How to assemble a sales training: is it necessary to put on a show?

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Who has never attended a sales training or motivational talk and – despite a lot of glamour, laughter and a charismatic speaker – felt they didn’t learn anything really effective for their role?

In fact, as good a speaker as you are (and there are excellent ones on the market), if the topic of the talk isn’t really useful to the company or that sales force, the effects of the training may not be exactly what you’d expect.

Therefore, if you want to know how to set up sales training, the first step is to identify which skills and competencies your team needs to improve.

In addition, several other points need to be defined, such as training format (online or face-to-face?) and duration.

So, to help you know how to set up sales training, we’ve selected some steps you should go through and, in addition, we’ll present a testimonial by Julio Paulillo, CMO at Agendor, with some tips on how he conducts sales training in the Scheduler.

Before proceeding, how about taking a look at this slideshow created by the Agendar team, with tips on how to choose a good sales training?

How to set up sales training?

To make your life easier at this time, we’ve defined 5 main questions you need to answer if you really want to know how to set up sales training:

  1. What does my team need to learn?
  2. How much time do we have available and how much is needed?
  3. What is the training format?
  4. Are we going to need people from outside the company?
  5. How to train new salespeople?

Here’s how to answer each of these questions:

1- What does my team need to learn?

A very practical way of defining what the training topics will be and putting together a  matrix of competencies and skills .

First, you must define what competencies your team needs to perform their sales role well.

Let’s say you define topics such as: negotiation, closing tactics, sales techniques and organization at work, among others.

Next, you must put the name of each employee in the company in the rows in a spreadsheet.

In the columns on the side, put the defined competences and abilities and indicate which employees have already mastered these abilities and competences and which ones need to develop or improve them.

This way, you will be able to define which contents are priority and need to be trained as soon as possible.

Remember that even those who have already mastered a skill or competences can also update themselves on them and, thus, participate in the training together with their colleagues.

2- How much time do we have available and how much is needed?

Once you’ve defined which competencies and skills need to be part of the training, it’s easier to define how long it will take.

A training can be a one-off event in an afternoon, a series of classes or lectures that last a week or even months, a weekend at a farm hotel…

Everything will depend on the objective and the amount of content to be taught.

Therefore, it is necessary to very well measure how much time of your employees can be allocated to training without harming their performance as salespeople.

But this cannot be used as an excuse for not training. They have to happen!

The following question can help answer that. The ideal is to answer them together.

3- What is the training format?

Anyone who wants to learn how to set up sales training must be open to different formats and solutions.

There are in-person and online training. That’s the first difference.

The advantage of online is that, in many cases, the employee can take the training at the time and place they want.

On the other hand, group interaction is impaired.

There are several ways and activities that can be part of training, see some of them:

  • Classroom lessons
  • Lectures (different from classes, they are more expository)
  • Live Online Classes
  • Online recorded courses + exercises and other materials
  • Group dynamics
  • business games
  • debates

If you are going to set up a whole day training, for example, you can mix different modalities.

There are companies that offer a training schedule, with several courses, many of them online, they are called “corporate universities”.

We’ve already published several posts on our blog that can help anyone who wants to know how to set up a sales training.

how to set up sales training

4- Will we need people from outside the company?

It is very common to call speakers from outside the company for training.

But this is not mandatory. At a year-end event at a sales convention, it might be cool, but in the day-to-day business, it has to be arranged differently.

It is still possible to opt for a mixed solution, with instructors from the company itself and some external professors, but not necessarily those “star speakers”.

5- How to train new salespeople?

Soon after hiring a new salesperson, it is common for many companies to start an intensive training process, guiding the new employee about the commercial routine and the sales pitch adopted.

But is this the right time for this?

During the first week, all employees, regardless of their scope of work, go through a period that is called onboarding.

Onboarding is nothing more than a process for integrating employees. In this phase, a series of tasks are proposed to the new team member that will allow them to have a deeper understanding of the product and how each of the areas of the company are related.

Only then will the new salesperson be able to receive training unique to their area. From there, the objective of the Agent is to ensure that he is able to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to perform his role.

“For this purpose, we adhere to the principles of Sales Enablement”, adds Julio.

Sales Enablement is characterized as a continuous process, where the company seeks to offer the sales team all the content, guidance and tools so that each salesperson can be in constant evolution.

In this scenario, two questions are fundamental:

  1. Ensure sellers are fully aware of and fully committed to the business process.
  2. Build a culture of alignment among the entire procurement team (which includes both salespeople and the marketing department).

“Furthermore, we also believe that closer monitoring is essential for the development of new salespeople”, emphasizes the CMO of Agendor.

“That’s why we hold periodic feedback meetings, where the manager and salesperson can talk openly about points for improvement, as well as positive aspects identified throughout the training cycle”

Yes, there is no way to set up a sales training without first doing this onboarding process commented on by Júlio.

Training without context will hardly bring good results.