sales training course

The Definitive Guide to Sales Training

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We’ve written this guide based on the most common questions we are asked by companies considering purchasing Sales Training, those who have bought sales training from us, and those who are considering implementing their own sales training programmes.

Our goal is to give you as much information as possible to make an educated decision on Training for you and your business.

If there are any questions we have missed then please leave a comment below and we will add them in for future visitors.

Sometimes the answers to these questions may lead to other questions which are unique to your situation and if that’s the case you can reach us via the contact page.

Best Online Sales Training Courses
Best Online Training Courses

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1. Sales Training Prices

How much does Sales Training Cost?

The biggest influence on training costs are the way that the training course or content is delivered. Free sales training is available by reading books and some online courses. Paid training in most cases involves facilitator-led sessions and costs between £450 per person for a one day course, up to circa £10,000 per person for 12 month programmes.

We have an open and transparent pricing policy and you can view the prices of all our sales training programmes.

Larger organisations can make savings by volume purchasing and Facilitator costs are between £3,500 and £15,000 per day, however, in most cases they will restrict class sizes to circa 15 to maintain a good learning environment.

As most companies move away from Impact Training (one-day events with no follow up) more and more companies are adopting a longer-term approach to developing their salespeople and using regular weekly and monthly sales training and coaching sessions.

Is Sales Training Effective?

The level of effectiveness of training is directly linked to the time spent designing the training programme, measuring the outputs of the sales training, and lastly following through on the training to ensure it is embedded in the organisation moving forward.

As a minimum, the follow-through would include sales coaching but may include further training and personal development.

If you consider the Sales Reps are in effect learning new skills for life as long as the training is relevant, well delivered and receives follow through training easily delivers a strong ROI.

Sales Training - Choose Growing
Choose Growing

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2. Designing Sales Training Programmes

What is Sales Training?

Sales Training refers to the process of teaching and developing salespeople on how to sell more effectively. Training may include both the theoretical and practical skills required to be effective in sales.

Sales Effectiveness can be measured in many different ways, however, the main KPI’s may include Total Sales, Cost of Sales, Sales Margins, Sales Conversion ratios, Length of Sales Cycle and Lifetime Customer Value.

Training may include Skills Training which can also be referred to as Sales Competencies or Learning Competencies. These refer to the practical activities that salespeople undertake on a regular basis. This could include skills such as Prospecting, Rapport Building, Active Listening, Questioning & Planning.

What is a Sales Training programme?

A Training programme is typically a long term learning and development programme lasting for between 6 months and a year, whereas a Training course would normally be held over 1 or two days.

Training programmes often include a number of sales training courses that form part of the wider training programme.

What is a Sales Training process?

A Training process is a step by step programme that would take a Salesperson through the different areas of sales that they need to develop and improve.

An example of this would be when a new person joins a company they will go through a Sales Training Process that may include training on the company’s history, products and services, target markets, case studies, skills training and sales management training.

The sales training process often needs to be flexible to allow learners to join at different points in the process and allow them to progress at different speeds which is called self-paced learning.

What Sales Training ideas do you have?

All Training should be needs-based, meaning that the topics or ideas should be driven by the needs of the salespeople and the business. These training needs are often found by studying the sales data, analytics, industry trends or the future needs of the business if there is a change in sales strategy.

Training ideas are the start of the learning process as they need to be developed into structured programmes with learning objectives and learning outcomes that can be assessed and measured.

If the Training is not needs-based then there is a real danger that the training will have no relevance to the Salespeople. When this happens learners switch off and even important components within the training are missed.

How do I create a Training curriculum?

A Training curriculum will vary dependent on the course design and learning objectives.

