Sales Training is one of the most effective ways of maintaining a motivated and results oriented team of sales professionals. However, sales professional training is also known to have an impact for only up to 90 days, or for one quarter of the year.
For sales training to be effective, measurable against results, in today's economy, it has to be ongoing and consistently re-enforced. The more ongoing and consistent it is, the better the results and the better the return on training investment (R.O.T.I.).A sales training program is not product, service or company information training. That is product knowledge training, which is necessary but needs to be properly positioned in the entire training process.
Sales training on a sales process will prevent sales people from talking too much about what they know, when they should be demonstrating empathetic listening.
Sales training on a sales process will allow sales people to do their job more effectively by first building trust, setting parameters, qualifying opportunities and summarizing.
Only after qualifying and summarizing would they know if there is an opportunity for their products and services and if so, they can then reveal what they know in the form of a prescription.
Sales professional training is available in many different formats depending on size of sales force, sales targets, management objectives, participant needs, time allocations, budget, R.O.T.I., etc.
For a small sales force with a limited budget, sales training can be from simply providing each sales professional with a book, audio, video or online program on sales.
The main messages should be presented, discussed and re-enforced at each weekly sales meeting. This is basic, but still important training to keep the team motivated and learning new techniques in today's uncertain economy.
Sales training can also be in the form a keynote address or workshop at a sales conference or public sales event. These are also great training opportunities to network and to learn different or new sales techniques.
However, these sorts of training need to be followed up on with a debrief and sharing of lessons learned. Those lessons learned then need to be implemented, monitored and discussed on an ongoing basis to be effective.
However, attendance at these sort of training events needs to be ongoing, at least quarterly, to be effective, and sales management also needs to get involved in them.
Then there is the ultimate of sales training based on partnering program with a reputable salespeople training organization. This is where an in house, customized on going sales and sales management training program is developed and adopted by the organization as their complete sales training program.
In other words, the end results is that the organization takes ownership of the sales training program and carries on without the entire training organization after an established period of time.
The development of this sort of sales training takes more time, but will have a greater R.O.T.I. than other formats because of it's partnering approach to customization, bottom line contribution and in house ownership.
When developing an in house customized sales professional training program it takes all factors into consideration - Organization mission and vision, management objectives, participant needs, industry, language, the market, competition, seasonality trends, sales targets, methods of monitoring and measuring, etc.
Once the sales professional training program is developed, a train the trainer program could follow for in house delivery. Then there is Sales Management training which should also be developed supporting the sales training program.
There is no sense just training the sales people as they will only do what they see - monkey see, monkey do. The same customization approach would need to take place with more focus on coaching, mentoring, managing and motivating while demonstrating the appropriate skills that they would like to witness in their sales people.
Sales training in today's uncertain economy is needed more than ever. Whatever format you choose to conduct sales training, just make sure it is not the flavor of the month, that it is ongoing, it is consistently re-enforced with methods to monitor and measure it's R.O.T.I.