6 Things Top Sales Training Programs Have In Common

Sales training is hard. You’re challenged, over and over again, to create fresh content for programs that educate, engage, and influence behaviors. And what works in one scenario might not work for another because every organization and product is unique.

Still, the pressure to show improved sales performance is high. If reps don’t perform, 25% are either fired or quit every year. That’s almost double the turnover rate for most organizations. Is bad sales training a part of the problem?

Through the years, we’ve seen our share of sales training that fails to deliver. But it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why we decided to share the “secret sauce” the world’s top sales training programs have in common. A framework you won’t find readily anywhere else.

 

top sales training programs hero

1. STRATEGY

All the best sales training programs begin with a strategy. In other words, it has to be more than checking off a box on your sales team’s to-do list. Your product, audience and market environment is constantly evolving – and you need to “plug into” that.

Start with the end in mind by asking the right questions and using the answers to develop your strategy.

  • How does the training tie back to your business goals? For example, are you introducing a new product, entering a new market, growing your existing accounts, etc.?
  • What are your knowledge and skill gaps? Do your reps need better product/competitor knowledge? Do they struggle with lead follow up and overcoming objections? Do your managers need help coaching reps?
  • What behaviors do you need to change? What do your reps need to start, stop, or continue to improve performance?
  • How will you define and measure success? How can you make data collection/reporting a priority? Define the process and be clear about the goal. And don’t forget to reinforce and advertise your results.

Once you have a strategy in place, you can start building a plan to get to your goals. Be sure to get everyone from leadership to field personnel on board and excited about your approach.

2. CONTENT

Let’s face it, content matters. Ever tuned out after the first 5 words of…anything?

John Cleese said it best…

top sales training programs - John Cleese

Sure, the word “engagement” gets thrown around, but what does it mean, after all? Can you measure engagement? What’s the benefit?

Based on our experience, the top sales training programs are highly engaging…even:

  • “Fun”
  • “Entertaining”
  • “Refreshing”
  • “Knock your socks off”

(our clients’ words, not ours)

So, how do you get reviews like this? Use these two tips to make your training “sticky,” meaning reps will actually want to complete it (maybe even more than once).

Make it contextual

That means it has to be RELEVANT. Reps need to know how to apply what they are learning to their job and day-to-day life.

  • Present common scenarios or situations.
  • Use real language that reps and customers actually use.
  • Show or mimic real people and locations

Remember, generic examples and broad, sweeping generalizations are impossible to put into practice. Your training should help reps:

  • Identify: “I’ve met that customer. I have these conversations.”
  • Care: there’s an emotional connection when something looks and feels like you
  • Know: exactly what to do or say in the same or similar situation.

Make it conversational

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we’re so focused on delivering all the right content in a few sessions that we go all “teachy.”

It’s like in Peanuts, when the teacher talks, it’s just a bunch of “womp womp womp.”

Keep it simple and use human speak, like:

  • Everyday words and phrases
  • Short sentences (to sales reps, time is money)
  • Honesty

Bonus tip: Lighten up. Adults love it when we make fun of ourselves and our culture.

The good news is you don’t have to start with a blank canvas. Spend a little time conducting a content audit. Decide what you can continue to use as-is, what’s missing, what needs a little refreshing, and what needs to be scrapped and recreated.

 

3. DELIVERY

You also need a platform that’s sticky. And mobile-friendly isn’t enough. It should be virtually impossible to resist. Think bug light attraction.

You could create the world’s best sales training program, but if your reps can’t find it, access it, or don’t use it your efforts were wasted.

This may mean investing in newer technology. If that’s the case, look for these things.

Collaborative and social learning tools

Reps have tons of expertise and experiences worth sharing. Empower them to be in the driver’s seat, to pro-actively lead/contribute to their learning and growth. Let them share best practices, ask questions, and get feedback in real-time.

Informal learning like this doesn’t replace formal learning. It enhances it. In fact, in the 6th Annual Learning in the Workplace study, 93% of employees ranked “on-the-job experience” as essential to how they learn, followed closely by social learning at 90%.

Give employees a way to continue their learning outside of the classroom or course. Don’t fear social learning tools like these.