We recommend:
1. Identifying the Sales Competencies required for success in the Sales role from a business perspective 
2. Identify the sales competencies that make your Top sales performers stand out
3. Prioritise the competencies based on your KPI’s for success
4. Understand what Best Practice is for each Competency in your organisation and document it
5. Create appropriate learning content with learning objectives and measurable outcomes
6. Train Salespeople on the Sales Competencies and measure the outcomes
7. Use Sales Managers and Top Performers for follow-through coaching that reinforces the training.
8. Link financial rewards to learning goals as much as revenue goals

What Training Competencies should I consider?

Historically training was delivered via 1 and 2-day courses however as training itself has developed more and more organisations break down their training needs into Competencies. We group these competencies into the four main areas of sales performance which are:
1. Finding new customers
Why Prospects Buy, How to target prospect, Making Cold Calls to Prospect, How to Uncover Business Pain, Uncovering Where Prospects See Value, Using Social Media to Sell, Building a Personal Brand, Qualifying Sales Tenders, Listening Skills

2. Closing new customers
Building Trust, Consultative Selling Skills, Handling Stalls & Objection, Maintaining Sales Pipelines, Differentiating your Products and Services, How to Beat your Competition, Selling Value Not Price

3. Growing existing customer revenues and

Selling through Customer Service, Key Account skills, Maximising Meetings with Prospects, Preparing for Sales Negotiation

4. Development or Learning Goals

Managing Personal Time, Improving Self Performance,  Understanding Human Behaviour, Leading Others, Coaching and mentoring, Mindset

The relevance of each Sales Competency can be different from one business to another and one industry to another however the main competencies we work with are

Will you help us design our own Bespoke Sales Training programme?

Yes. We can work with you to co-create your own learning programmes and content. Depending where you are in the design process this takes anything from 2 weeks to 2 months.

Who needs Sales Training?

Many different groups of people need sales training, however, the most common groups include Graduates, People transitioning to Sales from another position, Salespeople looking to develop their careers, Entrepreneurs, Consultants and Engineers.

In reality, anyone who has contact with customers, whether that be via chat, phone or face to face can benefit from Training. More and more companies are asking for formal training as part of the interview process, as they only want to hire new salespeople who can hit the ground running so to speak.

Changes in Buyer behaviour means that where previously customers were served by humans either face to face or telephone are now purchasing the same products and services by shopping carts online. If anyone in Sales wants to future proof their career they should invest continuously in themselves.

Do you provide Learning Management Systems?

Yes. Learning Management systems (LMS) are online software applications that provide the end to end management of the learning and development of your sales team.

There are many LMS applications to choose from that have different features and if you have specific requirements you will need to undertake some research. For most companies over 80% of their LMS requirements can be met with Microsoft applications that they are already paying for.

We use MS Teams as the base platform which we customise to include Needs Analysis, Sales Playbooks, Training Courses, Learning Assessments, Coaching Programmes and Content Management Systems.

What Different Sales Training methods are available?

There are 4 main training methods that companies are using as follows:
1. Self Study. As a training method self-study is difficult to measure in terms of effectiveness. Without any design or structure or support there will be a limit to how effective this method is however all training and learning is good training so this should not be discounted.

2. Role Play. This is not always popular, however, when Roleplay sessions are designed and conducted well they are not only very powerful, they are also enjoyable for the participants. Roleplay continues to be the most effective way to build the muscle memory required to make real changes in sales behaviour.

3. Observation. Many companies monitor and record telephone calls to ensure Salespeople are following their sales process and complying with any regulatory requirements. For Field Sales Teams “ride-alongs” whereby a Sales Manager or Sales Mentor accompanies a Sales Rep to observe and provide feedback.

4. Workshops. Sales Workshops are a great way to facilitate peer learning amongst your Sales Team however their success lies in the design and facilitation of each session. Workshops are usually focussed around a single topic and would last between 1 hour and 1 day.
Training Courses. Despite the move away from Impact Training, Sales Training courses are still a powerful sales training method. In most cases training courses are now highly interactive, activity-based sessions that engage and inspire learners.

