Nearly 60 percent of sales representatives missed their quotas last year. While you may believe those who are missing their quotas just need to work harder, the truth is the sales environment has become more demanding.
While there’s a wide range of talent on any sales team, you may not have realized there’s a way you can make it easier for your team to achieve. Sales training can make all the difference for the people working on your call center team.
Most sales-based contact centers offer training to their new hires anyway. The question is how effective your program is.
This guide reviews the features of a great sales training program. It also highlights techniques you can adopt for your own program.
Take a Talent and Skill Inventory
Before you overhaul your sales training process, take a look at your team. What skills do you have? What knowledge or talent are your team members lacking?
This analysis gives you an idea of where you have strengths and where your challenges might lie.
You may have a young, high-energy team that’s comfortable with social media and email. They’re much less comfortable with cold calling.
That’s essential in a sales-focused call center, so it’s time to help your team master this skill. If team members have trouble dealing with upset customers, ask how to provide support.
Once you’ve assessed who you have on your team and where they can grow, you’ll be able to revise your training program.
Decide How to Offer Sales Training
Now that you know what your team needs to be trained on, you’ll likely ask how to train salespeople. There are many different formats you can choose from. Some training options include:
- In-person courses
- Online courses
- Working with a consultant
- Internal testing
The best sales team training programs offer a mix of options. This supports ongoing learning for your team. If you only ever send team members to one-day workshops, there’s a good chance they won’t remember a lot of what they learn.
Instead, focus on continuous learning and training opportunities. Some companies offer ongoing training through apps and micro-learning. Mini-lessons can be done on the go, encouraging the team to practice whenever they have time.
Using a mix of workshops, courses, and micro-learning can reinforce skills development. In short, your team learns more and they learn it better.
Provide the Right Incentives for Training
One reason sales team training can be challenging is that team members may see it as a waste of time. This is especially true if they work on commission. The time they spend completing a course could be spent trying to make more calls and close more deals.
It’s why it’s so important that you think about how to incentivize training. Your team will have an easier time converting when they develop the right skills. You have to convince them this training is beneficial for them.
Some employers might choose to offer monetary compensation for completing training. This could be a bonus for completing a course or paying for the training. You may offer higher commission or wages for those who complete training.
Incentives, of course, don’t have to be monetary. You could also offer time off. A fun reward might also be in order, such as a catered lunch for trainees.
Decide How to Measure Success
Another important feature of a sales call training program is the definition of “success.” On a school test, a grade of 50 percent might be considered a pass. Is a 50 percent success rate a “pass” for your sales team members?
There are many different metrics you can use to keep track of your sales team’s success. You’re likely looking at measures such as the length of time they spend on a call and the number of deals they close.
Keeping an eye on the right metrics can tell you when sales training is making a difference. If you track how often someone closes deals, measure the difference before and after training. What percentage increase do you want to see before you consider training successful?
Building the Right Skills
Using this outline will help you build a better training program for your team members. Ongoing training opportunities will help your team build the skills they need.
What should you be training the sales team on? Your training program will be tailored to your team’s specific needs. Here are some sales training ideas you might want to consider when a new hire comes onboard:
- Effective listening skills, such as active listening
- How to identify customer red flags
- Being empathetic
- Using problem-solving skills
- How to cold call
Ideas for continuing training include updating cold calling skills and techniques for follow up. Helping your team members with stress management and fear also helps. With the right supports, they can become even better performers.
Provide the Right Tools and Training
The final piece of your sales training process should be providing the right tools for your team. You can ask them to dial so many numbers per hour, but they can’t do it if you don’t give them the technology they need.
You should also provide the right training for the technology you use. Your team could be using the very best technology, but it won’t mean much if they’re unsure of how to use it. Proper training helps them use software and devices to their full potential.
Build a Better Sales Team with the Right Training
Your sales training program benefits everyone. Your salespeople learn new skills and develop as professionals. They’ll also have higher job satisfaction, and they’ll likely be more productive.
You, in turn, benefit from that higher productivity and effectiveness. It’s win-win for everyone.