No single manager or individual knows all the best practices for sales training. That’s why it’s important to invest in third-party training resources. Reps can always benefit from additional and outside perspectives, and as sales tools and methodologies evolve, third-party training can help reps stay up-to-date on the best resources and strategies available to them.
With outside sales training, sales leaders can also learn new insights or strategies that can then be passed on to new hires. With leadership methodologies also constantly evolving as the sales landscape changes, it’s important for leaders to stay educated. Additionally, reps want and need to see that you are investing in their success and their future. Sales training can be used in recruiting new reps and can help build an A-list team.
Here are 6 tips for making the most of a training program:
- Get references. When selecting a sales trainer or training program, get as many details as possible on the program, the logistics of how it is implemented, what will be taught, and how results are measured. Make sure you ask sales teams who have used the program in the past what worked well and what didn’t.
- Don’t boil the ocean. Select one or two practice areas of the sales process to train on. Use your internal data to identify ahead of time where you need to improve. Examples: Top of the funnel (prospecting, cold calling); Mid funnel (adding value / staying engaged); Closing (negotiation); Account Management.
- Prepare. Make sure reps know you will be testing and implementing the sales training in the coming days or weeks. In preparing for the training, ask what you can do to get the most out of the training session. Many programs have assignments to complete in advance to make sure the training is productive.
- Measure the ROI of the training investment. Highlight two or three key points of the training and incorporate them into your workflow / KPIs.
- Reinforce the training consistently. Don’t expect two or three days of training to erase years of habits. Effective implementation of training requires consistent reinforcement. Have members of your team speak about how they incorporated the training into their workflow and discuss the outcome. Was it impactful? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Reward success stories. Identifying and rewarding success stories will encourage your team to utilize the practices they learned. Reps will adopt the training when they see a peer has been successful and recognized for that success. Set up a reward system for the weeks or months following the training. For example, if a rep increased her call conversions by 15% or more in [x] weeks, she is rewarded with a gift card or bonus.
These tips will help you get the most out of your investment in third-party sales training. With solid preparation, a strong program and consistent reinforcement of what was learned, you should see noticeable results.
Are you bringing on new reps remotely and training them virtually? See our guide on Onboarding Reps Remotely!