Developing a training program for sales typically involves defining the desired competencies and then preparing materials to develop those skills and behaviors. Depending on the size of your sales force, you might conduct monthly workshops, host annual events or produce self-paced course materials that help participants enhance their selling skills. Comprehensive sales training programs enable your small business to promote a consistent approach to selling your products and services.
Developing a training program for sales typically begins by defining the skills and knowledge required to sell products and services at your company. For example, the American Society for Training and Development publishes a sales competency model. This includes foundational competencies related to partnering, providing insight, generating solutions and performing effectively. During the analysis phase of your sales training development effort, assess all the people in your sales force to determine their level of competency. To target your efforts, design your training program to address the weaknesses in your sales force, such as handling objections or selling comprehensive solutions.
Designing course materials for a training program for sales usually starts by defining the learning objectives for the program. These objectives should reflect specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-constrained goals. Program goals typically involve increasing productivity, improve morale, reducing turnover, improving customer relations and enhancing selling skills for your products and services. Topics usually include market orientation, company orientation, time and territory management, legal and ethical issues and competitive analysis.
To develop course materials, create presentations and other resources, such as charts and checklists, that help sales people provide potential customers with the critical information about your products. Then, customers can make buying decisions based on how your product is used in solving problems, how your product compares to others based on price, performance, cost of ownership and quality. Sales training development activities also usually include the creation of multiple-choice tests. These ensure that participants can recall and apply their knowledge.
Implementing your training program for sales usually involves training instructors to deliver the course materials. You may use internal resources or hire external trainers. Sales training program agendas typically allow time for role-playing exercises so that participants can practice selling skills, such as making their sales pitch and overcoming objections. For example, conduct role-playing exercises to help participants learn to use open questions when gathering information. After your course is over, evaluate your training program to determine the participator’s reactions, knowledge retention, observable behavior back on the job and impact on operational metrics. By asking participants for their feedback on the training program, you can incorporate their comments into subsequent offerings of your workshops to improve overall effectiveness.
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