5 Steps to Design an Effective Sales Training Program
Almost every business has one mutual goal - to make enough sales to be profitable! And one of the major factors that influence sales is the quality of your sales training... with the right sales training, your sales pros can crack deals in a breeze! Read on to know how to design an impactful sales training program.
Sales training programs are very important! Let’s start with a brief…
People these days are very selective about their needs and purchases. Consequentially, it has become extremely difficult to sell something to a random customer. And then, there are different types of customers to deal with, so it’s not possible to go around and deal with them with a pre-written sales pitch, they would just reject the product before the pitch ends. To fix the problem of dealing with different types of customers, companies started the concept of lead generation campaigns, but it only helps to filter the uninterested customers, convincing the interested customers is still a troublesome task. And that’s why you need sales training programs.
Sales training programs are structured learning experiences designed to enhance the skills, knowledge, and techniques of sales professionals, enabling them to increase their effectiveness and achieve better results in selling products or services.
This blog will assist you to develop an effective sales training program and mitigate multiple issues for your sales professionals.
Is your Sales Training Program Failing to Provide the Desired Results?
Make sure it includes these 3 key aspects:
- Certified sales executives
- Interactive training sessions
- Interdepartmental collaborations
Read on to know the 5-step formula for a successful sales training program.
3 Key Aspects of an Effective Sales Training Program
1. Certified Sales Executives
While creating and validating a sales roadmap, different department heads tend to come up with different opinions. But if there is a certified sales executive team, they would be termed as the most crucial stakeholders due to their primary job of managing the sales team so that they can achieve their sales targets. A sales executive needs to make sure the sales employees have the relevant skill sets and knowledge and polish them as per the company’s requirements. A sales manager should also be aware of the changing demands of customers as per the modern trends and relay the same mentorship to their corresponding sales team.
2. Interactive Training Sessions
Apart from real-time lectures, a training session should also include multiple interactivities that help the sales team to interact with the course, their colleagues, and the instructor. If you are going for an instructor-led training session, it will only help your local sales force, but these days, organizations are spread globally. So, a virtual instructor-led training (VILT) session is one of the many strategies to train the sales team and adding various interactive polls and quizzes in between the sessions can keep the learners engaged. Apart from VILT lectures, scenario-based learning, microlearning, and roleplay training will also help the employees learn in an interactive environment and enhance their skills.
3. Interdepartmental Collaborations
For a product to be successful, numerous departments like marketing, product design, and sales team are responsible. So, it’s a good idea to have a collaborative training program once in a while. For example, a combined session can be hosted, and all the employees can gain certain insights regarding the job of other departments, like the product design team can understand how a sales procedure takes place or the sales employees can make a personalized pitch to the product team and get relevant feedback in return. Including the social media managers will make the sessions more interactive and engaging because they are probably the most aware when it comes to enhancing engagement.
5 Steps to Design an Effective Sales Training Program
1. Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Training Objectives
Every organization has different objectives when it comes to selling its services or products, some prefer to directly make more sales while others might focus on increasing their awareness. Making your sales team aware of these objectives beforehand is always a good choice because they shouldn’t be left clueless about what they are trying to achieve. Design your training programs in such a way that it supports your training objectives and assess the workforce based on pre-defined KPIs throughout your training sessions so that you can see who’s underperforming and who’s putting extra work out there.
2. Recognize the Performance Gaps
When you have set up your performance indicators, start assessing the performances and looking out for the weaknesses with the help of learning analytics and personalized reports. They can be generated in almost every modern LMS if your training program is eLearning based, or else there are external apps to feed your data and the reports are generated. These reports can help you understand the aspects you need to work on, whether at an individual level or for a whole team. Once the weaknesses are clarified and assessed properly, you can make changes in your training sessions according to the reports and fill up the performance gaps.
3. Ensure The Training Resources Are Available Remotely
Mostly, sales employees are not available at their workplace, but they might need access to their resources such as product descriptions or sales pitches so making the resources accessible on their mobiles should be preferred. Developing responsive courses and providing the resources for offline access should be a standard process to follow. Apart from the courses being responsive, an organization should also make sure the employees have the required devices and a stable internet connection to access these courses. Including a 24/7 help and support option will help the employees clear their queries and have a seamless learning experience.
4. Enhance the Employee Retention
As you are making sure the training resources are available remotely as well, it also helps the employees retain the information they gained through their training sessions. It’s natural to understand that every employee can’t remember everything they learn, so to make sure they don’t forget anything while making the sales, their retention is to be taken care of.
Providing microlearning modules such as content slides, 1-min how-to videos, or even a couple of audio clips of their sales pitches would help them access the required information whenever and wherever they need it. Using various instructional design strategies in the eLearning courses like scenario-based learning, storytelling, and gamification will help the learners to stay active throughout the course and remember almost everything they learn. Mid-course interactivities like polls and quizzes and post-course assessments also help the employees retain a lot of information they would have gained in the corresponding session.
5. Ask The Customers for Feedback
When you have done everything from your side, it’s the turn of your customers now, so make sure you encourage customer feedback for your products or services. You can do it with the help of anonymous surveys hosted online or personalized feedback with the help of feedback forms distributed to every customer you pitched to. This will help you understand the different perspectives of your customers and make the relevant changes to your product. This will also help the sales team to interact with a variety of customers with more clarity and understanding.
Wondering about the challenges in sales training? Here’s a short video discussing the challenges and solutions
An effective training program is usually dynamic so you need to let go of your static processes or else your sales might stay stagnant. The best way to do so is by mixing up different instructional design strategies. You can choose from a variety of ID strategies based on your learners’ preferences, goals and your eLearning course objectives.
Want to learn more about instructional design strategies? Here’s an eBook to help with the help of this free webinar to increase the power of your imagination to help your employees learn.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2022 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.