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Looking to build a world-class sales team that repeatedly closes high-value leads?

Whether you’re recruiting new sales reps or helping current team members with their development, you’ll need to include training as part of their development program.

Related: What is sales enablement?

High-performing sales organizations are twice as likely to provide ongoing training as low-performing ones. However, creating a sales training program can be tough — especially when a superb sales rep has a variety of skills that took years to master.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though.

In this guide, we’re sharing the five characteristics of the best sales training programs. From basic skills to CRM training, your team of reps will be up to speed within no time.

Jump to list of training programs

1. An online portal to store your training content

Training your sales department isn’t a check-the-box activity.

Your training and development program should be consistent — hence why you’ll need an online portal that employees can access at any time.

Our sales enablement software can do this for you. All you’ll need to do is add your training program’s content, customize the interface with your branding, and share the link with your team.

2. Training on basic sales activities

Take note of the tasks your sales team are doing on a daily (or weekly) basis. These are the activities your training program must include, such as:

  • Lead prospecting
  • Writing outreach emails
  • Sending follow-up emails
  • Cold calling
  • Creating proposals
  • Onboarding new customers

It’s easy to glance over training on these activities. You’ve built a team with experience in sales, right? That’s no reason to overlook it — especially when 55% of salespeople lack basic sales skills.

But when you’re delivering training on these skills, it’s important to build a program that teaches them practical skills.

Let’s say you’re training staff on cold calling, for example. If your program includes a Word doc containing tips to have a “good” call, they’ll likely forget it for one reason: It’s boring. However, if you ditch the how-to guide in favor of a workshop where staff handle tricky cold calls, they’re more likely to remember it more.

Remember: People remember 10% of what they hear, yet 90% of what they do.

3. Your company’s goals, values & guidelines

Unfortunately, Wolf of Wall Street-style salespeople have tarnished the reputation of other sales representatives. That means customers are wary of reps, but ensuring your team understands your company’s approach to sales is key.

For example, do you always want to provide value to your customers? Education could be one of your company’s goals, so mention this in your sales training program. Tell your team that they shouldn’t cold call customers out of the blue, and that they should follow-up with people already on your email list, instead.

The best part? It’s easy to do. Simply write-up your company’s:

  • Goals
  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Guidelines

...and store the document in your company’s shared drive.

Not only will it help bring new hires up-to-speed with the way you work, but explaining this way of working will build brand consistency — something proven to increase revenue by 23%, on average.

4. Input from inspirational managers

There are several soft skills your sales team will need to develop in order to close sales. These aren’t measurable skills (like ‘good on the phone’ or ‘computer literate’). Instead, they’re classed as characteristics of a person.

Soft skills could include:

  • Time management
  • Collaboration or teamwork
  • Self-motivation
  • Listening
  • Empathy
  • Adaptable

Your sales team could develop these soft skills if you include sales training seminars in your program.

For example: Why not invite your CEO, founder, or yourself to plan a presentation for your team? Not only will this approach provide your sales reps with inspiration, but you’ll also help them develop soft skills like listening, trust and emotional intelligence.

5. Sales software training

Your sales team might be able to email every lead that comes through the door. But if they’ve got no way of tracking their leads, it’s likely they’ll lose track of their progress — and fail to convert them.

That’s why your sales program should include training on your sales software. Regardless of the platform you’re using, sales reps need to know:

  • How to store a lead’s name and contact details
  • How to update a lead’s progress through your funnel
  • How to add dates for when they last contacted a lead

How do you deliver CRM training to your sales reps? You’ve got several options.

Firstly, you could record yourself doing the activities above using Loom and share the video in your online portal.

Secondly, CRM tools like HubSpot have training resources available on their website that you can share with their team — like their free lead management segmentation course. This will walk your team through how to do something in the specific platform you’re using.

However, nothing beats hands-on experience, so allow your sales reps time to play around with the software and understand how to use it.

Sales training programs for every level

For Newbies

Learn sales for the first time with the following training programs.

 

1. 21st Century Sales Training for Elite Performance, Brian Tracy

Course Format: Digital

Duration: 12 weeks

Course Dates: Ongoing

Price: $997

Overview: This course goes over a system designed to double your sales in 35 weeks or less. The modules cover topics on how to build your prospecting funnel, build deep trust with your prospects, present your product in an engaging way, handle objections, close the sale and generate repeat business.

