As a candidate, it’s important to understand how a potential employer will invest in you and enable your success. One way companies invest in their sales professionals is through sales training programs.
Here are some ways you can decide whether a company’s sales training programs are an investment in you… or just a product training for them:
Know the difference between sales training and product training
Getting training on the products you’re going to sell is not the same as sales training. Ideally, you need both if you want to succeed, but companies shouldn’t try to substitute one for the other.
A good sales training program should include the mechanics of the sales process and techniques such as:
- Lead scoring
- The value proposition
- The problems the solution solves
- Overcoming objections
- Advancing the deal
Product training, on the other hand, is focused on a specific product or solution. It covers the details of how a product works, how a client interacts with it and how it is implemented.
Find out who leads the training (and where)
Larger and more sophisticated companies will hire a full-time employee (or a full team) to lead the training. Others may leverage a member of the sales leadership team. Both work and have their advantages. It’s great to learn from someone on the frontline, but keep in mind that they also have a ‘day job’ to do and may not be able to dedicate their full time to training.
Also, consider how the training is delivered. Some companies have shifted to virtual programs to save time and money, but it can be difficult to facilitate two-way communication. Many reps need an opportunity to ask direct questions in real-time to make the most out of the training.
Do they also provide marketplace training?
It’s not enough to know the products and sales processes. You also need to know the deeper level needs of the customers you’re selling to. A good sales training program will also include marketplace insights to help you better understand what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, and the value you bring.
Speak with a rep who went through the training
If possible, reach out to a sales rep at the company you’re applying to and get their take on the training they received. They can tell you a lot more about the training because of their personal perspective and can help you know what to expect and how to make the most out of the training.
Interview the hiring team prior to accepting a position and have them provide specific details about their sales training program.
- What type of sales training do you provide?
- Who delivers the training?
- How long is the initial training?
- How often is ongoing training provided?
- Do I have the option to attend virtual sales training?
While good sales training will never be a substitute for an intuitive salesperson, it can go a long way in providing support for a prosperous career.
Have you already been trained but feel like you still don’t have the tools to succeed? Check out our article on deciding when to look for a new sales position.