Anyone who works in sales knows that it’s not always easy. Many types of sales jobs can be challenging. Training people in sales do not have to be a problem. Learning how to train a sales team effectively can benefit your employees and your company. Increasing revenue is undoubtedly something a company wants in the future.
UPDATED: MARCH 13, 2023
Training Your Sales Team To Execute Properly
The article will provide several examples of different strategies for training sales teams. As a general rule, sales aren’t easy to make. So, it’s essential to get proper training before using it.
- Hire Multiple Sales Representatives- Not One Person At A Time
- Allow New Hires To Start At Different Times
- Do Not Overwhelm New Sales Representatives
- Get Your Top Performers Involved In The Process
- Consider Practical Learning Approaches
- Keep Training Sessions Short
- Encourage New Hires To Take Notes
- Make Use Of E-learning Systems
- Create A Buddy System
- Train New Sales Reps To Be Experts In Your Service
- Prioritize The Technical Aspects Of Sales
- Provide Continuous Learning For Sales Reps
- Show Empathy And Be Available To Your Team
Hire multiple sales representatives- Not one person at a time
If your business is constantly growing, you need the right resources to assist with the workload. That’s why multiple hiring workers can help assist with the current workload you may have.
When hiring multiple people, you may have a mix of “good” and “bad” workers. Although that may not be necessarily bad, it helps determine who’s performing well or not. Or figure out who the top performers are and see which ones need more training.
One other thing about hiring multiple people is that you want to make sure operations still run smoothly. You don’t want one person to take on the workload of two-four people or have only one person do it and feel overwhelmed.
Allow new hires to start at different times
Sometimes, it’s best not to have a large group of new hires all start at once. Instead, break it down into smaller groups to make it easier.
When you have smaller groups start separately, you can give more attention to others, rather than rush through the training. Some people may need more one-on-one help or need to clarify the training materials they’re presented with.
As a new hire at a previous job, I was in a group of seven other individuals. Where I worked at the time, training took place in smaller groups for one month. So if you’re going to bring on 20-30 new hires, break it down into smaller groups for a better learning experience.
Do not overwhelm new sales representatives
Understand that new sales reps will not learn everything in one day (or, in some cases- their first week). Things will take time to learn, but they will learn as they practice and obtain real-life experience.
Particularly in a sales profession, it can be stressful when starting. There can be a learning curve, and it takes lots of practice to become an exceptional sales representative.
The best thing to do is give new hires a few weeks to let it sink in. Or I would say during their first month before it’s time for them to start meeting performance expectations.
Get your top performers involved in the process
It’s not an uncommon idea to pair a new hire with a more seasonal, high-performer individual. It’s an excellent way for someone to share their best practices and skills to help new sales reps succeed in the long term.
In some cases, it’s best to have new hires shadow more experienced individuals for a day. Or, if possible, shadow throughout the first week.
Observing that person would be beneficial, but taking notes and applying those skills when performing the actual work would be as well. Their time is better spent this way.
Consider practical learning approaches
Individuals use different methods to learn; in other words, not everyone understands the same way.
Some people, they’re better at seeing things. While others find it’s better to hear something or learn by doing things hands-on. Take a look at the following chart below:
|Visual: Learn by seeing things (pictures, people doing demonstrations, videos, etc.)|
|Auditory: Learn by hearing things (lectures, audiobooks, etc.)|
|Kinesthetic: Learn by doing things/being hands-on (taking part in a lab, doing manual labor, working in a factory, etc.)|
Edgar Dale is well-known for his contributions to how human beings learn best. In the learning pyramid (also known as the “cone of learning”), you can see how people learn new information and keep it.
Based on the pyramid, people retain things better by practicing what they learn and doing it immediately. Whether it’s a simulation or “doing the real thing,” that’s how people understand the best.
When it comes to learning, I’m a visual learner. Further, I learn more effectively when I do the work myself; therefore, more effective in seeing and doing the work.
Also, it helps a lot in the sales profession. Based on my experience coming from a call center background, practicing and applying what I learned helped me personally. In the end, it made my job easier to do as I strengthened my communication skills.
Keep training sessions short
Whether you’re providing in-person or virtual training, try to keep your sessions short where new hires are engaged. In some cases, longer sessions can feel like a drag, and trainees can lose interest.
Numerous studies have shown that after 15 minutes, students lose interest. In addition, going more than 45-50 minutes in class can be tedious for more extended periods.
It helps to shorten the lecture component and dedicate more time to doing the real thing in training. It matters a lot in sales, as more hands-on approaches are far more effective than lectures and reading.
Encourage new hires to take notes
Taking notes is no doubt a best practice for new hires to learn new ideas and concepts. Especially in the beginning, it’s a good idea to keep a notebook on hand and make notes of everything you do.
Also, writing things down is much easier than keeping your notes in your head. Writing down your thoughts is more likely to help you remember them than simply holding them in your mind.
For example, if you ended up having a great phone conversation with someone that ended up with a sale, make sure to write down what worked. If you had a conversation that didn’t go well, then evaluate what went wrong. Ask yourself the following questions and write down your thoughts:
- What went wrong?
- What could be done to fix it?
- Did your tone of voice sound professional?
In general, by writing these notes down, you’ll gain a better understanding of the information. It’s also a great way to develop simple habits.
Make use of e-learning systems
With online learning becoming common, training is easier to conduct these days. With many learning platforms online, it helps companies improve their training programs.
Better training programs can help enhance their products/services and revise company policies when needed.
Also, it helps companies figure out other ways to address client concerns. Or, more importantly, how can a company’s product or service benefit new and existing clients?
