8 Secrets of a Successful Sales Training Program For Businesses

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With today’s highly competitive nature of business, it’s imperative for business organizations to maintain high standards in order to deliver results. And as expectations rise along with the drive to achieve objectives, having the necessary foundation through an effective sales training program can make a real difference. We’ll let you in on the ONLY eight secrets of a successful sales training program for businesses that you’ll need to know as an entrepreneur.

Table of Contents

What is a Sales Training Program for Businesses?
sales training program

A sales training program is a structured way to improving basic sales skills, knowledge, and attributes of sales professionals to maximize sales success. This involves the development of skills and techniques related to creating and exploring new sales opportunities, as well as furthering skills involved in closing sales for an organization. 

Sales training programs for business owners are very specific in nature. These sales training programs often include topics that drive towards developing better client relationship management, understanding customers’ needs, enhancing communication with clients, and improving client interactions. This provides the learning objectives to generally improve the relationship between sales reps and their clients while improving sales performance and close rates in the process. 

With the market’s competitive landscape, business owners need to rely on effective sales training programs to boost overall sales performance and provide sales teams the much-needed skills to remain above par. The global market for sales training has risen to $4.21 Billion, with the potential of maintaining a steady increase per year. Yet, despite all the money spent on sales training courses, most sales training fail to deliver lasting resultswhich results in business owners not being able to close as many deals as they deserve.

To deliver an effective sales training program for your business, you’ll need to focus on changing your sales reps’ behaviours to drive sales results and support this change as a change management initiative in the business. Considering that 77% of learning is forgotten within just six days, reinforcement is needed to achieve long-term results, especially in terms of sales.  

While most sales training programs still focus on developing specific skills in a one or two-day course, Super Scaling uses the implementation of blended learning for our clients instead. This has added the needed reinforcement over typical sales training programs. These added assessments, online training courses, virtual-based sales training, and email follow-ups through periodic implementations prove to provide more effective results.

The one thing that businesses require in their sales teams is effective sales leaders. As a business, you need to have a clear direction towards your objective, because only with that can your sales team effectively work towards your targets. The sales training process provides not just the needed sales techniques but is also reinforced by the notion of your support for them to become better. 

This is reflected in the 5E Scale Engine, with the third and fourth E representing “Empower” and “Engage”. Business-specific sales training programs can empower your team to become highly effective, amplifying your personal efforts towards your goals. This will lead them to develop sales skills to better engage with your customers and clients. And as they say, when you do engagement well, your product will start selling by itself.

Components of a Successful Sales Training Program For a Business
sales training program

The quality of the sales training program you implement will shape the future of your business. To initiate an effective change in the sales processes within your business, you’ll need to consider these seven important components: 

1. Essential Sales Skills

No matter how long an employee has been with your business, the training presents an opportunity to refresh basic sales skills. Here are some examples of skills you can discuss with your sales team and sales managers so that everyone is on the same page:

  • Finding prospects
  • Writing cold emails
  • Making a cold call
  • Giving a sales demonstration
  • Drawing up proposals
  • Closing the deal
  • Onboarding clients after a deal

From what we’ve discovered from dealing with hundreds of business owners and their sales teams, practical application is key. In Super Scaling, we highly advocate and walk through demonstrations and role-playing exercises with our entrepreneur clients. These provide a means to teach these skills more effectively to them and their sales teams. Different styles of learning can allow your team to realign the sales tools they need and internalise what they’ve learned. 

In addition, gaining an understanding of how your sales team can initiate sales in other markets is also an important aspect. An example of this is differentiating and understanding Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer sales and how they can work for you. 

  • B2B sales training focuses on how you can better sell to other companies. This can include how to dress and behave more formally in front of high-level executives, to how you can highlight the uniqueness of your products and services to initiate them to commit to the sale. 
  • B2C sales training focuses on the sales tools needed to allow your sales reps to grow and find opportunities in today’s competitive marketplace in business. This is focused on developing the business, by effectively selling, cross-selling, or upselling your products and services while keeping and growing your existing clientele. 

