The first few months on the job are critical for sales reps.
During this time, new reps need tons of support in learning the necessary information and skills to get up to speed, hit quotas, and become an all-star rep.
Thankfully, we’ve put together five sales training lessons that can help you transform your sales training program, close more deals, and do better work!
What makes the top sales training programs?
Today’s sales reps have to navigate a quickly changing business landscape, meet the increasing needs of prospects, and cultivate lasting relationships. The best sales training programs recognize and prioritize a variety of skills to do all of these things and more. We’ve found that the top sales training programs include the following three key elements.
Important skills and knowledge reps need to succeed: Any type of sales training program should recognize and prioritize the skills and information reps need to navigate a quickly changing business landscape and cultivate lasting relationships.
Practice exercises where reps can hone newly learned skills: Practice is a critical component in your sales training agenda. Companies with the best sales training programs give reps the opportunity to refine their skills with realistic practice scenarios.
A check-in or certification stage that includes coaching and feedback: Knowledge checkpoints are important. Offer reps dedicated times for check-ins to ensure they understand what they’re learning, ask questions and receive feedback.
5 sales training topics for improved sales enablement
Sure, there are plenty of sales training programs and free online courses that already exist. While we believe these can be helpful, we’ve also seen that the best teams create training that addresses their specific needs and company goals. Here are five sales training ideas to consider.
1. Understanding your buyer personas
Buyer personas help sales reps better understand their prospects and customers. Your company may have more than one persona, so it’s important to deliver sales training courses catered to each one. It’s also likely that buyers fall across a number of different verticals. Highlight your company’s target verticals, as well as key industry information and pain points.
Once reps have a good understanding of every buyer persona, have them put that knowledge to use. For example, during your team’s weekly meeting, pick a prospect and ask reps to understand their world. Use this time to discuss what the prospect cares about and what may be on their plate. By taking the time to practice these scenarios, reps are more likely to do the same in real interactions.
2. Prospecting and setting meetings
Perseverance is the key to sales success and should be a key component in every sales training curriculum. First, focus on the three elements of prospecting: connecting and catching attention, assuming pain points, and offering to help. It’s also helpful to provide reps with examples of past messaging that has led to sales opportunities.
This is a great way to show reps how to effectively communicate with buyers. Because cold calling is intimidating at first, give reps tips and tricks that will help them confidently pick up the phone or send that first email. Because there are so many channels for reps, be sure to give them optimal time to practice crafting the perfect email, making a friendly phone call, and overcoming common objections they may face.
3. Delivering a better demo experience
By now, reps have learned how to set first meetings and are gearing up to have in-depth conversations with prospects. Since a personalized demo is one of the best sales tools, this should be included in your list of sales training topics.
First, help reps learn the basics of delivering a demo and provide guidance about what makes for a successful conversation. Then, give them examples of what a successful demo looks and sounds likes. The best sales training courses spotlight the team’s best demos that address various prospect needs, use cases, and verticals. Don’t forget to give them the chance to roleplay with their peers so they can piece together all of the knowledge they’ve learned with a demo of their own.
4. Overcoming the competition and other objections
To beat the competition, reps need to fully understand who they’re up against. Provide reps with a competitor analysis on your company’s biggest competitors. For example, our sales training program features battle cards that reps can use for quick reference. We use this training content to highlight what the competition offers, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to beat them. This helps reps respond appropriately if a prospect mentions a competitor during a deal.
5. Telling the best customer stories
Customer stories are the lifeblood of a good sales process. Equip reps with different case studies and customer reviews, like those found on G2, that they can learn from and share with other prospects. Providing prospects with social proof is essential for long-term sales success. While your company may have great customer stories, it’s important to also train reps on when and how to use them so they have the greatest impact.
Consider asking reps to practice sharing applicable customer stories before a real prospect call so they can become master storytellers. This will increase the likelihood that your use cases will show differentiation and close the deal.
How to create the ultimate sales enablement program
Sales enablement and training are must-haves in today’s fast-paced sales environment. When it comes to training your sales team, how are you doing? If you’re inspired by this list of sales training topics, we have three more helpful tips to remember to take your sales enablement strategy to the next level.
World-class sales enablement plans feature a healthy mix of in-person coaching, on-demand training, and peer/mentor shadowing. This combination provides reps with a holistic learning experience where they’re equipped and enabled in a variety of different ways. Training diversification also helps managers get a clearer picture of what’s working well, what isn’t working, and what’s missing.
Every rep learns differently and at varying speeds. Your sales enablement strategy should give reps the ability to learn when and where they need it and at their own pace, regardless of their learning preferences. Whether it be with their manager or through an eLearning tool, the ability to deliver the right training at the right time will always improve knowledge retention and employee engagement.
It’s difficult to keep track of your team’s sales enablement and training efforts, especially when there’s a large number of reps in different stages of their careers. Instead of tracking training progress in unorganized spreadsheets, consider looking for an online sales training solution that makes it easy to view training completion, comprehension, and engagement. This makes the path to sales productivity clearer for everyone from new teammates all the way up to sales leadership.
It’s time to transform sales training programs
For some companies, it can be a daunting task to try to create the perfect sales enablement and training program. While evolving sales training programs undeniably takes dedication and intentionality, it also reaps plenty of rewards. We hope this sample sales training curriculum helps you reimagine a sales training program that leads to success in 2020 and beyond.