BY RACHEL SALTSGAVER, LESSONLY
The world of sales looks drastically different than it did just a few weeks ago. Which means it’s time for sales training to adjust, too.
Hear us out. For truly great sales success, leaders need to deploy training that enables their sales reps to do their best work from kitchen tables, makeshift offices, and couches. Instead of delivering your standard, run-of-the-mill sales training program, it’s time to reimagine a program that not only onboards every new teammate, but keeps them performing at the highest level whether they’re in the office or working remotely.
Delivering a top sales training program is a great way to help your reps navigate the sales process during hard times. Learn how to help your reps find success during uncertain times in Ambition and Lessonly’s upcoming webinar on April 22nd. Learn more and sign up here!
What makes a top sales training program?
Today’s sales reps have to navigate a quickly changing business landscape, meet the increasing needs of prospects, and cultivate lasting relationships. The best sales training programs recognize and prioritize a variety of skills to do all of these things and more. We’ve found that the top sales training programs do each of the following.
Offer flexibility: Every rep learns differently—and at varying speeds. Your sales training program should give reps the ability to learn when and where they need it and at their own pace, regardless of their learning preferences or work climate.
Measure success: It’s difficult to keep track of your sales training efforts while your team is remote. Instead of tracking training progress in unorganized spreadsheets, consider looking for an online sales training solution that makes it easy to view training completion, comprehension, and engagement.
Provide diversity: World-class sales training features a healthy mix of on-demand training, practice, and coaching. This combination provides reps with a holistic learning experience where they’re equipped and enabled in a variety of different ways. Let’s dive into each of these areas to learn how to develop a sales training program while working remotely.
1. Provide on-demand training focused on important skills and knowledge
Sure, there are plenty of free online sales courses already out there. While these can be helpful, we’ve also seen companies with the best sales training programs create training that addresses their specific needs and company goals in the midst of uncertain times. Here’s a glimpse at a few of our favorite sales training ideas.
Buyer persona overview: Buyer personas help sales reps better understand their companies. Companies may have more than one persona, so it’s important to deliver training on each one.
First call basics: The initial call sets the tone for the entire sales process. Dive into best practices on first calls that maximize the opportunity for a great sales experience.
Social styles: Prospects vary in personality, communication style, and decision making approach. Teach reps to adapt their sales strategy for each style with your training content.
It’s also important to note that training shouldn’t stop after onboarding. While it’s important to deliver basic training on skills and knowledge like the topics listed above, training should be an ongoing activity, especially as reps navigate the selling process. Ongoing training with online sales training software is a great way to deliver new content and keep your sales reps’ skills fresh over time.
2. Create practice exercises to hone newly learned skills
Practice is a critical component to your sales training program. The best sales leaders give reps the opportunity to hone newly learned skills with realistic practice scenarios throughout their training program. This allows sales reps the freedom to make mistakes behind the scenes so they shine when it’s showtime. Some of our favorite practice scenarios include:
Sharing messaging: Create different sales scenarios, such as cold calling a prospect, and have each rep practice delivering messaging to be used as a baseline for their improvement.
Delivering a demo: A personalized demo is a great sales tool. Give reps different scenarios that empower them to test their knowledge and improve their demo skills.
Handling objections: What happens if a prospect mentions a competitor or if they push back on setting the next meeting? Give reps an opportunity to practice responding to common objections in competitive deals.
Helping reps tweak their tones, deliver an appropriate demo, and overcome objections are important skills for today’s choppy sales waters. Learn how you can help your reps in our webinar, Navigating the Sales Process when Nothing is Certain, on April 22nd. Register here.
By making space for reps to get 1% better every day, they’ll show up happier and more engaged. It also gives them the change to get quick, simple feedback from their peers and managers, which takes us to our third and final strategy.
3. Deliver personalized coaching and feedback
Knowledge checkpoints that include one-on-one coaching and feedback are extremely beneficial in sales training. Coaching offers reps dedicated times to ensure they understand what they’re learning, have a space to ask questions, and receive consistent feedback. It’s valuable to have different opportunities, or reasons, for coaching. Some areas include:
Performance coaching: Unfortunately, some reps’ skill set may not be up to snuff. Sales coaching is an excellent opportunity to address areas for improvement and give reps actionable next steps and advice for future growth.
Sales pipeline coaching: Coaching sales reps to their sales pipeline is a great way to make a huge impact on rep performance. This kind of coaching focuses on helping sales reps move opportunities from the current stage to the closing stage.
Top-performer coaching: No sales rep should be left behind, especially in the world of coaching. One-on-one feedback sessions are a great way to help your top-performing reps go from good to great, praise them for a job well done, and help them move forward in their careers.
Remember, feedback is a two-way street in sales training. Coaching sessions should also empower reps to easily provide feedback on the training material they just reviewed, ask questions, and more.
So, are you ready to build a top sales training program?
When it comes to training your remote sales team, how do your efforts measure up? For some companies, it can be a massive undertaking to create the best sales training program. While evolving sales training programs undeniably takes dedication and intentionality, it also reaps plenty of rewards. By offering a healthy mix of on-demand training, engaging practice, and coaching, your team is more likely to succeed.
Lessonly is the powerfully simple way for teams to learn and practice like never before. Sales teams across the globe use Lessonly to scale team training simply, ramp new reps consistently, and close more deals. Learn more here.