Improve your bottom line with expertly-trained sales reps
Sales is constantly in flux.
While it’s evident that tried-and-true sales methods work well for some companies, training your sales reps only once and then leaving them to sink or swim is detrimental to your company’s bottom line.
Unfortunately, many companies don’t understand the purpose of investing in regular sales training programs for their reps. But training somebody one time and expecting them to constantly be able to adapt to new challenges is illogical and irrational. To improve your chances of more closed-won deals (and happy customers), you need to train your sales reps regularly.
4 sales training guidelines to enhance your reps’ skillset
Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines for approaching sales training like a pro.
1. Have tenured reps help newer reps in role-playing activities
Sales role-playing between seasoned and less experienced reps is an incredible way to amplify cross-team collaboration. Instead of one manager teaching old, tired tactics to new reps, why not have your best-performing reps who’ve had unique selling experiences teach their creative ways to your newer reps?
Experience is the best form of instruction, so playing out difficult customer scenarios led by your reps who’ve experienced these things first hand is the best way to prepare for the worst – or best, given on the situation and its outcomes.
This is a teaching and training moment for the tenured and newer reps. Your experienced sellers get to relive scenarios they successfully handled, and reimagine ways they could have handled not-so-great outcomes better. This is a good period of reflection, training, and instruction on either how to do things the right way, or how not to do things so that the newer reps find success in their own future sales conversations.
Have your tenured reps draw up experience-based scenarios with two outcomes: a good and a bad outcome. If possible, use your outbound call tracking tool or inbound call tracking solution to replay the conversations word for word so new reps can analyze what went well and what could have been better. Have the newer reps try to work their way through the scenario and see what solutions they come up with. Together, your newer and older sales reps will be able to mitigate future issues that could potentially arise.
2. Invest in eLearning opportunities
eLearning is one of the best ways to allow your sales reps to keep learning continuously. A much lower cost than in-person training sessions or classes, eLearning with guided modules that increase difficulty and skill level over a specified period of time is an easy way for your reps to learn if or when there is downtime in their weekly schedule.
What’s more, you can intentionally build in weekly learning time for your reps so that they’re consistently learning and meeting weekly, monthly, or quarterly learning goals. To maximize the benefit of eLearning and to emphasize the importance of absorbing and applying new knowledge, have each rep make a slide for your monthly team meetings where they can discuss what they’ve learned and how the knowledge can help all reps.
An example of a widely-used eLearning solution is LinedIn Learning, a component of LinkedIn’s Premium subscription, which can be purchased for your entire team (or the company at large). On there, reps can take courses that are filled with quizzes and assessments, and once completed, they’re left with a certification that can be displayed on their profile. It’s an easy way to keep your employees motivated by smaller goals that actually amount to knowledge gained. It’s a win-win.
Additionally, finding a sales training software solution can be a saving grace for sales teams looking to enhance learning on a virtual platform. Make sure that from manager-level down, all salespeople are taking part in eLearning. Not only can it help your reps move forward with their career goals, but it looks good when even upper management is making an effort to continue growing and sharing knowledge.
3. Find creative, new ways to shake up your training
Using a multimodal approach to learning can amplify your team’s willingness to learn new things. Using varied learning formats will help reps who have different learning styles take advantage of all available knowledge formats. For instance, some of your reps might be visual learners while others need hands-on instruction. Instead of assuming each rep learns and absorbs knowledge the same way, shake up your sales training techniques.
To guarantee everyone finds benefit in your training, include visual elements, role-playing (as mentioned earlier), a regularly-updated sales playbook, lunch and learns, webinars, and any other training formats you feel might be useful for all reps. Maybe you’ll host a brainstorm session for new email subject lines to help your reps increase their open rate. If you normally do a lecture-style training session, change up your methods with sales coaching solutions to improve your team’s close rates. Plus, sales coaching solutions can help managers engage with continuous training with embedded feedback capabilities and signaling opportunities to upsell or close deals.
4. Highlight team wins (big or small) and praise a job well done
While there’s always room for improvement in the numbers as shown by your sales performance management tool, you need to make sure you’re giving praise where praise is due. Pointing out mistakes and using them as learning moments is great (when done with thoughtful kindness), but you also need to shed light on your team’s wins, big or small.
Beyond hitting the gong, offer other forms of recognition that make your reps feel valued even when they’re not closing deal after deal. Did you notice Rep A and Rep B had really great collaboration on a call last week? Call them out in your next meeting and cheer their collaborative nature on.
You can even do small things like a monthly recognition lunch where lower-level wins are celebrated, or even dole out small gifts of appreciation (like a random coffee and pastry) to keep spirits high. Reminding your reps that “winning” doesn’t just mean closing six-figure deals can boost overall morale and long-term performance.
It’s every sales team’s dream to meet quota consistently, but we know that doesn’t happen all the time. The best chance your company has for reaching and exceeding its financial goals is by making sure you have top-tier reps to help you along the way.
Whether you use multimodal learning, cross-team collaboration, eLearning, or a combination, make sure you’re regularly training your reps. Well-trained salespeople are crucial to a company’s success. Remember the motto: always be learning.
Close partnered up with Predictable Revenue to bring you 8 customizable templates that'll empower you (and your team!) to sell consistently and effectively.
Rebecca Reynoso is the Content Editor on the marketing team at G2. She often writes about artificial intelligence, chatbots, and other high-tech and marketing content.