Are you thinking that maybe it is time to brush up on your sales skills? How about your company? Are there salespeople in your organization that could benefit from training to improve their skills and positively affect the bottom line?
Under the current economic environment most businesses are finding making sales is not as easy as it used to be. Just getting a chance to reach a decision maker is a monumental task. Then there is the problem of getting customers off the fence to make a decision and move forward. It is no wonder that many organizations complain of reduced closing ratios among a very competitive marketplace.
Many industry reports and articles are coming out these days talking about the new sales environment and how some of the old tried and true methods of selling are just not working. So it is no wonder that many proactive businesses and top salespeople are looking into sales training as way to get an upper hand.
Nevertheless, we all need to make sure that we spend our assets wisely and get a return. This is not only limited to the money spent, but involves the time and effort expended to participate in any training program.
So what do you need to be aware of before investing in a sales training program?
First, determine what you are looking to accomplish by investing in a sales training program.
When looking at sales training programs make sure that the program will targeting the skills and techniques that are in need for your market. If you are considering providing sales training for your sales force take the time to do a proper evaluation as to what specific challenges the sales team is experiencing before investing in any program. A good sales training organization can tailor fit their training to meet your needs. Stay away from “off the shelf” materials unless they are specific to your needs.
Secondly, don’t jump on the hype of some of the new technologies that are out there unless you have a real need. There are many sales programs that incorporate customer relationship management systems as part of their offerings. There also other programs out there training salespeople on the latest in web 2.0 techniques. In and of themselves these programs are wonderful and provide a lot of value, but they are not for all organizations. Some of these new systems may end up costing a lot more due to fundamental changes that will need to be considered before implementation.
Third, be realistic of what to expect from a sales training event. Remember there are no magic bullets that will produce immediate results. Any training is limited in what it can actually do without practice and serious effort. As Brain Tracy used to say, it takes 21 days of consistent practice to make something a habit. Without practice and repetition most people will resort to what they have always done because that is what they know and feels comfortable.
Finally, in order to get the most of any training it will be necessary to set up a schedule to practice and review the materials. If the sales training is provided for a sales team it would be a good idea that brief follow up sessions be scheduled with the sales trainer to reinforce what was learned. Despite what we would all like to see it is virtually impossible to remember everything that is taught after just one exposure to the information.
In conclusion, it is a good time to hone your selling skills and those of your sales team. The selling environment has become more competitive and only those truly professional and polished sales people will dominate in the marketplace.