This post was originally published by Arti Brannon on lessonly.com.
What are the types of sales training that engage and inspire your frontline employees to master their craft?
Imagine a world where sales reps role play and practice on their own and with each other without prompting from a manager. Where reps proactively seek out the information and messaging they need to be successful with their prospects.
Let’s face it—even experienced sales reps who are crushing their quotas need regular practice to keep their skills sharp. If you are looking to build a scalable process for your revenue driving teams, chances are you’ve been looking into various types of sales training programs.
So, let’s dive into the world of sales and marketing training.
From foreheads to facts
Many of the methodologies that give the sales profession its reputation today were adopted during the western industrial era. While methods like phrenology (using the size of a prospect’s forehead to determine their open-mindedness) eventually gave way to other types of psychological selling, the focus remained on figuring out what makes a buyer tick.
Through the 20th century, products and services became more complex and defined, and scalable processes started to emerge, especially for B2B sales training programs. As potential buyers became more aware of brands and had access to things like pricing information, successful sellers found they had to pivot and be ready to have conversations with a customer who had already done some research.
At this point, sales leaders found that the key was to focus on identifying a customer’s challenges and presenting solutions through a more consultative approach. This is when sales training programs such as Sandler Selling System, SPIN Selling, and the Challenger Sale became important in codifying a sales org’s processes.
In addition to live soft skills training, businesses increasingly need to keep their reps up-to-date on industry information, product knowledge, and workflow processes. In order to keep up with constant changes and updates in all of these areas, implementing an online sales training software becomes essential.
Here are some different types of online sales training programs and strategies:
Pre-built on-demand training
There are several providers offering generic sales training courses for beginners, designed for aspiring salespeople after being hired in a new role. While many of these are targeted to a specific kind of sales organization, such as for a car dealership, door-to-door sales, or SaaS sales training, one hurdle businesses run into when adopting these is the desire to push out company-specific messaging. Because a solution has a unique combination of value proposition and ideal client profile, it may be important to consider how much you can customize the content for your team.
Sales enablement training software
The other dominant category of online sales training providers include learning platforms. With an easy-to-use learning platform that includes a content-builder, you can develop your own sales training curriculum, tailor-made with your own messaging. With the wealth of knowledge that is out there about soft skills and best practices, you can start rolling out relevant training to your reps within weeks, if not days!
Lean on experts
Thinking outside of company-sponsored programs, sales coaches and leaders such as Dale Carnegie and later Brian Tracy reached people on an individual level through books and seminars. In today’s digitally connected world, renowned sales consultants like Todd Caponi and Jill Konrath maintain a strong presence on LinkedIn and other social media and help build communities of experts in the field who can share sales training best practices.
If you are initially looking for free sales training programs, or just looking to get started with some sales training ideas, sales leaders and reps alike are beginning to share details about their processes and messaging on social media.
While sharing things like sales processes in the past would have been regarded as exposing competitive intelligence, what sales communities have found is that public feedback amplifies and often strengthens the value of that process. When an individual rep is open about his/her successes and challenges, everyone has the chance to show gratitude and improve their own style.
This human approach to both connecting with prospects as well as the general public has especially had an impact on best practices for software sales training. High performing software sales reps are teaching and learning from each other, as well as establishing their personal brands in the space. Giving your team permission to be vulnerable is what will ultimately inspire them to train and practice so they can confidently sell faster. If you’re ready to deliver agile, thoughtful sales training—then give us a look. We help teams enable sellers, decrease ramp time, and get everyone on the same page!