedule.
- Certificates: Training that provides certificates when the training has been completed is a very compelling reason to encourage salespeople to finish the course while motivating them to learn more.
- Downloads: Effective training programs should include downloadable PDF’s, templates, how to guides so salespeople can share and learn repeatably.
- Measure progress: This allows the salesperson to measure and mark off their own progress towards the goal of completing (even repeating) the sales course.
- On the Go: Sales training programs that are available across devices are loved by salespeople due to its ease of access and portability.
Constant Feedback Loop
Learning new skills never stops, salespeople need ongoing coaching and mentoring to reinforce how to use the skills they have invested time in acquiring. Even in a remote world, weekly sales team meetings are invaluable to share insights, experiences, tips, and stories. Sales leaders should always include one to one coaching in their sales training guide. Sales coaching should empower the salesperson to take ownership of their role and sales activities, which means they are more likely to be committed to their own success.
Final word on the sales training guide
For all salespeople, learning about selling or new sales skills, should lead to a relatively permanent change in behavior as a result of experience. Deliberate practice involves attention, rehearsal and repetition and leads to new knowledge or sales skills that can later be developed into more complex knowledge and skills.
The Ingredients of Success
Having strong goal intentions and commitment to your goals are an essential ingredient in the success of your implementation intention.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”