Real-world gamification

Sales reps are competitive so gamification ties into their desire to compete, win, and get recognition.

Many platforms have basic gamification built-in, like earning points, leaderboards, badges, and levels.

To take gamification to the next level, look for a platform that allows reps to redeem their hard-earned points for real-world incentives like company swag or other rewards.

Frontline communication tools

Reps are typically on the go, which means they may not have access to things like the company Intranet at all times.

And their inboxes are already overflowing. But including critical communications like new product launches, promos, and other company updates into your training platform gives them a one-stop-shop to find everything they need to get their jobs done.


A New Spoke in the Training Wheel

the world's top sales training programs use Spoke

 

 

 

If you think a single platform built for training, collaboration, communication, and gamification sounds like a unicorn, think again.

Spoke, our social LMS, combines all these tools into an engaging platform that’s intuitive, practical and actually gets used.

Meet Spoke

4. REINFORCEMENT

The one-and-done “sales kickoff” isn’t enough. But, unfortunately, sales training reinforcement has become more of a buzzword than a best practice. Everyone recognizes its value – but also bemoan the time, focus and cost.

It’s not just an after-thought, it’s not even top of mind. What these organizations fail to realize, however, is that the best training reinforcement can be achieved in the normal course of business. You must build in and protect time for reps and managers to practice what they’re learning. 

Worried about where you’ll find the time?

Work with what you already have! Start small with your existing learning platform. Use those social/collaboration tools as a way to have reps practice putting product features/product positioning in their own words.

Everyone’s got a phone. Have reps video themselves practicing something, post it online, and ask for constructive feedback. Maybe a contest? Star rankings?

Or try quick role-playing games in morning huddles/sales meetings. Always ask for suggestions and feedback. Sales reps can be extremely resourceful!

All the top sales training programs include training reinforcement to some degree.

5. RESULTS

What gets measured gets improved. Ever heard that before? It’s because it’s true.

Shine a bright light on every aspect of your program. What went well? What needs improvement? Some of the results may be anecdotal, or conversations, or community posts in your social learning platform.

No matter where the data comes from, data collection can’t be an afterthought. Capture and learn from all of it.

Go beyond basic metrics like training completion.

  • Observe rep behaviors, customer experience ratings/scores (voice of customer), NPS (net promoter score), retention and churn, average deal size, etc.
  • Partner with L&D/marketing/etc. to get data and correlate data to training.
  • Review questions/comments/feedback left in your training platform’s chats and channels.
  • Try to read between the lines. This is where your emotional intelligence skills come in handy.

Share the results with key stakeholders and work together to make improvements.

6. LEADERSHIP

The last thing the world’s top sales training programs have in common is engaged leadership. If your leaders aren’t involved in a big way, you’ll struggle to get buy-in from the rest of your sales team.

Would Apple launch a new product without making a big deal about it? No way. Like Apple, channel your inner Steve Jobs. Build hype. Get people excited. Including your leadership team.

From start to finish, you own the program, so marketing your agenda and generating enthusiasm in upper management is huge.

  • Gain buy-in continuously from management and leadership.
  • Stay involved, from discovery to training review calls to pilot launches.
  • Be able to answer questions, both about the content and the logistics (When will it launch? How will we be evaluated on it?)
  • Share a “sneak peek” photo of the video shoot. Even better, invite all-star reps/managers to go on set and watch the magic happen.
  • Create some “sizzle” with a trailer video.
  • Actively solicit feedback. As results come in, share those with the team. What gets measured and shared, gets celebrated (and repeated).

The sooner you get leadership involved, the better your chances of success.

 

top sales training programs Don’t Build Themselves

If you’re resource constrained, or don’t have the in-house capabilities you need to create a world-class sales training program, don’t be afraid to look outside your four walls to find a partner.

Look for a partner with a proven track record and the ability to dive deep into your company and understand your culture, products and services, and even your competitors. A custom sales training program may be exactly what you need.

Wherever you are in your training evolution, we can meet you there. We’d love to hear from you on anything you’ve read, questions you have, or to explore our offerings. Let us know how we can help.

