Investing time, money and other resources in a sales initiative often means there are high expections for measurable results. Below are some best practices for generating the best results from your sales training initiatives.
Know Your Needs
Just as your reps match solutions to buyer needs, your sales training techniques must match the needs of your team. Determine the areas where you need to make the biggest impact and align your training accordingly. While you may need to cut your time-to-close, for example, you can't hold a rep session and tell them to move deals through the sales process faster. Pinpoint what's causing the long sales cycles. Is it reps not getting high enough in an organization? Is it an inabilty to sell on value? To truly drive change, you need to focus on the source of the problem, not the outcome. Fix the root of the issue and the results will come.
Provide the How
You can’t give people direction without ensuring they know how to execute that direction and drive sales results. When revenue is suffering, it's easy to go into reactionary mode with your training. Those techniques will never work without a plan to shift mindset, develop a process and provide tools and content to execute. It’s always about the how. You can’t shout at the scoreboard without understanding the process that got you there. Telling your reps to sell more, without telling them how to do it won’t increase sales. There’s a reason you missed the number and it’s likely skill. Focus your training on providing the how.
Develop the Plan for Reinforcement
Reinforcement and measurement are key components to any sales transformation initiative. If you begin a sales initiative without setting organizational priorities and accountability, you’ll struggle to create lasting impact.
To maximize your sales transformation, ensure adoption by setting your front-line managers up for success. Drive reinforcement by giving them the tools to inspect and reinforce their teams. A management inspection process that’s baked into the sales methodology is a critical component to the success of any sales initiative. Consider these essential questions:
- How are the project outcomes integrated into the management cadence of your front-line managers?
- How are managers enabled to reinforce, inspect, coach new processes?
- How are your managers gathering and documenting success stories?
- How are they celebrating those who succeed among your team?
WIthout a plan for reinforcement, your investment will never achieve the ROI that you're looking to achieve.