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Sales Training: Why Is It Important And Why Do Foreign Company Owners In Vietnam Need It?

From improving sales efficiency, growing the sales pipeline, to increasing deal sizes, sales training is one of the key components to becoming more effective in the workplace. It’s no surprise then that teams willing to invest in sales training are 57% more effective than companies that have no intention of making such investments, as per Task Drive. My name’s Thijs van Loon, founder and CEO of Betterworks Asia, and as someone who’s been conducting sales training for 13 years, I understand what’s needed to effectively learn sales skills within the regional context. In this article I’d like to share with you my thoughts.

What Is Sales Training?

What is sales training?

Sales training, to put in bluntly, is the training that teaches you the techniques and best practices to sell whatever it is you’re selling to a client base, whether existing or new. 

While this sounds simple enough, sales training is a uniquely complex type of training. Why? Well, its simplicity is rooted in the fact that the principles for sales training are relatively straightforward. However, its complexity comes from the difficulty in understanding both the product and the service you’re trying to sell, all the while connecting it to the actual salespeople. 

RELATED: Read about our Professional Skills Development Services

What Do You Need To Know About A Salesperson?

The juxtaposing simplicity and complexity of sales can also be found in the people in this line of work. 

  • Why are they simple?

They’re simple in the sense that for the most part, the goal of the salesperson is to make more money. The more revenue a salesperson generates, the more successful they are. 

  • Why are they complex?

They’re complex because while making money is their primary objective, there’s more to the story. Making an impact is also important, and figuring out what impact a salesperson wants to make is often where much of sales training occurs.

Who Needs Sales Training?

According to Robert Walters Vietnam, there’s a wide range of sales roles in demand moving into 2024. From FMCG to industrial sectors, the demand for sales professionals points to a future in which sales training is equally as beneficial for businesses. This is because for one, the effect of sales training is undeniable. According to Task Drive, the ROI for sales training is 353%. This means for every dollar a company spends on improving sales skills, it receives $4.53 back. 

With such numbers pointing to the value of sales training, asking who needs sales training might seem like a silly question. In a way, it is. I believe every company should consider sales training as a way to boost their employee’s professional skills. The question that I think worth asking then is: what types of sales training are available? And to answer this we have to look at the two types of salespeople.

Sales Training: For The New Salesperson

My approach to sales training for the new salesperson is to utilize a training methodology from my time working at Apple. By adding a few elements, it’s become more suited for B2B sales and sales in general, as opposed to just for computer electronics. 

In terms of what I actually teach, I stick to a few main principles that provide new salespeople with a framework with which they can move forward. 

  1. Sales Philosophy

Salespeople without much experience need to learn that sales is about helping clients and potential prospects become owners of a product or service. Clients and prospects cannot be pushed into owning something, they must be invited. 

  1. Having A Conversation

Through my sales training, I prioritize having constant communication with inexperienced salespeople so they can receive feedback and support. This also means providing enough time to practice what they learn. 

  1. Building Confidence

As a result of the previous two principles, new salespeople begin to develop confidence in their abilities. Confidence also grows thanks to the tools and structure they have as a result of sales training. With this model, they have a roadmap moving forward and can eventually start including their personal strengths into their sales.

Sales Training: For The Experienced Salesperson

While new salespeople have a blank canvas that lends itself to sales training, those with experience (10+ years) tend to reach a point of natural competency. While this cannot be considered an out and out problem, what sometimes happens as a result of this sales maturity is that blind spots in their approach go unnoticed. Adding onto this the fact that research by Brevet has shown continuous training leads to 50% higher net sales per employee, the value of training cannot be overstated.

During sessions with experienced salespeople, it’s necessary to challenge them. As such, during sales training they’ll be…

  • Challenged to recognize their blind spots

This means having conversations with experienced salespeople to figure out what weaknesses they might need to strengthen. In a nutshell, what can they do to be better?

  • Challenged to reassess their strategy

While the natural competency of the experienced salesperson is great, during sales training it’s important to see what other tools they can add to their belt. Can they start cross-selling? Can they revisit other advanced sales skills they might not be using? This can help bolster their sales once more. 

  • Challenged to reassess their behavior 

The most successful salespeople are thought of as being good-talkers and charming. While these traits are valuable, the experienced salesperson can focus too much on developing these traits, often at the expense of others. By shining a light on this, it’s possible to create a more well-rounded salesperson.

What About Sales Training In Vietnam?

Given the information and statistics already provided, it should come as no surprise that sales training is worth every penny. This is no different in Vietnam, though there are a few considerations foreign company owners should make.

1. Understand How To Build Connections

A common way foreign companies try to sell their products or services in Vietnam is by hiring a local salesperson. While this makes sense considering Vietnamese salespeople likely have a better understanding of their market than their foreign counterparts, a couple considerations must be addressed if it is to be a successful working relationship.

  • Make sure you address the difference in sales approaches. The sales approach must align with how your company wants a product or service to be perceived. 
  • Make sure you address the difference in cultural values. This can make or break the success of a partnership with a Vietnamese salesperson.

→ Sales training is an effective way to make sure both issues are addressed.

2. Conduct A Training Needs Analysis

A training needs analysis is a form that I’ll send to people participating in sales training that ask for strengths, weaknesses, past struggles, goals and other such information from a salesperson. These are one of the best ways to ensure there’s no miscommunications or misunderstandings before sales training actually takes place.

By conducting a training needs analysis, it’s possible to ensure that even if you are running a foreign company in Vietnam, you won’t have any hiccups in the overall sales process.

How I Can Help

With over 18 years of coaching & training experience, including impactful roles at Google and Apple, I, Thijs van Loon, am your Professional Skills Development Facilitator in Asia. My suite of services is meticulously designed to propel your team to new heights. 

One area of expertise is in Professional Skills Development, which can cover anything from sales training, team management, and executive coaching

By leveraging my training certifications from Google and Apple, in addition to my certifications in NLP and Psych-K, I offer tailored, practical solutions that deliver immediate results to your business. By working together, I can help you empower the individuals in your company and your business at large, whether this be in Vietnam or other locations in Southeast Asia.

Interested in learning more about sales training? Get in touch now.

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