Sales training for employees: 5 key sales enablement training topics
Are you searching for the right sales and marketing training topics to give your sales reps a competitive edge?
There was a time when a company sales rep's role was to put on a smile, drive around from account to account, and try to close as many deals as possible. We’ve come a long way from unsophisticated selling through charm. Building a successful sales force requires more than just a glowing personality and outstanding people skills.
For modern sales teams, sales enablement and readiness (the ability to effectively engage with a client/customer at any point of contact) are the name of the game. But without an innovative sales training lms (learning management system) and engaging sales training for employees, great sales training ideas will never get off the ground.
Sales enablement and readiness training takes your typical sales training for employees to the next level. Reps can learn the essential skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today's evolving sales environment. It’s the fuel that keeps your newly hired sales reps moving forward and closing deals without losing steam.
In this article we’ll deep dive into five of the most important sales enablement training topics and cover additional sales and marketing training topics vital to the success of new reps (and your organization!).
Are you unsure where to start when it comes to sales enablement? We’ll create a tailored, creative, data-driven action plan that makes upskilling an exciting and engaging part of the workday.
What is sales enablement and readiness training?
The odds are stacked against sales reps in today’s market, with a recent study finding that only 3% of people trust a salesperson. In addition, sales reps need to be ready to connect and interact with a potential customer or client at any stage of the sales process.
If you don’t have a well-trained team that’s equipped with the right tools and readiness training, your company will have a hard time achieving its sales goals.
So, what are sales enablement and sales readiness training?
Sales enablement refers to the tools and resources that a sales rep has at its disposal. These tools and resources “enable” a salesperson to move a prospective client/customer through the sales process.
Often, sales enablement is synonymous with “sales training LMS.” An LMS is a remotely accessible online hub where sales reps have access to:
- Ongoing training and upskilling opportunities
- Real-time communication with and feedback from managers
- Product demos, videos, infographics, etc.
A sales training LMS is a tool that provides practical solutions to sales reps during the sales journey.
However, it’s important to provide your team with training on how to use your company’s sales enablement tools. You can have a great resource, but it’s a waste of money if your employees can’t utilize it.
Sales readiness refers to a salesperson’s comfortability and confidence in engaging with a customer at the point of interaction.
Sales reps become “sales-ready” when they can effectively combine their custom training and sales enablement tools into a powerful customer/client sales journey. Whether the potential client is at the beginning, middle, or end of the sales cycle, a sales-ready sales rep is prepared to engage and sell no matter what.
In order to create a sales-ready salesforce, you need to have a good sales training program for employees and sales enablement tools that sales reps know how to use.
Most companies have a sales training program or offer their employees sales enablement tools. However, they don’t make the connection between the two and are left with a salesforce that isn’t truly sales-ready.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to upskill your sales team and make them sales-ready.
Keep reading for some great sales training ideas to include in sales training for employees that promotes sales-readiness.
Do you lack the time or expertise to craft an in-house sales training program yourself? Connect with our team to discuss a custom sales training program tailored to your needs.
5 must-have sales enablement and readiness training topics
Now that we’ve defined sales enablement and readiness, let's look at the key sales and marketing training topics that companies must include in their sales training for employees.
These five sales training topic ideas are both tactical and skill-based to help set up your new hires for success from the moment they enter the field.
Topic #1. Product and customer knowledge
Our first of five sales training topic ideas is to ensure your employees have proper product and customer knowledge.
Product and customer knowledge are two of the most foundational concepts of sales enablement. A good sales rep needs to be fluent in:
- The company's products and services
- How the company/products differentiate themselves within the competitive landscape
- Their ideal customers and their unique needs
- The benefits of the company's products first, and features second
Product and customer knowledge training should include:
- Product features and benefits: In-depth training on the company's products and their benefits.
- Sales life cycles: Overviews of the company's products and services and how they fit into the buyer journey of their customers.
- Competitor analysis: Reviews of the company’s main competitors and how to position the company's products and culture against them.
- Buyer personas: Training around the ideal customers and clients your sales reps will be targeting to understand their thought processes.
In-depth product and customer knowledge are especially critical for teams that sell complex products or services or deliver a high volume of product information during the sales process.
