Sales training programs worth taking is a constant topic in the world of sales. The truth is that whether delivered in class, in house or online sales training programs have helped thousands of salespeople to improve their selling skills. From help with sales prospecting, to improve lead generation or maybe improving general selling skills, sales training programs worth taking will have a range of topics to suit almost every sales situation.
In B2B sales today even selling smaller ticket items means a longer sales cycle with probably 3 or 4 people involved in the buying decision. For a salesperson who wants to be in a sales career for the long-haul they must be able to create and nurture relationships over time. This requires that there are certain key sales skills to master to have real sales conversations and to get commitments to explore solutions that leads to purchasing decisions. This is the key to long lasting sales success.
The two biggest challenges facing salespeople today is the savvy buyer and outdated sales techniques that haven’t addressed how the savvy buyer is engaging with the sales process. As the modern buyer self-educates and has learned how to block out any sale approach, new sales training courses, programs and techniques have emerged to address these challenges.
Depending on which selling skills have a deficit or where the gaps in the sales process is, a salesperson could choose from thousands of sales training programs worth taking. Narrowing down the best sales training programs can be dependent on budget, time, resources, team mix, topics, focus, and delivery methods.
Listed below are a suggested list of some evaluation criteria to use when picking sales training programs:
- The Location: Will the sales training be delivered online, in class or will the trainer deliver it in-house?
- The Time: How flexible is the time allocation or impact on the salespeople being removed from sales activity?
- The Program Length: How will the training fit in with the sales team’s schedule?
- The Topic Focus: Does the topics specifically address the challenges in the sales process?
- Pricing: Does the pricing match a 3 to 5X return on the training over six months?
- Role Profile: Is the sales team Inbound? Outbound? under 30 or over 30? And what is their training preferences?
Sales Programs Worth Taking
Social Selling Training.
Social selling training has become a go to topic in many sales training programs now being delivered. The main driver to master digital or social selling is that the more traditional sales methods have diminishing returns. Add in the fact that other sales tactics such as cold calling have become an unwelcome intrusion to the savvy buyer and their buying journey. According to some of the leading sales trainers, to sustain business success, sales professionals need to adopt digital selling techniques as part of any efficient sales strategy. Social selling skills are transforming sales, prospecting and lead generation.
A social selling training program is ideal for a variety of sales professionals, from inbound and outbound consultants and reps, to business development executives, account managers and sales team leaders. The main draw to social selling is to enrich the sales force with digital selling techniques, develop new sales skills aligned to social media and the ability to maximize every sales channel in the quest to sell more.
Sales Prospecting Training.
A sales prospecting training program is focused on teaching salespeople about the entire process of searching for potential customers, clients, or buyers in order to develop a new business relationship. The salespeople undertaking this program can expect to learn how to engage, qualify and move prospects through the sales funnel until they eventually convert into revenue-generating customers. Sales prospecting is still a critical skill in many sales roles as it can be the first step in the sales process and the key which unlocks future relationships with paying customers for the business. It is also a critical part of the sales process for increasing the customer base of the company and generating new profitable revenue streams.
A sales prospecting training program should up skill salespeople on how to get in early with a potential customer, build credibility, cultivate meaningful beneficial relationships and how to get the prospects trust that when the time is right, they will buy.
The main driver to master sales prospecting is that at any given point, only 3% of a business’s target market is actively seeking to buy with another 6-7 percent in the early consideration stage. This leaves approx. 90% of a business’s target market in the status quo (why change) position. So, for continued sales growth, salespeople need to learn the sales prospecting tactics that will trigger a prospect to leave their comfort status quo position and begin a buying journey with their guidance.
Sales Skills 101 Training.
This is one of the general sales training programs worth taking, usually aimed at new or intermediate level salespeople plus as a refresher program for the general sales force. In the modern sales process, salespeople MUST create value for their customers and prospects through the way they sell.
Sales skills training shows the modern salesperson how to deeply understand the customer’s purchase journey and identify the most significant customer challenge at each buying stage to have effective conversations and to gain commitments to progress the sale.
Whether it is insight selling, collaborate selling or transaction selling, this type of sales training program teaches salespeople to help customers consider not just what to buy but how and when. Sales skills training will teach salespeople how to avoid focusing on getting customers to buy from them and instead concentrate on how their customers make real purchasing decisions.
This program should also teach the sales teams on how to engage customers or prospects in conversations about their current beliefs and then give them the suite of sales tools to break down their current mental model, show them how it’s flawed or incomplete. Sales skills that allows the sales team members to articulate in clear terms why a move the customer deems to be too costly or too painful is actually less costly or painful than their current position.
