It’s your responsibility as a sales leader to provide the tools your team needs to succeed. These sales training techniques will help you build great sales teams.
Sales training techniques to create an unstoppable sales force
It’s easy to get your sales team from 0 to 1 or 1 and 2 sales training. If you lead by example in your sales training, you’ll have a Number Two who will follow you into battle and be an asset to your team.
If you follow these sales training techniques, you will be able to create a sales process that works for all.Your new hire will work alongside you to absorb the sales process, learn how you handle objections, and find leads.
Once you scale your startup, you can say goodbye to carefree days.
You’ll be assigned other tasks without fail, and sales training for new employees will be given to someone else in your company.
As a director, sales manager, or founder, it’s your job to provide the tools your sales team needs to succeed. You’re playing a lot of telephone with your values, strategies and sales training methods if you don’t have them in place.
You might be able to pass on the knowledge you gave your first hires. It might not.
You can easily download all your sales knowledge, tips, and strategies in an easy-to-understand format for new hires with the right sales training resources. It’s like Neo learning Kung-fu by plugging into the Matrix.
Note: Predictable Revenue partnered with us to bring you 8 customizable templates that will empower you (and your team! to consistently and effectively instruct your team.
Unfortunately, these kinds of quick results are not possible. You can still look at proven sales training best practices to ensure that your team is ready for success.
Sales training can include everything from onboarding new employees to developing their skills and setting up criteria that will allow them to change and adapt to the market. You’ll be building the foundations for a unstoppable sales force if you can do this.
This is a difficult task. Let’s start by assessing your team and finding the best methods to deliver your sales training. Then, let’s move on to the 10 pieces of training your team will need.
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your team or your own team
No matter how many salespeople you have on your team, they will each have their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to understand these when you start building your sales training program.
What questions should you ask to get into the details?
Melissa Raffoni, CEO consultant, spoke to 50 CEOs of companies with 10 to 1000 employees and found these eight questions were repeated when assessing the sales team’s quality.
- What is your value proposition? It sounds simple, but it can be difficult for some companies to explain why customers should choose them over a rival. If your sales team is unable to do this, they have no chance.
- Do your sales processes work? Will it grow or fall apart under pressure if you invest more resources in it? Our 8-step guide will help you create a sales strategy that produces results.
- Are you satisfied with your sales? What makes you think your cost of sales is acceptable? Are you comparing your costs to an industry standard? Or mapping to projected sales?
- What are your key measures to measure sales effectiveness? Are those numbers easily accessible on a dashboard so you can make sure you are on the right track? If you don’t know what lever you want, you can’t optimize.
- What can you do to improve your sales funnel and/or your close ratio? Are you able to clearly plan for your sales growth? Are you able to identify the best places to find new leads when you run out of sales leads? Are you able to keep track of your sales pipeline with a solid process?
- Are there any other ideas you have to increase the number of sales closing?
- Are sales incentives driving the right behavior? We all know that compensation is a powerful motivator, but is your bonus structure driving these right actions? Is there enough value
for your sales teamso they can push to reach their sales goals?
- How can you take advantage of market changes?
There are always newsolutions and competitors. What are you doing to try new things? Are you a culture that fails quickly or slow to embrace new sales channels?
- Are you working with the right people?
Your greatest strength should be your team.Are they? If not, why not? Is it the people or the culture?
These questions will give you a good overview of your team’s functioning, strengths and weaknesses. This information will help you to create the foundations of your sales training.
Asking these questions once and moving on is a recipe for disaster. Like all aspects of your sales efforts and your team’s product, sales training will change as your team and products adapt to the real world. It’s a smart idea to review these questions at least once a year to see if there are any areas you need to change.
Select the right format to help you with your sales training
If you are an early-stage startup with a small sales force, creating short courses or conducting workshops in-person
As you grow and scale, it may be a good idea to hire an outside consultant or to send key members of your sales staff to larger conferences to learn more about the future and adapt your sales training accordingly.
Let’s take an overview of some of the most popular formats for providing sales training.
