Tag: sales training

28 Feb 2024
sales training

What should sales training include?

The customer has changed a lot in today’s times. They do come to the store but order online. They only enter the store once the store attendant has something special. All the following must be included in sales training:

  • Understanding Changing Customer Behavior:

They need advice from the attendant on which product they should buy or how it will suit them. The store attendant can change the mind of a buyer about a product. This attendant has access to all the products, whether sold online or offline. They also come to the store to get special knowledge about a product.

  • Importance of Product Knowledge and Customer Experience:

When a technical product is being ordered, it can’t be just bought online. The customer needs to get some product knowledge, i.e., related to the technical specifications of a product. It’s very important to determine the experience of a customer with a store attendant. The attendant has to be trained in dealing with the customer, like how to sell the product to the customer with the right technique.

  • Understanding Buyer Motives and Addressing Objections

Understanding buyer motives is the most important way for a sales deal to happen. If buyers have certain objections before closing a deal, the salesperson needs to clear them. It might be related to features. Hence, a senior must always be available for a call for a new salesperson to address such concerns.

  • Adapting to Changing Retail Environments

Sales training involves teaching the sales associates what kinds of products are liked by a customer.

They should be able to judge a customer’s preferences. Whenever the salesperson is talking to the buyer, they can judge them emotionally to determine whether they are interested in the product. This is the kind of knowledge they can only have after they have been trained. Sales training should also be timely because the environment of a store changes very quickly due to new products evolving rapidly.

The frontline sellers have to be extremely responsive because new brands are coming into the market frequently. If they are not, they cannot attract the customers who shift to a digital brand.

What can be effective Training Techniques?

A very solid way of teaching employees about sales training is to use case studies. They help a salesperson in realizing what can be done in real-life situations. Once a trainer narrates the case studies to the trainees, they can give their ideas about what to do in such a situation. Sometimes, the salesperson might not know what to do in a situation, but with the help of his colleagues, he is able to arrive at a solution.

The sales force can also be educated using sales manuals. In such manuals, all relevant information about how to make sales is included. It also contains information about the product, including different product attributes such as its characteristics and prices. Sales manuals can be carried by a salesperson and also shown to the prospective person when required.

Importance of Personalization and Data Monitoring:

Personalization is crucial when the buyer comes to the store. When the data about the performance of the store attendants is being monitored, it can lead to better sales training content. The sales training can get the best returns for the store because in the long run, such data can be used. It can be used to modify the sales training content and get better results for the company.

The company also has to monitor the behavior of the customers because they have to be understood. The customers can be asked what kinds of selling approaches they like, active or passive.

Active vs. Passive Selling Approaches:

Passive selling means waiting for the customer to come to you and then showing them the products. Active selling means swift selling and changing the strategy depending on what customers need.

In an active selling approach, the buyers check the requests made by customers even if they are online. Then, depending on them, sending them notifications about the products browsed by them.

They can again check out the product browsed by them in the last session and make a purchase. This kind of buying situation happens when a person’s browsing behavior is monitored. But the customer must be shown their browsing history again when they have the required disposable income. When they do not have it, it’s no use showing them their browsing history again. The seller has all such data available to them based on the place where a customer lives.

29 Jan 2024
sales training needs sales planning

Why should sales planning be a part of sales training?

Sales training is critical for every company. But why should any planning be a part of it? 

Sales training is not an easy task given the hordes of companies in the market. In sales planning, a strategic vision is first created. This vision involves doing sales like moves of chess. So, it means doing better than the competition. This also involves analyzing the customer’s objectives and, hence, making plans according to them. These are the steps for sales planning:

  • Analyze the buyer:

Most B2B companies buy their goods from people. In fact, in such a sales decision, people are involved. Therefore, to sell goods to a company, you should understand the customers, who the most important members are, and how they will make their decisions. It’s best to win their trust so that the decision is in your favor. The sales planners have taken the consent of every decision-maker in the company. When the sellers have information about every member of the customer’s team, they can deal with them through their cross-functional team. They can align the company members against those of the buyer’s organization and train them properly. 

  • Know the competition:

It’s not that an organization looking to buy only discusses with one organization. It has several sellers in mind. So, any seller should evaluate the market carefully. You should find the competitors and what products they are offering. So, with proper planning, the sellers’ team can ensure that the buyer is won over better than the competition.

