Leadership, Sales Management, Sales Productivity, Sales Training

Why your sales training needs to be like your exercise routine

A classic mistake with sales training is to do it every so often like once a month or quarter. You’re too busy trying to hit your  numbers and firefighting that training often gets pushed down the list of priorities until we have an urgent issue.  Most sales training, when conducted this way, is often in the format of a whole day or half day of internal training, consultants or an external trainer. Problem is, training will not have an impact in isolation. Done this way it’s such a small part of your team’s work week, month or year.

Think about training like you would exercise

If you don’t work out regularly you get unfit, fat and out of shape. The same goes for sales training.  You can’t just go do a 10k run or play a match without doing anything for weeks. Sales training needs to be like a successful exercise routine: have a good frequency, be varied and be the right length based on your goals.

To get fit you create a plan to do it.  To train your team  for peak performance, you need to do the same. Here are some simple tips you can use to introduce your new approach to sales training.

Create a training plan.  Start somewhere and commit to it

You cannot wing it each week or it will not happen. Your plan should include scheduled group training as well as individual self-paced training. Create a plan so everyone knows where they stand for the week and the month.  This way your team won’t book calls and other meetings in the slots you create for group training.  You need to nail them down to the time and everyone needs to know it’s Monday at 10 am or Friday at 3 pm, that’s when we do this…or both.  This may sound simple but just having it added to everyone’s calendars will make a huge difference.

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Sales Management, Sales Training

4 reasons why sales training today is broken

How often are you running sales training sessions? Maybe you’re doing it once a month, or once a quarter. Maybe you’re the sales manager leading the training scrambling for content at midnight the night before it kicks off or maybe you’ve hired an expensive consultant. You might feel good being able to tick the box that sales training is complete, but how much did it impact your team?

Because sales training is so infrequent we build up to a one-day training session and dump as much information as we can on our sales teams in 8 hours. Would we dump information on our sales prospect in one meeting then expect them to buy from us?  Of course not, they want information broken down for them at the right times when it’s useful. So why is our sales training treated differently? Here is why I believe sales training is broken in B2B companies today.

Are you using your most valuable training resource?

Common practice is for training to be run by someone who is in a senior role or external with ‘experience’,  but what sales professionals really want to do is learn from people who are doing their job successfully every day. 68% of reps say they would rather learn from their peers than anyone else when training. I’ve found this to be true in my experience. Sales professional crave to learn from someone who is doing the same job as them, who are performing well and achieving results.  That is what inspires them to improve.

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Motivation, Sales Management, Sales Training

Is your new sales rep doomed to failure because of these 3 things?

Whatever defines your sales training program, there’s no question that training a new sales rep takes a huge amount of time. The question is, are there things going on outside of your training program that is going to be holding you and your new sales reps back from success and undoing all your hard work? Find out here:

Don’t allow your new reps to train with sh*t leads

A new rep comes in, they’re learning, so they get given the lowest value leads to start training with. I understand we’ve got to protect this month’s quota. But be mindful of  your definition of ‘low-value leads’.  I’ve seen ‘low value’ in terms of ACV get confused with the leads your sales team find hardest to convert, maybe due to size, sector, buyer etc.  I understand that makes them low value, but is that really where you want your new reps training?  We want our new reps building in confidence every day, it’s so important to their longer term success. I’d argue we want them selling to the best leads, the ones we are guaranteed to win, the ones that will make our news reps feel like they’re sales heroes. Whatever you do,  make sure you are balancing your short term sales goals with the speedy development of your new sales reps who will be helping you achieve the longer term sales goals.

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Feel Good Friday, Motivation

Are you in it for love or money?

I wrote a blog article earlier in the week on improving sales training with zero budget.  I talked about how important it was to love your own product to win business.  I mean really LOVE it, know it inside out, be a customer of your own product.

In the past, I’ve shown this clip to my sales team from Jerry Macquire. Rod Tidwell  can’t get the contract he wants because he’s showing too many signs he’s in it for the money and not in it for the love of the game.  Are you in it for the love of the game? Do you love selling? Do you love what you sell? Love can’t be faked, if you’re not, maybe its time to rethink the game you’re playing. And if that’s just a bit too deep for a Friday, then just watch the clip and enjoy it, it never fails to make me smile.



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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