Learn what being a member does for you
The Seller Styles
Learn the styles and take your free assessment
See a summary of all our programs and certifications
Certified Professional Sales Person(CPSP®)
Develop your potential as a certified sales professional
Certified Professional Sales Leader(CPSL®)
Grow your impact as a certified sales leader
Certified Master Sales Professional (CMSP®)
Join the elite group of sales professionals and leaders
Advanced Sales Influence (ASI)
Take your influence and leadership to the next level.
Sales Success Principles
Learn foundational sales behaviors, strategies, and skills
Power of Contact Marketing
Learn from marketing expert and author Stu Heinecke
Join the top 1% of sales professionals in the world.
Next Level Virtual Coaching
Join our ongoing dynamic virtual coaching community
Explore job postings from some of the best companies in the country looking for sales professionals
Daily Dose of Influence!
Enjoy our video series of influence tips and strategies
Leads To Growth
Dig into our podcast featuring industry leaders and experts
Learn from our high-level sales coaching video series
Women of Sales & Influence – Facebook Live Series
Be inspired by our Facebook Live series spotlighting top women influencers
Women of Sales & Influence – Video Blog
Enjoy valuable, high-level sales strategies to empower your sales goals
The Growth Quotient
You’ve heard about IQ, but what is your GQ?
Our Commitment to You
We are here to help your approach to sales, how you interact with others, and how you perform and execute
NASP Sales Blog
Learn from our member-submitted articles for sales professionals
Write For Us
Share your sales expertise and insights with our community
About Our CEO
Standards of Conduct
Common Questions and Answers
Sales managers frequently expose their teams to sales training. They send said teams to seminars and workshops, sign them up for online courses, even hire expert sales trainers to deliver customized classes. All of these options teach salespeople new skills and approaches that they can use to sell more effectively. But focusing solely on these types of training sessions means overlooking an equally important type of sales learning: the company-specific training that allows salespeople to sell for their employers with full confidence.
The first and most basic company-specific training is product training. If salespeople don’t know how a product works or what its benefits are, they will be seriously handicapped in their sales efforts. Not to mention the fact that they’ll look like fools when they can’t answer basic questions about their own products. Ideally, each salesperson should own at least one company product or service and use it regularly. This keeps product training fresh in their minds and also means they’ll have first-hand experience both of the product and of any updates or enhancements that the company decides to add later.
If giving the product to the sales team and having them use it frequently is not an option, the next best source of product information is the customer service or tech support team. These employees hear about product performance every day, both at its best and at its worst, and they’ll have an excellent idea of how to use the product and how to resolve common problems with it. One simple way to get this information across is to have a new salesperson spend a day or two listening to customer service calls, perhaps even taking one or two themselves. Tech support training manuals and documentation are also a great source of product knowledge.
Once product information is squared away, the next type of company-specific training to impart is the internal structure of processes. For example, a salesperson should know how a typical order is processed — which departments it goes through, who signs off on each step, where the product is assembled, and how long it usually takes to go from placing the order to delivering the finished product. Salespeople should also know the standard process for resolving customer issues; that includes contact information that the customer can use to reach appropriate departments. Finally, salespeople should have at least general knowledge of the development cycle, so that they can answer general prospect questions about when the next model will come out, what features it will have, whether there will be upgrades to existing products and when those upgrades will be available, and so on.
The third and final type of company-specific training should cover policies for the sales process itself. Salespeople must understand what their goals are, how the compensation structure works, what activities the company expects them to do and when, what leeway they have to offer discounts and other deals, the sales manager’s coaching strategy, what to do if they are having difficulty, what forms and paperwork they’ll need to fill out, and all the dozens of other details that keep a sales team organized and on track. If the sales team is clear on all of these details, they’ll be able to focus on the sales process itself rather than wondering if a sale to an existing customer counts as a new sale and so on. Naturally, any changes to existing policies should be communicated to the sales teams as soon as possible — hopefully well before the changes go into effect, so that the salespeople have a chance to express their opinions and get used to the new policies.
About the author
My first sales position was a summer job selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. I continued through a variety of sales jobs ranging from retail sales for a storage company to selling bank products for a Fortune 500 financial institution.
As a small business owner, I now focuses on selling for my own company, Tailored Content, a website content provider. I write on a wide range of topics but my primary focus is sales and how to sell effectively.