While some companies treat corporate sales training as a checkbox on the onboarding list, most successful organizations recognize that keeping their sales force up to date in their skills and knowledge is an ongoing process. But simply having a program in place isn’t enough – it must be carefully designed and reviewed continuously to ensure that it’s effective. If the current corporate sales training you have in place is not achieving the goals of participants, stakeholders, and the organization, it’s time to take action.
According to Training Industry, companies with truly effective corporate sales training programs report higher win rates, higher levels of job satisfaction among sales reps, and shorter ramp-up times for new hires. If you want to begin seeing results again, here are five steps you can take that will help you design and implement an effective sales training program for your organization.
1. Conduct a Discovery
Before you can build a sales training solution that will be effective, you must have a clear picture of your current reality. Having a clear understanding of the current situation, including the barriers and friction points, as well as the things that are working well, will allow you to build on successful components and develop a practical training solution that is fully relevant for your sales team. By conducting an in-depth discovery you will also be able to define where a shift in employee behavior will optimize results.
In order to achieve this clear and authentic picture, it’s critical to have open conversations that get at both qualitative and quantitative insights. With that in mind, you should be honest with yourself about whether your team can have that level of discussion, or if an outside facilitator would be the key that enables everyone to stay on track and come to an objective result.
2. Create Alignment at the Leadership Level
Once you have insight into the current situation and where changes need to happen to achieve the results you’re looking for, the next step is to get leadership on board. When sales leaders are aligned on the purpose and objectives of corporate sales training, they are the driving force that instills confidence in the team’s collective ability to achieve the outcome together. And a lack of alignment won’t just slow progress, it can actively derail the initiative.
Making this happen requires authentic, future-focused conversations that generate agreement on what success looks like, as well as the behaviors and actions that will be required to achieve it. This process also provides you – and all of your sales leaders – with the ability to clearly articulate and present the goals and plan.
3. Enlist the Support of a Training Partner
Once you have a complete picture of your current reality and alignment from leaders on the path forward, you must decide if you have the expertise to execute it, or if it’s time to bring in an organizational training and development expert. If you decide to do so, choose a team who works with you as a true partner to achieve your desired outcomes. An experienced training partner, like Eagle’s Flight, will have the ability to engage sales teams with a proven learning methodology, the tools to build confidence and competence within individuals, and a plan to prepare employees for future growth and change. Ultimately, the ideal training partner for your organization will help you achieve sustainable behavior change with measurable results.
4. Customize Training Content
Sales training will be most effective if it factors in the unique characteristics of your sales team. Customized content will be relevant to your industry, your buyers, and the day-to-day realities faced by your sales force. Training that doesn’t doesn’t use relevant examples or address the most pressing challenges faced by your sales team will feel like a waste of their time.
5. Implement Post-Training Reinforcement and Support
Training won’t deliver a strong return on investment if you don’t have any form of retention and reinforcement support in place. Resisting the forgetting curve keeps individuals focused and engaged with what they’ve learned long after training is finished, and regular reinforcement can help them to apply what they have learned more effectively. Training retention and reinforcement activities can include:
- Mobile and gamified reinforcement
- Ongoing knowledge reinforcement
- Coaching and mentoring from sales leaders
- Regular team meetings
Improving Your Corporate Sales Training Is Important for Long-Term Success
Delivering impactful corporate sales training will help your team build skills and improve their sales effectiveness. With a clear picture of where you’re starting from, you can ensure you have the right content, delivery, and reinforcement, to generate meaningful results from your training efforts. And you don’t have to do it alone. A trusted partner skilled in helping sales teams improve their results can help you design a training program that can be delivered in-class or virtually, that shows sales professionals how to be successful in your industry in today’s sales landscape.