Sales training: 5 points of attention when training the sales team
We have separated the 5 points that generate the most doubts in company sales training
Investing in sales training is a mandatory point for any company that wants to develop an internal team and achieve even better results. This you certainly already know.
What you might not know is that a lot of training ends up generating more doubts than knowledge, and that’s not the intention, is it?
That’s why Blue World City put together 5 essential questions that every manager must answer in sales training. These are questions that can arise in any type of training, and that can harm (a lot!) the enjoyment of these events.
We’ll show you how to ensure salespeople leave a training session satisfied. To do this, we will cover everything from structuring the format and content to how to continue encouraging team learning.
1. Why am I attending this sales training?
You know that feeling of wasted time that comes when you’re watching a lecture or class that doesn’t seem like it’s going to make a difference in your life? That’s what we want to avoid in sales training.
One way to engage salespeople is to include them in the training purpose. Make it clear what motivated you, what need the training is trying to meet.
When management decides to invest in training, it means that it saw an opportunity for growth for the team. This perception can arise from a number of situations, such as:
- Implementation of new processes, methodologies, or tools;
- Low performance or non-achievement of goals;
- Development of soft skills (empathy, emotional intelligence, communication, resilience, etc.);
- Negative customer feedback.
In some scenarios, salespeople do not receive this information and end up resisting training because they do not understand what benefits it brings, especially if training is mandatory. When the company opens up and shows what it wants to achieve, we can reduce resistance and make learning much more beneficial.
Another very important point is to emphasize that training is necessary even for those who have already achieved high performance. It is always possible to improve your skills!
2. Why did we choose this training format?
When we talk about training formats, it is necessary to keep in mind that there is no right and wrong, but the most suitable for each case.
The most conventional format is face-to-face training, mandatory, given by a leader or external guest, in the form of a theoretical lecture, a more practical workshop with roleplays or even an activity between leaders and subordinates.
The possibility of e-learning has been very attractive because, theoretically, it mobilizes fewer resources of time and money for the company. But, in practice, it can end up being a wasted investment if there is no discipline.
Online courses give the employee freedom to attend classes when it is most convenient, sometimes even at home. But you need to make a commitment: have a pre-set deadline for completion and ask all participants to present a certificate of completion, if any.
With the current restrictions and social distance, online media became the only form of contact between employees. The tip here is to make use of available technology to bring teams together and ensure engagement in online sales training!
And speaking of certificates, they are a great way to reward training attendees. They can be kept or displayed at home, included in the resume, and on LinkedIn (the company can even create a badge, a certification seal to share on social media).
In this way, training is no longer something important only for the company and becomes a valuable asset for the career!
Who should talk about what
To talk about new processes, goals and metrics, those responsible for management can be the ideal figure, since these themes are part of their daily lives. To train the sales team on a new tool, the best thing is to invite a professional from the company that provides the solution and present the company’s needs to him.
In the development of soft skills, we can count on the support of the People Management and Human Resources areas, in addition to invited experts on the subject. One idea is also to turn these skills into development goals, to encourage the team to consistently invest in them both on and off the job.
It’s quite common for salespeople to have very interesting knowledge and skills, and their leadership doesn’t know it. Many could even consolidate themselves as references in their areas within the company.
Therefore, when the need for training arises, try to find out if there is someone within the company who can teach this content. This strengthens the team itself by stimulating the relationship between colleagues, in addition to making the training more personalized, as the employee will know how to apply the lessons to the company’s reality.
Finally, it makes the company value internal talent, instead of looking to the market for the same skills.
3. What will I learn from this sales training?
It sounds like a pretty obvious topic, but it’s not uncommon for a team to walk out of training not sure what they should have learned.
This can happen when the company takes advantage of the same training to address various contents because it does not want to mobilize the team again at another time. If the themes are complementary, it might make sense to bring them together; otherwise, it may cause confusion.
Therefore, make sure to align with all participants what the focus of the training is, what they are expected to learn, how they will apply the knowledge gained and what the dynamics of the day will be.
The more connected to the reality of the teams, the more sales training will be used!
It’s also interesting to think of engaging ways to present content. A presentation with 20 text-filled slides can be of little or no interest, as can showing long videos. After all, if you were going to read a text or watch a video, it would be better to do it at home.
Invest time in preparing the training content and instruct guests to do the same:
- Use visual aids with planning to sharpen participants’ curiosity and focus. On slides, just what is necessary, and bet on images. Participants should pay more attention to what is explained rather than what is written;
- Present data, not just theories. Numbers make an impact, in addition to supporting what is being said;
- Encourage participation by asking questions, opinions and insights throughout the presentation. Don’t leave it to the end! Doubts can even change the direction of the conversation, adapting the content to the sellers’ reality;
- Include supplementary materials for participants to refer to later;
- Make the guests’ contacts available, to create bridges and encourage everyone to clear their doubts.
In addition to technical training, it is also very interesting to bring news from the market and industry in which the company operates. This knowledge can help the team understand customer needs, propose more complete solutions and even negotiate better!
4. How will training generate results?
When we start training, one of the first thoughts that come to mind is how are we going to apply that knowledge in our daily lives, isn’t it? In the end, we went back to our tasks and continued with the routine, but what we learned needs to make improvements – otherwise, it was useless.
