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What is a sales training program?

There are many sales training programs that exist. Some are company grown and are centered around their specific products and services where sales reps follow a script with minimal to no variance from the script. This can result in an experience that is difficult for potential clients to get on board with if they have questions or make requests that are considered "outside of the box."

Other sales training programs are more formal, are rolled out once, and are treated as a one-time event. These have challenges in taking hold within the organization and creating change for growth.

A professional sales training program should consist of a defined sales methodology, rolled out in a seminar or webinar for initial training that lays a foundational level of understanding of where reps are at in their sales career and is presented with adult learning concepts as they learn. Sales training such as this will also be solidified within reps as they personally can have major breakthroughs as they begin to understand not only the client, but themselves as well.

When done correctly, a shift can begin to take hold throughout the organization when frequent follow-up and coaching follows the initial training for the coming weeks and months. At the end of the course and follow up segments, participating reps should receive a certificate of completion.

If sales training is simply treated as a one-time event, real growth, change, and even ROI can be jeopardized within the organization.


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Why is sales training important?

Without being able to sell your products and services, how long can your organization sustain itself? Probably not very long. To effect change within an organization, frequent follow-up that hones in on specific elements of the training should be part of the strategic plan. Too often it is assumed that since a rep has attended one training, that is good enough.

Can you imagine, what if your favorite professional sports team showed up on the court or field after only attending one practice...ever? How would they compete against the competition? It's important to remember that even the best athletes out there have coaches and put in deliberate practice, despite having been trained on what they do countless times.

It has been said that it can take as little as 21 days to create a habit. Can your reps create the habit of exceeding or simply meeting quota, updating their CRM, making their calls, reporting back, etc., if they only were told once? Although that would be nice, it just is not realistic.

How do you conduct a sales training?

Sales training can be conducted in a variety of ways. If you have a sales trainer on site, most likely you will have your sales training in a conference room. Sales trainings can be shared with inside sales teams or outside sales teams. If your sales trainer is not on site, consider if it makes sense to have the trainer travel out to your location.

Another easy and cost-effective way to conduct a sales training is via phone and screen share called a webinar. This allows sales managers, reps and other attendees to join from the desk in an office, home office, their car on a laptop or tablet, their smartphone, or virtually from anywhere.

Simply reading words on the screen from a presentation is not the most effective way to build rapport, trust or confidence from those in attendance. Sales trainings should have an agenda, with relevant content presented in a way that meets the needs of the audience using techniques and professional experience. It is often times what is said, yet not on the screen, that makes a presentation memorable, inspiring, unique, and refreshing.

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