Leadership, Sales Management

5 Things I got my sales reps to do that I wish I hadn’t

I’ve been managing sales teams for 15 years so this definitely isn’t an exhaustive list of ‘if only’s’. But maybe this post will make you smile and reassure you that you weren’t alone in making mistakes, maybe you’re an aspiring sales manager or new to sales leadership and would like some advice, either way, I hope this is useful to you.

Roles plays. I hate them, I don’t know why I made my team do them

I’m sure in a few years we will look back and think why did we use sales role plays “that was weird”. We are not actors, we are sales professionals,  so why would we expect to be good at this. To start with it’s  really hard to replicate a real life situation and I’ve definitely added to the weirdness by throwing the camcorder into the mix ( I cringe as I write this).  It just creates a high pressured and unnatural environment which doesn’t add up to a great training experience for your sales rep. There’s no better way to learn than by shadowing real-life sales calls and pitches. My advice for new starters is to shadow and then work with another member of the team to deliver parts of the pitch. Start small, maybe its 20% of the pitch or maybe it’s just one of your products. As their confidence grows add additional parts until they are delivering the whole pitch.

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Sales Management, Sales Training

6 Ideas to improve sales training on zero budget

I read an article this week that claims 96% of sales professionals say sales training needs improving. That’s easier said than done.  Sales training can be highly expensive. It’s expensive in terms of time for sales managers to deliver it internally and it’s expensive if you hire a consultant externally. It inspired me to think about how I’ve trained my sales teams in the past that can be easily embedded into your sales team structure. So here are 6 ways you can train your team without having to secure a fat training budget.

Buddy up on sales pitches

The article showed that 65% of sales people believe advice from peers is more effective than company run training. So do a quick assessment of your team in terms of strengths and areas for development. Partner up your team accordingly and set a goal to shadow 3 sales pitches each in the next month. Create an expectation that shadowing sales reps should look for opportunities to improve their own skill from what went well and create a guide for giving feedback on areas that could be developed.  It’s a win-win for both reps.

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