What is sales training?

Put simply, sales training is the process by which you make sellers better at doing their jobs. This means teaching them the information and skills that will help them perform better for the organizational objectives you’re targeting (e.g., quota attainment, revenue targets). While sales training starts with ensuring sellers know more, it’s more than the transfer of information — it’s about translating skills and knowledge learned to real behaviors.

Typically, sales leadership and sales enablement are charged with developing and executing training initiatives and materials. There are various types of sales training processes:

Curriculum-based sales training

Sellers complete predetermined courses and finish with a quiz or certification.

Instructor-led sales training (ILT)

Traditional, lecture-style process where a leader or subject matter expert presents a topic to sales teams.

Virtual sales training

Videos, product fact sheets, presentation decks, and other learning materials are viewed digitally.

On-demand sales training

Materials are available via a training platform for sellers to watch or read up on their own time

Micro-learning

Bite-sized materials focusing on specific topics are provided digitally for salespeople to review quickly as needed.

What is the best sales training?

The #1 sales readiness software tool for enterprises across the globe.

There are so many sales training methodologies and approaches, and there isn’t one “best” that will work for every sales team. Every organization and its teams, people, products, and values are unique, and therefore require a program that is flexible to accommodate those differences.

Whatever sales training strategy you choose, it should be adaptive to the needs of your company as well as each rep’s individualized learning paths. It must be developed to target skill gaps across the team and allow for an approach that can be tailored to each individual seller.

Sales training must also be an ongoing initiative. Continuous learning through ongoing training, reinforcement, and practice is the only way to ensure sales teams are up to date on the most relevant information and retain what is learned.

What is a sales training platform?

A sales training platform is a piece or suite of software that supports training efforts. Rather than in-person training and manual data entry and analysis, training technology brings everything together to create, manage, and deliver training digitally.

Sales training software has been picking up steam in the last several years, but more recently we’ve rapidly moved into the era of inside sales. Sellers aren’t on the road or in one room together; they’re working from their home offices, kitchen counters, and living room couches all over the country. These platforms bring training to sellers — wherever they are — more effectively and conveniently.

What is virtual selling?

Virtual selling refers to the new age of digital sales. We’re no longer selling person-to-person, going door to door or sitting together in a conference room. Instead, we’re conducting the sales process virtually from our machines, video conferencing with people on the other side of the country; sometimes even on the other side of the world.

Virtual selling also includes exchanging information through email and other modern techniques like digital sales rooms and events.

What are some kinds of virtual sales training?

Just like with in-person sales training, there are various methods for training salespeople virtually. Some traditional methods can still be used in a virtual training environment with the help of technology:

Curriculum-based virtual sales training

Takes sellers through pre-set courses presented through different forms of media, with a test or certification at the end.

Instructor-led virtual sales training

Leaders and/or experts present on a topic through video conferencing.

Sales scenarios

Records sellers’ role-plays graded by artificial intelligence (AI) or through manager review.

Virtual sales training reinforcement

Distributes micro-learning, videos, quizzes, and other content on a regular cadence to keep reps updated and ensure learning is retained.

Ideally, you’ve got a virtual sales training platform that has flexibility to cater to different learning types.

What is the importance of sales training?

Sales organizations want to be successful and meet their numbers, but they also want sellers to grow individually and build their careers. Sales training is essential for accomplishing both.

When a sales rep goes into a meeting or event unprepared, they will not only fail to effectively engage with potential customers and communicate value — they will also likely feel unsupported and find a job elsewhere. Sellers don’t have time to learn on their own; it’s on leadership to set them up for success.

The benefits of sales training include the following:

  • Empowers your team
  • Aligns reps on objectives
  • Increases productivity
  • Improves win rates
  • Shortens the sales cycle
  • Keeps you competitive
  • Reduces churn

What are some virtual sales training ideas?

There are different ways you can offer virtual sales training:

Sales kickoff (SKO)

This annual event gathers all sales reps, leaders, and members of adjacent teams like marketing, product, and enablement to review performance over the last year and discuss objectives for the year ahead. Most SKOs include a combination of instructor-led sessions, break-out groups, and team discussions to share challenges, best practices, and ideas. All of which can be done with the right sales training platform.

AI-guided role-plays

Assign salespeople a certain selling scenario and have them record their practice pitch. Managers and peers can review and offer feedback, but you can also use AI technology to grade the recording based on keywords used, filler words used, and other criteria. The AI can then recommend ways to improve.

Gamification

Applies game elements to learning, like competitions, leader boards, and badges for completing different training materials or passing quizzes. Gamification is proven to motivate reps to participate in training, build morale, and promote continuous learning with less time commitment.

What are the best online sales training programs?

Just as there is no “best” sales training strategy, there is no “best” sales training program. There are many options, some methodology based or specific to different circumstances. And since there’s no one-size-fits-all platform, it’s important to do your research to find the one that best supports your needs, whatever they may be.

Generally, you should look for a platform that provides targeted training features that can adapt based on the characteristics of sellers’ skill levels. It must also have capabilities to measure competencies and identify skill gaps to enable that targeted training. And rather than having training as a one-time event, your platform should support ongoing, just-in-time learning that salespeople can access at any time, on any device.

Sales readiness platforms give you the various virtual sales training capabilities and the freedom to create diverse learning materials and formats.

What are the best sales development programs?

Sales training is part of sales development; leadership has the goal of developing sellers by giving them access to the right materials — not just learning, but also the tools they need to be successful. To do so, you must be in tune with what’s happening in the field, both in reps’ performance and buyers’ requests and feedback, plus data that provides quantitative insights.

Using this information, you can offer the most impactful and relevant training materials throughout the year that will allow sellers to grow and offer more effective buyer experiences.

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