These 8 keys can help you unlock your sales training and development programs so that you get “the most bang for your buck”.
Sales training will be one of the few training and development areas that will experience an increase in expenditures according to a recent report.
With the global market place becoming ever increasingly crowded, learning how to increase sales and building customer loyalty simultaneously is now more important than ever before.
If you or your business or organization is seeking to expand its sales training and development, here are some key suggestions to ensure that you are doing this education the right way so that you get the most bang for your buck.
Reach Your Sales Training Potential
Begin with the end in mind.
What results do you want from the sales training specific to your sales force? By taking this approach, you can quickly determine the return on investment for your efforts.
Attitudes and Habits
Construct the learning experience to not only focus on skills and knowledge, but also on attitudes and habits. Most performance failure is as much if not more due to bad attitudes and habits than a lack of knowledge and skills. Sales research suggests that almost half of all leads are not followed-up on. Salespeople know that following up on leads is critical to increasing sales. Therefore, the issue is one of attitudes (beliefs) and habits instead of a deficiency in sales skills training.
Construct the learning experience with opportunities for practice both in the classroom (safe environment) and outside the classroom. Remember, you learned 10×10 equals 100 through practice and repetition. Coach Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers only had 5 offensive running plays, but his team learned how to execute these plays flawlessly due to practice, practice, and more practice.
Win Over the Sales Managers
Buy-in must come from everyone up and downstream. When sales managers believe that they do not need the sales training, or when support staff resent the time being devoted to learning, you are setting your investment up to deliver a negative return.
Your sales training activities need to be interactive and should include role-playing. For many, role-playing is quite uncomfortable, but the opportunity to practice in a safe environment is necessary to immediately correct any missteps.
Feedback is also required but should be counterbalanced with positive remarks. For every constructive remark (critical), there should be at least 3 positive remarks. This way the participants recognize what they did correctly rather than everything that they maybe did incorrectly.
Assessments should be part of sales training. Several assessments should be used from both a subjective perspective and an objective one.
After completing these seven key suggestions, the sales training needs to be evaluated at Kirkpatrick’s fourth level of evaluations. Pre-determining the organization’s desired results helps to align the actual outcomes of the sales training to those desired results.
About the author
Leanne Hoagland-Smith has over 25 years in sales. Her true joy is selling and…