5 Sales Training Ideas to Drive Team Productivity
Sales reps never seem to have enough days in the month for all the phone calls, emails, meetings they need to have with buyers. Add to that the management and administrative tasks that go with every sale, and even top performers may end up exhausted and frustrated.
They need help improving their productivity—to maximize sales results while reducing the cost, energy, and time spent on each deal.
Sales training is one solution. But getting your sellers to participate when they’re already strapped for time is a challenge. You must also hold their attention and keep them focused and not distracted by an upcoming meeting or one of their many other tasks.
You need a different approach. This calls for innovative sales training ideas that are effective, engaging, and fit into your sellers’ busy schedules. Here are five that you can implement.
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5 Sales Training Ideas to Drive Productivity
1. Peer-to-Peer Learning
Salespeople learn best in specific task-oriented situations. They learn for a purpose. And they learn best by watching their high-performing peers. These folks are on the ground, facing the same challenges as them, and over time have developed techniques that succeed in real-world sales situations.
With peer-to-peer learning, sales reps learn best practices, gain insight into competitors, and see how to handle competitive situations and respond to buyer objections. They can also emulate winning pitches delivered in the field.
Further, 73% of sales managers said they experienced high ROI on peer learning investments, according to a study conducted by Allego and The Sales Management Association on sales learning preferences.
Peer-to-peer learning examples:
- Best practices and tips
- Win stories
- Competitor insight
- Customer objections
2. Personalized Sales Training and Coaching
Sales training should consider each sales rep’s skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Start from where the seller is and build the training up from there. Personalized sales training is directly relevant to the rep’s role and can help address the specific challenges they face.
Personalized learning is also more efficient (sellers don’t waste time in training sessions that don’t apply to them), engaging, and motivating. Plus, it helps reps feel valued and invested in, which can increase job satisfaction.
Use a conversation intelligence tool to analyze sales calls to identify mistakes and missed opportunities. Conducting skill and competency assessments will also help uncover problem areas. Then you can provide personalized advice and instruction.
Personalized learning examples:
- Personalized learning paths based on the seller’s role, experience level, and learning style
- One-on-one sales coaching
- Content and resources speciﬁc to each seller’s needs and role
- Reinforcement of specific strengths and targeted training for weaknesses
3. Just-in-Time Learning
Traditional sales training provides just-in-case learning in which learners receive as much information as possible in case a particular situation arises. It’s impossible to remember all of that. A better approach, especially with busy sales reps, is just-in-time learning.
With just-in-time learning, sales reps access the information they need, precisely when they need it, to complete a task or solve a problem. Sellers have access to targeted, relevant, and concise information via a sales enablement platform.
Just-in-time learning increases efficiency, productivity, and flexibility. It allows learners to access the knowledge they need on demand, which saves time and reduces the need for traditional classroom-style training. Additionally, just-in-time learning is often more engaging and effective because it is tailored to the learners’ specific needs and interests.
Just-in-time learning can be in the form of short videos, sales call recordings, briefs, and checklists.
Just-in-time learning examples:
- Sales pitch examples
- Competitive analysis
- Product information
- Sales process guidelines
4. Role-Playing Exercises
Role playing allows salespeople to practice their skills in a safe and controlled environment and receive feedback on their performance. It allows your sales reps to perfect their sales pitches and presentations before meeting with buyers—and avoid making missteps that could derail a sale.
Specifically, it helps sales reps improve their communication skills, test different approaches, build confidence, and develop empathy for their buyers (to see the customer’s point of view). And when done via an online simulator, sales reps can do role playing on their own time and not be limited by manager availability.
Sales role-playing exercises also provide an opportunity for sales managers to give personalized coaching. They allow them to see a seller’s strengths and weaknesses and provide customized instruction.
Sales role-playing examples:
- Product demonstrations
- Customer objection handling
- Negotiation tactics
- Closing techniques
- Up-selling and cross-selling
5. Sales Training Reinforcement
Research shows unless salespeople receive sales training reinforcement, roughly 80% of what a salesperson learns will go away in 30 days, and 90% will be gone within 50 days.
Immediate and ongoing reinforcement can prevent that from happening. Through short, bite-sized learning modules, sales reps receive ongoing support, coaching, and education. Reinforcement allows them to retain and apply the skills they were taught, as well as stay up to date on the latest industry trends and best practices.
Other benefits include increased confidence, better performance, enhanced adaptability, and improved job satisfaction.
Sales training reinforcement examples:
- Microlearning: Deliver short, bite-sized learning modules daily or weekly
- Sales quizzes: Test sellers’ knowledge and require a level of mastery
- Sales contests: Have sellers compete to apply what they learn
- Sales huddles: Discuss performance, metrics, and tips at short daily or weekly sales team meetings
Your sales reps’ time is a valuable commodity. Use these sales training ideas to help them make the most of it and improve their productivity. By providing ongoing support, coaching, and education specific to each of your sellers, you will help your sales team stay on top of their game, accomplish more, and achieve better results.
Download The Sales Effectiveness Kit and learn how to boost sales efficiency and drive results.