Finding the right training program to motivate and inspire your sales team can be a challenge. Aside from juggling the budget, employee schedules, and normal business operations, you’ll want to make sure that the training company you choose can add the value that your team needs to be successful. It’s time to tackle why training programs are crucial to the growth of your business as well as the five questions every HR leader needs to ask training companies during the selection process.
Why an Effective Training Program MattersYour sales team probably has a mix of new hires and veterans — and each and every one of them needs training. As Entrepreneur puts it, “One of the best ways to keep new and seasoned talent sharp is by making it a point to have training on a recurring basis.” Providing excellent customer service comes with outstanding communication skills and a sound sales methodology. However, as the industry evolves, so too will the best practices. This is why new and experienced team members need educational opportunities that will help them adapt to and take advantage of a winning attitude and effective strategies. The best sales training programs are those that:
Cater To The Individual Needs of Your TeamYou can show your support by choosing a program that will benefit everyone. You’ll need a training program that can be individualized, so it’s important to understand the following about each salesperson:
- Experience level
- Goals and motivations
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Current performance level
Include Outside-of-the-Box Learning and Different FormatsA tried and tested approach to learning is through multiple formats. Reading out of a sales manual is unlikely to have as great of an impact as learning confidence-building, sales strategies, and other techniques directly from a training expert. Once we begin to consider all of the possible ways for an individual to learn, it’s exciting to see what will work for your team. However, you’ll want to do the research and make a training plan to avoid getting sidetracked or looking at training companies that can’t fit in with your plan. Once you’ve picked out training companies that may work for you, it’s time to ask your questions. Remember, meeting agendas with goals can never go wrong for your sales team and for interviewing top sales training companies.
5 Questions To Ask Training Companies Before You Hire One
1. Do My KPIs Match With Your Program?The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you use to evaluate your team should be addressed in the training program. Targeted KPIs to look out for when a training company is pitching include:
- Win/Loss Ratio
- Sales Behaviors
- Upsell and Cross Sell
- Average Selling Price
- Average Deal Size
- Sales Cycle Time
- Turnover and Costs
If a company tells you that they do address your most vital KPIs and that you can expect to see improvements in those areas, remember to ask which specific programs will target specific KPIs. Any training company worth its salt will have a variety of training sessions and solutions that can improve your team member’s stats across the board.
2. What Are Your Continuing Education Opportunities?It’s good to ask if they have continuous education opportunities. It’s better to ask what they are. If your prospective training company representative can’t give you details, then continued education may not be an integral part of the company (and it should be). Links to relevant resources can be a great component of your overall training plan for your team.
3. How Can We Track Our Team’s Training Program Progress?Aside from your team members being able to prove that they put in the work and completed a training program, it’s great if the training company provides a course completion certificate for confidence building and to have a sense of accomplishment. You may even see a bit of friendly rivalry between salespeople as they try to complete the most training programs. Additionally, these certifications can help new team members establish credibility, as well as motivate veterans by giving them something to add to their wall of achievements.
4. What Are Your Best Sales Training Programs?With this question, you are looking for how the training companies answer instead of what offerings they push. If the company is experienced, they will tailor their response by only discussing an effective training program (or several) that specifically addresses your overall sales training needs. If the training company doesn’t understand what your needs are, they should ask.
5. Can We Receive a Demo?Successful businesses should have demos of their products (in this case, programs and courses). Without a demo, the training company is basically asking you to invest in them blindly. Demos are excellent tools to help you understand what a specific program or company has to offer. After you receive a demo, pay attention to what the company does next. Do they follow up, or do they leave you stranded? A training company that is attentive to prospective clients will be more likely to give that extra attention to everything they do — including training your team.
XINNIX®, The Academy of Excellence, is so focused on infusing excellence into everything we do — that it’s in the name. We believe sales training programs should be designed to help your team excel in all aspects of their lives — not just in their careers. If you’re ready to take your team to the next level, get your free copy of our Sales Training Guide today.