When the sales team has studied what the competition provides, it can study its loopholes and then ensure its products don’t contain such loopholes. The customer should be able to see a reasonable advantage in buying your product. The sales planner should be able to get rid of any factors that are thwarting their attempts to make a sale, be it the low budget of the buyer or the challenges created by law. 

What should a sales plan contain?

  • Sales goals:

Sales training must include motivating the employees so that they attain organizational goals and their performance parameters and incentives.

Incentives encourage employees to meet their goals.

The planning for sales must include what kind of roles everyone should play in the whole gamut of things. After-sales planning, it is also crucial that you check whether the goals have been met or not.

The company must do some sales forecasting because it can then only set targets for its sales teams. Such forecasts are based on data from the past and market patterns. It is necessary to check the market conditions; for example, during the pandemic, the whole hospitality business went for a toss. It’s because the customers didn’t prefer to dine in the restaurant and opted for the online delivery mode. 

When a company has done the correct sales forecasting, it reflects in its decisions for inventory management. Inventory management defines how much cost will be spent and business planning, i.e., how much cash will be needed to maintain the inventory. 

When the salespeople have foreseen all the issues that can arise in the way of leveraging any opportunity, they can make sure that the top management listens to them to remove all these hurdles. 

  • SWOT(Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis:

Although the organization has set some targets for sales, it’s also necessary to analyze its weaknesses. For example, there might be a market in some areas, but the company does not have potential resellers there. Therefore, if it wants its sales reps to meet higher sales targets, it should remove such weaknesses in time. Without such weaknesses, it can only set realistic sales targets.

There can also be a threat to sales, like a lack of inventory in a particular season; the organization must take care of it, or an already existing competitor in a local area. Similarly, it can address the opportunities, like if a whole new market has opened up for it. 

When salespeople have done the SWOT analysis, only then can they expect the sales reps to deliver the targets. Without that, they have no fixed sales plan. It can be like shooting in the dark without having any idea of the opportunities and the weaknesses. So, without sales training, it is not possible without sales planning when you don’t have any idea about the attainable figures. 

  • Knowing the competition:

Budgeting is also a part of the sales plan. It ensures that a budget is set for marketing campaigns so that nothing exceeds the costs for the company. The business must know how to get popular with the target audience so that sales are made. It also has to show them why it is better than the competitors. This may include setting up the right prices and through its advertisements. It must focus on its USPs through ads, which makes it better than competitors. 

  • Evaluation:

This involves checking whether the employees have met their key performance indicators. Then, you can adopt strategies to improve the performance of such employees based on the feedback customers give where they think the sales reps are lacking.

20 Mar 2023
sales training

3 Reasons why sales training is needed

Making Sales is one of the toughest jobs in the world. Although it seems easy because you just have to describe the product features, it’s not so. Every customer has unique needs, and it’s the salesperson’s job to understand them. This job has the highest attrition rate because the employees quit due to not being able to meet the targets. Hence, sales training is needed.

If employees don’t like cold calling, like talking to strangers, it’s better to take after-sales customer service. But for that, they have to take the manager into confidence. For example, an employee can talk to your manager about this; he may shift him to something else rather than cold calling, like email marketing.

When companies are going through a recession, the hiring prospects for a sale professional are not so bad. The companies believe they can easily sell products with a good employee in this domain. When organizations find it tough to get clients, salespeople are a ray of hope for them.

For sales training, the managers can also analyze those with the best performance and check their key performance indicators. If they have these skills, then it’s better that the low-performing employees also have them.  

Personalised sales training for different employees!

Sales training also needs to be personalized for different kinds of employees depending on their skill gaps. You can ask the employees to assess themselves, which is useful. They could be asked for evaluation for skills pertaining to their roles. The employees could give themselves ratings of 0-4 on all individual skills. The managers could also be taken into consideration and give ratings to employees between 0-4.

Once all data has been collected, it’s better to analyze the skill gaps of employees with those who have low ratings against the highest rating in a category. Then training can be delegated to each employee based on his skills gaps. These are the following rules through which salespeople can be made strong enough to handle any situation:

  • Lack of positivity:

The sales employees need to be strong. They can’t lose their optimism. Even when things are not going in their favor, they must continue. But you mustn’t cold call anyone. It’s better to call someone who has at least seen the marketing material.

