The Ultimate Guide to
Bespoke Sales Training
Table of Contents
- Bespoke Sales Training Courses
- Types of Sales Training Content You Should Consider
- Bespoke Sales Training and Marketing Support
- Bespoke Sales Training Event
- Pre-Event Training Checklist
- Promoting Your Training Event
- Bespoke Sales Training Programmes
- Sales Training Reviews
- Recommended Sales Tools
1. Bespoke Sales Training Courses
Bespoke Sales Training has many different applications where generic sales training is not suitable and wouldn’t achieve the goals of the stakeholders. Whilst every event is different, here are the most common scenarios where companies require a bespoke training programme.
What does bespoke training mean? Bespoke training is where a training course is either created or customised so that it matches the needs of the business and attendees versus a generic programme which is a standard material provided for many companies. Bespoke training typically delivers a better user experience and a higher return on investment.
1.1 Short High Impact Solutions
These tend to be 1 or 2 day events where Salespeople have come together from different locations.
- New Product or Service Launch
- Relaunch a Product or Service
- Launch a New Business Quarter
- New Global Sales Campaign
- Kickstart a Tired Sales Team
- Support a New Sales Strategy
- Reinforce a Sales Conference Theme
- Support a Sales Offsite
- Provide Content for Conference Breakout Sessions
- Provided Targeted Sales Support
1.2 Long Term Bespoke Sales Training Programmes
These programmes are long term learning and development solutions that are usually tied into the companies Sales Growth Strategy.
These programmes will last a minimum of 6 months, but often are ongoing and are designed to meet long term business goals.
Most clients interested in bespoke training want to learn more about our Enterprise Sales Training.
2. Types of Sales Training Content You Should Consider
We are happy to help you design the overall programme, however, from previous experience we recommend breaking the training content into the four main areas of sales training as follows:
- Product, market and industry training.
This content would focus on the product or service and may include topics such as Value Proposition, Product Market Fit, Competitor Analysis, Specifications, Features & Benefits, Pricing, Go to Market plans, Campaign details and selling across different industries.
- Technical Sales Training
This would cover training specific to selling the product/service such as Prospect Profiles, Prospect Pains & Gains, Lead Generation, Selling Skills, Sales Process, Stalls & Objection Handling, Sales Negotiation, Questioning Funnels and Calls to action, Case Studies, Role Play & Customer Stories.
- Action Planning
This is what we want your sales professionals to go out and do after the training so should cover the planning, goals and activity that we want the sales team to do after the event.
- Conceptual Sales Training
This content would be dedicated to removing and fear or self doubt and should be inspiring, motivating and engaging so that the team go out and sell their socks off. For would normally be the last session of the event but can be split.
3. Bespoke Sales Training and Marketing Support
In every organisation where possible Sales & Marketing should work together and we recommend this for any bespoke training programmes. The role of marketing in any business is to create new leads and reduce the “friction” which makes it easier for salespeople to sell when they get in front of a prospect. With that in mind we recommend that:
- The Marketing Department deliver a presentation on what campaigns they are doing to support the Bespoke Training and generate leads.
- Provide any relevant content and sales tools that are ready for support such as launch material, flyers, giveaways.
- Provide a Roadmap on future campaigns that will keep the initiative in front of mind for your prospects.
4. Running Sales Training Events
We’ve listed below the outline steps in our own Planning Template that we use to run bespoke training courses and you can use this whether you choose to work with Klozers or not. The Planning tool is available for download via the Sales Tools page.
|Give the Event an Inspiring and Engaging name or Theme and describe the purpose ie New Product Launch of XYZ Sales Campaign.|
|This could be the company’s own name, an outside sponsor or a senior stakeholder for the event.|
|List all the people in the events team with their roles and contact details.|
|The event will need a budget and you should discuss this with the senior stakeholders as soon as possible.|
|If you can’t pick a date because you are waiting on a venue confirming availability then start with an estimate.|
|List the start and finish time for guests but also include the set up and breakdown time for the event.|
|Remember you will want to create a good learning environment so make sure the venue is the best you can afford and the room is big enough so that delegates are not cramped. If you are using a Hotel as a rule of thumb take the numbers they say a room will hold and reduce it by 25% to avoid overcrowding.|
|Accommodation||If attendees or speakers are traveling to the venue you will need to arrange accommodation. Try and keep everyone at the same location to avoid splintering the group.|
Learning Objectives Overview
| Describe the event and the Learning Objectives. For example: |
After attending attendees with be able to use advanced questioning techniques to uncover the top 3 business pains our solution fixes.
After attending attendees will be able to identify who in their existing customer set is most likely to buy our new widget and how to approach them.
After attending attendees will leave with a 90 Day action plan that they will follow to ensure they undertake the activity the business requires.
Learning Goals are important because they will help you demonstrate and measure the ROI of your event.