5. Self-Directed Sales Training. When people have ownership of anything they tend to have a higher rate of engagement so allowing Sales Teams to Self Direct and in effect choose their own training can be very powerful. In order to be effective Self Directed training needs to have a framework that guides and challenges learners.
Sales Playbooks. Sales Playbooks are digital repositories that contain everything on how and organisation sells. The “Books” are divided into chapters that contain different information such as products and services, sales plays, the companys sales process, product and service information, technical data, case studies and testimonials. Playbooks are great tools that every organisation should have.

Consultative Sales Process
Consultative Sales Process

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3. Types of Sales Training Available

What types of Training programmes do you offer?

There are many different types of Training Programmes however most training programmes are categorised by course delivery type:

1. Online via our Learning Portal
2. Open Courses, where anyone can attend from any company
3. In-house Courses where we deliver courses exclusively for one organisation
4. Bespoke Sales Training programmes where we co-create learning content with you

Once you have chosen your course delivery type sales training programmes are further categorised by their content:
Product Training & Sales Skills Training.

In terms of Sales Skills Training the most popular skills bases sales training programmes are:
1. Telephone Sales Skills
2. Key Account Management Training
3. Consultative Selling Skills Training
4. Sales Management Training

Many Training programmes now include an element of Sales Coaching to ensure follow-through which makes every training programme more effective.

Do you provide Online Sales Training?

Online training has become more and more popular and now nearly every organisation delivers part of their training online.

The most common area for this is the adoption of online training as part of a Sales Enablement system which are one-stop repositories for everything connected to sales inside an organisation.

Online Training is also widely used for onboarding new salespeople, both graduates and experienced salespeople as it allows them to quickly learn the fundamentals of selling within that organisation without tying up more senior salespeople to deliver this.

We provide Online Training both as a stand alone service and to compliment and support our face to face delivery. Our training programmes are delivered via Microsoft Teams and prices start at £97 + VAT

Do you provide Training courses for beginners?

There are numerous options for training courses for beginners with most companies having their own in house onboarding programmes. In addition, there are many sales training courses for beginners available online, however, online learning for sales does have it’s limitations.

You can’t teach someone how to make a pot without at some stage, them getting their hands dirty and practising on a pottery wheel. Selling is a hands-on activity that needs to be learned on the job.

Do you provide Sales Training Videos?

Yes all our online training courses include raining videos which are a great learning tool to complement and support a training programme.

They are especially helpful for Remote training and coaching and really lend themselves to product, process and technical training. Whilst it is possible to use video for Skills training it can be difficult to include every context and therefore needs to be used as part of a wider blended learning programme.

Do you provide Sales Webinars?

Yes. We run monthly Training webinars for our customers as a way to reinforce our Training access our Sales Trainers from anywhere in the world.

Our webinars include the facility to ask the presenters questions and in most cases these webinars can be recorded and accessed offline.

These can form the basis of a lunch and learn where you need to stimulate a conversation around a particular sales topic.

Do you provide PPT (PowerPoint) presentations on your Training?

No. We do use PPT, however, our sales trainers only use them as a way to support our blended learning process.

Blended learning is an approach to training that includes a mix of different content such as Training PPT’s and quizzes, worksheets, templates, guides and most importantly, activities and interactions with the sales trainer and their peer group.

Furthermore, studies have shown that people learn and retain knowledge and skills more by doing than training. This is more relevant in Sales than most other topics.

Do you provide post course support for Training?

Yes. We use our online learning portal to engage with your salespeople before the training to ensure we include and specific content they need. After training our participants have access to the portal for a further 12 months to ensure they get the support they need.

Do you provide Sales Coaching?

Yes. We have a range of sales coaching programmes available for Salespeople and Sales Leaders.

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Author Bio

Iain Swanston has spent over 30 years in B2B sales selling, training and leading teams both domestically and internationally.  In addition he serves as an Associate at Strathclyde University Business School where he has delivered the sales content for the Masters in Entrepreneurship since 2015.

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