Sales teams are said to be the stars of any organization, after all they are the ones bringing in the revenue! Training the sales teams to be at their best and perform at the highest level of productivity has always been a critical business agenda. Major portions of training budgets are allocated to the sales teams because the salespeople have to be at the top of their game! This means that sales training should be designed with utmost care and thought to get the desired results. Here are some of the training materials that every sales training must have to ensure that the salespeople have the required skills to succeed.
Traditionally, sales trainings have always primarily focused on products and services that need to be sold. While this is still a critical element since you need to know what you have to sell, however, in this article we will explore other training topics and material that are critical for sales success.
Training for Sales Team
- Negotiation Skills – One of the most critical skills for every salesperson to have is negotiation skills. They are involved in negotiations for a major part, right from negotiating product/ services features, to timelines to prices – negotiations are a critical aspect of any sales endeavor. However, many a times, this is one critical skill missing in sales process. A sales training must include a session on negotiation skills, listening, building rapport, creating win-win agreements and negotiation techniques like BATNA, ZOPA, trade-ables. Negotiation Skills training should also contain aspects of Objection Handling, having the right strategy to overcome customer objections is critical to success.
- Influencing Skills – The other most critical skill for any salesperson to have are Influencing Skills. They do not have status or hierarchical power to convince their customers to buy, so what they need are skills to influence the decisions of their customers. Customers today are spoilt for choice, anything that you have to offer there is a competitor offering it! So, what makes the difference is the ability of the salesperson to build rapport with the customer, understand their needs and pitch the benefits of their product matching the customer needs. The training should cover various influencing techniques like social proof, reciprocity and scarcity.
- Question & Listening Skills – Effective negotiations and influencing can only happen if salespeople know the art of effective questioning and listening. One of the errors that happens when a people in engages in customer conversations is that the focus is on selling what you have rather than trying to a customer need with your product/ service. This technique results in disengaged customers. Salespeople first must focus their energy on understanding their client requirements by asking the right questions and practicing active listening, only then will they be able to meet the needs of the customers with the features of their products/ services.
- Behavioral Skills – This is a relatively new area of focus for sales training, but nonetheless a very critical one. Every customer is different, with a unique personality and behavioral preferences. One cannot sell effectively if we do not consider this difference that is inherent in people. A salesperson should be able to gauge the behavioral preference of their customer and craft a sales-pitch that meets their behavioral preferences. For example, you may have customers that are very task focused, do not like to build personal rapport but want to close the sales deal as soon as possible. So, the traditional approach to rapport-building by getting to know the customer personally may not work, in fact it may backfire! It is therefore important to understand the personality and behavioral traits of customers and flex your style to sell.
While, there are a whole lot of other skills that salespeople should have, but these are the critical must haves. Another aspect to consider is going for a customized training solution rather than off-the-shelf is always more fruitful, since no two organizations are the same, sales training must also consider the organizational context to be effective.