5 Sales Enablement Trends You Should Watch in 2018

As we enter 2018, sales enablement remains a misunderstood sector (what is sales enablement, anyway?), which makes it difficult to predict what the next big sales enablement trends will be.

And with more products available each year, the definition of sales enablement is likely to remain fuzzy for the foreseeable future. Just check out Nancy Nardin’s epic graphic of the 2017 sales enablement landscape to grasp the current extent of the space.

With all that technology available, you may be tempted to think getting customers to say, “Yes!” will be easier than ever. But the fact is, increased competition, evolving buyer expectations, and the need to hear “Yes!” from not one, but 6.8 buyers, the sales process continues to grow more complex.

No wonder 77% of organizations now rely on some form of sales enablement to assist reps in meeting—and hopefully exceeding—quota.

2018 Sales Enablement Trends

But, what’s next? What hot sales enablement trends should you be watching in 2018?

We’ve listened to our clients, analyzed their pain points, and asked which sales enablement trends they’re eyeballing. Overall, we’re seeing sales enablement branch beyond content to address sales efficiency.

Here we go.

sales enablement trends - one-stop technology#1: One-Stop Technology

For a sales rep, there’s a golden moment when, after experiencing a well-crafted, personalized presentation, your wowed customer is ready to sign. What’s more anticlimactic than explaining that you’ll need to go back to the office, export the file, re-key it in the order entry platform, then email them later―dampening their enthusiasm and possibly jeopardizing the sale?

It’s embarrassing.

Sales teams have been feeling the pain for years. It’s inefficient, frustrating, and time-consuming to muddle through multiple log-ins to collect the data and content needed to build a personalized sales presentation.

So we’re listing one-stop technology as the number one sales enablement trend in 2018. This year, we’ll finally start to see more sales enablement tools serve multiple purposes and address multiple stages of the buying journey.

These new, modern sales enablement tools will streamline functions and data, becoming a one-stop shop that benefits reps, customers, and managers. Needs analysis, presentation-building, customer-facing sales tools, CRM, training, customer communication, and analytics come together in one powerful solution. And all of these functions communicate with pricing, product databases, and location―further enhancing the platform.

With a one-stop solution, reps can analyze customer challenges, suggest the ideal solution, create a quote and then―with the tap of a button―place the order to close the deal. All from the convenience of a tablet!

sales enablement trends - personalized buying journeys#2: Highly Personalized Buyer’s Journeys

Personalization enhances loyalty, drives conversion rates, and grows revenue. Monetate says that 79% of organizations exceeding revenue goals have a documented personalization strategy.

Historically, it’s been difficult (and really expensive) to unite all the specific customer data needed – demographics, engagement with marketing content, answers to needs-based questions, etc. – from multiple legacy systems to create a personalized buying journey.

Off-the-shelf platforms can’t manage such a complex feat. But adaptable sales enablement solutions will begin to make this easier in 2018. As solution providers and IT departments continue to move into the cloud, expose APIs, and build integration points, flexible and customizable tools that can adapt to your infrastructure will be something we see more of in 2018.

Also, personalizing your buyer’s journey is one of the best ways your organization can create a competitive advantage. Our clients tell us that sales reps love delivering custom presentations because they’re unique, impressing customers. One client even shared, “I like that it’s interactive, so customers don’t play on their phones while we’re talking.”

“I like that it’s interactive, so customers don’t play on their phones while we’re talking.”

sales enablement trends - manager enablement via data#3: Manager Enablement Via Data

Sales enablement trend #3 is all about data and how sales leaders can use this data to their advantage.

A collateral benefit of improved data integration is what we call “manager enablement.” More data gives managers a huge advantage in coaching reps to perform better based on real-time results.

Sales manager dashboards are not a novel idea. But increased reporting insights are going to revolutionize how managers measure and manage data including productivity, pipeline analysis, understanding the buyer’s journey, forecasting, and marketing insights that maximize sales performance.

