Is Sales Training Important for Your Company?

Without sales there is no revenue, no profit and even the best marketing program in the world will not prevent you from failing; therefore sales are the single most important part of any business. Granted, all aspects of business are important, but without sales you have no business. So unless you want to go out of business, you need to have a very well trained sales staff. Sales training programs where your agents learn, internalize and practice with real customers while in class is one of the best ways to make sure that your sales staff masters the techniques and methods that will increase sales.
There are many ways to get your sales force trained and depending on the size of your staff you may want to consider hiring a sales trainer exclusively for your company; I am not referring to hiring a full time an in-house trainer, I am talking about bringing a sales trainer exclusively to train your agents. And against all beliefs hiring a sales trainer it is not that expensive, especially compared to the additional revenue your sales staff will bring.

Every business operates differently and sells a different product or service. However, the sales process is the same: “lead generation (marketing or any other way), present and close” the method never changes regardless of the product or service we promote, however this is why it’s of paramount importance that the trainer has a clear understanding of your goals and biggest challenges you are currently facing, so they can be included in the training program.

Another important aspect of sales and (commonly overviewed as well) is repeat customers and referrals; make sure the programs includes techniques to keep your past clients as clients and referring you new clients.

One more thing you should also consider is the length of the training program. In my experience a two to three day class is best, keep in mind that your sales people will not stop working during the training; they’ll continue to work and generate new business.

There are companies that seem to think that training their sales staff is not worth the money or justify it with not having the budget right now. However, they make this decision to their own detriment. The company with the best trained sales force has a sizable advantage over those that do not. Another and often less expensive choice is online training and although it is cost effective we need to consider the other side as well. Because the trainer cannot see the people’s facial expressions or hear their comments, the risk of your agents not understanding and therefore not applying the techniques increases. Technology it’s fantastic and it has brought our lives to a different status however the human touch is always needed.

In summary, everyone in your company can benefit from some degree of training but specially your bottom line.

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Five Lessons to Learn from Lost Sales.

Sales agents experience failure every day: a sale that doesn’t go through, customers canceling a contract, failed presentations. What do the “Heavy Hitters” do afterward? That’s the important question.  Although it may be difficult to realize at first, many times failure can be a blessing in disguise. Not closing a deal is not a failure. In fact, it can open up new doors. If you analyze where was it that you failed and make corrections and changes it can become a very valuable lesson worth many commissions in the future.

1. Learn from Failures. Before you can learn from failure, you must know how you view failure in the first place. Are you one of those people who won’t even acknowledge the word “failure”? Or do you accept that it’s there, but then deal with it in a positive manner? Failure does exist. It hurts when it happens, it’s personal, and it is OK to be upset when a sale falls through.  You can’t change what’s already taken place, however you can be responsible for what takes place from this moment on.

To learn why you failed, stand back and look objectively at what happened and why.  It’s pointless focusing on what might have been. Instead, think of ways you’ll do better next time.

2. Attitude Matters. Recognize that your attitude colors your view of failure as much as the truth can. Perception will always win over reality. Sales agents start out with good intentions, but we are rarely trained to deal with our own fears. Over time, as we experience more and more rejection, we begin associating prospecting with pain, and fear takes over their selling. This just makes failure all the more likely.

3. Don’t Try to Avoid Failure. Trying to avoid failure is a fool’s game.  Failure isn’t necessarily bad. You learn from mistakes, maybe more than in any other way. If you are a skier, you know that if you don’t fall, you can’t ever get better. You need to push yourself or you’ll never improve.

4. Don’t Give Up. In sales, the lack of persistence is perhaps the biggest cause of failure. How many times have you tried setting an appointment with a new prospect, only to face rejection every time?  Then one day, out of the blue they interested in scheduling an appointment

5. Think Positively. Write down a list of your strengths and your successes, then after a lost sale or a presentation that didn’t win the sale, read these lists and remind yourself that you have not failed but are merely going through one of life’s learning experiences.

Failure is part of our business, its part of life. Whether it is crippling or empowering is up to you. The only one who ever put a label of failure on you is yourself.

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