Here’s the short answer
Why Sales Training is Important. Sales Training is important because sales provides revenue which is the lifeblood of business. A well trained sales team will outsell your competitors and build relationships for future business. We would never hire a Lawyer, Accountant or Trades person if they hadn’t been trained and sales is equally important.
Why Sales Training is Important
Sales training can benefit your business in a myriad of ways. Chances are you have a great deal of competition to gain an edge over, and sales training can help with this.
In many cases products and services can appear similar to customers and often when this happens companies try to compete on price.
Rather than try to compete on price in Business to Business sales people still buy from people so it makes more sense to have a well trained sales force than simply keep discounting your selling price.
Regardless of the advances in technology and social selling B2B sales is still a people to people activity and an experienced sales team can help you develop more leads and convert more prospects into customers.
1. Return on Investment
Businesses across sectors invest vast sums of money into sales training each year, seeing exceptional returns on their investment.
As an example, when a salesperson learns how to sell without discounting their price, they can use this skill for the rest of their career.
Most companies recover the cost of training between 1 month and 6 months after completion. The time is largely dependent on the profitability and volume which is unique to every business.
2. Changes in your Market.
The internet has and continues to create huge changes in the way people and companies buy which makes the continued upskilling of your salespeople more important than ever.
All markets are dynamic by nature and training is an important part of keeping your salespeople up to date.
Changes in technology, legislation, customer needs, all serve to make you and your business less relevant unless you change with them.
Salespeople form a vital conduit between the customer and the business feeding back these changes to the business.
As a simple example, the use of Social Media in selling has now become a critical sales skill in modern selling.
3. Building Brand Loyalty
Most sales professionals will connect with your customers and clients not only on a business level but a personal level too.
They can help you strengthen your credibility and position you in the eyes of your customers as Thought Leaders in your industry.
Sales Training helps your sales team accurately diagnose the root cause of your customers’ business pains and circumstances before offering solutions that match their requirements perfectly.
The better your customer experience is, the more likely it is that those customers will return to you to purchase more products and services, time and time again.
The vast majority of sales decisions are based on how much trust customers have in a brand and salespeople are an extension of your brand.
4. Business Growth
It’s simply impossible to grow any business unless you grow the people in the business. In it’s simplest terms every business has a strategy to grow.
A large part of that strategy will involve sales and unless your salespeople are trained then they may struggle to execute your strategy.
As an example, part of your growth strategy may be to start selling to larger companies. The sales strategy, tactics and skills required for this can be very different from selling to SMEs.
Quality sales training and coaching can give your team the knowledge that they need execute you growth strategy and take your business to the next level.
Technological advancements mean companies now need to do so much more to engage with their customers than before across multiple platforms.
This means queries need to be met with swift responses and pre-sales support needs to be easily available.
5. Optimise the Customer Experience
If a customer has a bad experience with your brand, there’s a big chance they will let others know about it and in the worst case use social media to tell everyone.
Whilst customer experience (CX) was once exclusively the domain of Account Managers companies have expanded their CX to include the very start of the sales process and the very end in the hope of converting existing customers to high value brand ambassadors.
Whilst more common in B2C more and more B2B companies have developed bespoke programmes to optimise the customers experience journey.
With the lifetime value of B2B deals worth considerably more than B2C ones, it’s no surprise that sales training in this area has become more and more relevant.
One customer’s horror story can quickly go viral and impact on your industry reputation. This is why sales training is important to your sales team to help them communicate quickly and effectively whilst resolving issues as soon as they arise.
Customers are also likely to let others know if they have an incredibly positive experience when dealing with your brand.
This can generate much more interest in your website, products and services. Sales training is important for any brand that wishes to improve and deepen its relationships with its customers.
6. Knowledge is Power
Sales training can also give your team a richer understanding of your products, services and the industry they serve.
The more your sales team know about what you do and what you sell, the more effective they will be when informing others and positioning your brand.
Prospective customers are unlikely to be swayed if the sales rep they’re talking to lacks sufficient knowledge about your company, products and services.
The best sales training tells your team how to sell from within the context of your brand, makes them more knowledgeable about your history and the benefits your products offer to your customers.
In B2B, sales training isn’t just about learning how to answer your prospects questions. What’s much more important is learning the right questions to ask.
The modern sales professional is as much a detective hunting down answers than simply answering the prospects questions.
At the most basic level, have you set a budget aside for this project yet, who else is involved in the purchasing decision, what timeline do you need your solution in place by?
These are all important questions that B2B companies need answers to before even qualifying a sales opportunity.
7. Learning from Mistakes is Expensive
Unfortunately like every other profession and skill in B2B sales mistakes can happen. These mistakes can be painful and expensive.
Sales training and coaching is there to reduce the mistakes and help salespeople learn from them.
One mistake repeated once a month over the course of a year is an expensive way to learn, when an experienced sales trainer and coach could help the sales team avoid the mistakes in advance.
Whilst failure can be costly in sales what’s worse is the often debilitating effect it has on salespeople who don’t understand why the mistakes are happening or what they can do about it.
Most training programmes will help the sales team develop guides on best practice that can be shared to make sure the same mistakes are not being repeated across the organisation.
We’ve developed our own best practice guides over the years and made them available in our Sales Playbook which you can download for free here.
8. Versatility and Flexibility
No two businesses are the same, and even when businesses may appear similar, the needs of the business and the buyers can be hugely different.
Sales training helps sales professionals adapt their approach when working with different types of industries, businesses and buyers.
Sales training improves communication skills in a way that helps your team enhance their relationships when working with people both internally and outside of your company such as those with different DiSC profiles.
Training can also help your team turn unhappy customers into satisfied ones, allowing them to overcome obstacles more effectively. Given the Lifetime value of clients in B2B this is hugely important.
9. Increase Leadership Skills
Sales training can also help you boost leadership skills within your company as it helps people become more effective communicators and teaches them to think more strategically.
In addition to increased knowledge and skills an often overlooked and reason why sales training is important is the increase in personal confidence it provides.
Confidence in B2B sales is crucial part of success given the number and variety of differing scenarios salespeople can find themselves.
From simple 121 discussions in the boardroom through to delivering presentations to large groups of people from a stage, confidence is a key ingredient of the success of every sales person.
Training helps your team to understand your colleagues needs which is an important part of teamwork.
The best sales training courses enable delegates to develop high-quality communications skills that are essential for leadership roles.
10. Building Resilience in your Sales Team
Salespeople who have undergone sales training are more likely to become more resilient in the face of adversity.
Whilst rejections can hinder performance, trained sales professionals can overcome rejection and become more effective at winning customers over.
In sales you will always receive more No’s than Yes’s and to survive, let alone thrive in sales, it’s important to have skills and coping strategies to deal with this.
The excitement and highs of winning big deals inevitably come with the downs of losing large deals.
Whilst it’s important to always reflect after a loss, all to many times salespeople become overly self-critical and take the rejection and loss personally.
This kills confidence and in the worst case forces good people who could be succesful out of the industry, as they never had the support they needed to succeed.
Sales training is an important part of building resilience which will repay many fold when the business is confronted by the inevitable recession, lockdown or other crisis that is sure to come at some stage in the future
When you evaluate all 10 points we’ve raised you will see Sales Training is important and an integral part of the growth of any business.
Sales and Leadership is all about taking action and that’s why sales training is so important.
There will always be a million reasons not to invest in training, however, sales are unlikely to improve unless you take action.
If you haven’t invested in sales training recently, it may well be time to take action.