Create a buddy system
Getting high-performing sales representatives involved can have many benefits for a new hire. When that happens, you’re permitting an environment where new hires can ask questions and receive valuable information.
It can be helpful to pair them with someone who has been in their shoes. Such an approach can help save time while also encouraging greater engagement among new hires. Asking questions similar to those above can also be of great help to them.
Train new sales reps to be experts in your service
As you train new sales reps, they must become familiar with your products and services. Understanding the products and services offered will help your sales reps be better communicators to potential clients.
New hires should learn to be experts in the products offered. Also, common understanding questions (FAQS) that customers might have will help prepare them as well.
Having a lack of knowledge on how to make sales calls reduces your sales chances. Therefore, sales representatives need to study and understand the products and services they will offer to customers.
As a sales manager or someone who leads a sales team, you should make yourself accessible whenever they need help. From the beginning, you should be ready to answer any questions new sales representatives might have. If you’re a sales manager, you need to consider whether your management skills reflect how well your team performs.
Eric T. Seil (Site Owner of notimekillers.com)
Prioritize the technical aspects of sales
It’s one thing to learn how to communicate (via telephone), but technical issues also matter. Allowing new hires to learn the software systems your company uses matters in the long run.
Understanding how to use CRM software (customer relations management) should be a priority on the first training day. CRM software shows how automation works and ends up reducing mundane, repetitive tasks for workers.
It involves the following aspects:
- Contact management
- Sales management
- Productivity numbers
- Account tracking
Not learning it properly can lead to a loss of potential revenue for your company. Learning how to communicate and make sales matters, but understanding the software is equally important as well.
Provide continuous learning for sales reps
Keep in mind that learning does not stop at any point in life. Especially in the sales profession, sales representatives need to keep improving their communication skills.
If you feel that it’s valuable to provide training on advanced communication skills, then offer that to your sales team. Or, if there are other ways to increase sales for your company (besides cold calling), look into that aspect as well.
Training that helps sales reps land more sales in a day or a single week can, for example, be highly beneficial. You should consider continuous training for your team, whether that involves an individual sales rep landing 20 sales in a day or 500 sales in a month.
Show empathy and be available to your team
As a sales manager or someone who leads a sales team, you should make yourself accessible whenever they need help. From the beginning, you should be ready to answer any questions new sales reps might have.
It’s beneficial when you might have been in a similar position in sales. In that case, you’ll be better equipped to answer common questions that new hires may have about their roles as salespeople.
It is the responsibility of managers to ensure that new hires are adequately trained. Management is responsible for not properly training sales representatives. If you’re a sales manager, you need to consider whether your management skills reflect how well your team performs.
There’s no need to hold someone’s hand, but new sales reps should not have to guess second what they should be doing; or put it another way, not having to assume things work another way.
A relevant article from notimekillers.com
Read next on “Top Three Ways To Improve Work Performance: My Best Tips“, to learn how to get your work performance up to par.
Training yourself properly in sales can pay off considerable dividends in the long run. You can reap the rewards of communicating with potential customers by understanding their needs.
With the steps outlined above, any sales team can become great communicators, which results in more revenue for the business.
Your Turn: Is your sales team appropriately trained?
I would like to hear some feedback and thoughts on sales training. Do your sales representatives communicate well? In light of their training, are they meeting their expectations? Are there any ways to increase revenue for your company?
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your thoughts, and I will be more than happy to help you out.
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Eric is a content writer and the site owner of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in time freedom, as he believes in taking ownership of time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can follow Eric on LinkedIn.
6 thoughts on “How To Train A Sales Team: 13 Best Practices For Training”
I agree that a lot of work should not be put on a single person. And buying multiple sales representatives does show that a business is increasing. But having them well trained is important as you say so yourself. You can have all the theoretical knowledge but without any practice, you would not know how to use that knowledge. I was lucky to have a good team to help me with the training.
No business should have to rely on one person to make it successful. Especially in sales, it may require multiple people to make a business profitable.
If a company provides adequate training, it makes it easier for people to perform well in their roles. Practicing what they learn is necessary for success.
Learning about theory and doing the “actual” thing are two different approaches. But in the end, doing what you learn is far more effective than simply reading it.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts- they’re much appreciated.
Thank you for this informative article – How To Train A Sales Team: 13 Best Practices For Training. Training a team is not an easy task, however the ways employee perform after training reflect how well they absorbed what was taught. We need to remember each individual is different and will learn at different speed.
As mentioned earlier, being in sales is not easy work But training people should not have to be. How you train new hires can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Your point on how employees perform after training matters. How they retain the information and use it can determine their performance in the long-run. Maybe not right away, but it will at some point.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts- much appreciated!
Training new employees, and specially employees, are very important if you want the level of productivity and expertise that will reflect your business. Sales people are like ambassadors for your brand and business. They are the ones that are selling your products or services, so you want them to get the sale for your business to survive and thrive.
The practices mentioned here are also applicable to other areas of your business, not just your sales team. I personally like having a “buddy” or a mentor that can help and guide in the early, and also later stages, of being in a new role.
Training is necessary for the success of any company. That will help improve productivity and efficiency of a successful team down the road.
Especially in sales, that is crucial for making money in the business. Having the best sales team can have an impact on the long-term success of businesses.
Having a “buddy” or mentor can help early on in training. I always think it’s helpful to learn best practices from someone who’s been doing it a lot longer than a new hire.
Those are some great points made. Thank you for sharing your thoughts- they’re greatly appreciated.