Selling is a people-to-people dynamic activity. The greater the number of real customer experiences that sales people are exposed to, the better for them to grasp essential information faster. That is why, traditionally, selling was learnt on the job or through a mentor. If sales people need to be trained on the selling process of a company, which is the typical method that they adopt?
The sales team is given:
- An overview of Company’s sales process
- Do’s and don’ts during the selling process
- Check-lists for Job-Aids such as forms, reports, testimonials, etc
However, to what extent will a sales person understand the importance of the information provided? Can he or she recall this information accurately when on a sales call?
How can the training be more meaningful and relevant to the sales person?
Scenario-based learning has proved to be effective for these reasons in many contexts and selling is no exception:
- Scenarios give a context that the sales person can easily relate to. Using the context to explain the process is more effective as it has better retention value. Examples provide an overview of likely situations to sales people and prepare them to handle situations better. (Scenario of a salesman skipping a vital step in the sales process and its consequence).
- Merely listing do’s and don’ts and sharing them with the team cannot have the desired impact. However, when scenarios are used showing actions performed along with their consequences (both positive and negative), it is likely to have a lasting impact on learners. (For example, scenario of a salesman going unprepared for a meeting).
- Job-aids are valuable for sales people and they are expected to carry them as a part of their sales kit. However, merely asking them to ensure that the sales kit has the required forms, testimonials or reports will not be effective. Conversely, if you share a scenario where a report or customer testimonial helped a sales person to win an order, it is bound to make a lasting impression.
Therefore, if you want to make your sales training effective, include many scenarios to substantiate the theory that you wish to share.