Whatever product or service your company is selling, your employees’ sales skills are undoubtedly critical to the success of an organization. Research from the Association of Talent Development states that organizations spend an average of $1,459 per salesperson, yet 63% of staff say they still want more sales training. Organizations must provide employees with the knowledge and skills to generate sales continuously in a way that aligns with the organization’s values. Part of the challenge is that new sales skills are often forgotten shortly after training. To be successful, sales skills must become deeply ingrained habits. An infrequent training program is simply not enough to create these habits. Your employees need a customized sales training program that gives them the confidence to present and sell your products/services and provides them with a detailed plan to follow once training is complete. So, how can you support your sales staff to perform at their best?
Consider including the following elements in your sales training program:
Emphasize Building Relationships
All too often, salespeople focus on highlighting the product or service that they are selling, but the key to sales is about building relationships with customers. The first step to facilitating a relationship is to create a positive first impression. Research indicates that it takes only 10 seconds for people to decide whether or not you are a good use of their time, 30 seconds for people to determine if they like you, and 90 seconds to decide whether they will do business with you. Thus, your sales staff must know how to deliver the best possible first impression through proper body language, eye contact, tone of voice, and choice of words. These elements of forming a first impression, along with appropriate phone and email etiquette, are also applicable when making a first impression over the phone or via email. Next, salespeople must personalize the relationship by asking meaningful questions that provide insights into the customer. Once a rapport has been established, customers are more likely to feel connected to the salesperson, and therefore more likely to do business with them. Salespeople must be trained on how to address customer concerns or objections, and how to always end a conversation on a positive note.
Focus on the Follow Up
One of the best ways to increase sales is by focusing on following up. Following up with your customers makes them feel valued, which in turn keeps the door open for additional business and increases the likelihood of referrals. Your sales staff must learn how to create and execute a touchpoint management plan. Train your team on the different ways they can connect with customers and explain how often this needs to happen. Also, highlight how scheduling their touchpoints will help make following up a part of their everyday routine.
Talk to your sales team about setting goals and creating actionable steps toward completing those goals. Managers should be having regular conversations with their sales team to review their touchpoint management plan and discussing progress towards their goals.
At SGEi, we create engaging, effective, and memorable learning programs to help your employees succeed. Connect with us to learn how we can partner with your organization to create your customized training program.