Sales training programs are an essential tool for any sales organization. They help new sellers learn the ropes and seasoned reps stay up-to-date on best practices, enabling them to do their jobs effectively. But all too often, sales training programs fall short. Traditional programs often require sellers to sit through hours of lectures and PowerPoint presentations, leading to poor knowledge retention that’s a waste of time and money. They’re dull, outdated, and ineffective.
At the same time, navigating the ever-changing sales landscape is becoming more challenging than ever. Budgets are tight, buyers are more informed, and the competition is fierce.
The digital-first world has changed the way we learn, and sales training is no exception. To be successful, organizations need to modernize their sales training programs by using digital technology. Here are three ways to create an engaging sales training program that helps sellers drive growth.
1. Identify the right sales training topics for the right audience
The first step is to identify the topics that are most relevant to your reps and customers. A one-size-fits-all approach to sales training simply doesn’t work anymore. Instead, the best sales training programs are tailored to the specific needs of the audience.
For example, one sales rep might need help handling objections with their sales pitch, while another might need more help with effective communication. The key is to match the sales training topics to the needs of the reps.
It’s important to recognize that proficiency in different sales skills will vary from rep to rep, and it doesn’t come all at once. By using an online sales training program, you can break down training topics into more manageable modules that allow reps to focus on the specific skills they need to work on.
Consider, for instance, the skill of active listening. A seller who’s new to the organization might need help with the basics, like seeking to understand and asking clarifying questions. An experienced rep, on the other hand, might need additional help with more advanced active listening skills, such as detecting and responding to emotional cues.
Never stop growing.
2. Make training interactive
Lectures and lengthy PowerPoint presentations are a thing of the past. To keep reps engaged, sales training needs to be interactive. Allow reps to practice what they’ve learned in training so they can see how it applies to real-life situations.
For instance, after teaching a lesson on discovery calls, give reps the opportunity to role-play with a partner. This will help them apply what they’ve learned and be better prepared when they’re on calls with actual prospects. In the seller’s next discovery call, they can reference the training and put what they learned into practice, helping them to retain the knowledge.
If you want sales training to be truly effective, it also needs to be relevant to the reps’ day-to-day jobs. The more reps can see how the training applies to their work, the more engaged they’ll be.
3. Make training more efficient
Sales training doesn’t have to be event-based. You can make it more efficient by offering training in a moment of need. Just-in-time training allows reps to focus on the lessons that are most relevant to the deals they’re working on in real-time. As a result, they get more out of the training and are able to put what they’ve learned into practice quickly.
For instance, if one of our own reps is selling to a customer who is interested in Enablement Intelligence, we would direct them to our Seismic Sales Academy course on that topic. If they need help with Buyer Engagement, we would direct them to our course on that topic. In this way, each rep only receives the training they need, freeing up more time to focus on selling.
Just-in-time training is also more cost effective than traditional sales training programs. With traditional programs, you have to pay for travel, the materials, and the instructor’s time, even if only a small portion of the reps benefit from it. Just-in-time training is scalable, enabling sellers across geographies to fit training into their busy schedules and pick and review content from the comfort of their home office.
Modernize training with digital technology
B2B sales training programs can take a number of different formats. Lessonly by Seismic is one sales training program example that is interactive and simulates real-life scenarios with role-playing and video recordings.
Get a demo to learn more about how you can modernize your training program.