A team of well-prepared salespeople determines the success of a commercial operation. However, in general, what we still see in our market are punctual training, not a properly structured training process within the companies.
For results to really happen, however, the time has come to change that culture.
And this involves a lot of planning and dedication in order to design education programs that take into account factors such as learning stages and ongoing staff training.
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And this has everything to do with the training process, which we’ll talk about in this article!
If your company already understands that this change needs to happen, see with us what are the advantages and best practices to make this transformation. Good reading!
What is a Salesperson Training Process?
For starters… let’s go back to what a salesperson training process means?
Training is nothing more than training people for specific activities and demands, usually to be put into practice in the short term and to solve existing challenges.
In the sales area, we have several training courses that are practically mandatory: on negotiation, products or services offered by the company, use of the CRM system, among others.
Now, when we talk about the training process, we are talking about a scenario that places all these capabilities (and more) in a medium and long-term development plan.
This process, like any other, involves steps that must be completed for others to happen. In practice, the training process organizes all the training in a logical way and that considers factors such as:
- A seller’s seniority
- Previous knowledge of a seller
- Skills and competences necessary for the salesperson to perform their role
The training process, therefore, does not have to be the same for every member of the sales team.
That is why it is so important that the Human Resources area develops it in partnership with the commercial area, combining knowledge about Training & Development (T&D) with knowledge about the day-to-day sales within the organization.
The advantages of a structured training process
Well, we’ve already said that a training process needs to be very well structured so that it really achieves its goals.
This involves in-depth knowledge of the internal audience, connection between Sales and HR departments and, above all, a strategic look at what needs to be learned and how it should be taught.
This homework takes time and energy, but when done well, it also has very important benefits for the entire organization.
Meet some of them:
Understanding the team’s challenges
In general, sales skills open up space for dialogue and, as a result, common challenges become clearer. In this way, managers can further improve the training process and even the team’s internal processes.
More engaged sellers
Learning and professional development opportunities, as well as expressing doubts and challenges, help to motivate and engage employees. And, in a team like sales, where productivity makes such a difference, this is even more significant!
Interaction spaces such as workshops and workshops make the team even more integrated! And this is an important benefit, to maintain competitiveness within the team, but also mutual help and encouragement to leadership.
When an employee feels that they have all the tools available to perform their function and that they are heard by management, the chances of them leaving the company for someone else are significantly reduced.
Likewise, by preparing salespeople well, cases of dismissal due to low individual results are reduced.
And we know the value of a low turnover in the sales team, don’t we?
Better sales results
Of course, the most tangible benefit of a good training process properly implemented is in sales results.
They will definitely come when there is:
- increased engagement;
- increased productivity;
- better understanding of the solution sold and the market served;
- knowledge about prospecting techniques, approach, negotiation and customer service ;
- Constant update on these and other topics.
In general, all the time and money invested in a training process, returns in good results. But this also needs to be measured and monitored over time.
The 4 Steps of Training for Salespeople
Knowing well the benefits of a training process, you are undoubtedly eager to put it into practice.
However, before that, it is important to know what are the four steps you must follow to make it happen:
1. Goal Setting
Any training or training needs to have clear objectives. And speaking of training within an organizational structure, they need to be aligned with business goals.
Furthermore, it is necessary to have a very clear diagnosis of which skills and competences are most in need of development within the team, which must be measured regularly.
2. Action planning
With clear objectives, it is much easier to define what actions will be taken.
At this stage, the types of training must be defined (we’ll talk about them later), whether they will be face-to-face or virtual, who will be the coaches, among others.
It is also important to design a logical content sequence according to each professional profile (by length of experience, by type of activity and by seniority).
Time to really start training! Always, of course, on the lookout for opportunities for adjustment and improvement based on results and seller feedback
4. Evaluation of results
The results achieved must be directly related to the benefits we talked about earlier.
The main one will be the number and value of deals closed, but there are other sales metrics that can be monitored (sales velocity, NPS, among others).
Furthermore, the engagement of salespeople and the reduction in turnover need to be measured – also because they can mean better results in the medium and long term!
Types of Sales Training
If we are talking about an ongoing training process, which takes into account the salesperson’s learning profile and the different stages of training, we also need to look at the different teaching formats.
Therefore, we have detailed some of them for you to consider when designing your training process, evaluating the costs and efforts needed to make them happen.
The lectures usually last from one to two hours and are mainly used to engage and motivate salespeople. Lectures with inspiring stories or success stories are very effective for this.
Workshops, on the other hand, combine practical and theoretical knowledge to impart some knowledge and can be longer – like a day or two, depending on the depth of the topic.
Courses are good resources for teaching more in-depth knowledge and having a clear methodology. In most cases, they provide some type of certificate to participants.
Within the training process, group dynamics can be excellent for brainstorming, planning, and integrating among salespeople.
Sales coaching and mentoring
Not all learning needs to happen in a group. And, in the individual field, coaching and mentoring processes are quite valuable, especially for developing a salesperson’s specific competencies in a one on one format.
Training in educational institutions
It is also common to include external training carried out in educational institutions in the training process. These courses can range from open courses to MBAs or postgraduate degrees – usually offered to sales leaders
Continuous sales training and development process = more results!
In this article, you understood the importance of offering a training process to your salespeople, so that they learn continuously and not just when there is a specific demand for training.
To achieve excellent results, this learning culture needs to be part of your company. And the most important information to get started you already have!