2. Customer Experience

sales training program

Your sales training program should include modules for helping your team to understand the important facets of the customer experience. To that end, genuine empathy for customers is one of the most important traits your sales reps must cultivate. The most successful sales reps empathise with what customers are feeling at all stages of the sales cycle, from initial contact to even after a deal is closed. 

How we do this at Super Scaling for our entrepreneur clients is to create exercises based on real-world situations that elicit empathy. Then, we have our clients’ sales teams role-play from the perspective of a customer. Putting them in the customer’s shoes allows them to empathise further, and can make it easier to identify pain points you need to work on. You can try this on your own business too: Devise an exercise that allows your sales reps to experience those pain points, so they can learn how to face those challenges more efficiently. 

3. Understanding Your Products and The Market

An effective sales training program for a business needs to be highly specific. The sales training program should, at the very least, begin by including not just detailed information about your products , but also the market it exists in. Emphasising your unique selling proposition is something that a sales training program for businesses should entail. Throughout the sales training program, this should be a constant reminder, as this will allow your sales team to align with what makes you different from your competitors.

As part of product training, you should definitely allow your team to use the products themselves. A good test is to see if they can become familiar with the littlest-known product features and benefits that can help the customer — thereby drastically improving their chances of making a sale. Your sales team should not only be familiar with your products and buyer personas, but also with your marketing content library. 

This enables them to connect prospective customers with the right resources during the sales process. As part of your sales training program, you or the sales manager should be viewing demonstrations from experienced sales reps and asking trainees to perform their own mock sales pitches. These are very helpful exercises that we’ve seen with our own Super Scaling clients, and we highly recommend any entrepreneur to do the same with their sales teams.

4. The Sales Process

sales training program

Learning your business’s individual sales process is a critical part of your sales training program. If a new hire has previous sales experience, it’s more than likely that they possess different sales processes. Your sales training program will have to include a comprehensive training of your unique sales process which may include:

  • Preferred methods of lead generation
  • Your method for qualifying prospects
  • Your definition of the different stages of the sales funnel
  • Guiding prospects through the sales process
  • Creating a proposal
  • Closing a deal

Again, reviewing actual case studies in detail is a great way to gain insight and teach your methods more effectively. Role-playing exercises are also a helpful tool to provide a more realistic setting for your sales teams. 

5. CRM Training

Customer relationship management, or CRM, is a technology for managing all your business’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. Knowing how to use the CRM system effectively is a critical skill for modern sales representatives to perform in the highly-competitive sales arena. A CRM’s goal in your business is simple: to improve business relationships. CRM systems help companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. 

As the business owner, it is important for you to learn a CRM system that is specific to your company’s processes. Most sales teams learn software best by doing, so provide opportunities to use the software firsthand. Aside from online sales training programs, other fun activities, such as scavenger hunts or other forms of games, can be incorporated to add an experiential scope to learning these systems. 

6. Team-Building Exercises

An important aspect of any sales training program is to include activities that will help your sales team members bond together as a solid team. Team-building activities or group exercises should be incorporated within their sales training program. 

People like to stick to others whom they know and are comfortable with, so the composition of the groups should be shaken up so that people can get to know and interact with more members of the team. Providing the venue and the means for the occasional fun group activity or outing is a healthy way of attaining and maintaining a happy and high-performing sales force. 

7. Assessment

Your sales training program should incorporate regular assessment, including both self-assessment and outside evaluation. Assessment is useful to address individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as measuring the effectiveness of the sales training program for your business. 

Provide your sales trainees with the same standardised assessment at the beginning, middle, and end of the training period to measure a trainee’s growth. At Super Scaling, we use standardised results-based assessments, as these provide a means to evaluate different representatives’ skills using the same benchmarks, and is a great learning opportunity for your sales teams. 

