Training is not a one-size-fits-all thing. Salespeople need specific training depending on their level of expertise, industry backgrounds, confidence and more. And training should never stop. Knowledge and understanding of doing things differently are critical to high-performing salespeople.
Below we’ve outlined a mix of 9 top sales training ideas you can implement now.
1 – Knowledge sharing sessions:
Speaking to Sales Directors, one of the biggest pet hates must be when salespeople are good at actual sales, but have no idea what is happening in the industry they are selling in. It means their performance is hindered by a lack of credibility. Try knowledge sharing sessions amongst the team and encourage every salesperson to sign up to industry news, listen to podcasts and set up Google Alerts on industry topics. The more knowledge each salesperson builds, the better the conversations they can have with prospects.
2 – Objection handling exercises:
Dealing with objections can be tough work. It can be made easier if you hold training sessions where your team shares their war stories of every objection they have heard (basically, why someone wouldn’t want to buy from you) and how to counter it. If you know what objections come up, you can learn what the most convincing counter to each objection is.
3 – Failure panels:
Salespeople shouldn’t be afraid of failing. Getting someone to spend money is a tough business. Failure panels teach salespeople to embrace their lost deals and explore where it went wrong and why. And, doing so in front of peers gives the rest of the team the opportunity to learn from the experience and share insights into how they may have done it differently.
4 – Call recording sessions:
If you’ve got some top performers, get your lower performers to listen to some of their call recordings to see how they do it. Alternatively, host sessions where random calls are chosen and the team dissects it – what was good about the call, what was bad, what could have been delivered differently, etc.
5 – Buyer persona workshops:
Does your sales team truly understand the people you sell to? Buyer persona workshops, in which you go in-depth into a specific person (for example, an IT Director), are a good way to get your team up to speed on the persona’s challenges, needs, business priorities, media consumption, decision making power and more. Mix it up by getting your salespeople to present back to you their learnings.
6 – Shadowing:
Shadowing is simple, focusing particularly on new hires. What you do is pair a new hire with a more experienced salesperson and the experienced salesperson can show the other the ropes. It gives your new hire a good chance to see ‘sales’ in action, as well as show them what good looks like.
7 – Internal prospect calling:
Get one salesperson to act as the prospect and one salesperson to call them. Practice makes perfect so doing this gives your salespeople a chance to go over scripts, answer objections, grow in confidence and learn from others. Make sure the salesperson acting as the prospect plays devil’s advocate to see how they handle a bit of pressure.
8 – Sales playbook quiz:
Does your sales team know your processes and playbook like the back of their hand? Time to find out. Give your team a day or two to learn it and then have some fun by quizzing them on processes, what to say in certain situations, customers, price points, CRM tasks and more. Reward those who do well and get the ones who don’t perform well to go back to the drawing board. A sales playbook should be taken seriously.
9 – Pitching competitions:
If you want to make your training competitive, turn it into a friendly pitching battle. Pair two salespeople against each other, give them relevant things to pitch and vote on who pitches it the best within a certain timeframe. It gets your team thinking outside the box, improves pitching under pressure and helps them get to the point quicker.
And there you have it. 9 sales training ideas to get started with immediately. Time to put your team to the test.