One of the biggest responsibilities of sales managers is ensuring that the sales professionals working under them receive the training they need to perform at the highest possible level. With so many ways to train a sales team, from online group courses to coaching sessions right in your office, it can be tough to know which kinds of sales training programs will work best.

In this blog, we’ll go over everything you need to consider when choosing a high-quality training program for your sales team. This will help ensure your salespeople gain the skills that directly translate to better win rates and an improved bottom line for your company. Let’s dive in.

What Type of Sales Training Is Right for Your Team?

According to data from TaskDrive, the average ROI of sales training is 353%, meaning that companies earn $4.53 for every dollar they spend on training their sales force. When it comes to the exact type of training you’ll provide your sales reps (or team leaders), there are several different options to choose from. Each type of training is usually divided by area of focus or experience, such as inside sales vs. outside sales, or rising vs. senior sales enablement.

Formal Training

Formal training can refer to virtual or onsite training that’s conducted by your peers, sales management, or training and enablement. It can also refer to training that’s provided by a third-party sales training company.

Two common examples of formal sales training include onboarding and ramping up new sales reps as well as providing sales leaders with management training. Some formal sales programs are self-paced, while others are structured to be completed in a certain number of months.

Peer Group Meetings

Conducting meetings with your sales team that are led by their peers and/or experts in their field is a great way to teach new skills and sales fundamentals alike. You can also have a high-performing sales rep present or invite a speaker from outside your company for a fresh perspective.

Training activities that are commonly conducted in peer group sales meetings include role-playing sales conversations, shadowing sales calls, and peer-to-peer discussions around best practices and industry changes.

Online Certifications

Today, there are a number of high-quality sales certification programs that are conducted entirely online, such as the 15 certification courses and team masterclasses we offer at Sales Assembly. Salespeople of all levels can join a structured, cohort-style program that develops skills and continues learning year round.

Leveraging e-learning offers a couple of key benefits. For one, online courses tend to be more affordable than in-house formal training. In addition, online sales training courses are incredibly convenient and easy for your entire team to attend regardless of location. In the new era of remote sales teams, virtual modules and on-demand learning resources have become an essential alternative to in-person training.

Sales Coaching

Sales coaching entails developing and mentoring your salespeople via one-on-one training. Most companies have their sales managers take on the role of sales coach, though paying for third-party consulting services is a popular option as well.

By taking a more one-on-one approach to sales coaching, you can ensure that you’re giving each rep the individual attention they need to excel. According to data from The Center for Sales Strategy, companies with a formal sales coaching process have 91.2% overall quota attainment. That’s compared to 84.7% overall quota attainment for companies with an informal coaching process.

Consider Your Sales Methodology As You Weigh Options

Unfortunately, many sales training programs are built around old school methodologies that remove the human element. You need a program that reflects your selling process and creates plenty of room for new ideas and personalities. These best practices will help you steer clear of rigid sales training programs:

Don’t Pick One That’s Inflexible

If a sales program is built on a methodology that requires strict adherence to its principles, then it may not match what’s best for your team. Since all companies are different, the right sales program is most often one that can be tailored to your company’s unique goals and sales process.

Don’t Pick One That Limits Creativity

Just like companies, all sales reps are different, with varying personalities and ways of communicating. It’s important to choose a program that allows your reps to leverage their own creativity, reinforce their strengths, and be themselves as they strive to close deals. This lets your reps and leaders build true sales instincts, rather than relying on the rulebook for every deal.

Don’t Pick One That’s Too Easy To Implement

An effective sales methodology for your product should take some time to build. You should stress test it against your sales reps to make sure that it actually works and connects. Then, have a pilot team that will serve as an A/B test for the methodology and test it across territories and customer personas over time multiple quarters.

With this in mind, you don’t want to choose a training program that promises lightning-fast results. It should be designed to help you implement and test your sales methodology the proper way.

Ongoing Sales Training Is Important, Here’s Why

According to an Aberdeen survey, only 44% of companies reinforce the content they present in initial educational sessions once training ends. Onboarding sessions and one-off trainings are certainly important, but it’s equally important to provide everyone with ongoing training and reinforce learnings all year long. This ensures your team’s sales skills stay sharp and your business is ahead of the next market shift.

