Selling products and services is an art, but one that requires constant practice and refinement. In today’s business scenario, the sales force is not just a key asset but a major source of competitive advantage as well. It is important that the sales personnel of any business be trained adequately in order to keep them updated on what is happening in the market around them and in order to hone their selling skills better. Though it is usual for businesses to hire great communicators in their sales force most of them ignore the importance of listening. It is not just enough to hire the right resource, but it is equally important to give them training on a regular basis. Here are a few steps on how one can get more sales from one’s sales force through giving them the right training.
- Two-pronged Training.
Sales training in organisations has to be done with a two-pronged approach. While one aspect of training is about selling skills and the sales process in general, the other is more specific with respect to the business and their products. It is important that both these aspects be addressed in sales training in order to ensure consistent revenue from your sales personnel. These can be addressed as part of the same training or as separate programs. It is also important to keep the sales force updated on the market that the business operates in and the changes happening in it.
- Make training an ongoing process.
One classic mistake that businesses make is to train their sales force initially during the induction stage and then assume that they have learned everything. This is a wrong notion and one that can prove to be fatal to the business. All aspects of selling including skills and knowledge need continuous refinement. The selling skills that one needs and the sales approach vary in accordance with the changes in the market, competition and customer behaviour. The sales force has to be trained on an ongoing basis in order to keep them ahead of the competition.
- Keep the training short and sweet.
Sales training has to be concise and precise. Businesses usually arrange training for days together and try to feed information into their sales personnel. What they fail to understand is the issues in retaining vast amounts of information and also the inability of the sales person to use it at the right place. It has been found that training information is usually retained by the trainees for a maximum of five weeks following which they need to be taught all over again. Thus it is advisable to increase the frequency and not the duration of the training programs.
Training is often ineffective because training goals are not set and the outcomes are not measured. It should be ensured that goals are set and outcome of training measured against the goals in order to evaluate training effectiveness. This will ensure that the training meets its objective.