As one example, by aggregating data on the most highly recommended and popular products—in addition to the rarely recommended ones—reps and managers can discern:

  • which sales tactics are most effective
  • what content has maximum impact
  • which solutions reps should be recommending
  • which methods convert best
  • what point in the sales pipeline customers are most likely to drop out

Using this data, managers will have a roadmap to coach reps and suggest training and strategies to maximize conversions as they adapt to new buyer behaviors and expectations. The results: more accurate forecasting and revenue target attainment.

sales enablement trends - automation and artificial intelligence#4: Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Automation and AI are revolutionizing sales enablement, and we believe it will be one of the hottest sales trends to watch in the coming years. However, let’s make something crystal clear: AI won’t replace sales reps any time soon, and certainly not in 2018.

AI can’t achieve quota on its own. It can, however, make reps more productive and efficient with their time, shifting the human role in the sales journey.

What AI does best is provide data, insights, and information in an accessible way. What humans do best is make meaningful connections to other humans that result in depth and understanding of needs. AI is critical in decreasing the amount of time consumed by administrative tasks, freeing up more time for reps to do what they do best: sell.

Reps devote as little as 22% of their time to selling, yet spend at least 50% of it on administrative tasks. Done right, the goal of automation/AI is to decrease reps’ administrative task load, freeing up time to build solid client relationships mid-funnel.

With more time to focus on selling, reps come in at the dynamic moment when customers are informed but seeking guidance in making their best decision.

sales enablement trends - continued focus on digital sales tools#5: Continued Focus on Being Digital

Does your organization have a Digital Transformation or Innovation team? If it doesn’t―it will soon. To keep moving forward, companies large and small will be required to adapt to more modern ways of doing things.

While digital and mobile technology have been sales trends for years, many organizations are just now launching mobile apps. As mobile technology expands, Digital Transformation and Innovation Teams help organizations navigate issues around aging IT structures and the challenges enterprise mobile device management (MDM) brings.

While these teams help companies go digital and cater to their unique requirements, most organizations don’t have the in-house expertise or IT capacity to go it alone. The challenge is twofold: how to equip teams with mobile tech―and then manage it.

The movement from on-premise servers and aging IT infrastructure to cloud-based, on-demand, BYOD, digitally transformed companies is well under way and will continue in 2018. But this year, we’ll start to see organizations rely more heavily on trusted partners with proven experience to guide their transformation and help them think through challenges like MDM, security, data integration, accessibility, etc.

Identifying a partner who’s already been there, done that, and understands that change (including the pain of the change and how to make it easier) is critical.

What Sales Enablement Trends Will You Watch in 2018?

Sales enablement is rapidly changing. But hopefully the sales enablement trends we’ve listed above will help you focus on what you can do this year to improve the efficiency of your sales team.

Which of the sales enablement trends we’ve identified will you watch, or even implement this year? What’s missing from our list?

Share below or give us a call and let us know how we can help you achieve your goals—we’d love to talk sales enablement with you!

7 Sales Enablement Best Practices to Increase Adoption Rates

55% of sales executives plan to invest in sales enablement tools, but they don’t always have a plan to roll out the solution and get reps to embrace it. 51.5% of organizations lack a formal sales enablement vision, according to a study from CSO Insights.

This lack of a vision and planning shows. Poor adoption of sales technology is a struggle that’s real. Take software like CRMs, for example. Failure rates are around 50%—but have been reported as high as 70%.

There is good news. Failure to launch is preventable. Before you roll out a new sales tool, follow these 7 sales enablement best practices to ensure success.

Sales enablement best practices

1. Align on Business Outcomes

Sales enablement tools can impact more than just your sales force. Marketing will need to be in the loop. Product will need to be in the loop. So will IT, Legal, L&D, etc.

Identify and involve cross-department stakeholder and decision makers from the get-go. Getting in sync upfront reduces the risk of getting critical feedback too late in the process and creating rework.

Align on both short-term and long-term goals. Focusing on immediate pains or needs only will ultimately lead to a temporary, band-aid solution.

2. Know Your Users

End users come in many forms and include your sales team, sales leadership, and executives. Knowing what each group wants to see and how they want to see it makes a big difference for utilization.

Reps may need tools to help them facilitate sales meetings. But executives won’t necessarily need that. Instead, they’d want a fast, easy way to get to sales results and trend reports.

