Training your sales team involves more than just telling them to become familiar with their products. As with any other employees, your sales agents--whether they are selling services or tangible products--will enjoy better success and contribute to happy customers if they're equipped with the right tools and motivated to succeed. By sharing successful sales strategies and training tips with your sales team, your business productivity will increase. Use these key terms to understand what's happening on the sales floor.
The sales cycle is the time from connecting with a sales prospect to closing the sale. In the retail world, this term also may be used to refer to the year-round cycle of ups and downs in buying activity, i.e. increased buying just before the holidays. One potential focus for sales training is teaching your agents to shorten the sales cycle, thus securing more sales, faster.
Strategic account management
Sales isn't only about getting new clients; an effective sales agent or manager also will oversee continuing accounts in a strategic manner, ensuring that the client remains satisfied and stays with the company. Training not just managers, but sales agents as well, in strategic account management will help increase the success of every sales account your company manages.
Effective sales, and sales training, involves more than just schmoozing. Skills like sales call planning and presentation and how to maintain the customer/client relationship can, and should, be taught. These selling skills should be the core of your evaluation and training program for sales representatives.
Industry segmentation is a method of dividing an entire competitive playing field into relevant groupings of product or service types and potential buyers using a matrix of horizontal and vertical columns. The term "industry verticals" usually refers to the vertical columns of the matrix, which represent buyer types and potential focus areas for sales training.
Once you have customers or contracts, you want to keep them, which is the essence of customer retention. Return customers are also prime targets for new products and services, and often help with your marketing by providing positive word-of-mouth advertising at no charge. Training your agents in how to increase customer retention and satisfaction will increase your sales overall.
Internal vs. external motivation
Internal motivation is when our desire to do something or to succeed comes from inside ourselves: We're doing something because it's actually what we want. External motivation is when a need to do something is imposed by someone else, whether through threats or promises of rewards. Train your sales managers to foster internal motivation on the part of their employees.