Today, a sales manager is the most sought-after specialty in every company and firm that sells goods and services. And the key success factor is employee training. It depends on their professional knowledge, and how qualitatively, interestingly, and professionally potential customers will be informed about the available products.
In order for them to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, there are many training programs and sales training procedures. However, which of them are the best and why you should choose them for yourself, we will discuss further in the article.
Methods and process of professional sales training
Putting theoretical knowledge into practice, many sales managers note that they do not live up to expectations. And sociological surveys have determined that most theoretical knowledge is forgotten after a month. Why does this happen and what should be done?
The best option for a company that cooperates with sales agents is to develop its training program and implement individual sales methods. This will make it possible to apply theoretical knowledge in practice as closely as possible because it will be based on specific examples. However, it is worth building training and applying certain methods that are guaranteed to bring results and allow you to invent unique selling points.
1. Conciseness and simplicity
The easier it is to explain to a person what is required of him, the faster he will understand. Academic reading in this case is unacceptable. Short, but constant and stable classes will also be successful. The optimal time for one lesson is half an hour. You should not oversaturate it with terms and tools, but rather break it into blocks.
2. Interactive classes
Instead of one teacher speaking, it is better to give managers the opportunity to immediately apply the acquired knowledge in practice in the form of group classes, team tasks, etc. Thus, their attention will be focused on the subject of conversation, and their interest in gaining new knowledge will remain until the end of the lesson.
3. Various training methods
Do not stop at one type of activity. Today, management schools and colleges practice various forms. In particular:
- online training (video conferencing tools are an opportunity to study at a convenient time and at a convenient pace);
- offline training in field conditions (optimal option for evaluating how managers apply knowledge in practice);
- mobile learning (mobile platforms allow you to join the class at any convenient time and take useful information);
- online platforms (allow you to significantly improve knowledge and consolidate it. As an example, the use of well-known study sources helps to keep and exchange educational materials in one place with the possibility of access from anywhere in the world);
- the peculiarity of training millennials (a generation with independent thinking, a desire for a high level of comfort, and a high level of sociability have already occupied the majority of jobs in sales today).
In the meantime in case you truly intend to move in the right direction and be sure you take all the benefits from the training study methods you should previously get acquainted with the learning steps notes or just research the study tips for college in order not to waste your business time in vain and make your self-improvement processes as effective as possible. To maximize the benefits of your training and ensure effective skill development, it’s crucial to leverage the resources and features offered by an advanced employee training platform.
4. Specification of educational theses
Despite the fact that all concepts in training are general and the same, it is worth paying more attention to a specific product or service in your company and ways to work with it. Such practical podcasts will be more memorable to the manager and agree when communicating with clients.
5. A clear statement of expectations
Each person who came to training directly in his company should know what result is expected from him. Therefore, it is best to talk with each manager and make a list of requirements for his professional duties with him before starting classes.
6. Scenarios of work situations
Before training, you should think through several scenarios of work situations, on the example of which you will train managers. However, they should not be detailed, otherwise, they will look fake during practical communication with customers. It is best to take the most common situations as a basis and leave room for a creative approach to the sales manager.
Mandatory theses during training are the following situations:
- Sending cold email;
- Making cold calls;
- Ability to be an active listener;
- The ability to deliver the main service to the client;
- Track and acquire new perspectives.
If these points are studied in detail during training, managers will automatically and correctly apply knowledge in practice. And this will increase the performance of your sales.
7. Exchange of experience
If there are already experienced employees and young specialists in the management team, you can try to combine them. That is, senior colleagues can tell juniors about the main difficulties. In this way, you will have more time to explain other strategically important points during training. Another advantage of this training method is team cohesion and faster integration of new employees.
8. Track progress
This is the surest way to know if a training program is working and effective in practice. After all, even the constant presence of managers in training does not guarantee success. It can only be tracked in practical situations. Such feedback is also important for the teacher because they can regulate individual moments, and make changes and corrections in the curriculum.
9. Specified praise
In order to encourage people, you need to praise them more often. However, it is worth emphasizing every time what they did well, and what is still worth working on.
10. Saving the result
In order for managers to have mentoring support even after graduation, it would be good to plan systematic coaching sessions. An excellent form is to work with each seller separately. This meeting should not be long, but just enough to cover all the questions that have accumulated in him recently. And also to analyze what kind of knowledge and how he applies it in practice.
11. Feedback from sellers
Another way to test the effectiveness of a training program is to get feedback from people who have completed it. Ask them to be as honest and open as possible, because every feedback is an opportunity to improve the training program for the next managers. In particular, it is worth finding out what a person has gleaned for himself; which methods she liked and which she would like to change; would you like to try a different teaching method, etc.
12. Assessment of each manager’s capabilities
A situation often arises when even the most effective training program does not produce the desired results. The reason may be that the potential of each employee was not determined in time. Therefore, it is worth first objectively assessing the capabilities of managers in order to understand what approach to apply to them in training.
How to optimize sales training: 7 ways
You can get high sales and, at the same time, develop your business only if you have a strong progressive team, including sales managers. The main key to their success is competent and professional training. So let’s look at five ways to optimize sales training with the help of modern technology.
1. Use of client management systems
The application of customer service management systems allows you to combine various data and use updated information to achieve greater results.
2. Virtual seminars
If you want to have systematic high sales results, then you should use virtual seminars-training managers in your work. This will help them not only to update their skills and acquire new skills but also to constantly apply them in practice. This method is especially suitable for companies that lose sales due to the unprofessionalism of managers.
