There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip, they say. Well, guess what. There’s just as many a slip between a hot lead and a closed deal.
Only a few of us are born to sell. For the rest of us, we need a bit of help along the way – help that often comes in the form of a sales training program or course. Heck, even the best of us need sales training at some point to cut down on those “missed by that much” moments.
Top sales training programs can improve sales by as much as a staggering 22% within a year. But sales training is a tricky beast and knowing where to start - or what you need to cover at all - isn't easy.
So, let’s dive into what sales training is and how it fills the gaps in your sales process and ultimately - helps you convert more and faster.
Sales training: Connecting the dots between skills and strategy
What is sales training?
Sales training programs aim to improve your sales executives’ performance by providing them with the knowledge, skills and abilities required to acquire new customers and retain the existing ones. They can range from an easy-to-follow sales pitch tutorial to multi-week extended sales bootcamps for newly recruited salespeople.
Purpose and takeaways
Of course, the final objective of any sales training program is to close more deals and increase growth. However, such programs are also good opportunities to keep everyone on the sales floor excited about coming to work every day. After all, who doesn’t love to learn?
So let’s take a look at the various facets of selling that sales training programs aim to improve.
- Prospecting via cold-calling and social media
- Building rapport and increasing engagement on-call
- Soft selling and storytelling
- Managing stakeholders and negotiating
- Managing sales and pipeline
End goals: What are we achieving here?
- Increase in client acquisition rate
- Increase in sales team’s productivity
- Decrease in sales cycle length
So now that we’ve discussed why you need a sales training program, we come to the biggest problem of them all – choice paralysis. There’s a tsunami of such programs, courses, classes and more and it becomes so difficult to separate the great from the good and the good from the merely ok.
Well, we have some very smart and experienced sales folks roaming our halls, so we did the smart thing – made our way to the water cooler and grabbed some of them to ask about their favourite sales training courses. Here’s what they recommend.
Most popular sales training programs to accelerate conversion
Richardson Sales Performance Training
With the belief, “the future of sales is agile”, Richardson is a leading sales coaching company with over 40 years of experience. If you’re one of those “I only buy from brands”, we can see you checking out their curriculum already.
You’ll get to match your course choices and upskilling needs with their sales training categories and extended course portfolios, which are:
Richardson has one of the most extensive sales training programs portfolios in the industry. If this resonates with you, check out the categories you need to be skill-building/polishing for on their website and hover over the course to discover what it covers.
Sales Techniques Level 1 Training by Cegos
The Sales training course by Cegos stands out with its “seven-reflexes” training to nail a sale. Let’s find out what they are:
- Reflex 1: Identifying buyer personas and customer journey and expectations
- Reflex 2: Targeting and prospecting your leads to book a meeting/call
- Reflex 3: Establishing positive contact with your prospects with that charming sales hook
- Reflex 4: Questioning your leads and listening to them to know them better
- Reflex 5: Convincing, arguments, objections. Phew! The tough part!
- Reflex 6: Acting upon the “green light” to seize the opportunity and close the deal
- Reflex 7: Building customer loyalty to retain, resell and identify more opportunities
You can attend this 2-day instructor-led training either in the classroom, or the new, normalized way - virtually! It costs you $1,547 and extensively covers multiple sales skills.
If you desire to improve your soft selling skills and learn how to empathize with your prospects on all levels of the sales funnel - then this course might be a perfect fit for you!
RAIN Group’s Sales Training Programs
RAIN group is another major player in the sales training arena with so many great courses.
- Foundations of consultative selling: Master sales conversations from the first call to the final high-five digital signature. (If you want something more sophisticated, they also have an “Advanced Consultative Selling” program.)
- Strategic/Key account management: Through an action-learning sales workshop, learn how to expand and retain your high-potential accounts.
If you decide to go with this provider, you can pick from their course list, which includes more courses such as sales prospecting, coaching, negotiation and management. It will cost you $500 to $2,000 per person for a two-day classroom training program.
ASLAN Training & Development
Sales coaching programs by Aslan are for those who are usually in the “bring-the-ideas-to-the-table-y’all” collaborative mode. If your first choice before looking for a sales training course was to organize one in-house training seminar led by the team of the best salespeople, then these hyper-customized courses would work well to address your unique needs.
For example, if you onboard Aslan’s famous, “Inside Sales Account Manager Training”, you will learn to develop granular sales management skills such as:
- Establishing a strategic process for account growth and management
- Learning to address the right level of needs, namely business, project and product needs, at the right level in your sales pipeline
You can customize what you want to learn from ASLAN by picking the sales training program that suits your requirements the best.