We’re not talking here about sending your sales team back at college. The course format is great for sharing your sales knowledge with others, whether it’s in-person or online. The course format allows your salespeople to train on their own schedule and you can keep track of their progress.
In-person workshops can be an excellent
Make sure you choose a provider that offers workshops that are of value to your sales team. This means setting goals for your attendance and communicating them to the sales trainer. There are many coaching companies that excel at marketing to their clients.
Hiring outside consultants
If your team grows too large or you are unable to deliver effective in-house training, maybe it is time to hire an outside consultant. Although it might seem awkward to invite someone outside your team, a good consultant can bring tons of value, including customized sales tools, market knowledge, and a wealth experience. You can also get buy-in from your team quicker by having an ‘expert’.
Conferences are great for networking. They also allow your team to learn from experienced leaders and keep an eye on what’s happening in your market. Remember Seneca, the Roman philosopher, said that “while we teach we learn.”
You should also make sure your company reaps the benefits of those who attended a conference.
Testing by the internal team
Databases and Wikis
Although this is not a sales training method, having self-serve resources for your team allows them to learn. You can set up a Trello board or wiki with the processes and resources you need to answer common questions. When your team asks for specific information, point them in the right direction. Although it might seem cold, you are actually training them to help others.
Many companies actually use the tips we share in our books and blogs to train their employees.
This startup, which has more than $15 million in annual revenue, is using our book Product Demos that Sell to train its sales team.
Or ResQ Club, Finnland’s company that uses our video resources to train new sales reps.
Now that we have all the channels you can use to deliver sales-training to your staff, it’s time for us to discuss what sales training should cover so that we can evaluate all options available to our company.
These are the 10 essential sales training skills your team must have to succeed
A sales training program that is effective can teach you everything from how to make a sales plan to staying motivated every day and getting over your fear of rejection.
This is where the goal lies: Each component of your sales training should help your team grow and move forward, so that no one feels like they have reached a plateau in their career.
Here are 10 essential pieces for sales training that you should share with your team.
1. How to be a good listener
Epictetus, the Greek philosopher, succinctly explained that “you have two ears and one lips–you should use them in that ratio.”
It’s easy to talk over your prospect when you rush to explain the benefits and features of what you’re selling. This is a mistake that many inside sales rookies make. The problem is that if someone thinks you aren’t listening, they’re lost.
Active listening is the silent skill of selling. Throughout the sales process, prospects will give clues about their thoughts, feelings, and problems. These can be crucial to your sale. If you don’t listen, you’ll miss these opportunities.
These are some tips that will help you and your team listen more attentively in your sales training.
- Practice active hearing: This involves listening to what your prospect has to say, understanding it and then responding with a short summary of what they are saying. This will show that you are listening and respect their words.
- It will also help you to identify the key clues you need in order to close the sale.
- Mentally echo the prospect’s words: One barrier to listening well is getting excited and beginning to formulate a response to the other person before they stop talking. You’ll start to lose track of the rest of their conversation if you start thinking about what they said.
- This can be overcome by echoing their words in your head while they speak and waiting a few seconds before responding.
- Summarize their speech: After they’re done speaking, take a few moments to summarize and then repeat what they said. For example, “It sounds as though you are happy with your current CRM system but would like something more user-friendly for new colleagues.”
- This is
a great way toget more insight from your prospect since they will usually go one step further now that they know you are listening.
2. Empathy and training yourself to think as a problem-solver are two ways to use empathy
It is likely that robots won’t be taking over your sales job anytime soon. Because sales requires empathy, problem solving, and the ability of thinking fast and acting accordingly. These qualities can be instilled in your team through proper sales training.
Listening is only half the battle. Your prospect may not be able to communicate the problem they are facing. Take a
Great salespeople go above and beyond solving customers’ problems to find the problems that customers don’t know about.
In a recent interview, Daniel Pink, author of To Sell is Human, stated that customers should know exactly what the problem is to be able to find a solution. You’re more valuable when customers don’t know the problem or are wrong about it. Then you can help them identify a problem that they don’t even realize they have.
You can also look back and say, “Here’s a problem you need to face.” It’s time to get ready for it.
