55% of salespeople don’t have the hang of basic sales skills according to data compiled by Value Core. Such statistics show why it’s crucial to provide your team with sales training. That said, not every sales training program will meet your needs, so it’s important to choose the right one. Here’s a guide to help you pick the best program to boost your sales numbers.
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Consider your skills gap
For your sales program to make a lasting impact it has to hit right at the core of your skills gap. So, kick start your selection process by identifying the most pressing sales skills and performance gaps facing your team.
Once you know what’s missing, you’re in a better position to bridge the gap. Here are some of the most common issues that sales teams face:
Poor communication skills
According to Gong, sellers spend up to 75% of their sales calls speaking rather than listening. As a result, crucial opportunities to connect with buyers fall through the cracks. Training can help beef up your reps’ communication skills.
The best salespeople listen more and ask the right questions to get to the bottom of their buyers’ needs. Well-trained reps also actively listen and master reading undertones and non-verbal cues.
Research by CSO Insights found that 42% of reps do not properly prepare before jumping onto calls. That’s close to half of reps fumbling their way through calls.
Training helps sales representatives learn how to research and make clear-cut action plans. The best reps know as much as possible about the customer before taking a call.
Not following sales processes
Consistently following a sales process brings better results. If your reps are not in sync with your sales process, they risk skipping some steps. For instance, not following up on leads or forgetting to send part of an email sequence.
The faintest misstep can negatively impact the buyer’s journey, so training helps to keep your team in rhythm with your sales process.
Align training with your business goals
An effective training program falls in line with your business objectives. For example, say you’re looking to expand into a new market. Your training can focus on learning new methods and strategies that apply to your target market.
Also, consider your distribution strategy. Different selling approaches apply to B2B markets versus B2C. For instance, the B2B sales environment is more complex and leans heavily on structural negotiations. In contrast, the B2C market calls for a direct approach with an interpersonal focus. So, choose sales courses that can give you the tools to best match your selling strategy.
Choose a varied curriculum
It’s important to find a training program with a power-packed curriculum that covers the essentials. For example, some core skills that sales reps can benefit from include:
- presentation skills
- persuasion skills
- social selling
- sales negotiation
Also, assess the extent to which each topic is thoroughly covered. The best programs offer practical tools, not just a theoretical run-through.
It’s critical for the training to be delivered in an interactive manner. Choose a program with a range of interactive learning activities such as videos, games, quizzes, webinars, and simulations.
Consider a course that leverages technology and digital tools. A Harvard Business School study found that eLearning tools can cut learning times by approximately 60%.
Assess the training provider
The quality of training is directly linked to the caliber of the provider. The best providers are tried and tested companies with a sparkling track record of success. So, look for references before settling on a sales training program.
Remember to check if the course is customizable. Providers don’t typically offer fully customizable courses as the costs can run too high. However, the best programs have some wiggle room to cater to your business’s specific needs.
Customized sales learning has been found to be 33% more effective than generic cookie-cutter courses according to a study by the Corporate Executive Board.
Sifting out the best sales training program
There’s a swarm of courses to choose from but not all of them will add value to your team. So, start by figuring out the major skills gap and business objectives. Choose a program with a suitable curriculum that can catapult your sales team’s skills. Finally assess the training provider to pick an experienced vendor.