Learning How to Lead a Better Sales Conversation
Companies are always looking to have more effective customer conversations. To achieve this, salespeople generally go through annual product training, but seldom do they retain knowledge from this kind of training or adopt the methods it prescribes. In our work with hundreds of companies and thousands of salespeople and sales leaders, we’ve gained valuable insights into how best to approach employee learning.
The Learning Cycle
Here are four aspects of an effective training program:
Knowledge Transfer – What do the salespeople need to know?
Application – How can that knowledge be applied to a real situation?
Skill Practice – What are the best practices for salespeople to apply that knowledge? How effective do they sound as they practice it?
Change Motivation – Why do the salespeople need to change? Why’s it important?
To promote retention and adoption of the sales content, ensure your training sessions flows through each of these types of learning.
Sales Training Content That Fits
Another crucial component of sales conversation training is deploying the right content. We’ve found that rather than choosing a packaged methodology, it’s more effective to provide customized content based on the best practices of your top performers. When your employees see that the training material fits with your company’s strategy, solutions, and the conversations you want them to have with customers, the insights afforded by the content are much more likely to be adopted.
Making the Most of In-Person Sales Training
Lastly, when you bring the sales team together in-person, we recommend that you organize the training by intact sales teams. Have a sales manager at each table acting as a co-facilitator, coaching to current accounts and live opportunities. This isn’t an event with a manual; it’s an active learning process driven by real and relevant information, designed to enhance your salespeople’s skills speaking with customers. Based on adult learning research, the more relevant and active you can make your sales training, the more adoption there will be of the material.