Here are some of the positive impacts of ongoing sales training programs:

  • Accelerates team growth and development: Ongoing sales training strengthens your sales reps’ talents and helps them progress in less time. Not only can this improve quota attainment and overall performance, but it builds confidence and can improve retention by showing your employees that you invest in them.
  • Builds your team faster: Setting up ongoing sales training programs allows you to hire more quickly because you have a career development process ready for your new reps and leaders. In addition to training programs, Sales Assembly’s membership platform offers multiple certifications and onboarding programs to help you scale faster and a large pool of qualified talent you can access.
  • Keeps you up to date with the latest strategies: Finding the most effective sales techniques for your team is a moving target. The fact that sales strategies and even the sales cycle itself are constantly evolving highlights the importance of providing your team members with ongoing training beyond the periodic webinar.
  • Increases job satisfaction rates: According to a survey conducted by Hubspot, 47% of sales reps who rate the training they receive as “always/almost always effective” are satisfied with their jobs. Among those that rate the training they receive as “usually effective,” only 25% are satisfied with their job. Finally, only 14% of those that rate their training as “sometimes/not effective” were satisfied. In other words, ongoing training is also a path to boosting employee satisfaction and retention.

4 Areas to Focus Your Sales Training Program

According to TaskDrive, 26% of sales reps claim that the sales training they receive has little to no effect. Statistics such as these highlight the importance of ensuring your sales training program doesn’t just look purposeful on paper, but actually feels actionable to those who are relying on it. Pay close attention to your training initiatives and their effectiveness in these four areas of your sales organization:

Sales Leadership

It starts at the top. Along with teaching your reps the sales techniques they need to better capitalize on sales opportunities, it’s vital to provide your sales leaders with the training they need to lead the organization. This includes your sales managers, directors, and executives as well.

Sales managers in particular are on the front lines coaching and inspiring reps and dealing with day-to-day obstacles. From teaching strategic decision-making skills to how to best motivate and inspire team members, having a training program for your leaders is worthwhile. You may also want to have your company’s top sales reps attend a sales leadership training program in order to begin cultivating the next generation of sales leaders for your company.

Revenue Operations

Revenue operations (RevOps) is a relatively new department that’s gaining traction among a number of companies, particularly those in the SaaS and B2B space.

RevOps is designed to align a company’s core teams, including marketing, sales, customer success, and product development teams, to maximize revenue growth. It aims to solve the degree of disconnect and siloed information that exists between different teams which make it difficult to work together and achieve common goals.

With that in mind, companies with RevOps professionals can benefit greatly by investing in their training programs. It’s the precursor to a more coordinated, collaborative organization and keeps your company driving toward revenue with the latest RevOps strategies at its disposal.

Sales Enablement

Sales enablement entails providing a sales organization with the information, tools, and content that they need to be successful. While sales training and development is one key element of sales development, providing salespeople with effective tools to utilize throughout the sales process and providing them with compelling content to deliver to their customers are vital elements of sales development as well.

In most cases, effective sales enablement requires ongoing collaboration between a company’s sales and marketing departments. This makes sales enablement a key area to focus on in your sales training initiatives.

BDR/SDR

Although both of these roles tend to be fairly junior, that doesn’t mean there should be less investment in training.

Business development representatives (BDRs) tend to manage outbound lead prospecting and outreach while sales development representatives (SDRs) typically work on appointment setting and qualification for inbound leads. These roles can be switched at some companies, but essentially one is inbound, and one is outbound. Effective sales teams equip both roles with the skills they need to source potential customer relationships and start each sales cycle on the right track.

At Sales Assembly, our industry-leading certification program is designed to cover all of these key areas of focus in addition to teaching your sales reps skills such as how to better manage customer relationships, conduct a compelling sales presentation, navigate the ins and outs of virtual selling in our increasingly digital world, and much more.

Scale Your Sales Team Faster With Sales Assembly

If you’re ready to improve the performance of your team through a better sales training program — whether formal trainings, peer group meetings, online certifications, or effective sales coaching — Sales Assembly can help.

Our unique Scale-as-a-Service membership model provides your organization with the training, peer connections, and resources you need to scale and drive revenue. Contact us today to learn more.

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For more support in Scaling Better, Scaling Faster, and Scaling Smarter, Sales Assembly can help. Contact us for more information.