One of our goals at Uvaro is to train salespersons to be job-ready at day one. In our experience, when students land their first job after graduating, their managers often compliment them on how well they’re prepared for the role. And that’s because we teach students the value of being ready to exceed expectations at all times! So how do you train a sales team – if they didn’t come from Uvaro?
Although our students show up ready to shine, it’s usually a challenge to train them in one particular company’s sales processes, especially when that company is a start-up with no established workflows.
In addition, the rise of remote work environments has only raised the stakes as many sales departments no longer work face-to-face, instead opting for virtual teams.
And for those in leadership roles at start-ups, it’s only natural to wonder, how do I train my sales team better? Still, we understand how labor-intensive it can be to reshuffle the training process since there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.
Besides, every business has a different concept of what constitutes a quality sales team; the downside is that this variety makes it harder for rookie salespersons to learn on the job.
Right from the start, a superb sales team needs to have all of the necessary tools in hand to succeed, especially proper instruction and training. But what’s the most effective strategy to train salespersons correctly?
The short answer is to maintain a consistent level of quality and boost morale, yet there’s more nuance to building a strong sales team. Well, here are 5 ways to train a sales team to perform like never before!
1 – Establish A Mentor-Mentee System Initially
Over the years, we’ve learned how effective it is to establish a mentor-mentee system when building a sales team. The primary benefit of this initial tactic is that you’ll gain the ability to scale up the team when necessary.
This benefit would only pay off in the long run. However, you’re most likely looking for short-term, tangible results at a start-up that’s growing at a break-neck pace. As such, we recommend a mentor-mentee system to take advantage of the managerial talent you already have on staff. The general idea is that a mentor-mentee system is a fantastic tool to supplement in-house training.
This apprentice-and-master relationship builds morale between trainers and new hires, establishing a rapport that will only pay dividends when sales volume increases.
The key is that this system mainly works best for a select period of time, such as the early years of a start-up. Once you build a quality staff pumping out sales contracts like a factory, you slowly phase out the system. So, the next step is to compliment the mentor-mentee system with regularly scheduled gatherings.
2 – Schedule Gatherings
In our experience, companies that schedule regular gatherings are incredibly effective at boosting a sales team’s morale. The trick is that these micro-events have to be unique, fun, and helpful – full of actionable takeaways and tips that everyone can immediately start using.
For example, you can use the gathering as a way to break up the monotony of the daily grind and instill a little bit of entertainment in the training process. Labor-wise, a scheduled gathering can devour several hours as the staff convenes and participates. But how much will this brief expense benefit the business over time?
Without a doubt, you can get more mileage out of scheduled gatherings than simply letting the team find its own way. The trick is to add a discussion element. This will allow the whole group to chime in and let their thoughts be heard in a constructive, professional setting.
Although it’s easy to get sidetracked during employee gatherings, especially if you coordinate them off-site, the most important thing to remember is that employees need to feel like their input is valid.
When your sales team has many ideas to improve the company, you should listen. Yet, the unfortunate truth is that not many managers ever learn how to listen. They simply delegate with a furrowed brow and wonder why they don’t see increased sales. Don’t make that mistake! Schedule helpful gatherings and leverage them into training opportunities.
3 – Sign-up for Virtual Training Programs
On the other hand, what if you can’t hold regular gatherings because you have a distributed, global, and remote workforce? In this case, scheduling conflicts and logistics are the least of your worries. Simply because it’s already difficult enough to work remotely without asking your sales team to spend even more time in front of a computer.
That being said, the way to get around this objection is to create virtual training videos that are shorter than usual. Organize them by topic, and easy to find when the sales team needs a quick reference.
By developing a virtual training repository, you’ll lower training costs by not having to repeat the same information over and over when you hire a new sales rep.
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The sheer amount of time this tactic will save is likely worth the risk of investing in the IT capabilities to support a virtual training library. Managers will only have to go over the essentials of sales topics once and only once. Afterward, if the new hire needs additional instruction your team leaders can get into the fine details face-to-face. Technology-wise, there are several ways to develop a training video series. So the idea is to choose a right-sized solution to scale up when necessary.
4 – Enjoy Learning
On the other hand, if you make the learning process fun – and actually enjoy it – you’ll have a much easier time training a sales team at a new company. Never forget that company morale and culture start with you! And it’s not always about what activities you delegate. It’s how you act that determines how much your sales team will buy into the training process.
We can already hear some of you skeptically murmuring about how fun and entertainment during training are like oil and water, but hear us out for a moment.
We’d like you to understand the implications of how a poor, slouchy attitude toward training inevitably trickles down to team leaders and onto new hires. If you don’t demonstrate energy and a passion for raising sales, how can you expect the team to exceed expectations on their own?
It’s unfortunate that many managers never learn this lesson. They continue to force quotas and impossible standards down sales rep’s throats without the proper training. To use a quick metaphor, you’re essentially asking your most critical workers to jump out of an airplane without a proper parachute. When you don’t take training seriously and go through the motions, you’re saying, “just bundle up the parachute in a backpack and figure it out on the way down. Now, go land on your feet!”
We don’t want to sound too negative, but that’s how sales teams fail the fastest. The management never truly buys into how vital a training program is. Employees can sense it instinctively – and tune out or move on to a better company. No matter how you do it, when you make learning enjoyable – members always respond wonderfully. And they may be more willing to open up, ultimately sharing their thoughts on how to make the company better.
5 – Learn By Doing
The last tactic to train sales team members is to show them how effective it is to learn by doing, taking action, and rehearsing well ahead of time. This method is especially critical to improving cold call skills. That’s because not many people are naturally good at speaking with people they’ve never met.
But when team leadership can clearly demonstrate processes and provide insider tips, sales teams are more likely to succeed when facing unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes, speaking with prospects doesn’t go as planned. And there isn’t a playbook for every single situation. But when your team leaders can jump in and demonstrate what works for them – new hires will respond well and most likely take those lessons to heart.
The learning-by-doing tactic is also great at pulling your more timid and quiet reps out of their shells, giving them confidence that they can handle any situation with a prospect.
Uvaro can help you
In the end, when you combine all of these tactics to train a sales team, you’ll most likely feel that you’ve laid a solid foundation for the future. Start a career in sales with us!
If you’d like to learn more about how Uvaro can help you train your sales team, contact us to speak with a representative about our direct training services. Our tech sales course prepares our students for the real world on a level unparalleled to others.
Sign up now or register your team for our course & find yourself with a sales team of your dreams.