Sales training could be a waste of money – if the needs of the sales team are not first evaluated and the appropriate training programs are not selected. Sending your sales professionals for sales training for the sake of it will not accomplish much beyond using up your training budget.
Here are some tips for ensuring that your sales training initiatives are solid investments and not a waste of money.
1) Assess your sales team:
- use tools like sales assessments to identify the skill and knowledge gaps that exist within your sales team
- Conducting frequent coaching sessions will also help evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your team, and identify areas that would benefit from formal training
Learn more about sales assessments.
2) Choose an appropriate and credible training program:
- There are so many options out there for sales training. Carefully evaluate what would work best for you and your team: in-house versus in-class versus online training. I work for the Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA), and our Sales Institute offers all of these options for sales training. See below for more information on our Professional Development sales programs, which were developed in conjunction with HRSDC.
- Ensure that the training programs you choose use tried and tested curriculum that jives with the sales philosophy you strive to uphold in your own team
- Research the instructors to ensure that they are credible and experienced and consult the training company’s current client list to get an idea of how valued their programs are among other companies
Read this article from CPSA’s president and CEO that was featured in Profit magazine on how to choose an appropriate training program.
Learn more about CPSA’s Professional Development Programs.
3) Reinforce the training:
- Training doesn’t stop in the classroom. Be sure to create an environment in which sales professionals can continue to practice the skills they learned. Encourage them to share their challenges, success stories, and best practices with the rest of the team.
- During coaching sessions and sales meetings, encourage discussion on sales training techniques and material from the courses they took. This will keep the minds of your sales professionals sharp and their hunger for growth constant.
4) Realize that professional development is an ongoing process:
- The more training your team receives, the more honed their skills will become, leading to bigger deals, better opportunities, stronger client loyalty. Every year, each sales rep should identify areas of improvement and suggest sales training that they would be interested in throughout the year.
- Consider encouraging your top performers to pursue a Certified Sales Professional (CSP) designation. This will not only give them recognition and credibility for all the hard work they put into their own development as a sales professional, but it will strengthen the morale of your sales team and produce more opportunities for your team’s success.
Read a case-study of how the CSP designation increased sales and customer loyalty for one of our clients.
Learn more about the Certified Sales Professional Designation from CPSA.