“Gimme the sales training techniques!”
I was in a meditation class once and the instructor said, “you’ll receive the techniques that bring you inner peace.” In the second session, a classmate said, “gimme the techniques, I need the techniques!” I never forgot this line. To this day I don’t know if she was serious or just joking.
Time and time again, I’ve witnessed salespeople who want sales training techniques, and they want them “now.” They don’t recognize that although sales training techniques are valuable, what’s most valuable is that they are “discovered.”
Part of your job as a sales leader is to give your salespeople sales training techniques. And this is something you can do yourself or contract with a trainer to provide for you.
Sales Training Techniques: Philosophy
Start here. This is the “why.”
Why this or that sales training technique? Only the creators of the training can answer this question.
Ask if you are focusing on behavior, messaging, process, or something else.
Regardless, the above will improve performance.
Sales Training Techniques: Mechanics
This is the “how.”
Because most people find that “how” is more tangible than “why,” they often focus on mechanics-based training. But this is incorrect. You must marry Philosophy with every Mechanic.
So, here are the core sales training techniques for you to work on:
Leading and Managing
- Distinguish when a member of your team is leading or managing. And they need to do both. Sometimes they lead their clients, other teammates, and other parts of the organization. And other times, they manage specific tasks and activities.
- Sales training techniques in this category include being an effective coach, as well as practicing what you preach.
- All top producing salespeople I know value accountability. They intend on accomplishing their own goals and they request others to hold them accountable to make sure this happens.
- Practice using sales training techniques that help your team in setting annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals and then creating recurring events in their calendars to review them. Base goals on outcome rather than tasks. Especially relevant: “Obtained sign-off from x and y prospects” is an example of an outcome. And “met with x and y prospects” is an example of a task.
- Consultative selling involves being a problem solver. Make sure your entire sales team adopts this mind set. That way they are focused on gathering problems, challenges, and concerns, before providing solutions. And you might be surprised to discover that many, if not most salespeople do this the other way around.
- Sales training techniques in this category include learning the best questions to ask prospects. These questions are designed to unearth problems, so you can share solutions. Train your people to tell third-party success stories that demonstrate how specific problems were solved.
- Develop a culture of collaboration by encouraging sharing of best sales training techniques by salespeople that others respect. Do this informally as well as formally during meetings that you lead.
- Also, make sure that your team is practicing the sales training techniques that you’ve all agreed work best.
- Teaching your salespeople about how to follow up after a prospecting meeting is very important. Most of all, they should summarize a meeting with numbered bullet points in four sections. 1. The prospect’s goals, 2. What is needed from the prospect, 3. The organization’s response to what is needed, and 4. A list of criteria that enables the prospect to make a decision. Criteria could include a budget is allocated or all stakeholders have bought into the initiative. Furthermore, it could also include that a scope of work has been agreed to.
- So, if the salesperson has promised to send this email to the prospect, in the format outlined above, then they have to run an effective meeting to gather the points that are in the email.
Finally, you need to be held accountable to providing sales training techniques to your sales team.