The 10 Keys to Success for Sales Training Courses

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Training and development is an essential component of sustainable sales and marketing success. Well-trained sales employees are in an excellent position to increase their productivity, seize unexpected opportunities that arise, and advance their career.

Of course, the company also benefits from these effects of an exceptional training program. One study from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) found that employers that offer comprehensive training:

  • Have 218% higher income per employee compared to those with less training

  • Enjoy a 24% higher profit margin than competitors that spend less on training and development

  • Generate a 6% higher shareholder return for training expenditures that increase by $680 per employee

The following 10 points are crucial to success in sales training courses. If you want to enhance your employees’ potential and gain higher profit margins in the process, then you should investigate programs that contain all of the elements listed below.

Competency Based Content

Many learning and development courses focus more on theory than real-life application. In contrast, competency based training (CBT) is highly responsive to the needs of the workplace.

In a sales context, CBT should include content based around common scenarios that employees will face. For instance, there may be role play around handling phone calls, training on how to overcome common objections, and the development of upselling skills to maximize the impact of each interaction.

Ultimately, competency based content can assist sales employees to become more proficient at their job while boosting the company’s bottom line.

An Accessible, Online Curriculum

The modern workplace demands that most (if not all) training modules are deliverable via an online platform. This not only allows for easier updates, but also enables dedicated employees to access the program at different times and locations other than in the office.

In addition, it’s important that the curriculum is optimized for all devices. This ensures that employees on the move (such as on a train or subway) can still access and benefit from the training.

Live Video Training

It’s no secret that video training is one of the most effective learning & development techniques available today. It is definitely a boon for employee engagement: studies have shown that employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read a document, web article, or email.

Live video training combines the high engagement level of visual learning with the interactivity of a classroom. This allows instructors to provide real-time feedback to employees, and help them to leverage new skills for practical application.

Guides and Scripts

A guide/script is an essential component of any successful sales training course. It enables both the instructor and students to stay on track, and allows for high repeatability as one group of employees “graduates” the course, and another group replaces them.

Of course, the script must also be informative, engaging, and focused on the key training points that the employees must learn in order to perform more effectively. Guides and/or scripts that follow these guidelines will result in more sales from confident, motivated learners.

Role Play with Peers

The importance of role playing with peers as a sales training tool (usually instructor-led, but not always) can hardly be overstated. For decades, sales and marketing experts have understood that role play is to sales as practice is to sports: an opportunity to work out the kinks and optimize performance before the “live event.”

Any effective sales training course should incorporate role playing sessions into its curriculum. Such role play can help employees to identify and maximize their strengths. At the same time, kind but honest feedback from colleagues can make them aware of opportunities for improvement, and ultimately help them to be mindful of and avoid counterproductive tendencies during real-time customer interactions.
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A Social Network of Learners

The establishment of a social network can help facilitate employee development in several ways. For instance, learners that are at an advanced stage of development can share tips and tricks with sales novices. Employees that share a common learning style can bounce ideas off one another in a less structured setting. Since everyone learns differently, such “supplemental networking” can help all employees to become more efficient and productive at their job in a shorter time frame.

One-on-One Coaching

Personalized feedback is an integral part of the training and development process. Instructors that provide one-on-one coaching help to clarify expectations, prevent the formation of bad habits, and instill confidence within employees.

Sales training courses should incorporate one-on-one feedback sessions as a foundational element. Such individualized training will accelerate employee development, and help them to achieve higher productivity and faster career advancement.

A Help Desk for Real Life Job Aid

Most training courses offer some sort of “content library,” along with an index to locate key information. Nevertheless, in the sales world a situation may arise for which there are no easy answers. For example, if a high-value prospect is interested in a customized product, can the company fulfill his or her request? What price point adjustments and other considerations would need to be factored in?

In this and many other scenarios, a help desk that offers real life job aid would prove to be an invaluable asset. With such a resource at their disposal, employees would almost certainly increase their conversion rates and sales.

Support from Working Peers

Support from experienced or knowledgeable peers should be an essential aspect of ongoing employee training — especially for newer hires. For example, mentoring programs serve as an excellent supplement to core training initiatives, and allow learners to leverage the real-life experience of colleagues in a more informal setting. In fact, mentoring programs are considered to be so effective at improving performance that over 70% of Fortune 500 companies offer them to employees.

Accountability Groups

Finally, the development of accountability groups can help employees going through the same training program to support one another as they reach their goals. Such “positive peer pressure” helps learners to stay focused on the curriculum, and allows a forum for sharing their good experiences and other training-derived benefits with colleagues.

Finding the Right Sales Training Program for Your Business

As the above information demonstrates, training and development should never be left to chance. It is an integral part of sustainable growth for any sales-driven company.

Of course, since each organization has a unique set of objectives, circumstances, and resources, it’s important to find the right training program that aligns with current business needs. If you are seeking out a sales training course for your business, then it may take some time to identify the best opportunity on the market.

This is where Engine comes into the picture. As the name implies, we drive active performance management — including optimized training and development courses for businesses in a variety of industries. Search through our Academy Programs and enroll today to start reaping the benefits of exceptional sales training.