When it comes to sales training, it’s important to have the best information on hand.
Developing people is essential and this is only possible with a good training process that gives consistency to actions.
This kind of mindset is not only the responsibility of the manager, but also of each sales professional.
What is sales training?
Sales training is a training that prepares a professional from the commercial area to perform their best performance in the sales market.
To be effective, training needs to highlight the objectives to be achieved, the goals, how the planning will be carried out and how this will generate results and impacts on revenue.
A sales team needs training before starting the process and during it, on a constant basis to ensure that everything works well as in the case of Capital Smart City.
In order to present results, reach goals at the end of the month, sales training needs to be aligned with what the company has as a goal at the moment, with what they are seeking to achieve with sales.
Thus, salespeople can better understand the process and participate more assertively in the training.
22 Types of Sales Training
1# Commercial Intelligence
Commercial intelligence is a process that makes it possible to analyze and understand your market, competitors, your ICP based on historical data from your sales process.
The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) guides the entire business intelligence process.
All strategic data collected from leads will contribute to defining your ICP.
The basis for finding the ICP is finding the key issues leads often face that your solution can solve.
- Data Survey and Validation Tool
The business intelligence process requires one of a tool with a rich database of data.
Currently, the tool that has the greatest amount and diversity of data and information about different companies from all segments is LinkedIn.
Through it, it is possible to find a company, collect data, make a connection and prospect.
The business intelligence team has indicators and metrics to be analyzed throughout the process, such as the number of smart leads that were generated, the number of hidden customers, conversion rates from smart leads to MQLs.
But all indicators depend on your sales process, how it runs, how big it is, and your need for business intelligence in it.
Indicators are defined according to your company, your process, customers and commercial intelligence. Always be on the lookout for them to ensure that productivity keeps getting better.
2# Customer Prospecting
The customer prospecting is critical in business, the early part of the whole sales process, is from the survey that is carried out the analysis of new leads to possibly connect and qualify them in order to sell your solution.
- Understanding USP (Unique Value Proposition)
You need to be clear before starting to prospect your unique value proposition.
Because it is how you understand what your solution has to offer best, what it can solve, what your company offers that makes it stand out in the market.
Thus, taking all the necessary information to your prospect that will add much more value to your proposal about your company’s solution.
- Copywriting (Persuasive Writing)
Good writing practices such as copywriting are essential for generating value in prospecting.
Knowing how to choose the right words and having clarity in communication is essential to make the message persuasive and attractive for the prospecting stage.
Always use clarity, objectivity, reasoning and sympathy, a message must always be personalized according to the target audience.
- How to get attention, curiosity and interest
You need to get your leads’ attention right from the start, ensure they are interested in continuing to talk to you as the sales team of Blue World City do.
Look for information about them that is relevant to raise during the conversation, that can show them that you are aware of the scenario, that you are aware of what is happening with him and with his company.
Always look for ways to awaken in them the desire to want to know more about your solution and take them to the next steps in the process.
- How to Generate Rapport in a Cold Call
A cold calling is a phone contact with an unknown person, a potential customer you’ve never talked to before.
And for this connection to be successful, you need to keep that person connected with you during the few minutes of speaking.
Despite being a method considered invasive, cold calling is the means that most converts in prospecting.
It’s worth investing in ways to keep that person engaged, as mentioned in the previous topic, based on research, matters of interest, showing confidence, knowledge, speech security.
- Qualification of the situation and problem
After a prospecting, the qualification defines if he/she is suitable for your solution, if it will meet this lead and if it fits in your sales funnel and your ICP.
In addition, it is necessary to identify the main problem of the lead, what he is looking for with his solution and what will be the best way to apply it to the process.
The rhythm flows, are systems of series of interactions that use different communication methods to increase the chance of contact with a potential customer.
From it, it is possible to structure a cadence with a series of emails, calls and other means of contact, spaced out for a certain period of time.
Helping to organize the contact with these prospects, and preventing this contact from being lost.
There are several tools that help in prospecting customers, automating the processes. Check out the full list in the linked article.
Qualifying leads consists of understanding if they are suitable for your solution, if they have the ideal profile, if they have the potential to close that deal.
Active listening aims to understand the client’s message well, and to improve that communication, to convey confidence, to extract more information.
For starters, the lead needs to feel that you sympathized with him, that he made a good impression on you.
