Sales Methods

Making the investment in sales training

By focusing on individual employee needs and the right training tools, you can develop a strong team and increase sales.

Published: April 09, 2014
Updated: February 14, 2017

When it comes to sales training, I've heard the same comments from business owners over the past 25 years:

  • "What's the ROI of sales training?"

  • "I'm tired of spending money on training only to have staff go to work for the competition."

  • "I just don't see the benefit."

Contrary to these beliefs, the right kind of sales training has the power to inspire quick, measurable progress for your employees and boost your bottom line. But in order to see these improvements, training must be part of the overall culture of your business.

Here are some tips to help you get the most from your sales training:

Train regularly: Without daily training, education, and motivation, your sales force can hit plateaus. They can become discouraged and lose confidence if they see their sales numbers drop. Providing repeated sales training to your associates can help them understand their jobs better, learn how to handle new customers, and address any bad habits they might have developed over time.

Evaluate individual training needs: Salespeople have different needs, problems, and challenges throughout their careers. To find specific areas where each of your employees can improve, try running some tests and drills. For example, simulate how to help customers make a selection or practice negotiation skills. This can help show your employees what they might not know how to do. And now, with the right technology tools, it's possible to assess employee performance in a matter of moments by generating automatic sales reports and recording sales calls.

Select the right tool: Choosing the right kind of sales training tool is important. Training should be fast, informative, convenient, and entertaining – it must grab employees' attention and offer information that's easy to retain and immediately applicable. If it's boring and difficult, your team won't stick with it. Also, it's crucial to pick a sales training tool with a strong support system so that progress and accountability can be monitored.

Support people when they need help the most: Confidence is 90% of the sales game. If your employees don't have confidence in their ability to use a technique or can't recall it, what's the chance you will get the ROI you deserve from the investment you made?

The good news is that when training makes an impact, results happen fast. Depending on the training and the commitment level of the employee, ROI can be seen within 30 – 60 days. In fact, one of my clients recently saw close to a 200% difference between those in training and those not in training. His sales team committed to 15 minutes of training daily by watching two to four video segments each between three and six minutes long. Then, everyone took a quick quiz to make sure the material was comprehended and retained. Materials and training were also discussed in team meetings.

When employers invest in sales training, they send a message that they're serious about their business and their employees' success. The key is to get everyone continuously learning – you won't get results with a sales training tool unless it's used every day. Companies who understand this always stand out from competition.

Learn more about revamping your sales process.