2. How to Cold Call and Build New Customers, Dale Carnegie

Course Format: Live online

Duration: 3 hours

Course Dates: Ongoing

Price: $349

Overview: Through this course sales reps learn how to decrease stress from cold-calling, improve their hit ratio and improve their poise and confidence.

3. The Art of Sales: Mastering the Selling Process Specialization, Sales Engine

Course Format: Digital

Duration: 4 months at 3 hours/week

Course Dates: Ongoing

Price: Free ($95 for certificate)

Overview: This specialization includes four courses covering customer segmentation and prospecting, connecting with sales prospects, delivering the sales pitch and closing, and building a toolkit for your sales process.

For SDRs, ADRs and AEs

Whether you’ve hit a slump or are looking to be an even more efficient seller, the following courses will help sales reps develop skills and overcome challenges and fears.

 

1. Inside Sales Training, SalesBuzz

Course Format: Live Online

Duration: 8 weeks

Course Dates: Ongoing

Price: $2,500

Overview: This course caters to reps who are struggling to make quota. It goes over a strategic sales process including creating an opening value statement, handling gatekeepers, asking questions to generate engagement, qualifying prospects, developing presentations skills and handling follow-up calls. The course also offers live role-playing and covers motivation and time management.

2. Be Bold Live Training Session, Jeff Shore

Course Format: Live On-site

Duration: 1 Day

Course Dates: By Appointment

Price: Contact for a quote

Overview: This in-person training with Jeff Shore teaches sales teams how to sell boldly including identifying and embracing fears and providing tools to overcome those fears. The course includes strategy and technique, case studies, practice sessions and personal application.

3. Consultative Selling Training Program, Richardson

Course Format: Digital and On-site

Duration: Varies

Course Dates: Ongoing

Price: Request a quote

Overview: This course focuses on a repeatable process for sales conversations. It covers six critical skills for sellers to create a dialogue that fosters trust, and discusses a model to defuse defensiveness and resolve resistance. The course includes a digital learning platform and offers a one-day workshop.

For Managers and executives

Sales managers need training too, so they can lead their sales reps effectively and develop effective systems and processes. The following sales training programs were developed specifically for sales managers and executives who want to develop their sales coaching abilities.

 

1. Sales Strategy for Management, Marc Wayshak

Course Format: Live On-site

Duration: 1 Day

Course Dates: By Appointment

Price: Request a quote

Overview: This course covers how to attract and hire A-level salespeople, close deals with greater frequency, increase prospecting output and develop key accountability metrics.

2. Online Leadership & Management Courses, Sandler

Course Format: Online

Duration: Varies

Course Dates: Ongoing

Price: $50-$200

Overview: Sandler offers several sales leadership courses including sales accountability, leading the next generation and Sandler rules for sales leaders. The courses provide instruction on hiring, communicating with younger workers, developing accountability ladders and avoiding organizational blind spots.

3. Sales Leaders Coaching Program, Score More Sales

Course Format: Live online or in-person

Duration: Varies

Course Dates: By appointment

Price: Request a quote

Overview: This session teaches sales leaders how to inspire sales reps, hire great team members,and develop time management and communication skills.

Is your sales training program working?

Don’t fall into the trap of building a sales program and letting it fall to the bottom of your priority list. You’ll need to constantly check whether your sales program is working — especially when 84% of all sales training is lost after 90 days.

Evaluate whether your sales training program is effective by measuring your team’s activity. This could be in the form of:

  • Percentage of leads they close
  • Sales to date
  • Revenue generated

Take a look at the figures for staff who took your training program. Have they improved since they took the program?

For example: If your team previously closed 30% of leads but now secure 65% after taking the training, it’s safe to say it’s a success. But if their close rate is stagnant, try to rework your sales training program to build their skills further.

You might need to include more content, alter the delivery format, or expand on certain topics.

Simply asking for feedback from staff who have taken the program is a great starting point for improvement.

Key takeaways

Are you ready to deliver a sales training program that helps your staff generate (and close) hundreds of new leads?

Remember to be consistent, teach basic skills, and involve company leaders to inspire your team. By building a training program that includes these five things, you can efficiently develop a team of excellent salespeople.

Sales collateral, elevated: Learn how Lucidpress can streamline the sales process for your team while building a strong brand.

Lucidpress - sales enablement software

Author Bio

Elise Dopson is a freelance B2B blogger based in Manchester, UK. She specializes in long-form, data-driven blog content for marketing and SaaS companies.