In this way, he feels more relaxed, and you are also able to demonstrate empathy, which is the demonstration that you understood everything he said in that conversation.
- How to create a champion letter
The Champion Letter is one of the types of follow – up, considered the most effective model for achieving align the potential buyer expectations to what you can deliver with their solution.
Delivering maximum value from your process, aiming to review and align the information collected from your potential customer, making it clear what you understand about their business and how your solution can solve their problem.
Sales techniques are the practices and methods that assist in the development and result of a sales team.
They are customized according to the client, and applied to better develop your solution and serve them.
From the behavioral analysis of leads, from the current market, they are developed, and when applied, they make your process much more functional, avoiding errors and problems.
4# Demonstration and Presentation
A demo shouldn’t be a step-by-step demonstration of how your product works, or how good your solution is for that lead, it needs to be an overview of what that lead needs to hear.
Seeking to understand what the lead has as a problem, and thus customizing a presentation for him.
A role play simulates a real sales situation, initially leaving the salesperson better prepared before contacting the customer.
And in these simulations of conversations with customers, it is allowed to make several mistakes until you get it right, avoiding failures in the actual presentation with the customer. Better to make this mistake in a simulation than on the spot.
A sales pitch is a presentation of your solution or product to the lead in a short amount of time.
Always remember to make a pitch, be clear, friendly, demonstrate authority, so the lead can trust you and hear what you have to say.
It should be short and to the point, emphasizing the benefits your solution offers, how it can help solve that lead’s problems.
The NLP, or neuro – linguistic programming is an approach developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California in the 1970s.
These are techniques related to forms of communication aimed at personal development and psychotherapy
Distributed in 3 profiles of people: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
And especially in the sales scenario, you need to know how to communicate well, and how to interpret your neighbor in your form of communication.
The sales process is considered a science. And storytelling involves telling a story in an organized way, so that they make an impact when heard by others, being considered an art.
Thus, storytelling and the sales process go hand in hand and complement each other perfectly because they need aspects that exist in both to be realized.
When seeking to understand the lead’s problem and find the solution that fits for him, the basis of storytelling can be used to better address and talk from data collection to the presentation of the solution.
The objections are those obstacles encountered along the sales process and that can be divided into three categories: deal-breakers, important and nice to haves.
Mapping objections, understanding how your lead process works, working emotional intelligence during a conversation, are some techniques that help remove objections throughout a negotiation.
- natural and direct approach
A negotiation uses several techniques to work well, to ensure a closure, but the naturalness during this process is essential to acquire the lead’s trust.
Directly, objectively, without too many emotions, keep this approach in negotiations, but always being natural, as it is noticeable when something is forced too much.
- How not to give discounts
Once the lead sees the value your solution delivers to him, the entire negotiation changes.
For this you need to be assertive about the speech made, you need to present your solution in the most qualified way possible, show its value, make sure that the lead understood everything that was passed and no doubts were left behind.
6# Closing and sales
Closing sales is much more about “how” you sell than “what” you sell.
Until reaching the closing stage, the salesperson and the lead go through a very detailed sales process that, if not done well, will not reach this last stage.
Since qualification, full attention and dedication is required at all stages of the process. Closing is one of the most important, because of course, it is where the negotiation ends and guarantees another sale.
However, there are salespeople who lose leads even in the closing stage, so it’s not just because you’ve reached the last point that everything is won.
It takes extra attention to make sure that everything has been taken care of, that all of the lead’s doubts about your solution have been resolved, and he is confident of completing that purchase.
And at the end of the negotiation, it can happen that you send the proposal and the lead doesn’t respond anymore, so all that’s left is to put it in the closing flow.
Where 5 to 7 follow ups are performed at most to try the last contacts and make sure whether or not he wants to close the deal with you.
It may be that he still does not respond to you, or responds negatively, but it is always good to finish leaving the opportunity open for him, so that when he needs or feels the need, he can turn to you and your solution.
How to structure your sales training?
Before training: Hiring and Process Documentation
What are the most common mistakes during theoretical training that impact the development of high-performance salespeople?
When we are dealing with theory, the first mistake comes before training is structured and tends to happen in the hiring process.
It is important for you to consider which salesperson profile you think is best suited to your sales process.
Although this discussion (aspects of a good salesperson) lasts almost a century, it’s important that you have factors that drive your hiring.
A curious story took place in 1916 (yes, 100 years ago) in Detroit.
