Integrating new staff into your sales team can seem difficult. The learning curve is steep, both for individuals new to the profession and experienced salespeople looking to integrate into your organization’s processes and culture.
Difficult, of course, is far from impossible. With the right priorities and structure in place, you can turn new team members into top sellers without pulling out your (and their) hair. To make it happen, here are ten essential sales training topics you should include in your onboarding process.
10 Sales Training Topics for Onboarding New Sales Reps
1) Organizational Background Information
The first thing new sales professionals need to know, regardless of their prior experience, is the type of organization for which they will be working. Part of their sales training needs to include an introduction into that organization, along with its culture, mission, and vision statement. Your sales team will represent the organization to the outside world; their messaging needs to be consistent.
2) Connecting Emotional and Rational Pain Points
It may be natural to think that any type of persuasion is possible using rational arguments. But in reality, a lot of our decision making is emotional. Even if your organization sells to businesses, your personnel needs to understand how to connect rational reasons to become a customer with emotional appeals.
Teach your sales team how to find audience pain points, and answer them on multiple levels through your brand’s product or service. Personnel need to understand how to connect rational reasons to become a customer with emotional appeals. A sales team should be able to identify audience pain points, and offer them a solution on multiple levels through your brand’s product or service.
3) Researching Prospects Before the Sale
By the time a member of your sales team reaches out to a prospect, they should already be familiar with them. As part of your training, include a section that helps in this research process. Topics should include both internal mechanisms (such as your CRM, which records past interactions with the prospect) and external opportunities, such as LinkedIn and publicly available information.
4) How to Prioritize Prospect Calls and Contacts
When the prospects start rolling in from marketing, it can become easy to get overwhelmed. This training topic helps sales staff understand how to prioritize their time, by estimating which prospects are most likely to convert to customers. Depending on your processing, it could include individual subjects like CRM lead scoring.
5) Building Initial Rapport With Prospects
When you get a prospect on the phone, how do you build an initial relationship that makes them more receptive to your message? Experienced professionals know that this part of the pitch is an art rather than a science. Building initial rapport is an ideal topic for your sales training, as it helps both new and existing staff find pockets of connection that opens up the prospect for a productive conversation.
6) What Happens When the Prospect Pushes Back?
Naturally, not all calls are positive. So what happens when you make your pitch, and the person on the other side of the line pushes back? How does your organization escalate complaints, and what’s the follow-up to a negative conversation? When does it make sense to de-activate a lead? Any comprehensive sales training has to account for these less pleasant questions.
7) Learning When to Let Go and Move On
Even without open push back, every sales professional reaches a point at which contact becomes less productive, and the prospect seems unwilling to commit. At that point, it might make sense to move on to more relevant leads instead. Train your employees to find that point, and how to gently end a chain of messages or calls while still keeping the possibilities open for future re-engagement.
8) Leveraging Personal Networks for Better Prospects
It’s a simple truth: people trust their personal connections more than an unknown salesperson. But what if that salesperson uses a mutual connection to break the ice? When done correctly, the personal network can create immense benefits for making a connection and closing a sale. At the same time, the nuances involved (such as making sure that no person’s privacy rights are violated) make this a vital training topic for your staff.
9) The Perfect Sales Pitch
In many ways, it’s the holy grail of sales: getting your pitch just right. But how do you get there? At least part of your sales training should include best practices, examples, and exercises on how to create the perfect sales pitch. The personalization, relevance to your product, and marriage with the individual sales person’s style required means this training can get quite complex, but it’s crucial nonetheless.
10) How to Conduct the Right Follow-Up
Finally, it makes sense to train your staff early on with the understanding that a closed sale is not the end of the customer relationship. Repeat purchases and ongoing service matter just as much, and become an important revenue source. At this point, the sales professional has already built up a rapport with the new customer, so it makes sense to leverage it moving forward. As part of your online sales training, educate your team members on how to stay in touch with past prospects, and when to find the right time to follow up for a new contract or purchase.
Finding the Right Platform For Your Corporate Sales Training
The above list of sales training topics, of course, is only the beginning. Without the right structure in place, you might still find it difficult to not just overload your new team members with knowledge, but engage them and ease their transition.
To accomplish that feat, you need to find the right training module for your new employees. Through the right sales training exercises, as well as the availability of online sales training, you can make sure that the topics above are not just understood, but internalized for the foreseeable future.
About Knoweldge Anywhere
Knowledge Anywhere can provide that platform for you. Our Learning Management System helps you build exercises and modules that are intuitive, educational, and engaging. With the right implementation, you can not just encourage, but maximize the potential for sales enablement in your organization.
Clients like Siemens, Microsoft, and Starbucks have already taken advantage of the capabilities our LMS can provide. Now, it’s your turn. Learn about our plans and pricing, or contact us today to start implementing the above training topics and improve the skills and capabilities of your sales team from the minute they walk in the door.
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