Sales team training doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. Your team will have different strengths, weaknesses and levels of experience, and it can be difficult to decide what type of sales team training is needed, how much, and how often. With the typical time constraints of managers, such training is usually crammed into a 2-day seminar where colleagues listen to an expert talk at them about what they already know, or things they’ll no doubt forget by the time they leave. So, from sales team motivation to choosing the right course, what can you do to make sure your training efforts will produce actual results?
Where To Invest In Sales Coaching
It is vital to take the time to fairly assess your team’s strengths, weaknesses and knowledge gaps when coaching a sales team. It’s important to speak to the individuals in your team and encourage constant, open communication. Where are they experiencing issues? Where do they feel they need help? Too many sales team training programs are planned and executed as one-off occurrences as opposed to viewing them as a continuous improvement process.
Choose carefully which sales people to invest in by assessing the skill and will of each team member on a simple 2×2 matrix with skill on the x axis and will on the y axis. Those with low skill and low will, have the greatest needs and may never improve, so you need to work on their skills and motivation. Those who are highly skilled and with a high degree of will and motivation may not need training but they may be able to help training others. Experience suggests that most effective training focuses on the team members in the other two categories.
Those who are willing to adopt a thoughtful view of sales training programs will have far greater success towards effective training. So, once you understand what you want your sales coaching to achieve, you must make sure that the training you’re about to give is going to be effective. What are your strategic objectives? Will the training actually bring the results you expect in order to meet these objectives? Is everyone focused on the bottom line?
Moving The Middle – Just A Little
Back to the 2×2 matrix. If you leverage your highly skilled team members to manage and mentor those with lower skill and will, you can choose to invest your time on those where you’ll get the best results. Rather than a 2×2 matrix, think of it as a normal distribution curve with the high and low performers at opposite ends. Focusing your time on those in the middle will give you the biggest return for your investment in sales team training. So, if your team has a wide range of skills and different levels of experience, this doesn’t have to make sales team training difficult. A mentoring system can work really well in terms of sales team motivation and education. Spend a bit of time working with senior members of staff to develop a training schedule in which you pair new or inexperienced salespeople with a mentor within the sales team. Sharing knowledge in this social way is highly effective if you want to know how to improve your sales team and can highlight the weaknesses in your sales process. New employees tend to question processes that senior staff may see as ‘just the way we do things’. You could even change the way your deliver training. Consider sharing content in advance so that classroom time can be used for more practical skill building, role playing, and other real-world exercises rather than simply listening to lectures. However, be careful not to fall into the trap of your best salesperson spending most of their time training rather than selling.
Get Set For Success With Sales Coaching
Sales team training has to be relevant. If your team don’t feel that they’ll be able to put this training straight into practice, they’ll most likely disengage, forget the key messages and return to old, bad habits. Try to avoid purely theoretical training sessions in the classroom. Sales people hate being confined in this way and would tell you that they learn more on the job, out there with customers or clients – where it counts most. When seeking a sales team management training provider look for the following three things: 1. A partner that can tailor the content to your precise needs, rather than generic ‘out of the box’ or ‘off the shelf’ programmes. 2. Proven high quality content based on principles, not just tips and tricks. 3. If using an external trainer, seek someone with direct relevant experience and don’t settle for less. Speak to some existing customers or clients of the training provider and ask about their hands-on experience. When planning and organising sales coaching start with the end in mind, decide what success will look like and focus on the critical factors that will determine that success. Teach only what is necessary to achieve the end in mind, nothing more, nothing less. Observe the team in the field and apply well thought out coaching to support the learning and make it a sustainable behavioural change programme. Remember, above all else the training must be relevant and measurable.
Plan For Sales And Retention With Sales Team Training From UK Thrive Ltd
The list of reasons why training can so often be ineffective is a long one… Poor delivery, wrong content, not actionable, not measurable, not knowing how to motivate the sales team to embrace training, too high level, too low level, wrong audience…the list goes on, and on. When planned correctly, you can develop a programme that will not only boost your company’s sales, but will also help you retain your best salespeople. Sales managers should understand that sales training will never be complete, but building a team culture where learning and improvement is celebrated is one of the most important parts of successfully running sales team training today. For more information, call Les Bailey on +44 (0) 1440 767972 or send an email to [email protected].