Putting the Final Touch on Sales Education

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Sales training, whether provided in-house by L&D or by an outside vendor, needs to be adapted to the specific needs of the organization’s employees in order to increase buy-in and encourage the adoption of new practices. It is crucial to use a competency-based framework with clearly defined assessment criteria and a wide range of instructional approaches to properly address the needs of all students. As long as the salesperson is aware of the criteria by which they will be evaluated at the beginning of each session, they will be better prepared. The question “what happens next?” might not even arise as often as a result.

If the goal of sales training is knowledge transfer, then a classroom or virtual learning environment is ideal. However, merely observing, reading, and memorizing information will not lead to sales proficiency. And because most courses are so generalized, it can be even more challenging for a salesperson to find relevance to their own work setting. This usually leads to a lack of interest in the material, which in turn keeps the sales process mired in the past.

Modifying even minor aspects of something can have a significant impact.

Once a salesperson has finished their formal classroom training and been deemed competent based on the criteria established, they will enter the “real learning” phase. Just because a salesperson has this qualification does not mean they are sales experts. Back when we were kids, mastering the art of riding a push bike required time, effort, patience, and belief in our ability to succeed in a variety of situations. The same level of dedication and resolve is needed to develop sales competence.

Sales training in the field is essential.

The next step is critical, and it will vary from account management-heavy to business development-heavy to hybrid models. The salesperson is responsible for planning the day’s activities and is accompanied by a sales coach, who themselves must be skilled in the art of selling. Specifically, they need to show that they’ve mastered the skills necessary to achieve the goals of the sales call. Sales interview protocols are discussed in advance of the sales call to set the tone and atmosphere for success with the client. Sales coaches may take a backseat throughout the day, with little to no active participation in the sales process. An effective learning opportunity is created for the salesperson when the sales coach demonstrates a skill in line with the goal(s). This is due to the fact that they have seen the skill put to use and the results it produces in a real-world selling context. Unlike a role play, this is an actual event that will likely inspire the salesperson to try it for themselves. The upcoming sales call is the chance.

Behaviors that undermine the results of sales training

1. Ego. There comes a time in sales coaching when the focus shifts to the sales coach. They take an active role in various facets of the sales process to demonstrate their competence to potential buyers. Customers usually warm up to the sales coach instead of the salesperson. Such confusion is disruptive to the classroom.

Assuming control when it seems like the sale is going south. It’s tempting to try and salvage a lost sale, but since the point of sales coaching is to teach new skills, doing so would be counterproductive. They won’t repeat their mistake ever again because of the mental and emotional toll of losing the sale and the lesson(s) learned. In the words of Benjamin Franklin: “Whatever hurts, teaches.”

Expert sales coaching delivered in a methodical fashion is what’s been lacking in sales training thus far. When executed properly, sales coaching in the field can be a competitive differentiator that boosts revenue and profits for an organization.

 

The article was sourced from: http://EzineArticles.com/10422410.

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