Sales training can often be a lengthy and complicated process. But there are some techniques that an organization can embrace to make onboarding much easier for everyone involved. Here are eight sales training techniques to bring your sales team up to speed fast.
Here at Kara, we prefer to focus on sales processes, but sometimes a reminder of basic techniques can also help. Whether you’re training your team or a new sales rep needing a refresher, these basic tips can be a good review for everyone involved.
1. Listening skills are key
Most of the problems that customers face can be solved if the sales reps just listen to them. In a rush to explain features and benefits to customers, sales reps often forget that active listening is a fine art.
Sales recruits, make it a point to actively listen and practice that art without fail every day. Paying attention to nonverbal clues is key, too. Nonverbal cues can show you if a client is hesitant even if they aren’t voicing their concerns aloud.
2. Be a problem solver
Problem-solving is about two things: creativity and empathy. You need to understand why certain things may be problematic for your customer, and that comes from relating to them. You also need to think creatively to solve to come up with unique solutions to these issues.
However, thinking outside the box is never easy. Managers, teach your recruits to attack a problem from all directions. This may help them find answers that are beyond the most typical or obvious.
The three questions that need to be repeatedly asked by sales representatives to make them expert problem-solvers are:
- What are the problems my customers aren’t yet aware of?
- Can they be solved? If yes, how? If not, why not?
- How can I sell them the solution?
3. Craft templates and scripts for common customer woes
It’s true no customer is the same, but oftentimes, customers have the same issues. Working on scripts or templates can help salespeople learn to deal with the most common customer complaints, objections, or issues.
Sales reps can work on coming up with some of the most typical customer objections, or use the ones listed below:
- It’s too expensive
- I don’t have the time
- I’m simply not interested
- I’m happy with my current provider
Then, reps can brainstorm solutions, coming up with short scripts based on their answers. When they eventually encounter a customer with one of the aforementioned issues, they’ll know exactly how to handle the situation.
4. Identify red flags
Pursuing certain people just isn’t worth it. Some accounts can take up to 18 months to close, and that’s even if they close at all. Don’t waste your time and move on. When it comes to problematic customers, a few red flags include:
- Prospects that get nasty during the sale.
- Prospects that don’t respect boundaries; specifically, work and personal life boundaries.
- Impulsive buyers, which can cause problems down the line since they haven’t spent time understanding the product or process.
5. Cold emailing basics
You can’t be a sales rep in 2021 without understanding how to write an effective cold email. McKinsey and Co. says that email is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. Integrating productivity app Kara with your CRM automates this process, making it easier and more effective, too.
Here are a few tips for getting cold emailing right:
- Create short subject lines that communicate targeted value. Make sure the customer that gets the email should want to open it.
- Be brief in the email copy and communicate as much value as you can.
- Personalize the email for the individual and end with a clear call to action which is linked to a specific URL.
6. Cold calling basics
According to Salesforce, 92% of all customer interactions happen on the phone. Still, most sales trainees take a while to get the hang of cold calling. The basics of funneling can help. Dial numbers, reach prospects, qualify prospects, demo prospects, and close the deal. It all sounds very simple, but you’ll have to familiarize yourself with scripts, lead sourcing, handling objections, etc. Mangers, have sales newbies practice with you nearby so you can give them constructive feedback on their first calls.
7. Articulate value clearly
You should articulate value as soon as possible. Beating around the bush is never going to guarantee sales. Personalize their pitches so that sales are more targeted towards the individual. If you emphasize this point early on, their sales are bound to have a greater ROI.
8. Get over cold sales fear
Don’t just sell, but feel good about doing it. Asking strangers to buy what you’re selling is daunting. However, fear is only natural when you’re put in an unfamiliar place. Train your team to continuously push themselves out of their comfort zones and past rejections.
If you’re afraid of presenting, continuously work on scripts so that you can prepare for every eventuality.
If you’re at a loss on how to bring your new sales trainees up to speed, just follow these tips. Or sales newbies, use these techniques as a refresher. Learn how to listen, problem-solve, as well as more actionable tasks like mastering cold call and cold email basics will ensure you’re prepared for any sales situation they’ll find themselves in.