Make users part of the discovery process and test bench. This will help you best understand how to integrate new technology into their daily workflow. Getting real end users to test the tool will also help you diagnose and mitigate potential barriers to usage early.

3. Keep It Simple

Great tools work for you, not the other way around. Resist the temptation to over-engineer. Feature-bloat is a top killer of usage. Too many bells and whistles get in the way and then the tool never gets used.

Keep it simple applies to implementation, too. Don’t roll out a new tool to the entire sales organization at once. That’s too disruptive a change. Start small with a pilot program. Participants will then become the champions and evangelists who naturally build your user base and adoption rates.

4. Don’t Undermine Reps

Reps are smart, capable people. Interactive educational content and demos (and similar functionality) need to be integrated carefully.

The best sales enablement tools provide the right information at the right time in the sales process to build credibility. They should never undermine the salesperson’s expertise.

5. Prepare for Change

Do internal marketing for the tool. This helps generate excitement. It also keeps people informed of progress, which helps them feel “in the know” and part of the process. Reps don’t want to feel like a tool is being forced on them.

Training will be critical, too. Be very clear about how the technology aligns with your sales methodology, and the ways it will enhance it. Providing contextual examples of how to  use the tool will help teams adapt their workflow and daily activities more smoothly.

6. Set Reps Up for Success

Set usage expectations early and clearly and make sure managers and reps have an accountability plan in place.

Reinforce “what great looks like” by having successful early adopters share best practices.

Share and celebrate wins team- and organization-wide. This will help others stay focused and motivated.

Be ready to address tech issues. When something goes wrong with technology, sales teams don’t have much patience. Having a rapid-response help desk and technology support strategy will eliminate obstacles that may prevent sales teams from embracing the tool.

7. Measure & Iterate

Collecting data is good. Connecting the dots with reports that drive insights around sales results is best.

Also collect feedback from users. Learn from version 1.0 of your sales enablement tool and use those lessons to inform how to add to the tool and scale it.

Quick Recap

Successfully launching a new sales enablement tool isn’t a matter of releasing it into the wild and hoping for the best. It comes down to good planning, and recognizing and embracing these sales enablement best practices to drive adoption:

  • Don’t start unless you know what everyone needs and you can tie those needs to a sales goal.
  • Great tools work for your reps, not the other way around.
  • Define success early, measure often, and iterate quickly.

Sales Enablement Best Practices At Work

This hard work pays off. For example, when Comcast added a guided selling tool to their sales toolkit, they followed these sales enablement best practices.

They started with a thorough discovery process and ultimately used feedback from the field to iterate on the tool post-launch. The result? The tool contributed to a 60% increase in YOY sales and a 40% increase in rep productivity. #winning

We believe sales enablement is not just a tool-it’s a smart mix of training and technology that helps your sales team win. Want to learn more? Give us a shout!

Your Sales Enablement Software Needs Interactive Product Demos

Sales enablement is a fast-growing space. Look up sales enablement software, and you’ll find hundreds of proposed solutions. Most of them are rep-focused and provide information like lead data, sales presentations, and marketing collateral. These features can definitely help sales reps be more efficient, but if your sales enablement software doesn’t support interactive product demos, you’re missing out.

In this article, we explain how you can deliver a better customer experience, onboard faster, and close more sales when your sales enablement software includes interactive product demos.

First things first: if you think sales enablement is just for geofencing and tracking sales calls, expand your definition of sales enablement. Think of sales enablement as a smart mix of technology and training. When you include interactive demos throughout your sales enablement tool, reps have everything they need in one place. They can quickly learn about your products and services, and then sell them the right way—faster.

What are interactive product demos?

In this context, interactive product demos are highly visual pieces of sales presentation content that explain the features and benefits of a product or service. They help the viewer understand how something you sell works—and how it stacks up against the competition—in a compelling way.

sales-enablement-software-with-interactive-product-demos

I’ve seen two demo formats work really well: short videos and interactive, highly visual learning modules. Videos support storytelling and demonstrate benefits. Interactive learning modules simulate how product features work and explain how they benefit the customer.

sales-tool-with-product-demo-video

Short videos support storytelling and demonstrate benefits.

interactive-product-demos-Unboxed

Interactive learning modules simulate product features and explain the benefits.

