The competition for skilled sales professionals is an ongoing concern in the business environment. Once you have hired a member of your sales team – whether a promising beginner or well-seasoned veteran – you have to provide sales training to keep talents sharp and skills in a constant state of improvement. This benefits you by:

  • Ensuring your sales team’s professional abilities are at their highest level.
  • Giving your sales staff the opportunity to advance and grow as individuals.
  • Improving retention by providing an environment that encourages professional advancement.
  • Boosting not only revenues and profits, but increasing your reputation as a company that always employs a top-quality sales staff.

Sales training, applied in the right way to take advantage of what each member of the sales team as to offer, can easily and quickly open the door to these benefits. Use some of the following sales training techniques and best practices and you’ll see distinct and measurable results.

  • Show commitment: Make it clear to your employees the need for sales training is real and that everyone from the company owner to their immediate supervisor is committed to providing this training. Gently reinforce the company’s stance on the requirement for training. Couch the need for training in positive terms – explain the benefits training will provide, rather than the penalties that may accrue if training is skipped. Take all possible steps to ensure the training is available and easily accessible.
  • Be ready to customize: Certain types of sales training, such as refreshers on fundamentals or instruction on your company’s specific sales needs, will be appropriate for sales staff at all levels. However, you can’t expect every training course to meet the needs of beginning, intermediate, and advanced professionals. Create and customize training for each of these levels and be generous with the amount of skill level-specific training provided. This may require an increase in your training budget, but the results will more than repay the investment.
  • Expand available resources: Sales training conducted in classroom or small-group settings is still highly effective, but make training material available in all possible formats. Record live training sessions for those who could not attend, or for later review. Develop electronic training resources that employees can access at their leisure, such as online classes or video collections. Establish an internal library, either physical or electronic, of reference material, training modules, and skill-enhancing information. Explore ways to make training available via smartphone or tablet.
  • Encourage cooperation and collaboration: One of the best ways for newer sales team members to learn is by collaborating with a more experienced member of the sales staff. Having someone to consult with freely and openly gives new employees an identified point of contact for their questions and concerns. This also creates an environment in which seasoned sales pros can share their knowledge and pass it on to the next generation, ensuring that it stays within your company. Cooperation among trainees at the same level can also be beneficial since it gives the trainees one or more partners at the peer-to-peer level, where they may be more comfortable.
  • Don’t overwhelm: Training should be short, concise, and focused. Overwhelming sales staff with training demands can create resistance and will make training less effective. Training information administered in smaller bites is easier to retain.

The right type of sales training will elevate your sales team’s skills while increasing your business’s revenues and profits.