What is the role of sales training in an organization? Is it just “nice-to-have” or a “must” for an organization? Is it an indulgence of the management whenever the budget permits or it is a part of its conscious strategy to achieve organizational goals? How sales training is perceived really depends on the organization. There are organizations that think it is really a waste of time and that sales team learn best while doing their job. There are other organizations that invest a lot of time and money to train members of their sales team. Let’s examine how important it is for organizations to impart training to their sales force.
For Increased Revenue: The sales department is the main revenue-generating department in an organization. The others merely have support functions. In this highly competitive environment, where a lot of companies are vying for customers’ attention, the onus is upon the sales people to offer the right product to the right customer at an opportune time. By providing training to the sales staff, organizations ensure no time is wasted in trial and error methods that individuals might adopt if left to themselves.
For Enhanced Product Knowledge: Information on one’s own products as well as those of competitors is fundamental for sales. A new sales person needs to be well versed with the product or service that he is going to sell. A training program will give an opportunity to organizations to inform the staff about the products or services that the organization provides. Information can be passed on in an authentic way, leaving no room for ambiguity or misinformation that might arise if the staff is left to learn about it on their own.
For Procedural Compliance: Sales training, imparts knowledge on the fundamentals: it includes the basics of sales procedure – prospecting, needs identification, providing solutions and closing the sale. Additionally, in many industries, organizations need to follow certain rules and regulations while selling a product or a service. It is particularly true in the service sector such as the insurance industry where employees have to adhere to the norms set by the local regulatory bodies. If employees are not made aware of these rules and regulations, companies may be answerable to the regulatory authorities. Hence sales team needs to be well-versed with all the mandatory requirements.
For Soft Skills Training: Selling is both an art and a science as it involves analytical skills as well as creative skills. By providing training in leadership, team-building and communication skills, employees will be better equipped to showcase companies’ products/services and use their persuasive skills to convince potential customers that their product/service best meets the requirements of the customer. This ultimately helps in more sales and thereby more revenue for organizations.
For Motivating Sales Teams: Sales is a high pressure job that leads to frustrations among the sales team very easily. Sales training also provides an opportunity for managers to keep their sales team motivated. With team-building activities and morale boosting workshops, managers ensure that the sales team does not lose focus of the sales targets and organizational goals. It reduces employee turnover and increases productivity.
For Ensuring Business Values and Ethics: With increasing sales targets, there is a risk of employees compromising on organizational business values and ethics. For an organization to succeed in the long run, it has to ensure that its employees follow the business values it stands for and training is an appropriate platform to drive home this message to the sales force.
In short, a sales training program:
- increases the efficiency and productivity of a sales person
- helps in accessing the abilities of a sales person
- improves the organization’s ROI
To summarize, one can say that sales training is an investment that will helps organizations remain sustainable and competitive in the long run. It also motivates the team and helps them to remain up-to-date with respect to the company’s products, market and competition.