Unbeknownst to many managers, sales training is an integral part of growing the team. This assertion can is made even more interesting by one stat. About 40% of sales reps have confessed that prospecting is the hardest part of the job.
Truthfully, it’s somewhat tricky for salespeople to make cold calls without having a relationship with prospects. As a manager, it is your duty to help members of the sales team overcome their innate fears.
If done right, they can all be singing in harmony to the melodious tunes of success in little to no time.
Basically, sales training involves jumping a couple of hoops like how to handle rejection and staying motivated. At the end of the day, you want members of your sales team to progress in their careers. By offering sales training courses that favor their personal growth, they’ll subconsciously start giving more to the firm. It’s a win-win situation.
If you’re uncertain on how to impart knowledge, then, worry no more.
We’ve got just the guide you need to elevate your team to that next level.
7 Sales Training Techniques That All Managers Should Know
As Malcolm Forbes famously posited, “The art of conversation lies in listening.” Indeed, no truer words have been spoken.
Many people assume that salespeople need to have a gift of the gab in order to complete a sale.
However, if you really get to thinking, listening is actually where the real conversion happens.
It is through listening that you’re able to succinctly hear out what prospects want. In fact, if you’re keen enough, you’ll be able to find an angle of approach.
All you have to do is pick up the little cues they leave about their feelings, thoughts, and issues they need to be resolved.
Once you’re able to decode and address their problems, you’ll be home and dry. When you don’t pay special attention to their demands, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out.
To become really good at listening you need to think methodically.
This means that every once in a while, you should echo out what prospects are saying. These brief summaries are quite appealing to prospects who mentally note that you’ve been paying attention.
Still, this doesn’t give you the license to blurt out every statement they make. Some finesse is necessary. Ideally, you should chill out for a couple of seconds as you wait for prospects to finish their statements.
Then, you can swoop in with your elixir of solutions.
Once you become aware of how to go about the art of listening, you can tailor your training around this. In the long run, this will prove to be a masterstroke with clients. This is because members of your sales team will be able to appeal to the heartstrings of clients with their great listening skills.
Even with AI rapidly gaining acceptance in modern culture, it’s safe to say that the sales industry is looking good.
So far, at least.
The human touch in sales has left an indelible mark. There’s no way automation can be possible all the way. It’s the subtle things that make humans superior to robots. Empathy just happens to reside at the very top of the mountain.
By visualizing situations through the eyes of the prospect, you can see the bigger picture. The difference between a good salesperson and a great one lies in their approach.
Goods salespeople are all tact without any legroom to wiggle around. Sure, they register decent numbers after each quota. However, they are no match for great salespersons.
To be really considered a kingpin in sales means that you need to be in sync with what clients want. To achieve this, you need to go beyond problem-solving to a bold new frontier of problem discovery.
This perspective is clearly brought out in Daniel Pink’s book, To Sell is Human, where he describes the anatomy of a great sale.
Pink mentions that with the right skills, any customer can solve their own problems. He specifically points that where salespersons are most valuable is when they are able to identify problems.
By finding faults that are likely to come up with the passing of time, a salesperson can connect better with prospects.
Importantly, he shares that all salespersons worth their salt need to have the whole package. By combining the problem-solving facet with the problem finding mentality, Pink shared that the problem becomes half-solved. All that’s necessary to complete the sale is a dash of empathy.
If you’re looking to grow your sales team, you need to impart some practical skills when they’re on the field.
Asking leading questions like, “What problems are customers not yet aware of?”,
“How can I solve them?”, and “How will I effectively sell the remedy?” Is a great way to begin.
As you conduct your training, it’s important to stress the essence of such kind of questions.
Then, just let their creative juices flow among members of your sales team.
3. Deal with Common Objections by Scripting Possible Rebuttals
By equipping your sales team with knowledge, you’ll have the better prepared to deal with prospects. As alluded earlier, prospecting is considered a challenge by many.
The key reason behind this is because many salespeople dread objections by customers.
In anticipation of such scenarios, you can prepare well thought out scripts to help your team deal with such issues.
On first look, sales scripts may not seem ingenious. However, after some contemplation, you’re bound to discover that nothing can beat practice. Having argued out our case in previous sections about why the human touch is reliable, it’s understandable why you may find it hard connecting the dots on why a robotic approach to sales training is helpful.
To get the essence of scripting, you need to think of the gym setting. Basketball players usually spend eons shooting at hoops before they perfect their art. After a couple of sessions, they become adept at shooting, rebounding, defending and dribbling.
All of which are different aspects of the modern game.