Therefore the most important aspect of sales training is prospecting. Sometimes, you are targeting the wrong person; possibly due to the immense pressure you face to complete the targets.Those who have not opened your marketing email are definitely not interested in the product.

  • Lack of preparation:

Also, their research on a product must be sufficient so that even if customers ask them some technical questions, they are willing to answer them. When the lead is convinced that you are knowledgeable enough to sell the right product, he will buy from you.

The salesperson might not have sufficient knowledge about the product, which prevents them from making sales. The salesperson must go to the job after making a thorough preparation. The salesperson should have answers to all the questions that a lead might ask.

He can also practice mock calls before someone before going to attend a customer. This way, he won’t be confused about answering customers when the latter are too well informed and ask technical questions.

  • Overexcited sales people:

The plan of a salesperson should not be to make sales all the time. If he should become a source of credibility for the lead so that in the future, he buys from him. A highly excited salesperson can also be a cause of the problem. It’s because he is too eager to sell a product and does not listen to what the lead desires. If they listen instead of talking more, they would actually be able to get sales. 

Conclusion :

Sales jobs are not bad jobs, but you must conduct ample research about the product you are willing to sell. You must know its pros and cons.

The salesperson may also be facing issues at work. It could be that the boss is unwilling to listen to any problems; he just wants targets to be attained. In that case, the management should understand the issues the sales employees face. But the salesperson must make the management believe they are suggesting changes for the betterment. There could also be problems with the management’s strategy, like they are adopting the wrong reason to convince the customers.

21 Dec 2022
sales training

3 mistakes to avoid while designing a sales training program

Sales training is a game changer for so many companies these days. But this needs to be done properly. Otherwise, the company cannot get the desired numbers.

The three mistakes a company should avoid while designing a sales training program are not teaching about sales targeting, having the same program for different employees, and not including senior sales employees in such programs.

Then, what should the sales training include?

  • Sales targeting:

Sales targeting included in sales training is teaching the sales personnel how to find the correct prospects and then convincing them to buy.

Therefore, Sales training is different from product training because every buyer has different needs. You can’t just make him buy the product by telling him about its extraordinary features or how it’s better than the competitors. A person might not need them or have the budget for them.

The employees not only need to be elucidated about product features but also have to know how to recognize the right leads(sales targeting).

They should not be wasting their time on someone with no requirements. Hence they should be given a detailed description of the buyer demographics in the sales training program. A proper process should also be included in such programs so that the trainees learn how to select the right prospects and how to solicit them. If the wrong prospect is selected, a salesperson can squander time.

Such prospects also have to be canvassed in the right ways; e.g. someone might need the product, but he has not been contacted at the right time, and a competitor scores with him. There’s also the problem of who makes the buying decision in a household or a company, whether the salesperson has approached that person.

  • Experience based training:

Similarly, all the employees can’t be given the same training because some have different needs as per their jobs and previous experience. The needs of the salespeople should be evaluated before training programs are prepared for them. This will help the company determine what skills are essential rather than serve them with a general sales training course.

The sales training modules also have to be designed in short modules. The sales guys just can’t digest the information in one long session. Just like Rome was not built in a day, nobody can make someone learn a new skill in a day.

Indeed, salespeople don’t have much time on their hands, but they can be asked to attend micro-learning sessions twice a week.

It’s also crucial that the salespeople are given knowledge checks to continuously make them remember what they learned in their last sessions. For this, they can be sent quizzes, and once they fail those tests, they can be given videos to supplement their knowledge. This way, the company can ensure that the salespeople perform just at the time when they are required to.

  • Knowledge of the senior sales persons:

The sales managers should also be made to participate in these sessions to provide effective mentoring to the trainees.

The new team members must know how the company’s sales veterans have attained their targets year after year. They must have some tricks up their sleeves.

A company has to include the sales managers in such training programs because they can solve the sales trainees’ problems when they cannot understand the process. They also act as relevant subject matter experts for the program. The course content of the sales training programs must meet their approval before it is scheduled for elearning so that the program has the desired effect.