This requires you to have both a problem-solving mindset and a problem-finding mentality.
- What are the problems my customer doesn’t know about?
How can I solve them How can I market the solution?
Take your time, be creative.
These invisible problems are a powerful tool to help your prospects make a sale. These questions should be at the forefront of your sales training.
3. Creating scripts to address the most common objections
Knowledge is power. The best salespeople have a solid foundation from which to work.
Your sales training can be used to prepare your team for identifying objections that keep popping up. These issues can be addressed collaboratively by creating scripts. The idea of scripts being used in sales is controversial.
Nobody wants to sound robotic, and that is not what you should be advocating here. These scripts will help you to assimilate client fears and get to the root of the problem faster.
It’s like a basketball team. They practice the basics of shooting, defending, rebounding, and dribbling so that when the game comes around, they don’t have to think about it. Instead, they can be focused on adapting to the team.
Scripts can also help your sales team overcome common objections quickly, and move on to creative ways of closing the sale. You’ll also have a template that you can share with your team to help them improve their sales skills.
Your sales training should include your team.
- Make a list of objections prospects often raise (such as ‘it’s too costly’ or ‘we’re satisfied with our current service’).
- These objections can be addressed by brainstorming solutions or asking questions
- These answers can be used to create short scripts that will help you get past your objections
4. Recognizing bad customers
The time you spend chasing down the wrong prospects can cost your sales efforts and your company. Sometimes, it can take 6-18 months for large accounts to close. However, this is only if they close.
Bad clients can sometimes be worse than losing a sale, wasting time, asking for refunds, and generally speaking poorly of your company.
To ensure that your team is moving in the right direction, they need to know what to watch out for. This is where sales training comes in. As someone who has sold your product or service before, you know what signs lead to sales and which ones make it difficult to get off the phone.
These are the top red flags that sales training should cover to help your team know what to watch out for.
- Prospects who get irritable during the sales process: If a prospect has not signed on the dotted-line, there is no reason to expect them to be on their best behavior. If you notice signs of a negative attitude early in the process, you can be certain they won’t improve once the deal is closed.
- No boundaries: Call me now. You need to speak immediately. Emergency. It’s probably not worth the trouble to receive emails from prospects with such topics at all hours of the day, especially at night or weekends.
- The guarantee-er Without a guarantee, you cannot commit to achieving goals for prospects. They may try to convince you to promise them that you will. You’re heading for trouble in any case.
- The quick way to close: Although it might seem counterintuitive this can lead to a nightmare for prospects who are willing to get in bed with you before your first sales call is over. These buyers are often impulsive and don’t fully understand what they’re buying or what you offer.
- They will sue you even if they are at fault. This is a good time to slow down the process, suggest another call, or spend more time explaining everything (in writing, if possible).
The basics of cold emailing
You will need to be able to communicate with prospects via email if you plan on using cold outreach.
First, why email? Despite the rumors that social selling is killing email, it is 40X more effective in acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter combined. Here are 17 sales email tips we have put together that you can see.
How to create subject lines that get opened. Although it might only be one line, it is the one that matters most. Avoid using slogans, write in lowercase text and include the name of your recipient if possible.
How to create effective email copy Don’t waste your prospect’s time. Be concise. Be concise. End with a call to action. Every sentence should highlight your value and move your prospect closer towards the next step.
There are many
Email experiments to try:The
How to follow-up properly:
- Follow-up 1 day after you sent your cold email. A modified version of the original email.
- Follow-up 2 days after your second email. Make sure to reiterate your call for action.
- Follow-up 3 to 5 days after your third email. Say goodbye
to the Prospect (this is a bet on their loss aversion, and that they will feelcompelled to respond).
Close makes it easy to automate your follow-ups by using email sequences. You can set up your email sequences once, and then automatically send your follow-up sequence over the course a few days or weeks. Bulk enrolling leads in a sequence is also possible, so you can be sure that you are always in the know.
The basics of cold calling
You’ll want to train your salespeople on how to answer the prospect’s questions if they pick up the phone.
A funnel that looks like this is a good place to start your cold calling strategy.