You have an option to choose from courses in these categories:
- Inside Sales
- Field Sales
- Call Center Sales
The Brooks Group’s IMPACT selling program
Renowned for their effective six-step sales process, the Brooks Group introduced IMPACT selling, a results-driven sales methodology that primarily focuses on building customer relationships.
Their six 2-hour sessions, which will cost you $1,990, are designed to enable you to:
- Use active listening styles and ask the rightly-placed open-ended questions
- Attract qualified buyers by leveraging prospecting training
- Practice negotiation calls and closing calls to improve your closing process
If you think that you need to practice these skills in an instructor-led environment, by all means, go for it!
How to identify the best sales training courses for YOU
Now you can browse all the catalogs and training modules you want, but how do you decide on a course that fulfills the needs of your sales team? How do you know if buying a team training package would benefit all your salespeople - even when they are struggling with converting at different levels of the sales pipeline?
To help you with that, here are some of the factors you should consider when deciding on a course for your sales team.
#1 Identify skill deficits and upskilling scope
This begins at a very early stage - from day one of onboarding itself. You need to identify the loose threads in the selling process of your sales executives:
- Are they unable to prospect or negotiate?
- Are they not delivering the product demo right?
- Do their soft skills need touching up?
- Do you need to poke their storytelling gene for better relationship building?
Also, don’t overlook their rise-and-shine moments – sometimes, a pat on the back can go a long way.
Here are some things you can do.
- Set up a one-on-one with each of your sales professionals to better understand their communication styles and habits. Before even looking at the course curriculum, determine if your sales reps need help with voice inflections, messaging, volume control, body language, or just have low confidence.
- Document your sales executives’ behavior while they talk to potential customers. Do they seem to be well-versed with your product/services, its USP and value proposition? How do they verbally present game-changing information? Let’s say a sales rep is underperforming during cold calls because they have no idea how to lead with a good introduction, lack soft skills, don't follow up on leads, or aren’t good listeners.
#2 Match your team’s experience level with course offerings
Let’s say you have launched a new product or introduced a completely new feature in an existing product. Now you need your sales team to introduce new prospects and old clients to this new product or feature, right? However, before they do that, they need to:
- Acquire extensive knowledge of the new offering and its value proposition
- Know how to address the pain points of your customers – new and existing
- Practice how to sell your product to them, and nail the narrative
If you have people with different levels of experience in your team, you need to group them up on that basis and sign them up for courses that augment or brush up their skill set, in accordance with the skills they need to sell your latest offerings better.
#3 Align training needs with your in-house sales methods & business value
Do take into consideration these three critical facets of your business when onboarding your sales team for a sales training program:
- Your sales methodology
- Your sales process
- Your business offerings
For example, you must have had that “how do we sell this product” talk with your salespeople. How do you ensure it is easy for them to follow that routine?
The solution is to align them from a broader perspective – how you actually sell. What is your sales methodology? This would help you better help your new hires and existing salesmen. You can list your preferred methods for:
- Lead generation
- Qualifying prospects
- Defining sales funnel stages
- Guiding leads through your sales cycle
- Creating proposals
- Bam! Closing the deal
New hires would need all-inclusive training but for your existing salespeople, you need to identify which of their weak spots are impacting your preferred sales strategy. Make the match and you will have the name of the training program right in front of you!
Bonus tips to choose the right sales course
- Choose a program that has instructor-led training, group/one-on-one practice exercises and roleplays to keep it interesting and realistic.
- Practice makes a salesman perfect. The best way to learn is out on the field. Let your sales reps shadow you and even take the lead from time to time; be there to support them when required.
- Follow up with your sales team! Without regular check-ins and revisions, salespeople lose 80-90% of what they learned in training within a month.
- Analyze if your salespeople would be comfortable in real-world-oriented team exercises or individual coaching sessions. Check if online programs would benefit them or classroom experience could do the magic.
To put sales training to use in real-time, you need insights into the behavior of your customers. Wingman helps you do just that with its sales intelligence platform. It records your sales calls, takes notes automatically and generates real-time insights into your customer’s thinking (out loud) process.
As a sales manager, you can let Wingman be your wingman to identify the key areas where your sales professionals are lacking to deliver to the best of their abilities. By extracting data from your recorded sales calls, Wingman gives you AI-driven insights into your team’s sales pitch, negotiation and closing ceremonies.
Sales performance analysis with Wingman
With AI-assisted sales performance analysis of your sales reps, Wingman helps you identify their skill deficits with key sales behavior metrics such as talk/listen ratio, average call duration and more - in real-time, with quick clicks!
After providing such in-depth insights, we have faith in you to choose the right sales training program for your team! You are now worthy of taking the call!