Oftentimes, it’s so easy to get caught up working in your business that you forget to work on your business. Sound familiar? We’re all guilty of it, but when it comes down to it, the foundation of any business is sales, which makes a sales training program a great investment.
Unfortunately, for many companies, it’s often the last thing on the priority list. Weak sales make for a weak company, but the reverse is also true: Investing in good sales training can only make your company stronger. Here’s what to look for in order to find an investment that’s worth your while.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
With the abundance of sales consultants and programs in the marketplace today, it can be difficult to distinguish the good from the bad. Here are the basics:
- The Good: Trainers with real-world experience are the best. My preference is to seek out people with high-end sales experience. Even if you have to pay a bit more, it’s an invaluable investment to learn from the best of the best; people who have really rocked the marketplace. If they’re out there right now, keeping up with what’s going on in the sales world, they can blend fresh, new techniques with their real-world experience. This is a dynamite combination in a sales education for your employees.
- The Bad: Avoid online sales training programs in which the salespeople have to take themselves through a curriculum at their own pace. You don’t want trained trainers educating your employees; rather, you want people with successful track records of real-world sales experience. (The saying “Those who can’t, teach” isn’t true – lots of great salespeople are also teachers. Seek them out!)
- The Ugly: Any kind of “special technique” is a red flag. Make sure you’re seeking out ethical sales training; anything that promises results from gimmicks or tricks is not what you – or your customers – want.
Find a Good Fit
The key to a successful training program is to first understand what your company’s needs are, and then find a program that meets them. Do your research to determine where your company needs improvement, and seek out an organization that specializes in those problem areas. Do background checks on your top choices, and ask for references. Remember, this is an investment, and it’s important to make it count. You wouldn’t hire an untested person to watch your children, and you shouldn’t hire unproven experts to train your sales staff.
Different programs obviously have different methods of sales training, but the following are the top three things I believe any good one will include:
- The art of conversation. Successful sales involve the art of listening, as well as the art of speaking; a good sales training will teach your employees to do both. Sales rhetoric (“canned” sales pitches) is old news, and they don’t work. Customers today are savvy, and there’s no place for these outdated practices.
- Real-world, real-time solutions. Make sure your program has a successful track record right now. You don’t want your employees to learn methods that were effective 30 years ago – you want them to learn what’s working now.
- Proper negotiation skills. This is a key component in closing a sale, and it’s important that your program covers this to make it worth your time. There’s no point in racking up sales if you end up leaving half your value on the negotiating table.
It’s time to take your company’s sales training goals off the back burner. A training program is a great investment for your business, and taking the time to assess your company’s needs and find a good fit will only multiply your ROI.
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DavidNeagle is The Million Dollar Income Acceleration Coach, and President of LifeIsNow, Inc. He mentors entrepreneurs in over 7 countries to quantum leap their current businesses past the 7-figure sales mark in just 12 months. For more information on how David can help you achieve your goals in life, contact him here.