So, sales programs worth taking should include general sales skills, an they are ideal if a salesperson is starting out in sales or a more experienced salesperson seeking to enrich their knowledge of modern selling techniques.
Sales Techniques Training.
A sales techniques training program is focused on the part of the sales process when it comes to actually engaging a customer or prospect in a sales conversation (steps beyond sales prospecting or social selling). Regardless of whether the salesperson is a seasoned professional or new into sales, they need to have a set of sales techniques to draw upon to hit those sales targets.
Sales Techniques begins with Planning and Preparation. Sales is a process, not an event, meaning that planning and preparation are sales techniques. This technique is about learning to gather information and insights about a contact plus their company. Being competent to have an in-depth sales discussion about a customer’s industry, markets, news and trends is often one of the sales techniques salespeople struggles with. Coming armed with insights will not only help build credibility with the customer but also show that the salesperson has a genuine interest in their business.
This type of sales training program worth taking will educate the salesperson on how to plan out the steps, questions and discussions for the sales call, meeting or presentation. It shows them how to use the insights they have gathered to create a personalized value proposition for each customer and what it takes for them to listen so sales conversations become beneficial. Topics in this program include planning out an opening statement plus the 3 or 4 discovery questions every salesperson needs to ask to get the awareness and attention of the customer based on the knowledge imparted.
In any sales techniques training, the salesperson needs to learn how to challenge the customers status quo because in sales the biggest competitor in securing a deal is not the competition but the buyers status quo position. Other sales techniques to master include magnifying the pain points, making the challenges, obstacles or opportunities as real as possible to the customer plus positioning the true cost of doing nothing as unbearable. Learn to be a MOP, a Master of Performance. People buy from experts and advisers, so confidence is vital. Similar to an actor, salespeople need to learn to tell stories and master to let words flow naturally.
Sales Training Programs Worth Taking Topics
Here are some suggestions on a range of topics or themes to consider for sales training programs worth taking.
- How to educate a prospect with new perspectives: Sales training that coaches a salesperson to open up a prospect’s mind to new, unconsidered and different solutions that solves their challenges.
- Collaboration skills: To earn the trust of the modern buyer, salespeople need to take a more collaborative approach to selling. They need to learn about making buying easier, to inform and educate while eliminating the buyer V the seller in the minds of the buyer.
- Communicating Value and ROI: The sales skill salespeople need to tell stories that clearly communicates the return a customer can expect, and the end result they will achieve from selecting them.
- Active Listening Skills: To put the customer first, to practice actively listen skills so they really learn about the customers business and challenges. Active listening goes hand in hand with great discovery sales questions.
- How to identify the prospect’s real needs: If discovery sales questions don’t uncover a buyer’s needs, then a salesperson will have a difficult time positioning the proposed product or service as the solution.
- Help prospects and customers purchase and overcome obstacles: Understanding the internal workings of the prospects business, creating honest dialog on the process and how to deal with them is important if time wasting is to be avoided.
- Creating a convincing solution: If a salesperson can’t impress a buyer with their proposed solution that communicates how they will help them achieve desired results, they will struggle to close deals.
- How to get agreement on the buying process: Training the salesperson to get agreement from the customer on all the steps involved from both sides in the buying process.
- Creating a personal value proposition: What does the salesperson represent (linked to their sales mindset) and what are the values they hold dear. Creating a personal value proposition and then sharing it with customers builds rapport and trust.
- How to differentiate based on USP and the value they will bring: In sales training, too many programs teach salespeople how to differentiate based on product features and benefits. However, prospects are far more interested in the value the product or service will provide including the value of the salesperson themselves to the buying process.
The choice of what sales training programs worth taking or how they will be delivered is unique to every business. What is common to every sales organization today is that they need to focus on buying ease, to bring clarity in the sales process. To collaborate and help customers simplify the buying process, to make it easier to buy. Research shows customers who experience a high level of “buying ease,” from a company will opt to do business with them. In fact, that company is a huge 62% more likely to win the deal. Sales training that at its heart has “Buying ease” will help salespeople master how to make the customer feel comfortable about change, that new possibilities are only positive, that the cost of change to the buyer is manageable.
In a marketplace where buyers increasingly find it difficult to distinguish one product from other, a business’s best weapon may be their sales team. In reality, any sales training programs worth taking should enable the sales force to learn the skills they need to discover new opportunities, build sustainable relationships and improve customer loyalty for long term sales growth.