Sales teams are facing an extremely different environment than they did 20 years ago and it's no surprise that buyers are more informed now than ever before. The average sales cycle has gotten longer and involves more decision-makers. Simply put, buyers expect more from sellers.
As buyer expectations increase, sales teams need to train their sales representatives accordingly. Find out the most effective sales training techniques and exercises to help your team get started today.
Adults have a difficult time learning new skills and establishing new habits. This is why training needs to be delivered in manageable chunks. Far too often, onboarding training and ongoing sales skills training happen in condensed 1-2 day formats. This might be a good way to expose sellers to new material all at once, but it is not an effective way to instill long term habit change.
Consider employing sales team training exercises such as online sales training along with on-site sales training to leverage the best of both worlds. On-site sales training sessions are great for bringing together group knowledge and letting sellers socialize their learning. Online sales training allows sellers to learn new skills at their own pace. This helps put the learning in context and goes a long way when it comes to long-term knowledge retention and habit change.
What to avoid?
In order to conduct effective sales training for employees, it is best to avoid condensing everything in a couple of days or one week. Let the sellers learn over time so that the training can be a part of their daily activity. When you train sales staff in this manner, it helps contextualize the learning and encourages habit change overall.
Most sales teams still don’t leverage call recordings for training purposes. Previous calls made by experienced sellers have a wealth of institutional knowledge that can be passed down in a direct and practical manner. It’s one thing to tell your sellers what to do. It’s entirely different and much more impactful if you can also show your sellers what good performance looks like.
This is particularly helpful when it comes to prospecting training. However, you can still get a lot out of call-recordings on longer sales calls further down the sales cycle. There are many solutions out there on the market that can highlight the best parts of sales calls to help your team see what good consultative selling skills look like in a real sales call.
Call recordings also go a long way in making sales coaching sessions more effective. This will make ramp time shorter and help get sellers to full productivity.
What to avoid?
In addition to call recordings, it is perfectly acceptable to shadow experienced sellers as a form of training. However, be wary that even the most tenured and all-star sellers have bad habits that you don’t want to emulate during training. If you only rely on ride-along or shadowing experienced sellers, there is also a chance that sellers in training will not be exposed to some of the most critical sales skills. Shadowing and using call recordings for sales training will ensure the trainees are getting the full realm of sales skills.
One of the most effective sales training techniques is sales call role plays. You can tell someone how to hit a golf ball, and they might even understand the physics behind it. However, knowing how to hit a golf ball is very different from being able to actually hit it.
It’s the same concept when it comes to sales skills. During your sales training sessions, there needs to be a heavy emphasis on the execution of skills. The best way to do this is through sales call role plays. This is a low stake environment in which sellers can practice executing their skills.
What to avoid?
Sales call role plays should not be limited to just the on-boarding phase of training. This is a great way to improve and sharpen sales skills. This technique is helpful for experienced sellers as well. Sales is a skill, and doing role plays is a great way to keep your skills sharp.
Buyers are demanding more from sellers every day. This means the way we train sales reps needs to evolve with buyer expectations. Follow these techniques so that your sellers can provide a consultative and differentiated sales experience to your buyers. Also, don’t forget to check out our sales training checklist resource to ensure you’re covering the necessary materials needed to succeed.