The event was the Worlds Salesmanship Congress and featured a speech by US President Woodrow Wilson.
At this event, speaker Grant Nablo linked skull shapes to denote sales characteristics of sellers.
We currently have clearer guidelines for profile assessment during the hiring process. One of them is followed by Mark Roberte in the Sales Acceleration Formula.
Other common mistakes in defining what is important for your training is the use of outdated methodologies, which the world has already validated as harmful to the process itself, such as:
- Snake Oil Selling ;
- Pyramid Selling ;
- Mood Selling ;
- Formula Selling.
Our COO has talked a little more about these common mistakes in his content on sales reigning mistakes. It is worth checking!
When it comes to hiring, we have a first tip that will help you achieve the best results in your training and in your business process: the importance of hiring in pairs.
Why always contract in pairs?
The human being is driven by competition. Our species, for the most part, is extremely competitive.
No wonder we have all kinds of tournaments, from the well-known football championships to competitions for those who drink more beer in a bar.
In sales it couldn’t be different.
A salesperson working alone has no internal basis for comparison and, therefore, it is difficult for the manager to clearly judge whether the work is being performed with excellence.
Also, there is no shadow to press for a better result.
A seller who sells little and works with another who has good results will only have two paths: sell more or leave the company.
So, to make the most of your sales team, whether they are salespeople, SDRs or even managers, competition ends up being the best way.
The Importance of Process Documentation for Developing High-Performance Vendors
Your sales team must have easy access to the processes they will perform while working within your company, especially new members.
For this to happen, there must be clear and very visual documentation of the functions they will perform.
This results in a reduction in training time.
When non-essential points are eliminated, the team manages to perform the activities, reduce cash burn (a period in which it only receives and does not generate value) and, in the end, save the manager’s time.
One of our sales managers, Davi, explains that we have some essential documents for training salespeople that need to be always up to date:
- Objection Matrix ;
- Qualification Matrix ;
- Buyer’s Journey.
These documents serve as pillars for structuring the cadence flows, which allow the team to achieve maximum prospecting productivity.
Consider as maximum productivity:
- Don’t waste time on leads that won’t evolve;
- Don’t lose good leads for little effort or few contact attempts;
- Don’t lose good leads for bad communication.
Validating cadence streams is a simple process, and if you have the right tools at hand, it makes your training process even more effective.
Ideally, all these documentations are already in place before training even begins. This will make the vendor development process faster and more productive.
There are other factors to consider when we are dealing with training. Let’s talk about them now!
How to define what should be taught?
Have you ever heard of Hermann Ebbinghaus? He was a German psychologist who developed a theory called the Oblivion Curve.
The Forgetting Curve makes a parallel between the period right after learning and the time it takes to start forgetting the content.
According to this theory, we tend to forget 50% to 80% of all new information we learn after a few days.
For this reason, it is important to have rapid cycles of theory and practice to ensure that information is solidified in the form of knowledge and know-how.
This is one of the big reasons why extensive training can be useless if not followed up by the manager and practiced by the team.
Now, considering that the manager is always overworked, we know what tends to happen, right?
In order to be productive, in addition to the points related to the process, we need to deal with the product, or value proposition, and the market.
Here at Outbound Marketing & Reev we use the acronym PMP (Product, Market and Process) to encompass all these points of good training.
Based on this, it is possible that you organize all the materials in this way:
- Product: materials or actions (meetings or practices) related to explaining the product, service, value proposition and/or pains of your ideal customer profile;
- Market: materials or actions related to the market explanation;
- Process: materials or actions related to the explanation of the process, and the pillars that we dealt with right above enter here.
It’s interesting that you always start by explaining these points in a training in the order they appear above. Try to speed up cycle 1, 2 and 3 making it as practical as possible.
Let me bring you an example:
#1 Pain that the Product solves
As a salesperson, I spend a lot of time getting a lot of data into CRM and I spend a lot of time trying to organize myself.
You may not know it, but this is a very common problem in sales.
There’s a stat from HubSpot that says the average seller spends an hour a day just entering data.
Here are two possibilities to apply in your training:
- The first is to have the salesperson in training run the first week completely manually, after all, there is nothing better to demonstrate pain than the experience;
- The second is to add these parameters to your qualifying documents.
That way, we started to simplify the materials and we can structure a schedule with the first weeks of training considering what has more weight in the process.
