5 tips for creating a sales training program
Leadership and company executives often overlook the importance of knowing how to conduct a sales training session effectively.
The quality of a sales training program has far-reaching effects on the sustainability of your company’s success.
However, salespeople are often left to their own devices when it comes to learning how to sell, which leads to a mix of persuasion tactics and techniques that produce wildly different results.
A recent report found that many of the top-performing sales professionals attributed their success to intentional and focused sales training. So, how will you create an amazing training program that will set your team up for sales success?
Clearly, creating a sales training program should be a top priority. The following five tips for developing and conducting sales training programs are key to hitting those sales training goals and objectives.
Key tips for developing and conducting sales training programs
Do you know how to conduct an effective training session?
There are many ways to create and then conduct an effective sales training session. Are you ready to take your sales team to the next level?
Here are five tips to aid in developing and conducting sales training programs.
Tip #1: Identify your sales training goals and objectives
Before you begin creating a sales training program, you must understand your sales training goals and objectives.
If you’re not sure what your goals are right now, it’s important to nail them down before you begin building your program. Consider going straight to the source (your managers and employees) and asking how they think sales training could benefit them.
Here are some great examples of questions to ask your sales team:
- What are your biggest challenges when it comes to selling?
- What would you like to learn or improve upon in your sales skills?
- When do you feel ill-equipped to handle a particular kind of sale or objection?
Creating sales training goals and objectives will make your program more efficient as you can align trainees around common topics. These questions will help you gain insight into the core focuses of your sales training.
Plus, involving your team in the development of your sales training will help boost your effectiveness from the start. Your team will be more likely to buy into the training process and be excited to see their vision in action!
Tip #2: Choose a learning format based on your sales training goals and objectives
The delivery of your training session can be as important as the content of your training itself. If you’re not engaging your sales team within your session, they’ll come away from it with minimal (if any) knowledge.
Consider your goals and objectives and decide which training format works best to achieve them.
In-person training has always been the more traditional format for sales teams.
Large organizations often host multi-day sales conferences and training to pack in as much learning as possible. However, as the remote work trend continues to take stronghold at many organizations, this training model may prove more challenging to execute.
So, it may be beneficial to look into virtual and online training options so that you can continue to effectively train and upskill employees in a remote world.
In our modern work environment, remote work is becoming the norm. By investing in an online training platform, you can reach, engage, train, and upskill your employees regardless of physical location.
In addition, an online platform allows you to customize training content and deliver it in a variety of different formats.
Here are some of the different ways you can use a learning technology platform to upskill your workforce.
Virtual instructor-led training
Virtual training brings together teams regardless of physical location to learn and collaborate. They’re also much more flexible than in-person meetings and can reach an unlimited number of attendees simultaneously. (Just be mindful of Zoom fatigue.)
With virtual instructor-led training, you can get all the benefits of classroom training on an easy-access online platform. While learners engage with the material and interact with each other, you’ll improve employee performance and save costs compared to live in-person meetings.
While attention spans are ever decreasing, the knowledge required to perform job tasks at a high capacity is trending in the opposite direction. It can be difficult to grasp new concepts with so much to learn, especially when training is long and complicated.
Microlearning breaks up key training material into bite-sized, easy-to-digest pieces that increase information retention. These pieces of information could be:
- Quick 1-5 minute videos
- Infographics with key statistics
- A weekly sales blog/email
By utilizing micro-learing content, you can quickly engage, train, or upskill employees as they need.
Are you looking for a way to make learning fun and educational?
If you want to know how to conduct an effective training session that engages employees and drives retention, then you should consider gamification.
Gamification is the process of taking training content and turning it into enjoyable games. With an online training platform that supports gamification, you can even set up leaderboards and allow employees to compete against one another.
One-on-one virtual coaching
Developing and conducting sales training programs doesn’t always have to be a huge undertaking. One-on-one coaching is a great way to make incremental improvements within a sales team.
Coaching involves managers identifying high-performing employees and providing them with individualized growth opportunities. The individualized attention of coaching in the workplace helps leaders identify knowledge gaps more quickly, leading to higher returns when creating a sales training program.
In addition, employees who are coached experience increased engagement, productivity, and loyalty to the organization. Coaching is a win-win for any organization looking for a more intentional approach to training.
Using a learning technology platform, like Spoke®, takes coaching outside of the four walls of the office and allows managers to coach employees at any time from any place.
Tip #3: Craft a strong training program outline
Before you start building learning content, create a strategic outline for your program. Creating a detailed roadmap for your sales training will help ensure you’re covering all your bases for content and production.
An outline for your sales training program should include the following elements:
- Training session objective/purpose
- Desired training session format
- List of key takeaways and topics to cover
- Example materials or activities you plan on incorporating
- Follow up or knowledge-check opportunities
With the right training outline in place, you’ll ensure that your sales team is engaged and invested in the outcome of each training session. Plus, it should help you feel more confident and prepared as the facilitator.
Tip #4: Study other sales training best practices
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, a concept that’s especially relevant when creating a sales training program. When it comes to developing and conduction sales training programs, you don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel.
If you’re creating a sales training program for the first time, leverage training case studies from other organizations or recommendations from training and upskilling experts.
Even if the model organization isn’t in the same vertical, you can learn some best practices (or at least what not to do), to inspire your own training. Simple internet searches can also provide a wealth of information for reference and jog your creativity in new ways.
Tip #5: Request honest feedback and leave room for improvement
The best sales trainings are the ones that are constantly updated and refined. But you need to know what’s working and what’s not in order to continuously improve your training.
Request feedback from trainees and leadership to understand whether your training resonates and connects as it should. Continuously create new content and even tweak your delivery format based on the feedback you receive.
Being open to honest feedback is the best way to ensure that your training empowers your sales team with the skills it needs to succeed.
Still unsure how to conduct a sales training session?
Learning how to conduct an effective training session in an impactful way, won’t happen overnight. By refining your skills for developing and conducting sales training programs and understanding key strategies on how to conduct a sales training session, you can help your sales team make the most of their learning and development training.
However, if you’re like many organizations, you may already have a training program and/or sales enablement tools. But is your sales team sales-ready? Do they know how to combine sales training and enablement tools to drive sales at any point in the sales cycle?
At Unboxed Training & Technology, we elevate your sales team to sales-ready. We provide you with the tools and support you need for creating a sales training program and executing it in a way your sales team will love. With our products and services, your sales team gets a custom training program and learning technology platform that sets them up to interact with clients at the point of contact. Instead of wondering what to do or how to do it, your sales reps will be confident and effective—every time!
Schedule a consultation with us today to learn how we make developing and conducting sales training programs simple and seamless for your organization.
Connect with us and see how Unboxed Strategic Consulting Services can help you succeed.