Salespeople are an unusual lot. They have the most extraordinary resistance to negativity, a voracious drive and ambitious goal orientation. These are the qualities sales management needs before attempting to train a team from scratch. With these assets as a foundation, the next step in sales training is team selection.
The savvy sales manager looks for these same qualities top salespeople possess when crafting a sales team from scratch. The sales skills and talents that buoy highly capable sales managers are imperative for a highly proactive sales team.
Train the Team to Meet Sales Goals
A requirement for any type of team is that team members be “trainable.” Sales managers seeking members for sales training should be sensitive to personalities that seem unable to work as a team. It is essential that the end result of the training be a team that works in precision with each other in innovation and ideation. This is the benchmark that signifies sales training success.
Sales Training 101: How to Train a Team from Scratch
It is possible to choose from among a staff of employees stellar performers who show signs of great salesmanship. For example, are there non-sales employees who regularly receive glowing praise from clients? Choose two or more of these personality types to form the core of the sale team. A great sales trainer knows that detail oriented employees are an asset to their sales training program.
Lessons in Sales Training
A great sales training program begins with a superbly crafted sales training policy and procedures manual. The actual training program might also include audiovisuals and interactive role-playing to help further embed sales training initiative into the minds of sales trainees.
In large corporations, the final leg of a training program is usually mentoring one-to-one with sales managers on sales field drills. These help sales trainees identify their weaknesses and their strong points. This also aids sales training managers by allowing them to see first hand which sales trainees can work together on teams.
Sales Training – A Cost-effective Business Investment
Even when businesses hire sales professionals, there is an initial period of orientation to products, services and general business operations. Sales training programs should never be rushed and sales trainees should not be hurried through the training. This can be a costly mistake in the long run.
To customers of the business, a comprehensively trained sales representative understands the keen relationship between products and services and customers. Proper sales training ensures that the team is capable of overcoming customer rejections as well as customer objections, should they occur. Properly trained sales teams maintain strict focus on business image and brand. They endeavor to enhance the success of these important features.
The Making of Cost-Effective Sales Training
To make sales training highly cost-effective business, it should have a long-range effect. Review the planned training program to determine if basic elements of training have a lasting effect on sales trainees.
The training program should replicate business goals that are the main purpose of the business. With lasting effects on trainees and replication of business goals that highlight products and services as the main business operative, the end result is cost-effective training.
Outline of an Effective Sales Training Program
Design a whiteboard type of outline of specifics to be included in Sales Training 101 to train a team from scratch. Begin with the sales trainer, an effective review of potential sales trainees from within the pool of highly capable, talented and skilled employees.
Study how this core team will attract other sales trainees. There are many cost savings by pulling from within the existing pool of employees for sales teams. One benefit is the business familiarity they bring to new team members. Train this core group to become “internal” sales trainers who exchange their ideas and successes with new team members as training progresses.
Don’t be afraid to depart temporarily from regimental training for sales to inject a bit of assiduous levity into training. This can include short intervals such as “sales group therapy” where trainees feel free to ask questions from their own point of view. Sales trainers can also add levity by providing historical or current sales analogies that point out the importance of continued sales training.
From Training to Implementation of Sales Teams
The most important part of any training program is the graduation from the training stage to the implementation of training. When sales trainers complete their training programs, there should be a concluding phase that seamlessly knits all of the lessons of the program.
For many sales teams, the final days of training include teaching sales teams the fine art of making sales quotas, using sales techniques to close sales and understanding how team members can create a healthy sense of competition to achieve greater sales. In the final days of training, the training manager should be able to design sales territories, if applicable, and designate these to each member of the sales team.
The sales trainer at the conclusion of training programs should be able to extend future support to the team. He/she should be able to offer programs that keep teams abreast of new sales techniques as they evolve. It is important for teams to feel there is a strong foundation of support from management and extensions to their training programs that are vital to their sales success.
Finally, reward trainees with a special trade show event that offers additional opportunities to attend training programs for sales. This is one of the best ways to engender a true sense of team spirit and feelings of business representation to the public. If this is not possible, reward trainees with an opportunity to appear as a team at a local event.
With a strong training program in place, a knowledgeable trainer and enthusiastic trainees, the “how” in training a team from scratch becomes Sales Success 101.
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