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What Is Sales Training And Why Is It Crucial For Company Growth?

Sales training, simply put, is about getting better at sales. While there’s much more to the story, of which we’ll get into later, the bottom line is that sales training has a host of benefits for companies who invest in it and ramifications for those that don’t. Unfortunately, the fact remains that 26% of sales representatives claim that their sales training has little to no effect, as per Task Drive. My name’s Thijs van Loon, founder and CEO of Betterworks Asia. As someone with over a decade of experience as a sales trainer in Europe and Asia, I have an in-depth understanding on the subject. In this article I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve learned along the way.

What Is Sales Training?

As mentioned, sales training is more than just getting better at sales. At its core, sales training encompasses three key principles.

  1. Sell More
  2. Sell Better
  3. Sell More Effectively

RELATED: Read about our Professional Skills Development Services

By following these three key principles, sales training aims to provide both new and experienced salespeople with the tools, techniques, and thought processes to increase their sales revenue. While this can be considered the main goal of sales training, it can also help to highlight areas a certain salesperson might be struggling with. Let’s take a look at a few.

Why is sales training important?

What Can Sales Training Help With?

  • Improving Communication

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that effective communication leads to increased sales and thus, increased revenue generation. The fact is, the way a salesperson communicates is one of, if not the most important way in which they can ensure they are meeting their sales targets. 

As a simple thought experiment, imagine your idea of a great salesperson. I can hedge my bets that you’re imagining someone who’s a great talker. After all, without a silver-tongue, how could you possibly convince a client to purchase your product or service? This is why becoming a better communicator is a must-have sales skill. 

  • Improving Digital Sales

In an evermore digital age, utilizing the technology available at your fingertips is a crucial way to get an edge as a salesperson. It’s no wonder why a study by Sales Growth found how 72% of salespeople using social media as part of their sales process outperformed their peers and exceeded quota 23% more often.

In a way, social media sales is its own game, which is why sales training is so beneficial. Besides a slew of digital and social media strategies, trainees can learn how to build networks, create content, and advertise.

  • Improving Presentation Skills

While good presentation skills can be considered an offshoot of good communication skills, they still deserve their own mention. This is because presenting implies an audience, as opposed to the one-on-one transactional idea many have of sales. 

Sales training teaches you how to effectively communicate in such scenarios, whether that be at a product launch or a meeting with a group of potential clients. Developing this confidence in public speaking is a great sales skill. 

  • Building Better Relationships

Last but by no means the least important skill you can get from sales training, learning how to build better relationships can serve as the foundation for your success. Really, this isn’t limited to just sales–Every aspect of your life improves when you know how to build better relationships, but there are specific applications of this in sales. These include: learning how to actively listen, build trust, and maintain relationships.

What Is A Typical Sales Training Session Like?

This two part section will take a deep dive into what actually goes on in a sales training session. Generally speaking, my sales training sessions last between 1 to 3 days. However, follow up sessions are usually scheduled to ensure sales skills are retained and developed. Now, to begin, let’s take a look at how sales training is structured.

How Is Sales Training Structured?

Much of my sales training is structured around the theory of how to sell. The model I tend to use is one I used during my time at Apple: connect, discover, show, and close

  1. Connect to a customer
  2. Discover what they need
  3. Show your solution
  4. Close the sale

What Are The Key Components Of A Sales Training Session?

Regardless of if you use the aforementioned sales model, or ones like Spin Selling or Solution Selling, the goal with sales training is to impart the principles of sales so you can become a better salesperson. To effectively do this, I always make room for two key components.

  1. Sales Training Through Practice

It’s surprising how a lot of salespeople don’t actually get any opportunities to practice their sales skills apart from when they’re actually on the job. This is like expecting an athlete to perform at their highest level during a real game, without any kind of prior training!

This is why I’m such a big believer in making room for practice during sales training. Sales skills develop the more they are fine tuned, and an environment like a sales training session is the perfect space to do so. During my sessions, I like to practice on 3 aspects of sales: introductions (how do I build rapport?), asking questions (how do I ask great questions?), and pushback (how do I react to pushback?). 

  1. Sales Training Through Role Playing

People might be hesitant about the idea of role playing but I believe it’s one of the best ways to really improve your sales skills. By actually stepping into the role of a salesperson in the various situations one might find themselves in, it’s possible to prepare for real-life sales scenarios

Another thing that’s important is the actual feedback provided after role playing. While many are hesitant to role play because they’re afraid of the criticism they might receive afterwards, I like to assuage any of those worries by always providing positive feedback. This is sales training after all, mistakes are opportunities for growth. 

What Happens After Sales Training?

While some people might believe that having a single sales training session is enough to learn various sales skills, the truth is that one is never enough. Continuous sales training is far more beneficial, which is why it’s highly advisable to invest in a series of sessions. 

The reason for this is fairly obvious: it’s impossible to retain all the information you receive in one sitting, our brains can only handle so much. Studies by Spotio have even found that 84% of all sales training is lost after 90 days! This is why for effective sales training, multiple return sessions should be booked in advance. Weekly or monthly refreshers allow you to come back to anything you might’ve forgotten, while also continuing to build on all that you learned in that period after training. There’s a reason why statistics by Brevet found continuous training gives 50% higher net sales per employee.

How Has My Sales Training Evolved?

As a sales trainer with 13 years experience, my sales training has gone through its own changes over the years. In an effort not to stagnate or become dogmatic in my approach, I like to take part in train-the-trainer sessions.

These have given me a deeper understanding of my own sales training and how I can become more thorough and insightful whenever I train a group of salespeople.

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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