Sales personnel are the revenue generators for any organization. If the sales force is not equipped with adequate tools to showcase the company’s products or services, it would drastically affect the revenue-generating capacity of an organization. Each organization has specific requirements and they need to train their sales people adequately with respect to their specific needs. So, what is the type of training that an organization needs to plan for their sales personnel?
A typical training program for an organization needs to cover the following:
Product Knowledge: Knowledge of a product or service that the organization is offering. A sales person could be seasoned professional with many years of sales experience. However, if he has newly joined an organization, or if the organization has newly launched a product, he needs to learn and understand the features and benefits of the product before approaching a prospective customer. Organizations need to have a mechanism in place to make sure that sales team is kept up to date with product information. Therefore, this forms the main features of a sales training.
Sales Process: Typically, a sales process has the following five stages:
- Establishing a relationship with the customer
- Analyzing the needs of the customer
- Making a recommendation to satisfy those needs
- Completing the sales process by taking a commitment
- Ensuring prompt delivery of the service and follow-up with the customer for any feedback
These stages remain more or less the same for any product or service. However, organizations need to tailor these stages for their specific requirements and sensitize the sales force about their importance. The sales team needs to thoroughly understand the sales process in order to effectively execute it.
Sales Strategies: Each organization will have its own strategy to sell a product or a service depending on its core mission. Sales personnel need to be guided with role plays or examples as to how to employ these strategies to promote their products or services. For example, an organization’s strategy could be focusing on dealers or distributors rather than individual customers. Yet another strategy could be using direct marketing or through outbound marketing. Sales team need to understand the strategies of the organizations and the systems that are in place. They will need to require appropriate training so that the sales force is in sync with the organizational strategy.
Follow up Process: The sales process does not end with obtaining the order. Every organization will have its own process and procedures that need to be adopted to complete a sale. Some of them could be very important regulatory requirements – especially when providing services such as insurance. Apart from this there will be many internal documents that need to be completed or filled as a part of the sales process. These procedures have been adopted for securing the interests of the organization as well as the customer. Hence the sales personnel need to be duly trained in these processes.
Organizations normally focus on product training and soft skills training for the sales personnel. However, having a training program which covers all the above aspects would be truly comprehensive and empowering for a sales person.
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“A major challenge we face today, therefore, is to create a desire in people to learn; and to foster and facilitate this desire throughout their lives.”
- Bryn Holmes(Author, eLearning Concepts and Practice, 2006)
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