Sales managers always face the challenge of keeping their teams motivated and engaged in their work. It seems like a never-ending process that requires constant attention. While a few sales managers are born “naturals” at training and developing their teams, there are many who have to work at it.
And that’s where this list of 7 sales manager training ideas comes in handy. Let’s go through them one after the other.
1. Implement a structured onboarding program
When new sales reps join your team, it’s important to have a structured onboarding program in place to help them hit the ground running. That program should include a mix of formal training (on your company’s products, services, and processes) and informal coaching/training from you and other experienced members of the team.
To enhance your sales onboarding, you need to:
- Hire people with a track record of generating sales revenues
- Define what you want new reps to achieve during their first 60 days on the job.
- Create training materials (e.g., presentations, job aids, etc.) that will help them reach those objectives.
- Schedule regular coaching sessions with new reps to ensure clear communication, check their progress and address any issues/questions that come up.
2. Schedule regular team training sessions
It’s not enough to just onboard new reps; you also need to provide ongoing training for your entire team on a regular basis. That might mean weekly or monthly training sessions on specific topics, or simply setting aside time each week for informal “team learning” sessions.
When you have regular training sessions, it helps your team stay sharp, motivated and focused on their goals.
3. Use role-playing to hone sales skills
Role-playing is a time-tested training method that is very effective for sales reps. By putting them in simulated customer interactions, you help them practice their sales skills and learn how to handle objections and tough questions.
Few ways to go about role-playing:
- Use actual customer scenarios: Give your reps a real-life customer scenario and have them role-play the interaction. This is especially useful if you have new reps who need to learn how to handle tough situations.
- Make it fun: If you want to mix things up and add some levity to your training, try using funny (but realistic) customer scenarios. It takes the pressure off of your reps and allows them to loosen up and have some fun while they’re learning.
- Use different formats: There are many different ways to format a role-playing exercise. You can have two reps play the roles of customer and sales rep, or a group of reps play the role of customers while one sales rep tries to sell them a product.
4. Give your reps “live” sales opportunities
Live sales opportunities mean giving your reps the chance to sell products or services to actual customers (or potential customers). It is done in a number of ways:
- Arrange for them to shadow experienced sales reps: It’s a great way for new reps to learn the ropes and get some real-world sales experience.
- Give them opportunities to make “cold calls”: Cold calling is an effective tool for reps to practice their sales skills and learn how to deal with rejection.
- Set up “live” sales events: If you have a big sales event coming up, consider giving your reps the opportunity to sell products or services to actual customers. With this, you get some real-world sales experience.
5. Use coaching and feedback to help reps improve
Getting regular feedback is important for all sales reps, but it’s especially important for newer reps who are still learning. As a sales manager, you should be providing regular coaching and feedback to help your reps improve.
There are many different ways to provide feedback:
- One-on-one coaching: One of the best ways to give reps individualized attention and work on their specific needs.
- Sales meetings: If you have a large team, you may find it more efficient to give feedback in a group setting.
- Written feedback: You also provide written feedback to your reps, either via email or through a tracking system like Salesforce.
6. Use technology to deliver sales training
Technology is immensely helpful when it comes to delivering sales training. There are many different types of sales training software available, and you can use it to deliver training content in a variety of ways:
- Webinars: Use webinars to deliver live or pre-recorded sales training content to your reps.
- eLearning modules: Create eLearning modules that your reps can access at their convenience.
- Video: Leverage videos to deliver sales training content in a variety of formats, including live-streaming, webinars, and eLearning modules.
7. Make sure your sales training are ongoing
Sales training shouldn’t be a one-time event. It should be an ongoing process that helps your reps stay sharp, engaged, motivated and focused on their goals. There are many different ways to keep your sales training going, including:
- Scheduling regular training sessions: You should schedule regular sales training sessions so that your reps are able to stay up to date on new products, selling strategies, and more.
- Creating a system for ongoing feedback: As we mentioned before, feedback is an important part of sales training. You should create a system for giving and receiving feedback so that your salespersons are able to continuously improve.
- Encouraging self-directed learning: In addition to scheduled training sessions, you should encourage your reps to continue learning on their own including reading sales books, listening to sales podcasts, or taking online sales courses.
To conclude, training for sales managers is an important part of helping your reps succeed. By using the tips in the above article, you would be able to fulfill your sales responsibilities by creating a sales training program that will help your reps learn the skills they need to be successful.