Optimize Your Sales Team Training With These 5 Tips
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Close The Deal With Online Sales Team Training

Whether B2B or B2C, sales are hard. Your product might be the best thing since sliced bread and your marketing might be top notch, but unless you have a solid sales strategy it's not going to sell.

Take Apple as an example. Its comeback from near bankruptcy in the late 90s to becoming the world's largest company in the 2010s was greatly helped by its excellent sales strategy and Apple Store retail experience.

The Signs That Your Sales Strategy Isn't Working

Of course, not every CEO has the foresight of Steve Jobs. There are, however, several things from which you can tell whether it's time to rethink your sales strategy.

If your sales numbers have dropped compared to your past performance, for example, then you can obviously tell that something is wrong. Similarly, a lack of clear sales targets means that you have no way of evaluating your success (or its lack thereof).

In this article, we'll give you 5 tips that will help you jumpstart your sales team training program and improve your team's performance.

1. Make Sure Everyone's On The Same Page

If you don't already have clear sales goals and targets, go make some and come back.

Ready?

Now, you need to make sure that everyone on your sales team is on the same page regarding those goals.

Ensuring that your salespeople "got the memo" requires some effort on your part. First of all, you need to write the said memo. Then, you'll need to rewrite it and make it simpler and more to the point.

Lastly, you'll need to communicate it, whether by email/IM (bad), your intranet portal (better), or your LMS (best). We ranked the above options in terms of permanence, flexibility, and effectiveness—an email being the easiest for your employees to ignore or immediately forget, and a full sales team training program the most effective option.

2. Offer Constructive Feedback

Sometimes, the problem is not your sales strategy, but how it is executed. Or, to put it bluntly, with how some people in your sales team execute it. Even so, resist the temptation to call them out, or to directly attack their sales approach.

Instead, give them constructive but friendly feedback, and suggest why they might want to consider your alternative approaches. The key is to not make them resent you for giving them feedback. What you should do in this sales enablement venture is to have them look up to you as someone who can help them improve their sales game.

Even better, incorporate your feedback into your sales team training program, and thus make it impersonal and have everybody benefit from it.

3. Use Past Success Stories

If your sales team has considerable churn, you will need to remind your new hires of your older teams' success stories.

Of course, merely informing your employees of past successes and record sales periods is not enough. In your sales team training, you'll also need to explain how those successes came about, and what about them is still relevant to their current efforts.

Note that you don't have to stick to your company's own success stories: you can draw from the examples of others in your industry, or even across different industries.

4. Take Your Sales Training Online

Up until now, we've discussed what your sales training should be concerned with. An equally important question, though, is how your sales team training program should be run.

For that last question, going for an online training solution is a no-brainer. Online training has been widely acknowledged as the best option for any kind of corporate training (including, but not limited to, sales training).

It's readily accessible (from whenever your employees are and at any time), it's much more cost-effective than classroom-based training, and it's easier to update (to try different sales team training ideas) and easier to deploy to large numbers of employees. In fact, with a cloud-based solution like TalentLMS, even the technical aspect—like LMS installation and maintenance—become non-issues.

If your LMS allows it you could also expand your online training into mobile-based microlearning—a surefire way to increase learner engagement and knowledge retention. TalentLMS, for example, supplements its web offering with native iOS and Android applications optimized for learning on the go (and can even function offline). Other such features you'll need to look for in an LMS include flexible reporting options and the ability to cater to multiple sales teams (e.g. in different regional or global offices).

Support for Instructor-Led Training will also come handy for combining online courses with physical or virtual team meet-ups. But more on that on our next tip...

5. Sprinkle Some In-Person Training

Unless you're doing purely online commerce, physical interaction with the client—the way a sales agent presents themselves, talks, answers the customer's questions, and so on—can have a huge importance in sales.

Such skills are better taught and demonstrated through in-person sales effectiveness training sessions, where e.g. a skilled senior sales agent shows new hires how to approach the customer, and so on.

This doesn't mean that you need to abandon your online training setup—but it does mean that your LMS should offer support for in-person training, preferably both through teleconference/webinars and classroom- or field-based ILT sessions.

Conclusion

The importance of sales training cannot be stressed enough. Even with the best sales strategy, without a successful training program for your sales team, you won't go very far.

You need to ensure that your sales agents are all on the same page and have been given clearly defined sales targets and market goals. New hires will also need to be given constructive feedback and to acquire an understanding of what drove your company's past successes so that they can leverage the same proven approaches.

Online training is the perfect route for an effective sales training course (or any other employee training task for that matter), and TalentLMS is the perfect vehicle towards online sales training success.

And don’t just take our word for it: create a forever-free account at TalentLMS, and see how the premier corporate training LMS will help you train your sales team and reach your sales goals.

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