Draft Agenda for the Day
|Create a draft timetable to share with the team and any external stakeholders.|
Event Planning Timetable
|This timetable will help you plan what needs to be done and when it should be done by and as an example:|
Event – T-90 Days, Planning complete and Venue, Accommodation and Speakers booked
Event – T-60 days, Landing Page, Learning Objectives Agreed, Content creation started
Event – T-60 days, Promotional Material & Communications plan
Event – T-14 days, Agenda Confirmed, Review of Attendees
Event – T-7 days, Confirm Numbers & Catering
Event +1 Day Post Event follow up
5. Pre-Training Event Planning Checklist
It’s very easy to forget things in the run up to a conference or event so we put together this checklist that we use to make sure we have done everything possible to make the event a success. Please note this checklist is not definitive and you may need to add things on that are relevant for your event.
|PRE-TRAINING EVENT PLANNING|
|Event Planning Checklist Items||Yes||No||Not Required||Comments|
|Have the objectives and goals been identified for the event? Scorecard metrics?|
|Has the agenda for the event been developed with times, speaking slots etc?|
|Have we finalised the presentation, including any content/input from external parties?|
|Where is the shared and secure location for the event PPT / Docs|
|Have the agenda, objective, goals, etc., for the event been communicated to everyone involved?|
|Have we created a list of all internal & external people involved with contact details and shared it?|
|Have the event time and place been communicated to all parties involved?|
|Have we booked a speaker, facilitator and Trainer?|
|Have we booked a room and what size?|
|Have we booked accommodation for everyone?|
|Do we have the contact details including mobile of the room owner?|
|What is the layout of the room eg: conference, classroom, u-shaped, boardroom?|
|Logistics – Have we organized the projector, flipchart, screen and audio?|
|Have we organized catering?|
|Have we organized any handouts?|
6. Post Training Event Follow Up
Arguably the most important part of any training event is the follow up afterwards. It’s important to have the structure in place to record, manage and report on any activity connected to the Learning Goals. In addition you should provide online support via chat, email and conference calls and include dedicated 1-2-1 coaching from Sales Managers at least once every two weeks to reinforce the new sales activities.
- Collect feedback from attendees based on the content, the trainers/facilitators and the learning environment.
- Ensure Line Managers get copies and hold salespeople accountable to their 90 day action plans.
- Record, manage and report on any activity connected to the Learning Goals.
- Provide online access to all event content such as slide decks, promo material and campaign details.
- Provide support and extra help for those struggling to get onboard or not making progress with their action plans.
- Provide internal comms to share good news stories new wins relating to the event.
7. Long Term Sales Training Programmes
As companies grow and move along the Sales Maturity Model there comes a time when they require a full learning & development strategy specific to the Sales function of the business. This is much more than Sales Training and Coaching as it ties into Employee Reviews, Development Plans and the organisations Talent Development programme.
Introducing a Long Term Sales Development plan to any organisation that has never had one will in most cases fail without adopting the principles of change management. Salespeople can be fiercely resistant to change and may derail your programme before it has got off the ground.
Where possible this should be aligned with the wider organisation and follow these 6 steps:
- Set Learning Goals
Based on the objectives laid out in the Sales Strategy the learning goals should match both the objectives and the milestones in the sales plan. For example if the new Sales Strategy requires moving the salespeople away from talking to existing channel partners and focussed on developing larger end user deals they may require support to do this.
If the salespeople have traditionally sold to SMEs and small mid market accounts they may require support if the Sales Strategy requires then to open new Enterprise accounts. Both these scenarios would require the creation of Learning Goals.
- Match Competencies to Learning Goals
Once you understand and have prioritised the learning goals you need to match the sales competencies that would enable the learner to achieve the goals.
Competencies are made up from the crafts, habits, activities, results and expectations. We call this the C.HA.R.G.E. Success Framework and you can download a copy of this tool via the Sales Tools page.
Whilst every item in the C.H.A.R.G.E list is important depending on the competency and context some will be more important than others.
- Benchmark the Sales Team
It’s important to know and understand your starting point so you will need to evaluate the sales team and measure their current competencies. This is often a mixture of objective measurements based on past performance and subjective measurements based on the line managers knowledge of the individuals. Some records may already exist such as HR and employee reviews however in most instances these are not specific enough to sales to be sufficient.
- Create an Organisation Wide Sales Development Programme
Create a tiered programme that all salespeople can work towards in terms of their personal development. The Tiers must be linked to their financial reward such as salary increases, bonuses or commissions. For most organisations we recommend a 5 tier system however this may need refining depending on the size and complexity of the organisation. Once the levels have been set it’s possible to map the goals, competencies and and learning and development needs against this as shown below.
Introduce a fair and objective Scorecard system where employees and managers can track and record sales relevant sales KPI’s. The scorecards should be reviewed weekly and tied into the monthly Performance reviews of the Sales Reps and the Sales Managers.
- Complete Personal Development Plans for Everyone
Personal Development Plans should include personal goals and be reviewed by the Line Manager. Some people will be happy in their existing role and have no desire to progress others will want to progress but need direction.
- Offer Formal Training
Offer training to employees who want to progress, however, for employees who don’t want to progress and don’t want training this can cause a problem as more often than nought these same sales people don’t hit their sales targets and simply stuck in their ways.
These people should have been identified at the start of the project when evaluating your Change Management plan and dealt with.
Allowing these sales reps to go unchecked will derail your programme and their own performance will not improve.
- Create a Coaching Culture
The new ABC of sales is not Always be Closing but Always be Coaching. Introduce a structured Coaching programme starting with the Manager to make sure they know how to coach before rolling this out to the wider team.