How To Effectively Train The New Generation Of Salespeople

Training New GenerationEach generation of salespeople differs from the previous one, as generational and culture gaps may cause problems for sales management teams in terms of training these new representatives.

It is easy for sales management teams to unintentionally fall into age discrimination and age bias, especially when it comes to the use of technology. The younger generation tends to be more savvy with many new products and processes that are technology based, and this may be difficult to deal with for the older employees, according to Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.

While the younger generation may have a slight advantage over older employees when it comes to technology, it is impossible to be in the world of business today without having knowledge on the internet, email and basic software, noted the executive.

Since everyone has the same basic requirements when it comes to learning about technology, it becomes important to train the new generation how to be an effective sales person. When you pull these new employees away from the computer and put them on the phone, or in front of a person, the game changes, according to Riddleberger.

“Sales has never really been taught in school,” said the executive. “It’s amazing how the university system produces all of these graduates and they have all these different types of degrees, and so many of these graduates are going to go out and become a sales person, but there’s no degrees in sales and professional selling.”

This is part of the reason that the sales industry currently has so many players in it. There is such a consistent need for salespeople in the corporate world and significant resources are devoted to teaching the methods for selling, noted Riddleberger.

“I think the way to bridge the gap is to have a common platform, which is what we do,” said the executive. “We have a common language that we’re bringing to the table that all of them can speak. So that means, when you’re talking about the steps of the sales process, and how you go about effectively selling your products and services in the marketplace.”

Using a step-by-step process is like going out to play a football game without using any of the lines or hash marks. It may be difficult to discern where an individual is, and where they are going.

A sales process has to be defined and broken down for the new representatives. Salespeople can’t make it up as they go, even if they have all of this business knowledge and a diploma from a good school, as they still need the lines on the field, said Riddgleberger.

“That’s what the selling system does. I’m on the 50, I know I want to go to the 40, execute the play. I’m in this step of the sales process, I want to go to that step of the sales process,” said the executive.

“If your senior folks and your rookies are all speaking the same language, they’re all working off the same playbook, then when they go out on the field they’re all running the same play and they know where they are and they know where they’re going,” according to Riddleberger.

Representatives can still bring their own personality and youth into the job, but they need to have a systemic, step-by-step model that they are going off of, said the executive.

Even the most confident graduates will struggle at first in sales, the question is how to train them to adjust without losing that confidence, Inc.com reported.