We have already mentioned that it is important to clarify the purpose of the training, the objective and the choice of format. But it is not enough to simply teach content, expect everyone to learn and the results to come miraculously. This is where the biggest challenge of training for salespeople begins!
After training, the leadership needs to follow some fronts to verify the results. Only then will you be able to understand if the investment was valid or not.
How to measure sales training results?
Measuring sales training results can be a complex analysis. So here are some tips on how to determine if your training was a good investment.
1. Measure the satisfaction
This is the simplest data to obtain: just ask the salespeople if they were satisfied with the training provided. This can be done in person, informally, or a little more elaborated, with a small virtual questionnaire (you can use Google Forms, for example).
The advantage of the more elaborate survey is that you can access and store the answers, which can provide valuable insights for upcoming training. Include questions like:
- What did you think of the professional who provided the training?
- Would you prefer the topic to be addressed in another format?
- Was the duration of the training enough?
- What other themes would you like to see in the upcoming training?
These answers are essential to measuring training results. After all, if the team was not satisfied with what was taught, the learning was probably not enough, which brings us to the next topic.
2. Assess learning
Throughout school life, our learning was measured through tests and academic work. This model doesn’t work on the desktop, does it? Therefore, we are going to suggest other ways to measure your team’s learning after training.
One is by asking sellers for a self-assessment. Ask them to assess their knowledge of the topic before and after the training. Also, include questions like:
- What was the most important point of training for me?
- How do I intend to apply what was taught?
- What results do I hope to achieve after this training?
- What will I change in my behavior based on what I learned?
With time and the practical application of the concepts taught, it will be possible to identify if the salespeople really consolidated the knowledge. If, after having opportunities to practice, the salesperson still demonstrates that they haven’t learned enough, it may be necessary to revise the scope and format of the training for next time.
Another idea is to institute a routine of one-on-one meetings with salespeople, called 1-1 (or one-on-one) . In these meetings, the management opens the space for the salesperson to bring points of doubt and improvements that he/she deems necessary for the routines, in addition to sharing his/her vision about the business, the processes, the team, etc.
In these 1-1s, the manager can ask questions and run a mini-diagnostic of salesperson behavior. Over time, it will be possible to identify changes such as the professional’s own maturation, the learning of new techniques, and even the individual’s personal evolution.
All these aspects are related to training, and although it is not possible to measure these results in numbers, this development is noticeable and very relevant for the team.
3. Track the indicator that motivated the training
Speaking of practice, this is where the doubts arise. How to measure the real results of sales training?
Let’s take a step back first. Ask yourself what motivated you to invest in training in the first place. It is possible that you were motivated by an item on this list:
- Low sales performance;
- Negative customer feedback and/or low NPS ;
- High employee turnover;
- Non-achievement of goals in more than one period;
- Structural and strategic changes in the company.
The main indicator you should monitor is the one that motivated the training. If your idea is to increase the conversion rate from leads to sales, then keep an eye on that number in the months after training.
In parallel, it may be that salespeople develop improvements in areas not directly related to the training theme, but which are complementary. So don’t be alarmed if, after good training, you also see an increase in:
- Customer retention;
- Revenue (because they are able to sell offers with higher tickets or giving less discounts);
- Recovery of inactive clients/leads.
These changes can happen naturally, as the professional is developing and becoming a better seller with each new investment in his education.
In short: how to measure sales training results?
We suggest the following step by step:
- Be clear about the training objectives; they can be quantitative, such as increasing quarterly sales by 30% or reducing monthly churn by 10%, or qualitative, such as improving team integration;
- According to the objective, define the metrics that will be directly affected by the training and record their status before the process takes place;
- Choose top-notch sales training with reference professionals and good support materials;
- Ask training participants for quality feedback as well as suggestions for upcoming ones;
- Encourage the team to conduct a self-assessment of training gains for each and the industry as a whole;
- Track the metrics defined in the goals and establish whether the training was positive or negative.
If you want to calculate the ROI of sales training, you need to be careful when determining training costs. Include in the bill, in addition to the price paid for the course/consulting, the costs of space, material, cleaning, tidying up, as well as the value of the time the team will not be working.
In return, include the amount you save or receive from the improvements. In the case of sales, the revenue generated; retention, how much money the company did not lose; in productivity gains, estimated revenue increase, etc.
5. When will the next sales training be?
All the tips we gave in this post have a single objective: to help you create a culture of constant learning in your company, offering quality training to raise the team’s level even more!
The idea is that salespeople enjoy sales training so much that they ask for the next one. Have an open channel so that the team can suggest themes and guests for future editions. It could be a Google form, even anonymous, in which the seller includes what they would like to learn and who they would recommend talking about it.
We know that learning can come in different ways, so it is ideal for the manager to be aware of the training and courses offered by big names in the market, to suggest to the team when it is not possible to carry out training internally. Participating in external events also encourages networking, which is fundamental in the sales experience!
We hope you enjoyed our tips for organizing effective sales training. To continue reading on the subject, we suggest our Commercial Management Guide! It is free, just fill in the form below to access it.
We have separated the 5 points that generate the most doubts in company sales training Investing in sales training is a mandatory point for any company that wants to develop an internal team and achieve even better results. This you certainly already know. What you might not know is that a lot of training ends up…