Topic #2. Sales methodology
A good sales enablement and readiness program will also include sales enablement training topics on methodology and strategy, including:
- Qualifying potential customers
- Overcoming objections
- Closing deals
Sales methodology training will often involve content around:
- Customer qualification: Strategies on how to determine the probability of potential accounts becoming customers before they move further down the sales funnel.
- Objection handling: Techniques for dealing with common objections, such as price, product features, and delivery time.
- Negotiation tactics: Tips and techniques for negotiating deals with customers and making acceptable concessions.
While sales methodology training seems somewhat basic, it can be critical for reps just starting out in their careers, especially in an increasingly virtual world. And With a flexible sales enablement tool, you can easily deliver in-the-moment training and content to your sales reps to ensure they’re always ahead of the curve.
Topic #3. CRM proficiency
Another set of great sales training ideas revolves around the company’s customer relationship management platform (CRM).
CRM systems are the backbone of modern sales organizations, and new reps need to maximize their use to target the widest number of prospects in the most efficient way possible.
Sales reps need to be familiar with the features of their CRM system and understand how to use it to manage their pipeline and track their progress.
Companies can deliver CRM usage training in a variety of ways, including:
- General CRM training: In-depth training on the capabilities and features of the CRM tool.
- Pipeline management: Training on using the CRM system to manage a sales pipeline.
- Sales tracking: Overview of how to track activities like phone calls, meetings, and email correspondence in the CRM system.
With a working knowledge of the CRM system, reps can get up-to-speed quickly, spending more time closing deals and generating revenue, and less time struggling with technology.
Topic #4. Social selling
An effective sales organization relies on much more than individual sales reps.
Sales teams must work in tandem with marketing teams to ensure the right information is presented to the right audience at the right time. Including marketing training topics within your sales enablement strategy benefits these collaborative efforts.
With so much interaction now taking place online, social selling has become increasingly beneficial to include in a strong sales enablement program. Sales reps need to be familiar with social media and social selling best practices to connect with potential customers and build relationships.
Here are some great sales training ideas for this topic:
- Social media sales: Training on the best ways to build meaningful digital connections with potential customers using social media.
- Industry trends: Overviews of current industry trends, important terminology, and ways to leverage marketing qualified leads as part of the sales funnel
- Customer collaboration: Sharing strategies to make customers feel like they’re active participants in the sales process.
Digital trends move quickly, so it's essential that your sales training LMS is nimble enough to consistently update training content so it’s always fresh and relevant.
Topic #5. Remote selling
If there’s anything these past two years have taught us, it’s that companies who are quickest to adapt will always come out on top. If remote selling isn’t one of your core sales enablement and readiness training topics, your sales team will leave business on the table.
Remote sales training should include:
- Virtual platform management: Training on the various tools your company uses to conduct business and prospecting calls virtually
- Virtual soft skills: Practical how-to’s and role plays on conducting yourself in an engaging way despite building connections through screens.
- Hybrid selling best practices: Knowledge and practice on conduction sales virtually and in-person with the same customer/client.
Though it’s one of the newest sales and marketing training topics, remote selling skills are more important than ever.
So, now that you know exactly which sales enablement and readiness training topics are central to the successful development of your sales team, how do you implement them into your onboarding and ongoing training process?
Make your sales team sales-ready with Spoke®
While there are many layers to closing deals or achieving sales objectives, one thing’s for sure: if you’re not including sales enablement training topics in your sales training for employees, your sales team won’t be sales-ready and you’ll be missing out on revenue opportunities.
With the right training, your sales reps will know how to leverage their training and sales enablement tools they need to hit their numbers (and beyond!).
Today, we reviewed five of these key sales training topic ideas, including:
- Product knowledge
- Sales methodology
- CRM proficiency
- Social selling
- Remote selling
Though these sales and marketing training topics will help you on your way to effective selling, delivering them in an engaging, interactive, and trackable medium can be challenging.
But that’s where sales enablement and readiness tools like Spoke® come in.
At Unboxed Training & Technology, we developed an award-winning LMS platform called Spoke®. Spoke® is both a sales enablement tool and a platform you can use to deliver training content to sales reps—it’s your one-stop shop for making your sales team sales-ready. And because of these capabilities, Spoke is also your key to promoting Skill Agility within your organization.
Want to learn more about Spoke®? Connect with us to see how our award-winning learning technology platform can help you create a high-performing sales team.
Get a demo to see how Spoke® Learning Technology Platform can turn your organization into a hub for Skill Agility.