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Sales Training

Training is an important part of life, wouldn’t you agree? Wish your dog would “sit” on command? Train it. Is your preschooler ready to cruise on that new bike? Strap on those training wheels! Committed to running a marathon? Better follow that training program. And let’s not forget about literally every sales job out there…onboarding and ongoing training are a must. The better your sales reps are trained, the stronger your business will be. Trust us. Sales training on day one is just as important as sales training on day 101.

What is sales training?

Hiring new employees into sales roles can be a bit daunting. That’s why sales training is absolutely crucial. Sales training comes down to teaching reps the most successful selling techniques, skills, and information that they’ll need to have informed conversations with prospects and close deals.

Why sales training is important

A solid sales team is the lifeblood of your company and the bridge to your customers. And, in order for your sales team to help grow the organization, they have to be properly trained. Let’s take a look at the top reasons why sales training is important for every organization.

Trained reps lead to more sales

Are you more confident doing things the first time or after practice and training? Exactly. A well-trained sales rep can better influence potential and current customers when they know how to best approach them, discuss their needs, and offer the right solutions. They’ll have more confidence in their sales tactics and strategies. They’ll also provide the level of service needed to gain loyal customers—and results. Still don’t believe us? Then consider this: The Aberdeen Group found that companies with successful sales enablement and training programs have 32% higher sales team quota attainment, 24% better individual rep quota attainment, and 23% higher lead conversion rat

Empowered reps are happier reps

It’s a no-brainer that happy reps lead to happy customers. Providing ongoing opportunities to train and learn new skills is a smart way to motivate, engage, and empower your team. It shows you’re invested in their success as professionals and valued team members, with the potential to regularly play a part in the success of the company.

Knowledgeable reps improve the customer experience

Here at Lessonly, we’re all about the customer experience. An investment in sales training will improve interactions with customers, build better relationships, and have a positive impact on customer service. Sales training provides a way to improve skill sets and learn new strategies and technologies—and all of this is useful when working with customers.

Types of Sales Training Programs

As with any effective training model, there are a variety of approaches to take your team through the sales training process. Building a strong onboarding and sales training program is the best way to engage new reps, increase retention, and drive sales performance. Instead of simply checking a box for annual sales training, organizations have greater success when they deliver different types of sales training programs that help reps learn, practice, and perform like never before. Good news! There are several different types of sales training programs that organizations can create and offer.

Sales training for beginners

Every new sales rep needs to master some basic skills. Sales training courses for beginners are informative, educational, and bring new reps up-to-speed with the best sales techniques as well as company best practices, processes, and products.

B2B sales training

B2B, or business-to-business selling, usually includes higher prices, longer sales cycles, and multiple touchpoints. B2B sales training is tailored to your industry and provides reps with job aids and tools they need on a daily basis.

B2C sales training

B2C, also known as business-to-consumer selling, targets individual buyers. This includes physical storefronts, e-commerce, and services. B2C sales training focuses on audiences, brand loyalty, and personalized marketing.

Sales leadership training

No pressure, but in order to have top-notch sales reps, you also need top-notch sales leaders. That’s why sales leadership training is essential to sales success and revenue growth for any organization. A sales leadership training program that produces well-trained sales managers will reap benefits such as engaged teams who know how to drive results and hit targets.

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Sales Training Topics

We get it, it’s not automatic harmony when you hire new reps. But, sales reps are hungry for success, and sales training topics can get them there. Sure, the learning curve may be steep—both for individuals new to the profession and experienced sales reps who are ready to blend in with your organization’s processes and culture. But with the right priorities and structure in place within advanced sales training topics, you can turn new team members into top sellers. Here are our can’t-miss popular sales topics for discussion and sales training ideas we think you should consider: 

Sales skills

Negotiating: Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but not all prospects are going to take the bait on a rep’s first try. So what happens when the prospect opens the door with negotiations? How should you respond? When does it make sense to deactivate a lead? Comprehensive sales training will need to address these less pleasant questions.

Cold calling: If your sales reps want to be effective, they need to master the art of getting on the phone and connecting with prospects. Providing the right cold calling training can make or break the success of a new team member. Set them up for success by giving them talking points, setting expectations on rejection or objections, and assigning them a mentor.

Prospecting: By the time a member of your sales team reaches out to a prospect, they should already be familiar with them. Sales training should always include a section that covers this research process and tools they should use like your CRM, social profiles, and more.

