Considerations for An Effective Sales Training Program: An Experienced Sales Outsourcing Company’s Perspective
Guidelines for Choosing An Effective Sales Training Partner
Various circumstances cause businesses to consider training their sales people. Perhaps your company is maturing and you want to inject new thinking into your sales team. Maybe you’re launching a new product with a different target audience and you want to provide sales training that addresses the needs of the prospects. Or it could just be time to move forward with a comprehensive training program that will guide your company’s sales efforts over time.
You understand the need, but you aren’t an expert in sales training or even in evaluating sales training approaches. And when you start doing some research, it is quickly evident that there are as many sales training companies as there are stars in the sky.
Our experienced sales outsourcing team at Netpique provides training to a number of companies in different industries. They come to us for help because we understand their needs and can provide a total sales training solution—and you shouldn’t settle for anything less. Follow these guidelines for choosing an effective sales training partner:
1. Understand your value proposition and quantify the results you are forecasting. A sales training company that has your best interests at heart will want to clearly understand how you will compete in the marketplace. As you discuss your value proposition, the sales training company should be asking the following questions:
- Is there a clear reason to buy, and to choose this product over others?
- What do I expect to hear as common objections?
- How complex is the product?
- Is it a capital item or a consumable?
- Will there be multiple sales calls and multiple decision makers?
- What does this mean to the sales cycle and the information the sales person must acquire?
These are the types of questions you should hear from your potential sales training or sales outsourcing company. If you don’t, you may be justified in being concerned that the training program won’t fit your needs.
2. Question the sales training process and principles that constitute the training program. Ask about the fundamentals used by the company as they train sales people and find out more about their approach. Does it seem reasonable to expect it will work in your environment? Also, explore what is different about your potential sales training or sales outsourcing partner versus other sales training companies. Gather as much information as you can to get a feel for the capabilities and fit of the sales training company.
3. Explore how impact will be measured. We’ve all been in training situations where we feel extremely motivated at the time of training. Maybe we really liked the instructor, or maybe we enjoyed the interaction, and we receive an evaluation at the end of the program. Without being too critical, we check all the boxes and almost everything gets a glowing review. Then, a few days later and with some distance from the training room, we realize that we didn’t retain anything that would advance our selling skill set or move the needle on sales. This is why it’s critical for your sales training or sales outsourcing partner to explain how results should be measured. You should hear things like “pre and post-session examinations,” or “pre and post-session pipeline build and close rates.” The sales training company will not be able to promise specific results, but they should be able to outline an approach of measurement.
4. Determine how training and skill development will be sustained over time.
You can launch a perfect sales training experience and still have a poor outcome. Sales training programs need to be supported over time. How will this be done? What ideas, approaches and prior experience can the sales training company bring to help solve for long-term support?
This framework should help you in evaluating the capabilities and fit of a sales training or sales outsourcing partner. Bear in mind that they should express consideration for your budget, care for your brand and willingness to provide references. Finally, they are selling you: What kind of job did they do?
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