How To Create Training for Sales Reps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 24, 2021 | Published February 15, 2021

Updated March 24, 2021

Published February 15, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A company's sales team has a direct impact on its overall profitability. Sales reps who are highly trained are more likely to uncover viable prospects and close deals, increasing company revenue. Reviewing a list of skills and techniques that a sales team should develop can help you identify where you should focus your efforts during training.

In this article, we discuss why training for sales reps is important, how you can create a training program for sales reps and some important techniques you should be teaching them.

Related: 9 Sales Training Ideas To Inspire Your Team

Why is training for sales reps important?

A strong sales team is one of the most important tools that companies can use to maintain an edge in a competitive market. A well-trained sales team can generate new opportunities for the business, which can result in significant returns for the company. Sales reps know how to influence potential and current customers because their training taught them how to approach them, focus on their needs and offer the most appropriate solutions.

Related: Guide To the Best Sales Training Programs

How to create a training program for sales reps

Here are the basic steps you need to create a successful training for sales reps:

1. Define your objectives

The training program that you create for your sales reps should support the sales objectives for your company. For example, your goal may be to convert more leads into sales or to shorten the sales cycle. Start the process of developing a training program by clarifying exactly what your objectives are. This will help you determine what training sessions and materials you need to create to support those objectives. You can also then see more clearly what key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to use to measure your progress.

2. Evaluate performance gaps

In order to fully understand where you need to focus your training efforts, it's important to assess your team's performance gaps. For example, you may notice that certain individuals have a difficult time meeting their sales quotas or that the entire team has difficulty promoting a specific type of service. By identifying your team's strengths and weaknesses, you can create materials and training modules to specifically address those gaps.

3. Make training materials accessible

After developing a training program, repurpose your presentations into short, easy-to-read formats so that your sales reps can quickly review them when necessary. Make the training materials available for your sales reps to refer to whenever needed. This makes it easy for the sales team to review the information they've learned and improve lesson retention after completing your training program.

4. Encourage ongoing learning

Update your training materials regularly and make sure your sales reps understand that ongoing education is an important part of their roles. You may also want to develop a sales coaching or mentoring program to encourage ongoing professional development and strengthen your sales reps' skills. The managers within your sales department should also meet with their team members regularly to offer guidance and strengthen the skills the sales reps learn during training.

5. Request feedback

In order to develop a successful training program, it's important to gather feedback from your sales team to understand how they received the information. You could ask them for their feedback directly or create surveys and ask them to submit feedback anonymously. Use the feedback to modify future materials and training modules to eliminate any gaps in training.

Related: 15 Inside Sales Representative Skills and How To Improve Them

Important techniques to teach sales reps

Here are some techniques you should include in your training program to help your sales professionals be more successful in their roles:

Practicing active listening

Active listening is an important skill for sales professionals to develop. Prospective customers often hint at what they are feeling and thinking and at the problems they need to find solutions for. By practicing active listening, sales reps can use this information to position their products and services appropriately and close the sale.

Showing empathy

Empathy is another important skill for sales reps, as it helps them to see a situation from the potential customer's perspective. By understanding exactly what the big issues are, the sales reps can present the best solution for those potential customers. By combining empathy with problem-solving skills, they can identify problems that the prospect may not be aware of, which can have a powerful impact on their ability to close sales.

Overcoming objections from reluctant customers

The most successful sales reps are highly skilled at overcoming objections. You can help your sales reps improve their skill in this area by preparing scripts to help them overcome the most common hesitation. Start by talking to the sales team and creating a list of the most common objections that the team often hears from customers.

Common objections often include concerns about pricing or that the potential customer is happier with their current service. As a team, brainstorm possible replies to these objections or generate a list of questions that the sales reps could ask the customer in response. Finally, create short scripts for the sales reps to study so they can be prepared to react with the most appropriate and effective response.

Writing cold emails

Cold emailing is a common strategy that sales professionals use to generate new leads for a business. By learning to write cold emails effectively, you can increase the likelihood that a prospect will open your email and respond. Encourage your sales reps to write using their own voice and wording, use lowercase text in the subject line and address the recipient by name if possible. Within the body of the email itself, encourage sales reps to be direct about their reason for contact, keep the message brief and include a clear call to action.

Making cold calls

It's important to spend time training sales reps on how to make cold calls effectively. Your cold calling training should focus on one step of the process at a time. For example, you should train your sales reps on how to reach potential customers, how to gain access to the decision-maker, how to qualify the prospect, how to demo the product or service and finally how to close the deal.

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