Self-assessment is also a vital part of initiating good sales habits in your sales representatives. Having self-awareness allows them to realise what aspects of the process they’re great with while discovering points of improvement. 

Benefits of Sales Training Programs For Businesses
sales training program

Effective selling is a skill that needs to be developed, especially for business owners who are trying to scale up their businesses. This is why sales training programs are so crucial for businesses. Developing and practicing these skills leads to your business achieving more success, with proper sales training providing these benefits:

  • Improving Communication Skills. While many salespeople enjoy talking to people, training provides the means to possess well-rounded communication skills. Key skills such as listening to gain an understanding of what the prospect really wants, as well as asking the right questions can be improved with training. Training can also lead to effectively communicating with all types of personalities and backgrounds. 
  • Learning Sales Methodology. Learning a proven successful methodology is vital for any sales training program. This is difficult, but core to any successful sales training program, and in our experience, takes a skilled facilitator to help the business and sales teams discover this methodology. This gives your sales teams a road map of how to conduct presentations without “winging it”. Most sales methodologies also focus on developing various closing techniques to gain buying commitment. 
  • Overcoming Objections. Objections are a normal part of the sales process, and your sales representatives must know how to overcome them. Sales training programs can teach salespeople how to anticipate objections and the right techniques to work through them. 
  • Developing Administrative Skills. Effective sales training points out the importance of administrative functions such as keeping accurate records and analysing important metrics, such as closing ratios. This information can help your sales team better manage their time, increase performance consistently and across the board, and identify any areas that need improving.
8 Secrets of a Successful Sales Training Program
sales training program

Creating an effective training program involves an eight-step process that you can implement: 

1. Remember that sales isn’t about what you’re selling

This principle is the most important thing a salesperson should know. The job of a salesperson is to figure out what the customer’s wants and needs are and to be seen as the problem solver. Show them how your product meets their needs, better than any other option ever could.

2. Assess your sales training program constantly

Sales training leaders constantly assess how their program is enabling sales reps, in order to gain insight into the progress that is being made. The goal of your sales training program should be to provide a better experience every time you welcome someone new to your team. Learning from what previously worked, and what didn’t is an efficient way to adapt your sales training programs to be continually improving. 

3. Focus on skills and behaviors, not just techniques

While one can benefit from learning sales techniques and specific practices, a successful sales training program focuses on providing practical skills to make them more effective. Influencing the behavior of others to deliver better results is vital to achieving this success. 

4. Leverage your team

Sales training should be built with top-performers in mind but is aimed to help those newer or under-achieving team members as well. Encourage cross-departmental collaboration and communication, as this is a huge aspect of cooperation needed to sell. Optimize your team’s efficiency and skill set together in order to achieve better results for your business.

5. Make it real

People adapt to behavioural changes only voluntarily. Deliberately creating development experiences that will persuade your people to change will be advantageous for your business. 

6. Make it fun

Effective sales training is one that isn’t dry and boring — it should be engaging and fun. Instead of browsing through a presentation, let your team visualise the learning through videos, or even better yet, demonstrations and role-playing that allows them to internalise the concepts better. 

7. Practice, practice, practice

Practice is a critical component of enablement, and it’s worth dedicating time for your sales reps to feel empowered through putting knowledge into practice. 

8. Create a positive and stimulating learning experience right from the start

The effectiveness of your sales training program relies on the quality of your team’s total experience. Engage participants in the training even before the start, using tools such as engaging workshops, so they can learn in a more receptive and curious state of mind.

Conclusion

No matter how reliable a sales strategy is, sales training programs for your business provide essential knowledge to better equip your sales team through any scenario. Putting these concepts into practice will allow your sales team to grow, as individuals and as members of your team, ultimately helping you grow your business further.

To learn more about how we empower our entrepreneur clients to develop effective sales training programs for their business, check out how we create powerful sales training programs for businesses here.

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