How To Develop And Train Your Sales Team From Day One
Regardless of how much experience your new software sales recruits have, they won’t be experienced in selling your product, your way—and they certainly won’t know how your workplace culture operates.
That’s why it’s vital to start training your team with a development mindset, right from day one.
1. Assess the Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses.
Before you start working on a development plan for your team, you must run an audit on how the team is operating now, both as a group and individually.
Sales figures are only the very beginning of assessing how people are going in the role. You should sit down with each team member and find out where they’d like to be developed, sit in on sales calls regularly, and run behavioural assessments to work out where any skill or behavioural gaps are in your team.
2. Learn their learning styles.
Don’t forget to also run tests to ascertain people’s different learning styles- there’s little point in asking someone who ‘learns by doing’ to complete text-heavy online sales training, or someone who learns visually to listen to sales training via podcast.
Only when you know how individuals learn effectively will you be able to tailor a training package for them that gets results.
3. Hold one-on-one meetings.
Sales meetings are traditionally run as a group, but the best managers know that the real development breakthroughs come when people sit down for one-on-one conversations. Not only is this a far superior setting for constructive feedback, but it also allows the team member to open up about where they feel they’re struggling and need further development.
Also request feedback on your own sales management performance- it will make you better at your job, while also showing the salesperson that you have the very same learning and development mindset that you’re trying to cultivate in them!
4. Assign mentors for new hires.
If you really want your new recruits to succeed, have them learn from the best. Ask your sales stars to be mentors. Of course, you don’t want to take your high performers off the game for long, so having the new hire shadow them is a good approach.
This will enable your new sales recruit to experience how ‘selling’ works in your organisation from one of your team that is successful.
5. Ensure that their product knowledge is rock-solid.
Software sales require a superior knowledge of the product, from the basics necessary for a sale, right through to glitches the customer might experience post-purchase. The savvy sales manager assesses the quality of each team member’s product knowledge, and schedules extra training where gaps are identified. Excellent product knowledge is the only way the salesperson can offer pitches tailored to the client’s need.
6. Know which kind of training ‘sticks’.
As we mentioned previously, individuals learn quite differently so your development strategy should be tailored to different learning styles. It’s also really important to be across the research on different training approaches.
For instance, research shows that the majority of information we learn at multi-day training sessions is forgotten—particularly if it’s not consolidated/acted upon within a short time of learning the new sales techniques or product information. Sending people off for training is costly both in the training budget and time lost for sales, so it’s important to ensure that the information gained really ‘sticks’.
As such, consider utilising shorter and online training sessions more regularly, and find out what your team is learning at these training days so that you can schedule activities that allow them to consolidate the new skill or information.
7. Track the progress of your training regime.
Don’t forget to keep track of the data of whether your developments efforts are paying off in terms of hard sales results. Is all that extra product training paying off for that underperformer, or is it time to manage them out of the team? That effort you’ve made to help the sales team with their CRM management: has it translated into more time on calls?
You’ll soon see what’s working, and it’s fascinating to see your team change and grow as you apply different development methods. Done right, a tailored training and development program will have powerful effects on your team’s sales results.
LivRecruit specialise in Inside Sales, Senior Sales and Technology Recruitment. The LivRecruit team is based in South Manchester and have over 17 years’ experience providing recruitment solutions for technology companies across the UK.
If you are looking for the right new hire for your technology team or want to take your career to the next level call us on 0161 883 2856 or email us here.