Finally, designing a program as per the current market scenario

The company also has to evaluate their expectations from a program. If the company has not based its ambition on reality, then the sales training program is definitely going to backfire, which no company wants.

The company won’t invest its money in a sales training program knowing that its employees can’t meet unrealistic targets; hence, research about the market conditions is necessary before launching the sales training program.

Last, but not the least, selecting the right candidates for such programs

It’s also important that the company chooses the right candidates for the sales training program. During the hiring process only, if it does not find any candidate suitable for a sales process, it must refrain from selecting him. Also, if some of the employees can only count in average numbers, it’s better not to include them in any training program. A sales manager knows which employees can be groomed to get better numbers and who can’t. That’s why it’s important to judiciously select the trainees of such programs.

13 Jul 2022
Sales training programs

What should be the sales training process during the recession? 

Sales have become a tough job for companies now, given the inflation. The customers need to see the need for the product before buying it. The companies need to create sales training programs for their executives so that they can meet the threshold sales levels to stay in the market. Today, consultative selling can only get the results for a business because of recession. Sales training can get the business the necessary cash flow when customers are not willing to spend due to inflation. 

So, these should be the key factors of such sales training programs:

What is Consultative selling?

Now what’s it all about. It’s about selling the right product to the customers based on their requirements. So, for making such sales, an executive has to be super-attentive and listen to what are the problems of a customer. The sales executive aims to make the customer happy and not sell any product to him. There are 6 stages of such a process and the executive as receive sufficient training to become adept in all of them:

  • Stage 1:Choose the prospects carefully: 

The salesperson has to talk to the customer to identify his problem. Then he should suggest a product which can solve this problem as per his knowledge. Now, sales are not about telling customers which products have discounts, but about empathizing with them.

  • Stage 2: Provide the customer with resources:

Then the salesperson should give a chance to customers to evaluate their problem. The customers should know how big the problem will grow in the future. 

Hence the sales executive can offer a solution to them and be helpful by sending them relevant content links. The customers must know how the advised product can help them in rectifying the problem. You can provide them with testimonials of customers who have faced such problems e.g., hair fall and used your product.  

  • Stage 3:Let the customers know why your product is the best

Customers will only buy when they know how your product is the best. This is important because there are a plethora of products waiting for customers to shell their money on. Hence, the customers must know how your product will solve their problems. For example, you can provide customers with case studies of how your product helped solve the hair fall problem given the age, stress, diet, and other factors of the same demographics.

You must also enlighten the customer on why the products of competitors won’t be useful in their situation.

This is why sales training programs are crucial to justify to the prospect why they should choose you over others.

The sales executives must have sufficient information about why customers would benefit from their product. 

  • Stage 4: Check with your operations team :

The customers who have ample knowledge of the market know the costs. Apart from that, they also know the delivery times, and all this knowledge is also required for B2B sales. Also, sales executives must know how the buying process happens especially in B2B sales which happens after the approval is taken from the senior like the finance team. After knowing about this process, you must ask your operations team to be prepared for supply. Hence before completing the deal, sales training must involve the production team i.e. ask the operations to be prepared with the supply till a certain time given by the prospective customer. 

  • Stage 5: Sales training programs  teach being with the lead in the final stages: 

You should never abandon a lead when the sales are about to close. This is because the customer might still have some questions. In B2B sales, the customers can get objections from any department, and hence it’s the job of the executive to directly deal with the decision-maker. The senior management can raise some red flags and hence it’s the job of the sales team to pacify them. They can’t start focusing on another lead, till the sales are made for one. For example, someone from the senior management can have doubts about the costs, and hence it’s better that the sales team directly talks with them. 

  • Stage 6: Provide adequate post-sales support: 

The customers need support when sales have been made. That’s why you must be in touch with them after the sales have happened. If the customer has any problem in using the product, the sales executive must get it remedied on time.

The future of your relationship with the customer depends on post-sales support too. If no post-sales support is there, no referrals will happen in the future. The sales executive must get sales training but the job of the marketing department is equally important too.

This department should provide the salespeople with the leads who are interested in a purchase. Once the sales department has good leads and ample insight into them i.e. their budget, they can use that information to make the buying process happen.

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