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18 Sales Training Ideas

        posted by , February 10, 2013

Welcome to sales! The selling is easy and the incentives are sweet.

If only it were that simple ....

Selling isn't easy. The art of selling depends on a wide set of skills. There's a huge gap between a good salesperson and a great salesperson.

Training often feels like a waste of time. After all, you can't close deals sitting around in a classroom.

The reality is that training can dramatically improve individual and sales team results. That's why most sales teams invest heavily in training.

Just how heavily depends on your industry. For example, first year pharmaceutical sales representatives in the United States receive an average of 44 days training in their first year. This is focused on product and compliance training.

Other industries focus their sales training budgets on the soft skills required to close deals.

The following training ideas are common components of a sales training program.

AreaTraining Options
SellingSales Training
The majority of sales training is focused on sales strategy and tactics. In many cases, training focuses on critical areas such as closing.

Sales Process Training
Training that introduces an end-to-end sales process and techniques for each step. This typically includes building rapport, discovering opportunities, solving customer problems, resolving objections, demonstrating and gaining commitment, negotiating and closing.

Sales Coaching & Development
Training that's light on theory and heavy on activities and role playing. It can be interesting for management to sit in on this training to see their team performing in a variety of situations.

Sales Presentation Training
Presentation skills for prospecting, demonstrations, proposals, closing and customer service.

Lead Generation and Prospecting Training
Focused training for sales teams looking to penetrate their territories and major accounts to drive leads.

Upselling and Cross-Selling Training
Gaining more revenue from each deal and each account with upselling and cross-selling techniques.

Account Management Sales Training
Building deep relationships with your customers to influence multiple decision makers.

ProductProduct Training
Customers expect your sales team to be experts in your products. Product training is top priority for many sales teams.

IndustryIndustry Training
If you're selling to banks you'd better understand banking. If you're selling to a logistics company you'd better understand supply chain.

Compliance Training
Some industries such as pharmaceuticals, require compliance training for sales representatives.

TechnologyCRM Training
When your sales team are trained in your CRM they're more likely to use the full power of the tool.

Soft SkillsPublic Speaking
Mastery of public speaking techniques can improve proposals.

Negotiation Training
Negotiating behavior and strategy.

Time Management Training
Sales professionals often must balance networking, lead generation, selling and administration demands. They need to build deeper relationships with their accounts while prospecting new accounts. Time management training can often be beneficial.

Assertiveness Training
Timid salesmen have skinny kids.
~ Zig Ziglar
Assertiveness can be learned and is key to results in the sales profession.

Emotional Intelligence Training
It takes more than assertiveness to sell. Tuning your emotional intelligence to better read and empathize with your customers can be an effective use of training time.

Communication Training
Sales people can always benefit from improved communication skills. Whether it's building visually compelling proposals or listening to the customer, communication drives sales. For example, active listening training benefits many sales professionals.

Management & LeadershipSales Management Training
Sales management requires a completely different set of skills than selling. Sales people who find themselves in management positions often require a great deal of training. Training that focuses on sales management capabilities such as pipeline management is ideal.

Sales Leadership Training
Don't you wish that everyone could sell like your top salesperson? Train your top people in sales leadership and coaching.

This article is a installment in the ongoing series of posts called how to win at sales

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