You have 3 kids, all different ages. They are each on a different learning path. You work with each a different way. So why do we train levels of sales teams alike? Why do we bring aboard a trainer for a one time and out, one size fits all, and expect everyone to get what they need from it? And why do we do it once a year and say ‘there, done.’
Let’s look at inside sales. These are your most raw sales members. Basics are crucial in their learning cycle: learning to make a call, what to say, how to get through objections, learning to deal with the dreaded ‘no’, how to manage a call. This sales trainer will be fine tuned in establishing young sales reps, giving them the confidence to start their career, helping them believe in themselves while teaching the skill set necessary. They will continue to sell themselves, so they can understand the challenges the young sales rep is going through in today’s world. In a 9 month inside sales program, there should be continual sales training and hopefully 2 trainers developing skill sets.
Let’s look at the season, premium and group Account Executives. These are the reps that have excelled in the inside area and have moved up to a role with loftier goals, being there from a few months to a number of years. We expect them to start setting appointments, meeting with companies, getting larger numbers in…yet we still train them with a trainer who is highly skilled at developing the young sales rep establishing their career. For this group, we need to engage the trainer who will fine tune those skills and teach more of relationships (who are our people, where are our people, what are the needs of our people), influencing (how do we create a win atmosphere), challenging them to think in a more strategic way for accountability and planning, then executing these newly fine tuned skills to a level of supersizing, anticipating, and, like a doctor ‘diagnose and recommend.’ This sales trainer will be one who still helps to sell currently on a level of bulk season, premium sales, and very large group sales, and often has a corporate background also. They will encourage reps to set meetings and give them the tools and confidence to find needs, assess, and recommend. They will enable the seasoned rep to hit the ground running after the training.
I believe I speak for most sales trainers when I say, ‘assess your needs.’ Use us wisely. A successful department for you is a win for us. We want your department to excel. Question us. How much follow up do we provide? Which level do we find most success developing so that you hire us for the right fit? Which of us will provide the opportunity for your specific group to hit the ground running with a plan? You may find yourself hiring 2 or 3 trainers to maximize the levels of your biggest asset your company has…your sales reps. And that’s ok! Because there is no ‘one size fits all.’ There should only be the right one for each group. Your sales training should reflect growth in training techniques with each level of your reps. THAT’S how sales reps grow.
Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating
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