I read an article this week that claims 96% of sales professionals say sales training needs improving. That’s easier said than done. Sales training can be highly expensive. It’s expensive in terms of time for sales managers to deliver it internally and it’s expensive if you hire a consultant externally. It inspired me to think about how I’ve trained my sales teams in the past that can be easily embedded into your sales team structure. So here are 6 ways you can train your team without having to secure a fat training budget.
Buddy up on sales pitches
The article showed that 65% of sales people believe advice from peers is more effective than company run training. So do a quick assessment of your team in terms of strengths and areas for development. Partner up your team accordingly and set a goal to shadow 3 sales pitches each in the next month. Create an expectation that shadowing sales reps should look for opportunities to improve their own skill from what went well and create a guide for giving feedback on areas that could be developed. It’s a win-win for both reps.
Listen to call and demo recordings as a team
Listen to each others sales calls and demos and discuss them as a group. This may seem simple but taking half a morning to run through 2-3 calls together is invaluable. I have a great guide on how to run these sessions, Click here to read
Ask someone from another department for feedback on your sales pitch
Asking for support from another department to give your team feedback on their sales pitch is incredibly helpful as they bring a fresh perspective to the table. Someone from product who understands how things function technically can offer some great insight on product messaging and why certain features were created to help the buyer or someone from your service department could be really helpful in adding another perspective from a clients point of view. It also really helps cement relationships across teams and I often find other departments are really keen to help support sales and love to give their advice.
Watch inspirational content together
Video content is great for our visual learners. TED have some incredible inspirational content which can get the team pumped up, inspired for the week, get them to think differently and even to learn a new skill. One of my favorites for lightening the Monday morning blues is this Ted Talk by Gary Vaynerchuk, he’s incredibly inspiring and entertaining. Click here
Give the team ownership of competitive analysis
You need to know your marketplace inside out and understand the difference between you and your competition to sell over them. The most successful approach to competitor analysis I’ve ever implemented was when I gave ownership of competitor research to my team. Individually they were responsible for understanding the product offering, USPs and sales message of a small group of competitors. They were responsible for keeping that information updated, they shared it with the team, they were responsible for thinking about how our competitors may be positioning themselves over our products and they lead discussions on how we could overcome that before it became an obstacle. Any type of training which is created by the team rather than management always has greater impact and if they’re using their learning to teach others, it’s always more effective.
Measure the usage of your own product amongst your sale team
How well does your sales team know your product? How often are they actually using it themselves? It’s important to keep updated with new features and enhancements but it’s also really important to think about how your sales messaging is evolving as your product does. I’m also a huge believer that to really sell something, you’ve got to love it, you’ve got to talk about it with pride. I don’t believe you can fake that. For it to be genuine, you’ve got to really care and believe in what you’re selling. Surely that starts with being a client of your own product yourself.
You can read the full article I refer to in this blog here
I hope this helps