How Much Sales Training do Sales Reps Need?
It never ceases to surprise me just how little training many people working in sales often receive. How much sales training do your sales team receive?
A day’s worth? A week? None at all?
Think or a moment of the consequences of this cutting such corners.
In addition to having an adverse affect on results which is bad enough, your salespeople are also likely to be viewed as not as credible as those representing your competition.
You see, at the end of the day the clue is in the job title – Sales representative.
The are often the public face of your company. They REPRESENT your company, your values, your ethics, convey your value proposition, and tells the prospect a lot about the company they represent – indeed sales reps are the human embodiment of everything that your company is about.
Consider then that your competitor sends a representative that knows much more about their products, or services than your representative does – it is a fair assumption to guess that your representative will not compare as favourable, and will be less likely to win the business.
So what training is required as a minimum prior to unleashing your sales reps to the world:
- Product knowledge / Commercial Awareness – An in-depth level of understanding of not only your offering, but a deep understanding of the wider marketplace, including strengths and weaknesses of the competition, and knowing where your organisation wins. A prospect should NEVER know more about you or the competition than your rep does.
- Emotional intelligence - Being able to walk in your prospect’s shoes and understand how they feel is an essential prerequisite in sales today in order to be able to respond, and act accordingly.
- Consultative Approach – Prospects more than ever don’t like to be sold to, and those simply ‘telling and selling’ will be left behind. fact.
- Sales 2.0 – The ability to connect and research effectively online will set your reps apart from those still selling in another era.
Although this is a short list, this represents the minimum training that all sales reps should undertake.
As you can see, sales training has evolved massively over the years, and reflects the more recent changes in sales methodology. Long gone are sessions on traditional sales methods such as ‘closing’ – instead closing should be a natural next step in the sales process, rather than a structured and manipulative technique.
If your salespeople have not undertaken the training recommended above then your organisation is missing out. fact. Both your company and the rep will never achieve their full potential, so why not do something about it today?
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