What is your company doing to provide ongoing sales training to its sales team? Many companies assume that when they hire sales people that are already trained they don't need to invest in ongoing training. This is a big mistake. We see the best in class companies continuously working with their sales people to sharpen their saw and keep themselves at the top of their sales game.
Sales training should become an ongoing part of your investment by sales management in upgrading and improving the skills of your sales force in order to stay competitive, learn new techniques, adapt to changing sales realities, and keep an open dialogue going between sales management and its people on how to improve sales performance. Sales training can be integrated into a number of different formats in order to improve sales team and individual performance for those companies hiring entry level individuals it's important that they be put through basic sales training on consultative selling methods. There are many training courses out there and many approaches.
Many consulting companies provide this kind of training…we partner with a couple of them. They can be easily deployed to help your individual sales people to establish basic training. On top of basic sales technique training, most companies provide annual or quarterly training to their sales team as a part of their regular sales meetings. In addition to that, savvy sales managers always include a training topic in their normal sales meetings, whether it be typically 15 to 20 minute session on account strategy or covering a more advanced topic once a month. Integrating sales training into your sales management structure and your sales meeting structure is an important part of making sure that you're sharpening the saws of the individuals that are out there working to gain sales for your company and to accelerate your revenue growth.
If your company needs help with sales training, there are a number of approaches you can take. A starting point would be to start with a sales consulting firm that can help you to asses the level of training that you have amongst your current sales people and design a program that will upgrade the skills of your team and your individuals in order to meet the needs of your current selling organization and selling model.
Let's talk about sales training and the importance of it as it relates to making sure that you're continuously sharpening the saws of your key sales team members in order to enhance their performance, keep them motivated, and keep them on the top of their game. Many companies fail to recognize the importance of providing on going sales training to their team in order to enhance their motivation and improve their performance. The fact is that any sales team, no matter how good they are, needs to be continuously reinforced in terms of their behavior, their practices, and their techniques, and sales training is a key vehicle for doing that.
Companies that are continuously investing in sales training for their personnel are the ones that get ahead in the game and maintain a highly productive and motivated workforce. They also make sure that their sales team is on the same page as management, in terms of direction, vision, focus in terms of new product development, new product launches, customers and the company's overall sales strategy. Sales training provides a primary vehicle for this and is a key aspect of any sales manager's tool kit when it comes to enhancing sales team performance.
There are a number of different levels of sales training that you should be considering for your company if you're not already doing so. First, make sure that all of your sales team members, and particularly new hires, are brought up to speed on the companies basic technique and philosophy. If your company is using a consultative selling model and you're hiring new employees that have not had sales training on spin or solutions selling or some other form of consultative selling, that's a good place to start, is to send those new hires off to a boot camp, in order to get that sort of training. We partner with sales training companies that are able to provide that very effectively. Making sure that all new hires have a basic set of foundational sales training tools is very important.
Also, one of the best practices of any sales management team is to integrate sales training into your weekly sales meetings. This doesn't mean that you have to spend a lot of time on it, but having a sales training topic at every weekly sales meeting is a good way to freshen people up, get them thinking about their work, thinking about how to do their job better, and keep them motivated as it relates to working on their basic sales technique and their sales process. Even a 10 or 15 minutes shop talk by the sales manager or one of your sales team members can be a great way to integrate sales training topics into your weekly routine.
A great way to give people ownership and empowerment for these topics is to have different members of your team lead a topic each week, under your sales management's guidance, brainstorm a list of topics that would be good to cover over the upcoming weeks, and then actually assign those tasks to different people to lead those topics. That gives each of your sales team members a sense of commitment, participation and empowerment in leading the sales team. It also allows you to pinpoint who are the best sales trainers and who are the best potential leaders of your sales team.
In addition to integrating sales training into your normal weekly sales meeting agenda, it also makes sense for you to pull your sales team out of the field into a 2 to 3 hour sales meeting at least once a quarter to review past quarter results and also to do sales planning for the upcoming quarter. And sales training should always be on the agenda of those sales team meetings, whether they be at your offices, or in some remote retreat. Finally, having an annual sales training retreat as a part of your annual sales meeting makes a lot of sense, as well.
Many companies do this, where they organize a 4 or 5 day sales meeting and spend at least one, if not two, days of that time dedicated to different sales training topics. Sales training takes a lot of different forms, from sales technique, to updating them on the company's vision and strategy, through to new product training and launch planning, there's a whole variety of topics that can be covered on the sales training agenda. But the key is, to make it frequent and ongoing and a part of your ongoing relationship with your sales team, focusing on sales training is an absolute key to enhancing your sales team productivity, performance, process improvement and success.
What are you doing to integrate sales training into your overall sales management structure?
About Cube Management:
Cube Management provides sales acceleration services to emerging growth and mid-market companies in the technology, manufacturing, healthcare and business service sectors. The experts at Cube Management work across the entire spectrum of marketing, sales and business development to provide customized solutions that drive revenue and profit growth. Cube Management combines Strategy, Process & People to produce winning results. 29th January 2006 From India
, New Delhi