What can interactive product demos help my sales reps do?

Deliver a better customer experience

In my experience, the most effective interactive product demos can explain a product or service in 10 seconds or less. 65% of your customers are visual learners, so when you show how something works (rather than tell), you seriously upgrade your customer experience.

Your customers are also busy, and they don’t have time for clunky PowerPoints and outdated brochures. They want to learn new information quickly so they can make a buying decision.

product-demonstration-upgrades-customer-experience

Forrester shares that interactive product demos change the medium of video from a “lean-back to a lean-forward interactive experience,” empowering and informing customers as they move further down the sales funnel.

Here’s what Hubspot says:

“When customers feel like they’re in control, they will often take risks, such as trying new services or taking a chance on a new product.”

If you want to share your value propositions with your customers in an exciting, visual way, see if your sales enablement software can support interactive product demos. You’ll help your customers understand how you can solve their challenges and why they should buy from you.

Onboard reps faster

You want your new sales reps to be more productive, faster. In fact, we’ve found they’re actively looking for short, to-the-point ways to explain your products and services. Reps want to deliver accurate information and hold their customer’s attention.

Interactive product demos allow sales reps to gain expertise with very little time commitment. In the same way product demos help your customers learn, they help your reps learn, too. There’s an assurance in knowing their sales enablement software has helpful product information, right there when they need it. I’ve seen reps who have access to interactive product demos achieve quota as soon as Month 2 or Month 3.

When sales enablement tools include interactive product demos, reps have more confidence during their customer conversations. They also have access to consistent, helpful content for each customer, regardless of their location and level of experience.

Close more sales

Time is a sales rep’s most precious resource. Selling Power says the average rep spends just 10 percent of their time selling. When your sales enablement software doubles as a sleek interactive product demo, reps gain time to devote to their core objective: selling. No more late nights formatting PowerPoint slides.

On top of that, interactive product demos make it easier for customers to make a buying decision. Customers are more engaged and can understand key benefits more quickly. You heard it from Forrester and HubSpot—this leads to a better close rate.

See it in action

Want to see examples of sales enablement software that doubles as an interactive product demo?

Check out Advisor or contact us to talk more.

Infographic: Is Your Sales Training Program Good, or Great?

Your organization has a sales training program, and it’s working, right? Your sales reps are learning to position your products and services and close enough deals to at least keep the lights on for another month.

And maybe, you schedule training two or three times per year, probably in conjunction with a regional sales meeting when everyone is together to compare notes.

While your sales training program might not be brand new, you’re patching holes with updated content to keep it as fresh as you can.

So it’s good, right? Or at least adequate?

Well, maybe. If your organization has a good sales training program and you’re stuck in chronic mediocrity, imagine the results of a great sales training program that empowers your sales team to knock it out of the park with every customer interaction.

How can you tell whether your sales training program is good or great? Let’s take a quiz.

Is your sales training program good or great?

1. What is your sales methodology?

At the heart of every good sales training program is a good sales methodology. And there are plenty to choose from: Challenger, SPIN, SNAP, Customer Centric, Sandler Selling, and Conceptual … the list goes on.

It’s good to have a sales methodology because it helps your organization identify certain key needs. It probably provides insight into how your organization qualifies buyers, positions products, and helps reps overcome objections.

But, while it’s good to adopt a sales methodology, they all have one thing in common: lots of other organizations ―including your direct competitors―are using the exact same methodology.

To differentiate your organization in a crowded marketplace, you have to customize, personalize, and make your sales methodology your own so you can woo customers with a uniquely compelling customer experience – resulting in more deals closed.

A great sales training program is built off a sales methodology that’s contextual and customized for your specific products and services. One that enables reps to ideally position the solutions you offer, helps develop the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that empower your reps to shine more brightly than competitors, and matches your culture.

We’re often asked, “Hey Unboxed, what’s your sales methodology?”

