Maximizing Your Sales Training Investment

In today’s competitive marketplace, the quality of your salespeople can make all the difference. How effectively they present themselves, build value, and meet or exceed customer expectations can win a sale…or cause you to lose out to marketplace rivals.

One tool that can help you stay ahead of the pack is professional sales training. Here are four tips you can use to select the right sales training program and get more out of your development dollars:

Personalize Training.

“Generic” sales training that forces your team into a pre-established model is not as effective as “personalized” training customized to your firm. If your salespeople have to make a mental leap in order to connect with the material, then there’s a good chance they won’t learn or apply it. Incorporate in-depth, personalized sales assessment tools as a prelude to training so your team members know their strengths – and weaknesses – before they arrive in the classroom. Doing so provides a powerful, personal context for training. Above all, make certain your provider customizes the course material to your specific industry, company, language and culture – as well as to specific selling roles you manage.

Reinforce Training.

If training isn’t reinforced, learning is lost. Concepts must be transferred from short-term memory into long-term memory – and out of the classroom into the real world. The Internet and other digital learning tools make reinforcement easier today than ever before. Be certain your sales training provider has the tools and resources to keep important content in front of your salespeople consistently over an extended period of time.

Coach to Support Training.

After a sales training program ends, the real work begins. As a sales manager, part of your responsibility is phone or field observation and coaching your team for peak performance. Are your salespeople applying the knowledge they learned during sales training? Are they using it correctly? What do they do well? What do they need to improve? What action steps will you take to help them? Make sales coaching a part of your weekly routine to observe and “course correct” each of your salespeople in alignment with your sales methodology.

Hold Salespeople Accountable for Training.

Finally, a good sales training program should incorporate accountability. What if your salespeople don’t apply what they were taught? How will you respond? Accountability is vital. Testing, measurement and observation are excellent ways to determine if your team members have retained and are using what they were taught.