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Sales Methods for Managers: Creating a Sales Training Program that Sticks

October 20, 2016
Sales Methods for Managers: Creating a Sales Training Program that Sticks

If you’re in the process of building a winning sales training program for your team, you might be wondering which sales methods will work best.

Well, we’ve focused on this quite a bit as of late. Our Marketing Manager, Rebecca Smith, addressed this idea recently in her article, The Sales Methodology Every Sales Manager Should Adopt.

Today, I’d like to continue building on this.

Sales Methods for Sales Managers: Building a Winning Sales Training Program

As Rebecca mentioned in her article (and I in this corresponding YouTube video)—it’s about much more than the sales methodology.

For us at Criteria for Success, a truly successful sales training program is all about adopting a discovery-based mentality.

The 3 Phases of a Winning Sales Training Program

If you want to build a winning sales training program of your own, I suggest you focus on the following three phases:

The Impact phase consists of you taking stock of your sales team, building a foundation, and executing.

The Acceleration phase consists of building on the foundation you created and taking the team’s performance to the next level.

The Breakthrough phase puts you and your team at a level that not only sustains your current accomplishments, but helps you achieve goals beyond your own expectations.

Phase Breakdown: Formulation

Let’s talk about where it all begins, at Impact.  The results of this phase are a byproduct of something we call “formulation” and “concentration.”

Formulation consists of:

  1. Conducting a self-assessment. Ask your sellers and sales management to assess their strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of improvement.  It’s good to get a first hand perspective from the very people who will benefit the most from a sales growth program.
  2. Building your sales process platform. Gather all of the best practices in your company.  Organize all your successful selling activities and understand what you do best to close the opportunities that were generated from these leads.  Next, figure out how to successfully support the sales team.  Involve the entire company, not just sales management.  Take marketing and operations and determine how they can streamline messaging and work more effectively to deliver on what was sold.

Phase Breakdown: Concentration

Concentration is about executing what you developed during the Formulation phase.  It involves the following:

  1. Training all of the stakeholders. It’s obvious that sales training is delivered to the sales team, but it’s a good practice to involve all those other people that were affected when you built the foundation.  This is about transferring knowledge to people.  Give time to allow the training to sink in.  After the training concepts have been practiced in the field, get feedback and modify future training events accordingly.
  2. Use thought leaders as well as sales coaches, besides the sales manager, to coach salespeople on deals. In fact, let them coach each other in formal and informal settings, such as webinars or one-on-one meetings.  This also helps managers who are spread too thin and it enables sellers to conduct peer-based learning, which is very powerful.
  3. Identify key performance indicators that demonstrate the success of the program. Look for early indications of upward or downward trends.  These are typically based on size and quality of the sales pipeline.  We advocate getting to an even earlier indicator.  We call this the volume of DEAL documents. Simply put, these are the number of follow-up emails that salespeople send after a first-time sales call, where a bona fide opportunity was discussed.

When you receive significant traction using your new sales growth program, it’s time to move into Acceleration and kick it up a notch.

Takeaways

While working on the three phases of your new sales training program, I hope that you discover a few things:

First, I hope you discover the importance of peer-based learning—and how it empowers you as a sales manager.

Next, the benefits of having subject matter experts more involved, marketing and operations having more say in the process, a focus on key indicators, and lastly – maintaining a good follow-up process.

Speaking of a good follow-up process — have you downloaded our free eBook on the DEAL document?

Discovering High Performance with DEAL

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