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Sales Training


If anyone out there has any ideas pelase shout, sales training is all new to me, so any advice or helpful hints will be appreciated.

Not able to buy in training so it's got to be something I can deliver myself.

Elena O'Donnell

7 Responses

  1. Set expectations
    Hi Elena,

    the key thing about successful sales training is that people need to know and understand what they are expected to achieve. This means setting clear and achievable sales standards at the outset. E.G: ‘Ask appropriate questions / present relevant benefits / Ask appropriate closing question.

    Once the group has identified what makes a successful sales conversation (i.e. key components) the rest of the training can focus on each of these elements, e.g. a session on opening the sale, a session on questioning techniques, one on presenting features and benefits, closing and finally handling objections.

    All sessions should be as interactive as possible with lots of role play to reinforce messages.

    Make it fun – incorporate quizzes and practical exercises.

    Good luck.

  2. Objectibity – FAB – Questions
    Hi Elena,

    I agree with Colette. In my opinion, successful sales people are clear about a) their objectivity and b) the benefits of their product to the potential customer and they can only achieve part b) if they have asked the right questions.

    A usefull book I’ve found is ‘The Telesales Pocketbook’ by Peter Wyllie. Its only £6.99 from Amazon and this link will take you to the relevant page:

    Good luck!

    Colin Hamilton

  3. Sales Training Start

    Sales training will vary enormously depending on what, and how your sales people are selling:

    For example is it business to business sales, telephone sales or store retailing.

    I recommend asking your sales team what they need, and also if they have any material you can borrow. You could also get the sales team to generate parts of the course for you (Tricks and tips they have found useful).

    Elena, I must also say I am dismayed that you are expected to train people on a subject that you have little knowledge of. I recommend you try to finance the training. Look for funding inside and outside your company.

    Perhaps a provider could offer training that links payment to a percentage of increased sales. This may seem unlikely, but as an innovation consultant I regularly make a similar offer to my own clients. A provider may be willing to try out a new course in exchange for feedback or publicity.

    Remember you are stopping sales being generated for every second that your sales team is in training. Make sure the training is the very best possible.

    Good luck.


  4. Training
    To be able to train effectively you need to obtain experience and resource the materials properly. As well as reading around the subject area from your own in house material you could also look at the most effective sales people in your own organisation. By looking at their figures and examining why they sell more you can spot trends and pass the skills on. This is the sort of day you could facilitate rather than train.

    We have only ever taught sales in the legal market, how to attract, retain and satisfy clients. It seeems likely that the same skills are generic to most occupations but we would not train other than legal as that is where our experience lies.

    Your own performance will be judged on this training, make sure you do not carry it out until you have the necessary confidence and research to carry it off properly.

    Tell your employer, in writing what you need and retain a copy. Your own professionalism is at stake each time you are pushed into a situation you are not ready for, quite apart from the quality of the course and the effectiveness of the training.

    Companies that expect to pay nothing, resource at no income levels and with in house trainers who have no previous experience, who have to search around for free help, can expect the results of the whole training to reap what they have input—-nothing! Sales are one of the core functions of business, what does it say about a company which will not expend on this area of training? Poor you!

    TBD Global Ltd
    0870 241 3998

  5. Buyer beware
    Hi Elena,

    Call centre sales training is my field (see profile (click on my name below) – 8 yrs experience).

    Sales training is pretty generic although you have to skew it a bit for telephone sales with a larger focus on listening skills and building rapport. Salient topics to include are; structure of an outbound/inbound call, objection handling, questioning techniques, closing techniques, features and benefits, pitch, welcome, use of voice, recognising buying signals etc etc etc. That’s for basic sales and most best selling sales technique books are readily adaptable for use if you mix a dose of customer service skills in with it. British consumers are rather sophisticated, cynical and discerning thus I wouldn’t advocate any American based techniques books. If you want to be more advanced I’d recommend you look at something like Neil Rackham’s “Spin Selling”- it debunks the myth that open and closed questions generate single and multi-word answers respectively. This whole approach must further be refined dependent on business to business sales and business to consumer sales as well as combining it with use of a predictive dialler (if appropriate). Then you need to tie it in with theproduct…will you train product and skills at the same time? What are the pro and cons of a different approach?
    That said, I wholeheartedly agree with Susan, you will be judged on this and if it fails it’ll be oh so easy to blame the trainer. Therefore you must ensure that you do not carry it out until objectives are clear, you personally are clear on what you can and cant deliver i.e.. If sales do not increase by x% then is it all down to you? How will you prove it wasnt? Where are your delegates coming from i.e.. have they been recruited for sales skills if so how were they selected? How will you measure your success and the courses success? What is the defininition of success? What are your KPI’s, how much are delegates expected to learn and at what level are they expected to perform? Then there is legislation, Financial Services Act, Data Protection Act, European Law on Distance selling as well as appropriate trade association guidelines. Then (if you are an outsourcer) there is the clients perspective wants and needs, will they want to sit in on training? You really are walking into a minefield. I recommend you have a serious talk with managers about what you can realistically be expected to deliver with no support and no experience. Sales isn’t ‘hit and miss’, the only person it will hit is you if it goes wrong. How will you cope if you have a delegate who has more sales knowledge than you?
    Sorry to be so negative but I bet your company doesn’t adopt a similar approach to selling itself. I’d be happy to talk more offline is you wish.

    Good luck and be realistic and objective about what you can accomplish measured against what you are expected to deliver.

  6. Use some in-company expertise!
    How about running the courses with an experienced sales person from your company as a co-tutor? I have found this a useful approach in that I am bringing the learning and delivery expertise – but my co-tutor has the sales expertise to add in real-life examples and answer questions from the group.

    We also used role plays to consolidate the learning, where the experienced co-tutor played the customer role, and the delegate ‘sold’ the products to them. The co-tutor also had substantial input to commenting on and revising the design of the courses.

    If you can give this a go – it certainly worked for me!

  7. Sales Training Ideas
    Good luck with that one! You may find some of the freebie trainer resources on useful.It includes a mini training session on powerpoint on 6 steps to selling. It may give you a starting point.
    Happy Days!
    Bryan Edwards


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