What’s your Sales training process? 3 Steps to getting the most out of new recruits

If hiring the best salespeople is a top priority for you and your organisation, you should make sure that you have an effective sales training programme in place to get the most out of your new recruits.

Many organisations, especially those in a rapid growth phase, are prone simply to hire talented salespeople – and not to worry about the training process. Sales training, when it does occur, is conducted on an ad hoc basis, and new recruits are for the most part left to find ways of adjusting to their new environment.

In such cases the customer experience becomes inconsistent and sales management a much more difficult task. Opportunities are missed to fully develop the potential of a sales team, and though results may continue for the time being, they may not last over the long term.

What’s your sales training process?

It may be that your organisation already has a solid framework in place for sales team training. But to help you make that diagnosis, I have provided a few basic steps for you below.

1. Actively construct your sales training programme

Point number one is to take the time to actively form your sales training programme. Every organisation has a different culture and a different message or experience to convey to its customers. Taking the time to embed that persona in a thoroughgoing sales training programme is a hugely worthwhile exercise.

This should include not only a full training in your products and services, but also detailed coaching with regards to tone, questioning skills and opening ‘hot button’ statements.

2. Set clear targets

Facilitating progress in meaningful work is at the centre of good management. Making the effort to provide new sales team members with clear and achievable goals should be an essential feature of any sales training programme.

In fact, the entire programme should be constructed around these goals, and all training should be oriented towards practical situations and highly visible targets. Coordinating training with good sales management techniques, including data analysis and measurement, is a vital component of an ongoing sales development programme.

3. Provide regular feedback

One of the most effective ways of encouraging new sales team members to develop in their role is to provide regular, ongoing feedback, both on the job and also in one-to-one review meetings. Make sure these meetings come with a structure, have certain focus points and aim to build dialogue and discussion.
Make them interesting. Ask about recent conversations and what worked/didn’t work. In combination with a thoroughgoing sales training programme and a focus on setting and achieving targets, regular feedback is key to embedding performance improvements in your sales team.

When to get external assistance...

To help set the training programme up in the right way you may find it helpful to speak with an external provider. It is a decision which should be made carefully, but having the chance to work with an experienced consultant familiar with best industry practices and common obstacles to success can be immensely worthwhile.

At LDL, we offer sales training to organisations large and small across industry sectors, and have been doing so for more than three decades. Please do get in touch with us if you are interested in being assisted by a specialist sales training provider, whether in delivering basic skills training or else in coordinating sales management and overall training strategies.

A guest article by Tom Fielder - Marketing Manager at LDL, Leadership Development Ltd. LDL is a soft skills training consultancy specialising in the development of sales, leadership, negotiation and presentation skills excellence. Tom researches and writes for LDL about fresh approaches to training, with a particular focus on its specialist areas.

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