Sales training courses are an excellent way for your staff to refresh their skill set – and their motivation.
Courses are often fun, engaging and great for networking, not to mention your staff will be grateful for the opportunity to learn new techniques and enjoy a day or two off work in a new environment.
That said, not all sales courses are created equal. Sometimes you might find yourself wondering, “what did my staff actually learn at that course?” If they return talking of nothing but the free food and the people they met, then the course might not have been that fantastic from a skills point of view.
While there’s nothing wrong with a catered lunch and some networking, sales courses should be much more comprehensive. These small perks might keep your staff motivated for a few days, but you could have shouted them a meal for a fraction of the price. Courses should have much steeper learning curves, arming your staff with knowledge that will have a lasting impact on how they sell.
To ensure your staff are getting the most out of these learning opportunities, it’s important to set your expectations high. There are a lot of training plans on the market; some are first-rate and others leave a lot to be desired. If you have clear expectations from the beginning, you’ll be able to weed out the excellent from the average.
Here are some key skills your staff should be walking away with after attending a course; if your current training provider cannot meet these criteria, it might be time to look for a new partner.
Theory is important, but if your staff can’t implement what they’ve learned in the real world then you have to wonder, what’s the point? Great sales courses should quickly move beyond theory and concentrate on practical skills. Anyone can understand what they need to do to make a sale, but it’s the act of actually doing it that makes an excellent salesperson.
Research from the Objective Management Group estimates that up to 80 per cent of a salesperson’s success could be attributed to their mindset alone. That’s a huge figure and says a lot about how important it is for sales staff to have a positive, productive attitude. Look for a sales course which will teach your staff strategies to overcome self-limiting behaviours.
Your staff may experience a few ‘light bulb moments’ during the course, but if they don’t set any measurable goals upon completion then they could easily slip back into old habits. A good trainer will guide them through this goal-setting process and encourage them to take specific actions over the coming months. A sales course may only run for 1 or 2 days, but the impact should be long-lasting.
To figure out if a sales training provider offers these key features, you may need to ask some tough questions. Anyone can write a fancy marketing blurb on their website, but that doesn’t mean they are going to deliver. Don’t be afraid to ask the course administrator for proof that their training works. Ask to see case studies, testimonials and a copy of the trainer’s resume.
Even if the training provider has a fantastic track record, it’s still not a good idea to place all of your trust in their hands. When your staff members return from a course, it’s your responsibility to schedule follow-up meetings and help your staff put what they learned into practice. Sales training is often viewed as a solution, but in reality it’s only the beginning – a lot of the hard work comes after the lesson has been taught.