Onboarding new salespeople for your company can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. It can actually be very effective and efficient with a little extra planning. A great salesperson knows how to create and maintain customer relationships and understands how to determine what a customer needs.
So, what are the best tips for training new sales team? To create and maintain a culture of excellence, foster in-depth knowledge sharing about your products, provide opportunties to shadow expereinced salespeople, carry out simulated sales calls, promote a consistent development culture, make training information easy to access and lead by example.
If done correctly, training is an ongoing process throughout one’s sales career. There are always new products, modifications of existing products, industry news and continuing education seminars in which to participate. These are only a few things that your sales team will need to know to stay ahead of the game. Your salespeople should develop an allegiance to your brand and realize that they’re an integral part of the company. They, in turn, will hopefully develop a passion for their work and have a very successful career, which also spells success for your company
Every member of your sales team will represent your brand and sometimes even give its first impression. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that they’re trained thoroughly before going solo. The new salespeople must have an in-depth understanding of the product they’ll be selling, and your company’s sales method. It’s also critical that they’re extremely knowledgeable about your industry and brand. Consider these training tips when you’re ready to hire new sales professionals.
Hire and Train Salespeople in Groups of Two or More
Hiring more than one salesperson at a time will benefit you and your new hires in several ways. A new batch of salespeople will bond while going through training together. This will help create a team atmosphere, but it’ll also generate competition, motivating your team to strive even more as individual salespeople. Additionally, they’ll learn from one another. When one quits or is just not right for your company, sales won’t be considerably reduced until you find someone to replace them; you’ll already have experienced employees to help fill in. Your company can also get a good handle on good and bad performance definitions. This understanding makes it easier to set goals and measure your salespeople’s progress. In the future, new hires will have some examples of success from which to learn. It’s often much easier starting a new job with a group of peers than to be the lone newbie.
Begin Sales Training on a Saturday
Beginning training on a Monday morning probably won’t be ideal for you or your new sales team. You already have enough to deal with on a typical Monday. No one is going to perform their best, whether teaching or learning, in an environment that is too demanding for a newbie. Starting on a Saturday morning can ensure a calmer atmosphere, one in which you can make training informational and fun, minus the chaotic office conditions.
Provide breakfast for your new team. Let them eat while you entertain them with a fun and informational presentation. This presentation can include the company’s history and even your background (e.g., how you got into sales, how long you’ve been with this company). Provide information about your specific industry and your company’s role in that industry. For example, if you’re a solar company, what kind of people typically buy solar panels? How much competition do you have in your area? Who are your main competitors? Be sure to allow plenty of time for your trainees to ask questions.
You can then review email and phone scripts with your trainees and discuss your expectations for their first week’s goal. During this time your trainees will also need to learn basic customer relationship management and sales tools. Set some time to go over the scripts and make simulated calls.
After this day of training, they’ll be able to start their jobs Monday with much less assistance than they would probably require otherwise. Since they’ll be familiar with their job and fellow team members, Monday should be a good day to start getting down to business.
Train Your Sales Team in Six Steps
Training your new salespeople in steps will help to prevent flooding them with all the new information that’ll be coming their way. It’ll also assist in leveraging each salesperson’s strengths, such as their previous work experience and outgoing personality. Each salesperson has a unique skill set; training them in steps will bring out these skills more quickly. Your trainees will be on the road to developing into sales professionals.
1. Train in-Depth About the Product
Most importantly, your salespeople need to know your brand and product inside and out. During the training process, they’ll begin developing their own opinions about the product, which will lead to the delivery of pitches that are more sincere. What is the product? What purpose does it serve? Why do potential customers need it? If your company has numerous products, it could be an impossible feat to learn everything about all of them. In that case, it’s essential to know as much as possible, especially about the most popular products. Then, they can reliably give a compelling sales pitch.
Of course, you also don’t want to overwhelm your salespeople during training. There are a few product training procedures that can help. Here are a couple of ideas:
• Product use training can be beneficial because your new salespeople will use the product and get familiar with all of its features first-hand. This training could also bring up some questions they couldn’t have foreseen otherwise.
• Online training can provide trainees with various forms of learning (e.g., readings, videos, webinars), plus the opportunity to quiz them at the end.
2. Shadow Experienced Salespeople
Shadowing more experienced salespeople will allow the newbies to further develop their sales techniques. It’ll also be a good opportunity to get to know other team members.
3. Perform a Simulated Sales Call
Once they’ve shadowed an experienced salesperson for a specific time, guide the new hire through a simulated sales call. An experienced salesperson should act just as a potential customer would. They should make it as realistic as possible, by including questions and objections. The trainer can give detailed, constructive feedback and examine what can be improved and how to accomplish it. It’s just as important to give them positive reinforcement about what they did well.
Once the newbie has mastered the simulated calls, they can make their first real call with an experienced salesperson. Feedback can then be given to them again. Every time they get some feedback, they’ll get a little better.
4. Foster Consistent Development
Sales results are directly related to performance, so salespeople must be always learning and practicing. Keeping up with the latest news in the industry produces credibility when your salespeople are speaking with customers. Consistent personal growth is also essential.
5. Make the Information Tangible
By making all the training information readily available, you’ll better help avoid inundating the trainees with too much information. If you do a thorough job documenting all the training information, it’ll be easier on both you and your salespeople in the long run. They’ll be able to quickly reference anything they went over in training, including every step of the sales process (e.g., scripts and CRM processes).
6. Provide a Good Example
You and your sales professionals are leaders and examples for the new hires. Your trainees will see how the experienced, successful salespeople do their job.
By following these tips, you’ll create and maintain a culture of excellence.