A lot goes into training a sales team. You need to hire the right person, train them on the product, process, and how to sell, and get someone who’s outgoing and confident enough to build relationships with people who they’ll probably never meet in person. And that doesn't even mention ongoing training!
It’s a lot to ask.
That’s why today, we’re looking at 7 skills that we think are essential to foster when you’re training your sales team.
When you’re training a sales team, education will likely be the pillar of your business to business sales training program. A good sales team can educate potential customers not only about the products and services they offer but how those products and services will help improve their lives, in one way or another.
When potential customers are faced with a sales call, their first instinct is to adopt an “us vs. them” mindset. This mindset is an obstacle to a sales team because. all of a sudden, there are different sides rather than two people trying to find a better solution.
So when you’re training a sales team, you need to teach them how to foster collaboration and overcome this obstacle. Once potential customers understand your reps are there simply to make their lives better and easier, they’ll start to build stronger relationships with them.
3. Active Listening
Training a sales team isn’t all about selling. A lot of effort should go into how to be empathetic, make connections (more on that in a second) and listen to what prospects are saying.
And the best way to do that is to teach your sales team active listening.
It can’t be stressed enough how important active listening is when it comes to training a sales team to sell. It’s not possible to succeed in sales if you do more talking than listening on a sales call.
To make a sale, your reps first have to listen and understand what potential customers are going through and what problems they’re having. It’s a sales team’s job to take that information and come up with customized solutions.
Most wouldn’t assume creativity is one of the essential selling skills. But it is. No sales rep can excel without being creative since no two sales are the same. It takes a creative mind to create solutions prospects are excited about and want to try. That’s why it’s critical to foster creativity when you’re training a sales team.
Communication is the cornerstone of selling so it should be the cornerstone of your program when you’re training a sales team. A sales team has to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with each other, as well as with potential customers.
They have to be able to get ideas and points across in a pleasing manner while listening to and understanding what the potential customer needs and wants.
6. Fostering personal connections
Potential customers are more likely to buy from a company if they have a personal connection with a member of the sales team. People like to buy from someone they know and trust, and from someone who will help them succeed. So when you’re training a sales team, you need to teach your reps how to foster trust.
This relationship-building is not only an essential skill but a key part of a successful sales culture.
As soon as potential customers realize they are being lied to or misled, all trust that has been made is lost. They will never buy from your company. Honesty is an integral part of the sales process.
Wrap up on training a sales team
Scaling and training a sales team is hard. There are so many processes and systems to put in place, a culture you need to build, not to mention all the hiring that needs to happen. But like anything, getting the fundamentals right will pay dividends in the long term. If you train a sales team of curious, creative, and collaborative sales reps, who relish the opportunity to learn and know how to listen and build a connection, then everything else gets a lot easier.