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Sales Training – How Important Is It?

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Sales Training – How Important Is It?

Over the weekend, I went shopping at a supermarket with my family. On my way out, we were cornered by a sales rep from a well-known travel company. Not wanting to sound rude, we listened to him present his travel packages to us. To sound a bit interested, we asked him few questions.

Finally, we told him that we are not interested and walked away. When I replayed the conversation in my mind, I realized that despite being polite with him, the sales representative was nervous and fumbling while answering our queries. It made me wonder if he was trained to answer questions other than those mentioned in his list.

A sale is the single most important part of any business. Hence, it is imperative that a business should have a well-trained sales staff. And, what other way than sales training to make sure that your sales people know and understand all the methods and approaches to gain sales?

During the training period, the company should explain minute details about itself, its products and services offered. The sales person should be updated with features, benefits and the competitor’s products or services, et al.

Using scenario-based and role-play approaches, he should be asked to make a sales pitch to a prospective client… The sales people should also be trained on verbal and written communication skills, computer skills for basic reporting, soft skills, dress sense, etc. They should be made to realize that a confident sales professional is bound to create a lasting first impression on potential clients.

Sales person should be trained to be an effective listener and should be prepared to answer and act accordingly. When a customer answers, he can restate it for clarity, try to gain insight into the customer’s need and wants by asking the right questions.

Customers buy not just the product or a service, but a solution through the product or service. He should be able to identify those solutions. While talking about the features and benefits of the product or service, he should allow the customer to see the benefits, solutions and results offered through the product or service.

Customer loyalty, ethics and integrity are important components of sales. An ethical sales person will be honest and tell the customer that he does not know the answer to a specific question, unlike making up an answer just to create sales.

Some companies may think training sales staff is a waste of time and money. However, trained sales professionals have an edge over their untrained counterparts.

However, in today’s competitive business environment, any advantage, businesses give their sales staff pays rich dividends. Online technology has created an entire new way of conducting sales and it is important that business and sales personnel train themselves in these methods. Businesses should consider sales training for everyone, be it the front desk receptionist, customer service or office boy that has direct contact with customers.

Do you agree that sales training really pays-off?

Thank you for reading my blog and look forward to your comments and opinions.

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  • Sales training is the start of the journey, not the end. The training provides the ideal knowledge and skills that the sales person should be using, but unless there is a process to measure how well they use these new skills, and also how often they use them, training had become nothing more than an academic exercise in teaching new stuff.

    The most successful sales training programmes are linked to good coaching from sales managers with assessment tools to measure the effective uses of the skills.

    Perhaps we should talk as I focus on providing coaching and assessment tools for sales organisations, which are often linked to on-line skills training.

  • good training

  • Only a handful of sales people in any organization are capable of selling.
    The big problem is most sales people are not aware there is a difference between making a simple sale and making a major sale. The skill set required for each is totally different.
    A major sale normally requires more than one interview. A simple sale is selling the gas while a major sale is selling the vehicle.

  • Great post man. Sales training is the key to being successful!