You know that running a sales team is complex. You’re not only responsible for educating and motivating your sales team, but also for making sure they hit their targets.
That's not as easy as it sounds.
With today's sales challenges, it’s natural to expect teams to try to motivate themselves. But what happens when that motivation just isn't enough?
Many companies now offer their team's sales training programs as part of their larger sales enablement strategy. They do this to motivate their sales reps and make sure they achieve their goals in a healthy learning environment.
How can sales training motivate your sales team? Sales training identifies reps’ strengths and areas of opportunity, builds consistency, and focuses your team’s efforts on the results you want to achieve.
There are many different sales training programs available, which can be customized based on your industry or business needs. From improving certain skills to helping new reps become product experts, there is something for everyone to learn. But how exactly will you motivate your teams?
Challenges Sales Teams Face
Most teams will face some common sales training challenges, like:
- Matching long-term sales strategy with short-term incentives and motivation
- Teaching each salesperson’s different learning style
- Transitioning to remote or partially remote learning
- Encouraging employees to have a positive attitude about training
Motivation is key because, without it, your sales teams won't be able to close deals or generate leads no matter how good the product is.
Investing in a sales training program can play an important role in motivating your team by bolstering their knowledge and confidence.
Goals of a Sales Training Program
A good sales training program will:
- Increase ramp time and get team members in the game as soon as possible. This will also decrease turnover and lower your attrition rate
- Build consistency and elevate your team’s skills
- Create product experts out of every team member
- Align the team with the company’s core values, allowing them to see the bigger picture
- Standardize processes so teams work as a cohesive unit
With all of these elements working together, your sales training program should produce knowledgeable, confident, and highly motivated reps. You want a team that trusts each other, trusts what they’re selling, and wants to use that trust to drive value for each and every customer.
Key Training Strategies
There are several key strategies that can help you achieve your sales training goals:
- Give your teams as much face-to-face contact as possible. This is especially important for keeping remote teams engaged and feeling like they’re still part of the team.
- Encourage collaboration. You want your team members to know and be comfortable with each other, and understand how everyone’s strengths contribute to the team.
- Evaluate everyone’s skills and areas of opportunity. Then, you can help team members learn from each other by matching them to partners with complementary skills.
- Keep the feedback loop open. Encouraging constructive feedback is critical to helping team members improve their skills. With the mindset that everyone is here to achieve the same goal, you can facilitate a culture of kind and constructive feedback, without hurting feelings or involving egos.
- Offer easy access to resources. The best way to do this is by compiling a library of resources that everyone can view. Sync frequently about upcoming features, updates, and other product news.
- Train the way employees learn best. Once you get a better understanding of everyone’s learning styles, you can adjust your training to match. It’s important to try multiple approaches and focus on each member’s individual strengths.
How Training Can Motivate Sales Teams To Improve Performance
Sales training can help motivate your sales team by honing their soft skills. Sales training gives them a solid foundation of knowledge and ultimately helps them achieve their performance goals. Creating a structured training program can help your sales team:
A salesperson on your team may be technically sound, but they won’t close deals without confidence in the product and their skills. You can avoid this by instilling confidence in your salespeople during training.
Practice seriously and often, and develop an open and constructive feedback loop so team members can help each other improve.
Plot out the essential steps so you can maximize your time and efficiency. Careful planning will allow your employees to focus on relevant information and help them create better business strategies.
A practical sales training gets everyone on the same page while still providing value for members at different skill and experience levels.
By standardizing processes, you can centralize information and close any knowledge gaps within the team.
Providing consistently high-quality experiences to your clients and customers will drive your brand value and create trust with your customers.
Foster a sense of belonging
With fewer in-person meetings, your sales team will need as much face-to-face contact as possible.
Whether that’s through sales huddles, video coaching, or 1:1s, the more time your reps spend interacting with each other, the more they’ll feel like part of the team.
Empowering your team will also help them feel aligned with the company’s values and help everyone work towards a shared goal.
Hone analytical skills
Sales training helps motivate teams by improving their ability to analyze information and make informed decisions based on solid data.
Help motivate your sales staff by giving them ample time to work hands-on during live sales calls.
Let them handle various scenarios so they can develop an overall understanding of how different client personas react. Try to make practice sessions more complicated than the real thing.
Rigorous practice will push the team to develop more effective solutions to problems when they’re in front of clients and beyond.
Build trust among team members
Trust is the foundation of any high-performing team. It’s essential to build trust both among team members and between the group and the larger organization.
If people don’t feel comfortable speaking to their peers or managers, they may be less likely to share ideas, offer feedback, or feel a sense of purpose in their role.
Helping your team build meaningful relationships with each other will enable them to solve problems more effectively. It will also let them apply what they learned in training to real-world scenarios and ultimately improve the whole team’s performance.
Make training fun
The best way to motivate sales team members is by instilling a sense of enthusiasm in them. If your employees are empowered and excited to learn, they will look forward to attending training sessions instead of viewing them as a chore.
Make courses interactive, so people stay engaged throughout the session. Interactive lessons and gamification will help them absorb and retain information better, which will lead to better performance during live calls.
Benefits of Sales Training Programs
The most critical benefits of sales training programs are:
- Brand value alignment
- Knowledge and empowerment
If you don’t try different approaches, you may find that your team will go through the motions during training sessions. A singular approach will waste everyone’s time and prevent you from reaching your goals.
A sales training program is an essential part of your larger sales enablement strategy. Training should motivate your sales team by promoting a more significant purpose beyond making money. Truly driving value through sales training means empowering your team so they, in turn, can empower customers with everything they need to be successful.