Tech stack

Sales reps need to use a number of tools that help them communicate with prospects, track deal cycles, create contracts, and more. The idea is to always ensure the sales tools you use maximize efficiency and lower costs. But, they’re only useful if your reps know how to use them properly, so be sure to provide adequate training on the various pieces of your tech stack. 

Products and services

Expecting sales reps to understand your product or service seems like a very basic expectation that shouldn’t require a lot of training. But that doesn’t mean you can skip this step. After all, B2B buyers are highly risk-averse and want to make well-informed decisions. When sales reps struggle to give complete answers to their questions, it hurts buyer confidence and makes the sale more challenging.

Sales best practices

Successful sales techniques: Have your sales reps found success with a certain email cadence or particular sales opening techniques? Or, maybe they have some great tips when it comes to following up with a prospect after a demo. If so, be sure to capture these best practices and share them across the team as much as possible. 

Prospecting strategies: Prospecting and cold calling can seem like daunting tasks, especially for a brand new sales rep. Help them become more comfortable and confident with their prospecting skills by sharing some prospecting best practices that other reps have found success with. 

Sales process best practices: Your sales team likely has a specific sales process that every rep needs to know and follow. Be sure to properly outline your organization’s sales process and then share best practices and tips for new reps so they can become familiar with how things are done—and why.

Habits of top sales performers: Here at Lessonly by Seismic, we’re big fans of tapping into the experience of subject matter experts and top performers for training. Ask your top sales reps to share their sales advice for new salespeople so they can hit the ground running.

Sales Training Techniques

Depending on the type of program and topics included, sales teams can deliver training through a few different methods and channels. There are pros and cons to even the most popular sales training techniques. Here are some common training techniques. 

Sales conferences

  • Pros: Sales conferences are a great sales training method to get everyone working collaboratively. They’re an in-person or even virtual opportunity that gives people the chance to collaborate, share techniques, and brainstorm in real-time.
  • Cons: They can be boring and costly for your company, both in travel expenses and productivity. 

In-person training sessions

  • Pros: Similarly to sales conferences, in-person training provides the opportunity for real-time participation. Meeting with people and vendors from all over who are experienced in sales may just give your team the insights they need to accelerate growth for your business.
  • Cons: There’s a large lack of flexibility. Virtual sales training is on the rise for many reasons, a big one being the ability for employees to participate from anywhere at any time. The important part is getting the information to your people, right? So why does it matter if they’re in a  training board room or in their home office?

Sales coaching

  • Pros: Sales coaches help get the team up to speed on the latest information and provide tips for self-motivation. Their industry knowledge gives reps a competitive edge and plays an integral role in business development.
  • Cons: There aren’t many, folks, aside from the utilization of time and resources of the organization as well as the lost investment if the coach leaves the organization.

Sales Training Online

Our most favorite sales training method is (drum roll, please)…sales training online! Online training is becoming more and more popular and is effective when done right. Online sales training can include interactive and customizable material that engages a variety of learning styles.  It’s also accessible anytime from anywhere…just like that you have a successful sales tool for your reps!

By making sales training material available online, you give your company the gift of updating information in real-time. Unlike an in-person sales conference, sales classes online allow reps to be notified immediately when changes occur so they are always up-to-date. Not only that but there’s also the ability to track insights and data. This gives sales managers an inside look at which reps are being trained and how they’re performing. 

Free Sales Training Resources

Good news! Lessonly offers a ton of great (and free!) resources to help sales leaders plan and design sales training. Our top sales training program example is anything that supports our goal of building high-performing teams with world-class training. 

Our Sales Training Plan Builder is a free and interactive experience that helps leaders develop a detailed training plan for their team. This plan walks you through the process of building a template, writing a training plan, and creating and developing the program. It’s like a sales training manual right here at your fingertips. You’re welcome.

So, how are you going to write those lessons within that new training plan? You can start by checking out Lessonly’s 75 Lessons for your Sales Training Program. That’s right, we have 75 ideas that focus on hard and soft skills training that you can implement with your sales team! Then, follow that with our Sales Coaching Playbook which features practical ways to level-up your sales team with effective coaching.

Deliver Sales Training with Lessonly by Seismic

Sales reps are on the go and the old-school sales training session of the past won’t cut it anymore. That’s why online sales training courses are the most effective training solution for both your new employees and your experienced reps. Flexibility is key. User-friendly interfaces are a must. Easy accessibility has to be offered. Sales training works, and sales teams that train with Lessonly see faster ramp times, more closed deals, and happier reps.