- Dial numbers
- Reach prospects
- Qualify prospects
- Demonstrate your prospects
- Close the deal
You will want to give your team some basic tools and training about lead sourcing, sales scripts, and handling objections to help them get the most out of this funnel.
Remember to keep it simple when training your sales team. Teach them
By eliminating manual data entry, Close saves time and allows for predictive dialing. Close’s Predictive Dialer allows sales teams to call multiple leads simultaneously and route the next available sales representative when a lead answers.
This saves time and reduces the need to listen to voicemails and dial manually.
7. How to clearly communicate value to prospects
It is hard to sell more than not being able to explain why they need the product you are selling. People are more interested in results than products and services.
Your salespeople must be able to clearly communicate the value of your product or service to the prospect. They must be storytellers and educators, able to explain why your product or service is so valuable and then get the prospect to see themselves living a better life.
Start by looking at your customer profiles. What makes them good prospects for the products you sell? How can you show them how valuable you are? Do you have testimonials or case studies you can share?
Role play with your team and practice articulating your product’s value until they are able to do it without thinking.
8. Cold sales: Dealing with fear
You will need to train new or less experienced salespeople on how to sell and how to feel good about it.
We don’t normally call or email strangers asking them to purchase what we’re selling. Fear is natural when you are placed in unfamiliar situations. Your team will be more confident, friendly, happy, and more capable of handling fear if you take
Begin by looking at the areas in your sales process where your staff might feel anxiety or fear. Then, consider how to address it.
- Fear of Rejection: It’s normal to be afraid of being rejected when cold calling or emailing. Selling is not complete without hearing “no.” This fear should not be ignored or suppressed. Instead of trying to avoid it, embrace it and verbalize it.
- Have your salesperson set a goal for failure and be motivated to overcome the rejections. Allow them to fail spectacularly once in a while and let them get comfortable in that space. It’s worth it to lose a few leads in the end.
- Fear of presentation: If you are afraid of pitching solutions to a group, you might feel that you are not ready for sales. It’s not as difficult as you might think to overcome your fear of performance. You can help your salesperson overcome this fear by creating a script that is rigid and has no room for error.
- Although it might seem robotic at first, once salespeople feel comfortable with the script, they will soon relax and the presentation will become more relaxed.
- Fear of asking to sell: Some salespeople can be great at small talk but cannot bring themselves to ask for the sale. This is due to the fear that you might be rejected, but you don’t want the sale to go away. Instead, teach them some basic techniques to close the sale.
- Once they are comfortable with the basics, you can move on to more advanced techniques.
Motivation is key to keeping your sales team motivated. We’ve compiled the best motivational quotes for sales
9. What, when, and how often should you follow-up?
If they don’t receive a response, most people assume that there is no interest in the product they are selling. Follow-up is key to higher conversion rates. Without it, you won’t close many deals.
Steli, CEO of Close, has a simple follow up philosophy.
Your follow-up strategy will be influenced by your sales process and values. However, the key is to make sure your team follows it. Decide how often you will follow up, how to track your messages and what medium.
Next, encourage your team to use their judgment and experiment.
10. There are many ways to ask for the close
Close the deal is one of the most important aspects of sales training for your team.
Sales professionals should always be prepared to ask for the close, but they also need to be aware of when it’s appropriate to do so. There are a few techniques that can help make the process smoother:
The virtual closing: Once you have qualified your lead and presented your pitch to them, ask for the sale. You know that they will say no. Follow up and ask, “What is the process that we need to go through to get you ready for buying?”
This simple question will allow them to give you a roadmap to the sale.
Take the sales away: It’s easy for people to get frustrated and make unfulfilling promises. Instead, you should teach your salespeople to “take away the sale” by being clear on pricing, emphasizing the importance of building a long-term relationship and imposing a pause in the conversation.
This technique will not only push people to close but also show them that you value the product or service they are selling.
Sales training and hiring never ends.
New issues can be addressed. You and your team will also need to learn how you can combat another competitor. Salespeople who are the best have a drive to learn new things and excel at their job. These sales training techniques will help you get there.
You’ll have a winning team if you invest in it early.