Well, we have frameworks to create custom sales methodologies for our clients, but whether we create one or start with your existing one, the answer is simple: our methodology is to take your methodology and contextualize it to transform your training from hu-hum to BAM!

sales training program - sales methodology

2. What does your sales training program teach your reps?

Reps require knowledge and skills to sell successfully. They need specific, detailed information to explain how your products solve a customer’s issues and add value. Reps must also know how to qualify customers, build relationships, upsell, gain referrals and repeat sales. If your training achieves all of that, then you have a good program.

In addition to teaching knowledge and skills, a great sales training program also focuses on developing consistent behaviors that reps must master to position your products and services at the top of the market, making them irresistible to customers.

So, how do you take a knowledge- and skills-based training program to the next level?

At Unboxed, we start by partnering with our clients to identify the behaviors that drive success, then build training around those behaviors. PowerPoints won’t do here. Reps need to experience what these behaviors look like in action. We use simulations, choose-your-own adventure, and adaptive learning models so reps make a choice and then get to see the impact of their decisions, even if they’re incorrect.

By changing behaviors, you change overall results. Great sales training materials improve selling behaviors for your entire bench, driving increased sales and higher customer satisfaction.

sales training program - training for reps

3. What does your sales training program offer sales leaders?

Great sales managers aren’t born―they’re trained. They’re the pillars reps look to for guidance on closing critical deals. And, contrary to popular belief, when a top rep is promoted to sales manager, savvy management skills don’t magically materialize.

A coaching model supports the knowledge, skills, and behaviors your sales management and leadership team require to guide reps to the next level. They’ll learn to build their bench, set goals, develop strategy, understand drivers and drainers, evaluate ROI―and coach their team in developing these skills. Teaching managers how to foster increased sales productivity and efficiency improves the overall vitality of your sales organization.

sales training program - training for leaders

4. How do you deliver your sales training program?

Modality of learning is key to making knowledge stick. In years past, that meant in-person training and stacks of binders. Today’s reps are more visually oriented, so videos and interactive technologies are a smarter way to engage them to maximize retention.

If you currently mix up the delivery of your training using PowerPoints, self-paced workbooks, and the occasional video, you have a good training delivery system.

But why not make it great?

Reps are busy. Lengthy training sessions lower their overall selling time. And don’t forget about the forgetting curve. But by using modern, on-demand modalities, reps can train anywhere, anytime. Delivering training in short, bite-sized chunks also makes it more digestible and easier to retain. (It’s called microlearning, and it’s great for sales training.)

Modern sales reps respond to modern training methods. They increase engagement and knowledge retention. So, while it’s good to have 25-minute videos and training every six months, it’s great to use more modern sales training techniques including eLearning (simulations, interactive learning guides, and high-fidelity training videos), social learning, and gamification that keep reps engaged.

sales training program - training delivery

Are you good, great, or in the middle?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, your organization likely has a good sales training program.

But what if parts of your program are good while other aspects are already great? In that case does your entire sales program need a complete overhaul, or does it just need a facelift to make it more modern and engaging?

Here’s the thing: transforming from good to great has tangible benefits for your sales team and sales leaders, but the overarching reason to revamp your sales training is to provide your customers with an extraordinary experience.

This begs one last question:

5. Does your sales training elevate the customer experience?

In our modern, crowded sales landscape, companies compete on the playing field of customer experience.

And while it’s good to deliver training that benefits your reps, it’s great if that training also elevates the customer experience.

When customers experience the wow-factor of customized, contextual product positioning from sales reps whose consistent behaviors focus on solving their individual challenges, it tips the balance in your organization’s favor.

sales training program - results

By transforming your sales training program from good to great, you increase rep engagement, enhance management and leadership skills, and amp-up your customer experience to previously unimagined heights. Who wouldn’t choose great?

Here’s the complete infographic.

sales training program - Infographic

Want to Move from Good to Great?

At Unboxed, we specialize in creating custom sales training programs that help organizations transform from good to great, from mediocre to phenomenal, from off the shelf or “boxed” to, well … Unboxed.

Ready to kick it up a notch? Reach out. We’d love to talk sales training with you.