Learn five proven sales training techniques to improve sales performance.
Sales is one of those professions that can never be mastered. Products, services and marketplaces are continually evolving, which means training and development are never-ending processes.
It’s also the case that more than 80 percent of what employees learn is forgotten unless ongoing learning and reinforcement takes place. To drive your organization’s sales performance, coaching and training need to be delivered on a continual process. And to ensure every member of your sales team has the tools for success, there are five proven techniques you can utilize.
1. Role-play Exercises
Roleplay exercises provide a great way of applying what sales employees have learned to real-world situations. It’s one thing to learn the theory, but it's another to apply it in the right way. Assign the roles customer, colleague and employee as required, and set the scene with a scenario that is common within your industry.
Role-play is often as much about the journey as it is about the result. Employees need to think in their feet, improvise and utilize their knowledge and skill to achieve the desired outcomes. However, just as important are confidence-building, problem-solving and listening.
2. Mentoring by Experienced Salespeople
Young or inexperienced sales professionals can benefit greatly from having a more experienced peer to talk to for advice. As well as offering advice based on broad experience, a mentor can offer emotional support, help with goals and be a friendly ear for complaints and grievances. It is vitally important that relatively new sales professionals can speak to someone on their level in complete confidence.
Assigning the right mentor to a sales professional takes care of the ongoing training and development needs that are crucial in the role. As a manager or business owner, you can communicate with the mentor at regular intervals to assess the employee’s progress.
3. Field Training With Feedback
Nothing prepares a sales professional for the countless scenarios they will face like field training. An employee can spend hours in the classroom or on e-learning courses, but nothing develops sales techniques like real-world experience.
Shadowing an experienced and successful achiever is a great way for less experienced sales professionals to apply key techniques. While employees may make mistakes, there is someone there to offer guidance when it is needed. And let's be honest: Learning from mistakes is an intrinsic part of developing sales skills.
4. The Use of Real Success Stories
Nothing inspires and motivates a sales professional like a real story of success and achievement. Simply knowing what is possible through hard work and a willingness to learn is enough to give inexperienced employees the will to develop in their role.
Whether you use the mentoring process or public speakers to communicate sales success stories is up to you. As long as you give people a flavor of what they can achieve, you can drive motivation levels for increased sales.
5. Expert Coaching by Sales Training Experts
To bring a fresh perspective to training, consider bringing in a sales training company to work with your more inexperienced sales professionals. These specialist companies employ accomplished and experienced sales experts with real-world experience — who offer invaluable advice and insight.
Using a third-party sales training provider allows your employees to tap into a wealth of proven expertise. And if you and key members of your sales team aren’t solely responsible for training and development, you can concentrate fully on your own responsibilities.