What Is Sales Training?

Jul 25, 2022
Collin Stewart

Learn about sales training, what it is, why it’s important, the sales training process, and more!

Sales training is a crucial factor in achieving your growth goals. According to an article in Fit Small Business, 80% of high-performing sales teams rate their sales training as very good or outstanding. Yet most companies continue to rely on ineffective programs that are forgotten within a few days.

Read on to ensure your sales team has the right training to reach and exceed quota.

The definition of sales training

Sales training is the process of educating salespeople and equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in their role. 

Formal sales training can cover topics ranging from how to overcome buyer objections to learning how to use a new CRM software. The most effective sales education focuses on seller behavior and how the right behaviors can drive results such as more deals closed, shortened sales cycles, and a better customer experience.

Why is sales training important?

Like any other job, salespeople need proper training. Formal sales training educates sellers on the tools, techniques, and skills they need to be effective at their job. New sellers need to learn basic skills like cold calling and customer research, but even the most experienced salespeople can benefit from learning new ways to approach the process.

Sales training is especially important when it’s customized to your organization. Just because a sales rep has sold a similar offer in the past doesn’t mean they’re ready to sell your specific product or service. Training can help bridge that gap by educating your sales team on the product, buyer’s journey, and most effective sales techniques. Sales process training can walk new salespeople through each step of the sale until they master it.

Lastly, sales training helps sellers stay on top of the latest tactics. Even the most seasoned salespeople need to stay up to date on the industry, and regular sales training provides an easy way to stay ahead of trends.

What Is The Sales Training Process?

The sales training process varies depending on the needs of your organization. Before implementing any sales training programs, consider what your objectives are (ie., to increase win rates, help new reps become familiar with the product, implement a new technology, etc.). 

Next, decide on the best delivery method. Certain skills like cold calling can be taught in a lecture format, but require hands-on practice to truly improve. Almost all sales training can benefit from some follow-up coaching.

Ongoing coaching support will help ensure your sales team absorbs and implements the tactics they learn in training. For more on the difference between sales training and coaching, check out this blog post.

Sales Training Programs

Training programs can target any part of the sales process, from prospecting to closing the deal. Most programs focus on a specific role, for example, the skills needed to be a successful sales rep, account executive (AE), or sales manager. 

Here are a few of the most common areas for sales training:

Prospecting

No sales education would be complete without learning the best cold calling and cold email  tactics. This type of sales training is designed to help reps manage their outreach, develop effective pitches, and connect with more and/or better quality prospects.

Productivity

Training for sales should always include productivity training. Time management is a crucial part of any salesperson’s job, and the right training program can help your team learn how to close more deals in less time.

Sales management

Transitioning from a sales rep to a management position can be difficult because the two roles require very different skill sets. Sales management training can help bring new managers up to speed on the best ways to lead their team.

Negotiation 

These sales training programs are great AEs or whoever handles the negotiation phase in your sales process. Negotiation skills can help sellers overcome objections, navigate tough customer conversations, and close the deal with ease and efficiency. 

A sales coach can take the most up-to-date and effective best practices, and distill them into a process that works for your company. Click here to book a free discovery call and learn how our coaches can help you build or scale your outbound sales function!

Sales training delivery

There are a few different ways to approach your sales training program:

  • Develop and implement your own training program
  • Hire an experienced sales training company to come in and train your team
  • License an existing sales training program and have people within your company become certified to teach that methodology

 Choose the delivery method that suits your company best, keeping in mind that it can be time-consuming to build a sales training program from scratch. If you need help designing a custom program, reach out here to learn how we can help.

Regardless of which route you choose, make sure you have a plan in place to reinforce the skills learned inside your training program. According to Accent Technologies,  without follow-up, salespeople lose 80-90 percent of what they learned in training within a month. Regular sales coaching will help keep your team on track to hit quota month after month.

Why Would Working With a Sales Training Company Be Beneficial?

With more and more programs being offered online, it makes sense to learn from the best in the sales training business. Working with proven experts ensures your team is top of the latest industry trends or even ahead of the curve.

Working with a sales training company also allows you to save time compared to building your own sales training programs. These companies have the benefit of experience, having worked with salespeople at every level across different industries. As a result, they can design and implement a solution to fit your team’s unique needs.

Take your time to choose the right sales company–one with a proven track record and great client results. It may be an investment, but the ROI will be well worth your time.

In this guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know about not only hiring great SDRs but also how to train them for success and retain your best talent long-term. Steal our exact interview process, use our proven job description template, and learn how to motivate your reps beyond monetary compensation. 

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