With intense training, some of these qualities become so integrated into their being that players are able to easily swat away teams. Even those that come at them hammer and tongs.
The same analogy rings true in sales.
Scripts enable your sales team to briskly navigate the murky waters of objections. This means that your sales reps will have more time to think on their feet and find ways to close more sales.
Even better, you’ll have a shareable template that you can distribute across your team in order to bring them up to speed.
As you prepare your script, you need to be inclusive in your approach. First, get a couple of common objections from your sales team and note them down.
Secondly, think up some brilliant responses to these objections. Having done that, you’ll find it easier to draft up concise scripts that various answer queries raised.
4. Motivate with Success Stories
Constantly talking about sales theories can only get you so far in your training. At some point, you’ll have to introduce examples to back up what you’re saying.
To ensure that your sales reps are inspired, you need to share real-life success stories. When picking these stories and case studies, make sure that you go with elaborate examples. Sales reps will want to know what worked, what didn’t and the sequential flow from execution to completion.
Where possible, try to point out some common themes as you share the metrics.
After every discussion, you should try to breakdown the process into bite-sized proportions. This makes it easier for your sales team to replicate and use the same techniques on prospects.
A little bit of field practice using the knowledge learned usually helps build confidence in the sales team.
Success stories are also important because they help professionals have a different frame of mind. Once they are able to believe that true power lies in their hands, then, they will do everything to influence every situation in their favor.
For effective execution, you need to ensure that sales trainers go beyond sharing anecdotes.
For a comprehensive touch, they should delve into the moral side to ensure salespersons get the company values.
5. Learn When to Let Go of Prospects
To avoid disappointments, it’s important to know when to stop the chase. Going after the wrong prospects can prove to be quite costly to your sales campaign and the brand as a whole.
When working on large accounts, the waiting time can be as long as 6-18 months before they commit. That of course, is assuming that you both actually read from the same script at the end of the day.
On occasion, bad clients can have a much more detrimental effect that lost sale opportunities. This is because they waste your resources by requesting refunds.
In effect, they can be time wasting ventures. If not handled properly, such clients can leave negative reviews and harm the company’s image.
As a manager, you’re charged in training your team in identifying all the red flags and positive signs. You should avoid clients who are nasty during the start of the sales funnel.
Sure, you can try assuaging some of their fears, but, there’s good chance the sale won’t close if they have reservations so early on.
Bad attitude before signing the dotted line is usually an indicator of what’s to come. Therefore, you need to avoid such clients like the plague.
Bad prospects also have no respect for boundaries. Usually, these clients always seem to have some pressing issue that needs resolving right away. Phrases like, “Call me now”, and “Let’s speak immediately,” are usually quite common among them. If you keep getting these kinds of emails from your prospects, then, they’re not worth the hassle.
There are plenty of other qualities we can point out that spell trouble for you. However, given how complex some of them are, we won’t be going deep into them at present. To further guide you along, we recommend checking this outline on how to avoid being a desperate salesperson.
6. Constructive Criticism for the Team
As a manager, you’ll want your sales team to have a thick skin. This trait is particularly useful since it helps strengthen their resolve and improve their trade.
A recent survey by Zenger showed that about 20% of managers avoided giving negative feedback. The same study showed that 40% of managers also failed to give positive feedback.
To get the most out of your sales team, you need not shy from offering constructive criticism. This is because it is part of the training process and helps drive up the momentum towards success.
7. Make Good Use of the E-Learning Platform
As admirable a quality as listening is, it’s not going to be helpful if there’s no knowledge of how the products work. The only way your sales reps will be able to enunciate their ideas to life is if they know all about the brand like the back of their hands.
Every new recruit to the team needs to go through an in-depth sales training course to boost their confidence. Since the sales industry involves plenty of travel and making calls, it’s advisable to make good use of the web. E-learning platforms are all the rage today because they allow for fast absorption of knowledge while on the go.
Impressively, most of these platforms allow for monitoring of how the development is ongoing. By tracking the progress of your sales reps, you’ll be able to tell just which skills are imparted with each passing day.
If you’re looking to equip your team with some training, we might just have the perfect recommendation.
Sales Training Courses
In truth, learning is a never-ending process.
With the passing of time, there’s always going to be more impressive scripts, new techniques and emergent issues to address. That’s without factoring the possibility of having to deal with new competitors to the market.
The best salespeople in the world have some grit about them.
They are always eager to adapt with the times and learn how to further their careers. If you’re looking to impart some valuable lessons to your sales team, then, it’s best to start things early.
To make the most of your efforts, be sure to check out our range of sales training course.