3. Electronic learning modules
When using a generalized training program, you cannot be sure of its effectiveness. Therefore, it is necessary to create modules to study specific needs and situations related to the main work. It is best to practice the acquired knowledge by performing tasks in pairs.
4. Video conferences
If the company has remote sales departments, then training in the form of a video conference will be practical and useful. The use of specific technology can involve managers from different cities and even countries and help them gain new skills, share successes, etc.
5. Use of mobile devices
Mobility at work guarantees that the manager will be able to reach a larger number of clients, which means—multiplying the results of the entire company. This is the ability to work with users in real-time and be in touch constantly, regardless of location.
6. Non-traditional training model
In order to achieve greater results, you need to move away from traditional seminars with speakers. Instead, use strategic coaching with practical lessons and the opportunity to immediately apply them at work. Managers should not accept training as a one-time event but as a model of continuous daily improvement of their knowledge. For this, it is worth presenting additional materials that will be available for viewing at any time.
7. A cool manager is a contribution to achievements
A company that is interested in constant profits understands that excellent specialists are their guarantee. Therefore, it looks for the best training programs for its managers, where they will be able to fully reveal their potential. And constant analytics tools will help to determine in which moments the seller needs support, and in which moments he is already a pro. Therefore, supercharge your sales for success.
Professional sales training tools
Technologies in today’s world are constantly changing, so there is a reason to review the curricula and improve them according to the requirements of the time. So, the use of which technologies can effectively affect the improvement of training of sales managers:
Effective use of data. Data itself is the key to understanding your audience and working with them competently. However, companies usually do not use them to their full potential. Therefore, it makes sense to review the information that surrounds us and start using it for our purposes.
Communication with clients. You should not focus on cooperation only with existing clients. It is always necessary to work on attracting potential. This tool includes cold calling, platform and query analytics, and more.
Improving the experience. The more experience a manager has, the more chances he has to find an approach to each client. It will also affect his ability to balance difficult situations and find advantages even where it seems that there are none.
Optimization of work processes. If the manager learns to optimize work by transferring technical tasks to the computer, then he will have more time to solve other issues related to attracting new customers.
The following tools will help managers apply the above technologies in practice:
A platform for sellers, where the sales process is so optimized that managers only have to work on finding new customers. All processes are automated, which allows the company to be competitive among similar representatives. The constant availability of the database makes it possible to confirm information, make forecasts based on general trends, etc. According to research, 61% of successful salespeople use CRM to automate their work.
Intelligent means of communication
Today there are an incredible number of ways to communicate with the audience. However, effectiveness depends on the correct choice of specific methods and their application. Calls, messages, e-mails, messages in social networks – how to choose your way of contacting customers? The easiest way to simplify your work is to install a chatbot to communicate with customers.
And instead of spending all your time on mailings and calls, it is better to use intelligent automation for them. That is, the system itself will monitor how effective this or that type of communication is.
Automation of routine tasks
Thanks to artificial intelligence, it is possible to perform routine, boring tasks quickly and with pleasure. This is the tried and real power of technology. For Example finding new clients, planning a calendar, and managing deals, and contacts. Automatic data updates will allow you to quickly and efficiently cope with a large amount of work. Every year, more and more artificial intelligence capabilities are introduced through sales technology tools. In fact, you can further improve sales with automation tools to make routine tasks even easier as it contributes to increasing productivity and generating more leads, helping you reach your targets in no time.
Yes, it is possible that this process is difficult because it is necessary to train employees, to re-profile them. But the opportunities that come with them outweigh the costs.
How to accelerate sales training
Many companies faced a situation where, even after training, managers returned to the use of old skills after some time. And training needs are again on the horizon. What is the reason? As practice shows, the problem is that many managers perceive training as a one-time phenomenon. And in order to consolidate the results, you need to study constantly. How to speed up sales training and make it more effective:
Dashboards showcasing existing successes
Even an experienced coach will find it difficult to convince managers of what he is trying to convey if he does not present evidence-based content. For example, if the training takes place on the premises of the company, then it is worth giving the salespeople specific numbers related to previous successes and current job requirements.
Then it will be much easier to motivate people to reach a certain goal—a specific number of calls, sent letters, meetings, etc. And everyone will understand at what stage they are now and how much more work is needed to reach the goal. This is effective advanced sales training.
Consolidation of acquired knowledge
The learning process should be continuous, but not intrusive. After training, it is important to continue communicating with managers and help them adapt to new responsibilities. And also guarantee consulting support in real-time.
Track learning outcomes
Any training will be fruitless if you don’t track your progress. A measure of efficiency in a company can be a systematic analysis of the work of the sales department. If the result does not improve, then it is worth reviewing your tools and methods of submitting material.
So, summing up, it is worth noting that sales training is a generalized system of methods of providing information, tools for managing it, and types of implementation. Each company chooses the training model that best suits its specifics. And how effective it will be in practice depends on a competent approach to the creation of this program.
The main thing is that you should not spend money on training if it turns out to be ineffective in practice. In order to be successful, both mentors and managers must be maximally interested and included in the work. The former should determine the potential and capabilities of each manager at the beginning of training.
And the second is to be as honest and open as possible about the effectiveness of the educational system and one’s own achievements. People’s interest in learning and acquiring new knowledge is already projected success for the entire company. After all, the final result of the work depends precisely on those people who will successfully sell services or goods.
A large number of tools and opportunities provided today allow everyone to choose the method of learning that will be the most acceptable and optimal for him. Therefore, it is worth taking advantage of all opportunities to improve one’s managerial potential.