Every company wants its salespeople to be well-trained. After all, better-trained salespeople mean higher quality products and services, which leads to happier customers and increased sales. But with the training costs averaging $1,459 per salesperson, it’s important to ensure that your training budget is being spent in the most effective way possible. Here are four tips for getting the most out of your training budget.
- Prioritize Your Training Goals
The first step in making the most of your training budget is prioritizing your training goals. What skills do you want your employees to learn? What knowledge do they need to be able to do their jobs effectively? Once you’ve identified your goals, you can create a training plan to help your employees achieve them.
- Invest in eLearning Programs
eLearning programs are a great way to train your employees without breaking the bank. Many different eLearning platforms are available, so you can find one that fits your company’s needs and budget. Plus, with eLearning, your employees can complete their training at their own pace and on their own time, which means they’re less likely to get overwhelmed or frustrated.
- Use Technology to Your Advantage
Many types of technology can be used for training, from virtual reality simulations to online learning portals. By taking advantage of the latest technology, you can create a more immersive and effective training experience for your employees. Plus, using technology for training can help you save money by eliminating the need for travel and lodging expenses.
- Consider External Training Programs
If you’re looking for more comprehensive or specialized training than what you can provide internally, consider partnering with an external training provider. These companies have the resources and expertise to develop custom training programs that meet your specific needs. And while external training programs can be more expensive than other options, they can also be more effective in helping your employees achieve their goals.
External training providers also offer the added benefit of scaling up or down as needed, which can help you save money in the long run.
To increase retention and effectiveness, companies should offer reps additional training at times of need, provide them with access to supplemental material that reinforces what they’ve already been taught, and allow them opportunities to practice their skills in time frames connected to actual buying processes. They can do so by using the same technologies that are “disrupting” their customer-contact activities: videos and mobile apps that reps can view on their devices before, during, and after training initiatives.
Role-Playing: The Secret to Sales Training Success
There’s one secret ingredient that can make all the difference: role-playing. Role-playing allows trainees to practice their new skills in a low-stakes environment by simulating real-world sales scenarios. Not only that, but role-playing also helps trainees to better understand their customers’ needs and how to best meet them. As a result, role-playing is essential to any successful sales training program.
Why Role-Playing Works
Role-playing is an incredibly effective tool for sales training because it allows trainees to put their new skills into practice. In a role-playing exercise, trainees are placed in simulated sales situations and must use what they’ve learned to succeed. This not only allows trainees to get a feel for using their new skills in the real world but it also helps them identify areas where they need further training. Additionally, trainees are more likely to retain the information they’ve learned by seeing firsthand how their newly learned skills can be applied.
Role-Playing Helps Trainees Understand Customers’ Needs
To be successful in sales, it’s essential that trainees understand their customers’ needs. However, it can be difficult for trainees to understand customer needs if they’ve never been in a sales situation before. This is where role-playing comes in. By putting trainees in simulated sales situations, role-playing allows them to experience firsthand what it’s like to interact with customers and understand their needs. Additionally, by allowing trainees to try out different approaches, role-playing can help them determine which approach is most effective for meeting customer needs.
Role-Playing Builds Confidence
Another benefit of role-playing is that it helps build confidence. Sales can be daunting for anyone, especially if you’re new to the job. Role-playing allows trainees to build their confidence by practicing their sales skills in a safe and controlled environment. Additionally, role-playing allows trainees to get feedback from trainers and other participants to improve their performance and build up even more confidence.
Role-playing is essential to any successful sales training program because it allows trainees to put their new skills into practice in a low-stakes environment. Additionally, role-playing helps trainees understand customer needs and build confidence. If you’re looking for a way to improve your sales training program, then consider incorporating role-playing into your curriculum.
Constant monitoring drives best practices
In order for reps to develop new behavioral skills, they must practice a behavior multiple times before it becomes comfortable and effective. And it has to be related to a relevant task. If salespeople are motivated by a deal, they’ll be more incentivized to learn. In other words, for training to be effective, you’ll need to deliver the content at a time of need.
Technology can help make this happen, allowing reps to continuously learn from mobile content that is customized to their needs. When combined with traditional training, this approach helps reps turn product, market, and selling factoids into coherent narratives and behavioral models.
For example, Pacific Life Insurance Company, which sells insurance, retirement products, and mutual funds to financial advisors via its field wholesalers, uses video coaching. This allows its wholesalers to record their practice pitches and share them with their regional sales managers (RSMs), who give feedback from their mobile devices when and where reps need it. This helps Pacific Life leverage its scarcest resource: face time with advisers.
Additionally, each wholesaler must articulate a positioning statement for a particular investment product via a five-minute video. Regional sales managers then select the best videos and use them as examples of engaging sales presentations. This helps the wholesalers refine, rather than improvise, their presentations, establish best practices, and create consistency. It also builds confidence in reps, increases their competency, and establishes a continuous improvement process.
Spending on sales training is an important investment for any company. By following these tips, you can ensure that your training budget is being spent in the most effective way possible. Prioritizing your goals, investing in eLearning programs, using technology to your advantage, and considering external training providers are great ways to get the most out of your investment and ensure that your employees get the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. Constant role-playing and monitoring can make best practices second nature in your sales team’s daily activities.