How to Pick the Right Sales Training Program
Whether they know it or not, every member of your organization is in sales.
Training them to know (and even enjoy) the sales process is an essential part of growing your business.
But before you pick a sales training program, it’s critical to know your numbers and recognize areas of weakness in your sales process.
In this post, ActionCOACH’s Rick and Mark Phelps discuss the steps that you should take prior to choosing a sales training program for your team.
Evaluate Your Current Sales Process
The first step you’ll want to take is to conduct a gap analysis on your sales.
A gap analysis involves the comparison of actual performance with desired performance.
It looks at:
Where are you now?
Where do you wish to be?
How are you going to get there?
Based on these metrics, you should be able to pinpoint opportunities for growth.
“Once you have your baseline figures, you can then identify key performance indicators as it relates to your sales process,” said Mark Phelps.
Know Your Key Performance Indicators
A key performance indicator is a measurement that evaluates the success of an organization in a particular activity in which it engages.
One example of a sales KPI may be to increase your conversion rate, or the total number of leads that turn into customers.
Other examples include increasing your customer lifetime value and number of transactions per customer.
After you’ve established your KPIs, you can then test and measure various aspects of your sales process to see which tactics are more effective.
Test and Measure Each Step of the Process
“There will likely be multiple steps in your sales process,” said Mark. “On average, it takes seven touches before someone makes a decision to do business with you.”
From asking the right questions to increasing the number of follow ups to past or existing customers, each sales action should be tracked and measured.
If you want to increase your lead generation, you might want to consider sales training that is specific to gaining interest about your business in prospective customers.
“Lead generation is generally in the realm of marketing, but if you have sales people going door to door or interacting in networking situations, it’s important to train them to know nonverbal cues and signs of interest,” said Mark.
Or, if you are looking to increase your average dollar per sale you might want to train your team on how to upsell or cross sell.
“It’s important to ask the right questions and measure the results,” said Mark.
For example, if you are a restaurant owner, train your servers to ask if patrons want dessert or a specialty beverage.
This example of cross selling should then be tracked when you run your numbers.
“If there’s an increase [in profits] by asking a specific question, what’s the overall impact of that on your sales process?” Mark asks.
Taking it a step further, both Mark and Rick argue that one’s personality style and belief about sales can also impact your bottom line.
“If you’re in a professional service or relationship-based industry, wouldn’t it be interesting to know and collect data on the DiSC personality types of the individuals who do business with you?,” Rick muses. “You might learn some interesting things.”
“We had a client who was in charge of sales in his business. He was a very high D. High Ds are very fast, quick, and to the point. That’s also how he sold. He had a conversion rate of 20% which is incidentally the percentage of Ds that are in the general population,” said Rick.
Both the client and Rick determined that the customers that were most like him in personality style bought from him, while other people with differing styles did not.
Training your team in DiSC so that they understand their personality styles in relation to other styles could further enhance your sales training and process.
“Start with the simple figures and as you get more sophisticated and knowledgeable, then keep adding to the depth. Figure out what is working and what isn’t working, and what are the underlying factors,” said Rick. “I think you will find a lot of things that are fascinating, teachable, and learnable to improve your sales process.”
Another element that is related to sales training is an individual’s mindset, Mark adds.
“You can bring a lot of negative beliefs to the discussion of learning sales that will impact your success. The first step is identifying if sales is a villain in your mind. If so, being a sales person will go against one’s grain – to become a villain in a sense,” said Mark.
To counteract this, Mark suggests working with your team and helping them redefine sales as a positive part of your business.
“Help your team understand and get into the mindset that sales is a way to add value and help people,” said Mark. “Not a means to swindle people.”
By conducting a gap analysis, knowing your key performance indicators and testing and measuring your sales process, you’ll have a better idea of where you can improve and the type of sales training that your team needs in order to grow.