3 years ago
January 7, 2015

3 of the Biggest Sales Training Trends

In this article, we’ll discuss three of sales training trends that you and your team should be paying attention to.

Rhys Metler

Good sales training leads to good sales people. Good sales people lead to more profit. In many ways, the quality of your training and coaching methods matters more to the bottom line of your company than the raw talent of your sales staff–a genius means nothing if he or she is using that talent the wrong way. With the sales industry evolving so rapidly in recent years, it can be difficult to keep abreast of all the sales training trends, good and bad, and apply them to your team. In this article, we’ll discuss three of those sales training trends–the sales training trends you and your team should be paying attention to, if you want to see what your sales force is really capable of with the right learning regimen.

Role Playing

This isn’t one of the newest sales training trends, but it’s seen a resurgence and continues to be one of the biggest and most important. The problem with role playing lay in how you apply it–far too many sales teams go through the motions but don’t implement common sense measures and savvy approaches to get the most from it.

Role-playing should start with the basics. Your team members should be going through their process with little or no objections and not much in the way of improvisation from the stand-in ‘prospect’. This helps the trainee ingrain the process and do it without thinking–you want the basics to be instinct, so they can stay calm and deliver their pitch when they need to.

At a more advanced level, you can have your agents and ‘prospects’ experiment with more objections, alternative approaches, and other ‘messy’ sales. You should also be changing partners regularly throughout and role-playing exercise, as you want sales people who can ‘sell to anyone’ not ‘sell to Jim’.

One-on-One Coaching

As more and more research points to the benefits of one-on-one sales coaching, it’s become one of the biggest sales training trends. It should definitely be on every sales team manager’s list of activities. Sales is an ego-driven, highly personal field. That means the solutions to problems rarely lay at the macro level; most of the time, if your team is struggling, there are individuals with individual problems, not a general team problem with a general team solution.

Keep track of individuals. Figure out their strengths, their weaknesses, and the best ways to motivate them. Hard and soft data both matter for sales efficiency–a bad attitude with coworkers might be a clue to bad sales, if that attitude shows up when dealing ‘hard’ prospects, for example. This meshes well with the other sales training trends, too.

Metrics-Based Approaches

One of the fastest growing sales training trends is the practical application of the myriad metrics modern software can collect. CRM software, web analytics programs, and many other tools can be used to give extremely detailed information on your sales people. Compared to the metrics solutions of yesteryear, todays are much more granular and offer insight that is far more useful.

If you can see clearly that a high percentage of sales attempts fail on a particular step, you can easily move to improve that specific area of your teams’ technique. This also influences the way the other two sales training trends we’ve discussed are applied today. You can offer individuals far more personally relevant information if you can see hard data on their strengths and weaknesses on a weekly or even daily basis.

A Final Reminder About Sales Training Trends

Reading about and applying sales training trends to your sales team curriculum can provide amazing boosts to productivity–just be sure you don’t get too caught up in ‘sales training trends’ and miss out on the ‘sales training basics’. Make sure your sales people know the teams’ basic process, know the product or service they’re selling backwards and forwards, and know how to maintain composure under pressure.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.