The importance of sales training can hardly be overstated. According to Task Drive, the best sales training could easily yield 353% ROI for a company.
But it’s not all peaches and cream. Errors are bound to occur that can affect the company’s future sales. Here are some of the most common sales training mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Making the Sales Training a One-Time Event
Skills can rarely be learned in one sitting. From piano-playing and tying your shoelaces to programming and web development, mastering often needs an investment of time from the learner.
So, don’t expect a one-off training event to be effective enough for a significant change in your sales team, especially in the long run. Rather, it can do your team a disservice.
Your team may feel so overwhelmed by the push to learn all the bits and bobs of a new skill that they will most likely digest and retain little. Their time and yours would have been wasted.
Instead of the pressure of a one-off training event, choose the best sales training programs that:
- are spread out over time
- arrange material in manageable chunks
- promote post-training guidance and feedback
Taking a Rigid Theory-Only Approach
A call for salesforce training should be wary of turning into an information dump. Also, leaning on a tried-and-tested program that has often been force-fed to prospective sales reps in the past would be another path to avoid. Instead, try going down the route of taking into account the actual skill and knowledge gap of your sales team.
Sales training can do better by going beyond standard content that often leaves a team with their needs unmet and bored witless with the material. Instead, effective training places the trainee first by:
- customizing the content that matches the needs of the team
- being flexible in the delivery either through in-person or virtual
- focusing on interactive material to keep the trainees engaged
- including assessments to evaluate training success and making changes where necessary
Focusing on the Product
This is a big one. Remember – it’s sales training, not product training. Focusing on the bells and whistles of what you’re selling instead of how to sell is certainly not the best approach.
It’s a good idea for reps to have solid knowledge about the product. However, making it the center of your sales pitch is missing the mark.
Your sales training should focus on preparing your reps for genuine customer connections.
A customer-centric approach to training focuses on the customers first. What do they need? What are some of their most pressing problems? The product only comes in after carefully exploring these two questions.
Ignoring the Sales Manager
Sales training isn’t just for the sales reps though this is a common mistake made by companies. This is only natural seeing as the reps will be the ones directly applying the information.
However, the sales managers shouldn’t be left in the dark from getting a better idea of the information offered to sales reps. Involving the managers, means they are in an excellent position to provide direct support and feedback post-training to their team.
Here are some to get the sales managers involved in the training sessions:
- Let the managers go through the training material beforehand. That way, they’ll have a foundational understanding of the kind of information the reps will be exposed to and can provide feedback after the training.
- Provide managers with exercises and techniques they can use to reinforce the material the reps have gone through.
- Host role-playing sessions with the managers on the various common challenges sales reps face at different stages of their careers and how to handle these problems effectively.
Road to Sales Success
Sales training is one of the most important investments you can make. With the support of trained sales professionals, you and your team can avoid the potholes on the road to success and see some incredible results on the way.