Updated: Dec 13, 2021
What is Sales Training? Can people learn to sell like how they learned grammar or biochemical processes in school? Is sales training the right way to quickly teach people how to “sell successfully?" This article gives a critical overview of the most important competencies in sales and also a compilation of the elementary skills that salespeople need to master if they want to improve their sales career through sales training.
Education, seminar, workshop, training, or coaching?
It may be helpful first to clarify the terms and determine what exactly is sales training. It's about imparting knowledge and in the right way, aimed at people in sales who want to learn how to sell.
A Seminar or Workshop
Is an event in which the participants want to expand their knowledge and answer specific questions for themselves. A sales training workshop or seminar is suitable for people who may or may not already have a certain amount of experience in sales and want to learn more skills. The participants learn from a presentation and then discuss their questions with the trainer and one another.
Helps to improve practical skills. A sales training is there to provide many sales tools for success. Similar to training in sports, it is only effective if it is taught by a strong trainer or coach. Strong sales organizations hire good trainers and then use time at a future sales meeting(s) to go over what was learned.
Refers to the long-term support of a single person(s) over a longer period of time. The coach supports and provides insight and a plan for what should be done, and further supports that the planned measures are actually implemented. Coaching is suitable for new and experienced salespeople who want to reach a new level or specific goal or requirement.
Who to hire for sales training
The most important factor in hiring a sales trainer or coach is to hire one that has had a long-term elite-level sales career. The vast majority of sales trainers and coaches have never had that. They are typically trained on sales to train your team on sales. If you want a truly tailored program, the perspective of someone who knows what it takes to succeed, the strongest results, and buy-in on the training from your team, bring in a proven salesperson with strong experience in sales training as well.
The most important components in sales training
A lot of success in sales training is based on being great at an entire sales process. That process includes:
Prospecting: The ability to bring in new potential clients and set appointments or discussions with them.
Cold and Sales Calling: Contacting new prospects on the phone (or in-person) and garnering their interest for future conversations and or appointments.
Networking: Finding and attending events (in person or online) and gaining new prospects to present your product or service to.
Referrals: Creating strong referral networks and relationships where people consistently provide new good leads to you.
Email Communication Strategy: When prospect communications have been moved or forced to email communication, understanding the best strategies to keep the conversation and relationship moving toward a close.
Image: Being strong in how one comes off as a person and professional company to a prospect or client, with the goal of earning trust.
The Appointment: Succeeding at asking the proper questions and presenting in a way where each prospect is treated as a person, with unique wants, needs, and problems to unravel.
Overcoming Objections: Understanding the main reason and concerns prospects have for potentially not buying your product or service and how to best (and honestly) educate them so that they have the confidence to buy.
Follow Up: Most larger-size deals don’t close at the first appointment. What’s the best strategy and cadence to consistently follow up for more success?
Closing: What the best techniques are to consistently complete the sale faster and more often.
Sales training as the basis for sales success
If you are planning sales training for your sales team, it is crucial that your program includes all of the 10 components that fit what you sell. Any missing competencies can keep your team members from succeeding at sales.