Afterwards, whichever is less important, you can wait for a second moment.
We’ll talk more about this in the part focused on hands-on training. Another important point to talk about now is the difference between training for Inside and Field Sales.
Is there a difference between Inside Sales and Field Sales training?
Something that the internet has provided for all commercial teams in the world is distance selling.
If before it was necessary to make visits, even in cases of not so high average ticket, nowadays it is enough to have a computer and a telephone to be able to close good deals.
This represented great savings when closing new deals, since the cost of a call is infinitely less than the sum of plane tickets + hotel + food, for example.
With this reduction in CAC, companies had more cash on hand and were able to scale faster.
But with that, a question also arose: should training for a salesperson specializing in field negotiations be different from training for those who carry out the sale internally?
The answer is yes! The sales training that each one receives has some peculiarities. However, it is a much smaller difference than some managers usually imagine.
I will explain some differences for you, the reader, to see the particularities of each of these training processes. Come on?
NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming)
A field sales salesperson faces problems that normally inside sales don’t need to worry about.
Eye to eye trading is one of them.
In a Skype conversation, for example, the biggest point of concern that an inside sales salesperson needs to have in order to generate empathy is to try to follow the lead’s tone of voice and try to generate some anchoring.
In the field conversation, however, it is necessary to pay attention and know how to interpret all the physical signals that the lead is going through. Sensing a moment of agitation or calm is essential for directing the speech.
If the salesperson notices that the lead is impatient, they already know that they should be more objective and get to the point, for example.
Now, if the lead is extremely calm and willing to listen to the entire commercial discourse, there is nothing better than following the lead and continuing to sell your fish, without haste.
Therefore, a field sales salesperson must have great knowledge regarding neurolinguistic programming.
He needs to notice signs that go beyond what the lead says and, therefore, needs more elaborate training in this regard.
Of course, inside sales also need training in NLP, even to use some fundamentals in their flows, but for field sales this is much more important.
A good book to start studying on the subject is O Corpo Fala, by Pierre Weil and Roland Tompakow. It introduces several points that can be further explored by those interested in the subject!
Discipline and schedule organization
Unlike field sales, the inside has much more scale in the work performed.
The time the field sales person spends inside an airplane is enough to carry out more than 3 internal meetings.
But, it is in this aspect that the danger lies. It takes a lot of organization not to schedule more meetings in one day than the salespersons inside sales capacity.
What I’ve noticed in my experience is that many set a relatively short time for meetings and end up not being able to meet all the appointments on their schedule.
And something that sounds extremely amateurish in the market is scheduling a call and canceling due to disorganization.
Imagine the impression that the lead has: if at the time of sale, which is when the supplier company tends to be more proactive, the salesperson cannot meet expectations, imagine after sales.
In addition, the number of follow ups performed by inside sales is also greater.
If he does not have knowledge about organizational methodologies, there is a great chance he will not be able to reconcile the meetings with the submission of proposals and follow ups.
Therefore, inside sales training must always include methods of organization.
Dividing tasks into blocks, with meetings in the morning and follow-ups in the afternoon, for example, can be the difference when it comes to keeping up with all the demand for assistance.
Consequently, it’s the fine line between reaching the month-end goal or not.
Now that you know about the theoretical aspects of sales training, let’s talk about the practical aspects, explaining the main formats for you to structure your training.
Sales and Training Stack
We live in the Information Age, which is the period from 1980 onwards, also known as the Digital or Technological Age.
Because we are part of it, we may not realize its impact on our lives, but it is important to emphasize that this Era empowers and enhances the work of those who have the knowledge and good use of technology.
When it comes to training, we cannot leave out the use of these technologies, as they are the great differential that a team or company can have at hand.
So, it’s important that you consider the stack of tools your team needs to know at the time of training:
- Lead generation solutions;
- Sales Engagement solutions, to increase productivity and improve the seller’s relationship with technology and with the lead.
When it comes to Sales Engagement, being a relatively new discipline in sales, it’s important to talk to experts not to hire solutions that don’t belong in this category.
Having the right tools in hand, you can have better results and a more motivated team, and leave your competitor behind. Now, with the wrong tools…
6 Training Tips s
Have you noticed that studying sales ends up being something very repetitive?
We always come back to the same themes, be it GPCTBA C&I, SPIN Selling or cadence flows, the recurrence with which they surface is extremely high.
