According to a study conducted by Forrester, 37% of the sales reps were not knowledgeable about their company and product; 75% of them were not knowledgeable about their executive-level buyers’ specific business; and only 22% of them could understand these buyers’ issues and could help them.
In this age where any average customer is better informed about products than ever before (thanks to the Internet ― online experts and consumer reviews), your sales reps should be one step ahead of them. But unfortunately, the figures speak something completely different. Why do sales reps fail so miserably? There could only be one answer ― lack of proper sales training and product knowledge training. Proper sales training is very essential for such sales reps. Here are 5 tips to ensure that your sales team meets your defined sales goals.
1. Provide sufficient training time
You cannot expect your sales reps to deliver results as soon as they start with their job. Without proper sales and product knowledge, they can be of the least use to your organization. So, training is worth investing. But according to a research by Brainshark, it takes 10 months or more for a new sales rep to be fully productive. To reduce this time, you can adapt a blended learning method – a blend of instructor-led-training and e-learning to enhance learning experience. How much of e-learning must be blended with instructor-led-training? According to The Online Learning Consortium, blended learning is an approach where 30%-70% of the instruction is delivered online, but it varies on different factors such as the subject, learning objectives, learner’s ability to adapt, etc. This approach ensures your sales reps can complete the learning programs quickly.
2. Provide in-depth content
Sales trainings should consist of the company’s product information. But this information alone cannot make your sales reps experts. Your training, along with your company’s product information, must also provide knowledge about the industry and the competition. But the task is still incomplete! You must also provide information about the company’s clients, their industry, and their specific business. All this information allows your sales reps communicate better with prospects and seal the deal. The more effective the conversation, the higher the chances of a successful deal.
3. Provide competitors’ product training
Now-a-days, similar products are sold by different companies. Your sales rep should be able to demonstrate why the client must choose the product suggested by him. For that, the sales rep should be aware of other similar products in the market. He must be able to demonstrate how his company’s product stands out from the others. For such encounters, competitors’ product training is required which discusses how and why your products standout from other products in the market. What additional benefits does your product have that other products do not have? Such knowledge makes your sales reps confident enough to answer questions posed by the clients.
4. Provide continuous training
To stay in the competition, many organizations frequently launch new products or newer versions of the existing products. With each new product, the company tries to provide additional features and benefits to customers. Hence, it becomes necessary that organizations provide continuous training to the sales reps so that they stay up-to-date. As customers today are better informed about products than ever before because of online reviews, it becomes important that product knowledge trainings are provided even before the product is introduced into the market, keeping your sales reps one step ahead of the customers.
For sales reps, retention of information is very important. Information can be forgotten quickly if it is not reinforced. So, to retain the information for a longer period, reinforcement is very important. Microlearning can be a great tool for the reinforcement of learning. Provide microlearning in the form of reference tools, job aids, or additional resources to improve information retention. Statistics show that companies that carry out post-training reinforcement see 20% more salespeople achieve sales quotas.
See that your training is always of top quality because according to ATD, 65% of employees say that the quality of training and learning opportunities positively influences their engagement. These 5 tips will help you to facilitate effective top quality sales training to your sales reps and help them be “The Experts’. Hope you find this post helpful. Please share your thoughts through your comments.