This is due to one factor: they are extremely deep subjects.
Using SPIN Selling well to get to GPCTBA C&I and still being able to fit some Small Yes questions makes it easier to close a deal. Did you understand what I said?
A good sales training first teaches what GPCTBA C&I is, for example, and then teaches what the various paths it can offer are.
It’s as if, first, we give the car and then provide the route.
So, whenever you think you know everything, remember that there is still a long way to go. Having a sense of mastery of the subject may be the first indication that you need to study further.
Want to know some topics that you probably didn’t know about and that should be covered in a second step?
- Off the wall questions : questions that throw the lead against the wall and close common objections;
- Data driven coaching: metric- driven coaching.
But, it is not enough to teach processes, techniques and speech. Motivating is also part of training. But we’re not talking about that self-help book-style motivation!
Set goals from the beginning (no pain, no gain)
The commercial team must always work with goals, whether during the training period or even when they are already consolidated as managers (of course, during training the goal should be a little lower).
Now comes the question: what does the goal have to do with training? It’s simple. Dealing with pressure also requires training.
Instead of having a relatively quiet period and, suddenly, having a goal, the salesperson already adapts, from the beginning of his training, to the reality that he will live.
In fact, it is at this point that the manager begins to filter those people who have difficulty dealing with demand for results.
As the new commercial process ends up attracting several young talents, it is necessary to map those who need more coaching to adapt to a more competitive scenario.
Remember, even in the training period, make your team work with goals!
Understanding the team rhythm
People have different information absorption capacity. Some are fast and some are a little slower, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
And it is the manager’s job, from the beginning of sales training, to understand the rhythm of each team member.
But why is this part of training? It’s simple. It’s no use passing more content to a person than they are able to absorb.
Make your training efficient! Don’t waste time running the clock. Make each one follow at their own pace (of course in line with the pace the company requires).
Results will come!
At this stage of training, your team already knows how to perform the basic activities of the process.
The prospector knows how to get the attention of the lead, the SDR is able to qualify the MQLs and the sales executive is already able to close the simplest deals.
However, learning is a constant evolution.
Here at OTB we have been working with marketing and sales every day for several years. Even so, there is always something new to learn.
Imagine the situation of an intern or beginning salesperson. What he will experience most are new situations and scenarios he is not used to.
To facilitate this journey, it is necessary that they have access to more in-depth sales training content and also receive constant coaching from the manager.
Set clear goals for each content
Nothing is more boring than studying something without a clear objective. In sales, where execution is responsible for the entire outcome, this is even more vital.
Therefore, it must be made clear, during all sales training, what is the purpose of each material that is being passed on.
The manager must know which content X will help the SDR the most and which content Y will help the sales executive the most.
That way, it’s easier to motivate all team members and engage everyone in training.
Knowledge management to facilitate information absorption
The sales market has shown impressive dynamism in recent years.
More and more interesting and actionable content has emerged. In this way, sales literature, which used to be very lean, became something more profound.
Even for this reason, it is practically impossible to be always up to date. And nothing better than several heads to mount a con library h complete ecimento.
The manager must, from the beginning of the sales training, pass on to the team some possible knowledge absorption channels.
It is from them that the team will update itself when the manager does not have time to pass the knowledge on, in addition to taking them to other sources of information.
The Sales Kickoff is a quick meeting, practical and very useful as a training tool and development team.
The idea is to bring everyone on the team together, whenever possible, to have a quick 30-minute meeting, sharing knowledge of something new that someone has learned.
There is no obligation on who will minister to the meeting.
Thus, everyone actively participates, organizing new content. After all, there is no better activity to retain content than teaching others.
An important tip is that you make a weekly or monthly calendar to ensure that the sales kickoff level doesn’t drop.
It is a common trap for this type of meeting to drop in quality over time due to lack of planning. Don’t let this happen!
Once you consider these points for your training, you will have a more complete view of the entire process of developing gh-performance professionals.
This is true for all sales positions: SDRs, salespeople and, in some practices, even Commercial Intelligence.
It is important to emphasize that the construction of training itself requires continuous improvement!
What I’ve always done is, at the end of each training session, collect direct feedback from the team that has just been trained.
It is good that this is done the following week. That way, you get the information when it’s even fresher.
It is normal that there are points to be improved:
- Better balance between theory and practice;
- Increased number of role plays;
- Replacement of some material with another that the trained professional found more relevant.