Sales Training Secrets for Building a Powerful Sales Team

Building a powerful sales team doesn't happen by chance—it's all about the right training. Luckily, we've put together our top tips to get it right every time and transform your team into sales superstars. Read on to unlock your sales force's full potential today!

by 

James Moffatt

-

May 15, 2024

What is Sales Training?

Businesses rarely work without solid sales strategies, but in order to get to that stage, and before we break down how to improve sales training processes, let's make sure we understand it as a concept.

Sales training is fairly straightforward in concept - the process of improving skills, knowledge, and the way that sales professionals carry themselves and approach their goals. We need these professionals to have razor-sharp sales skills to enhance their sales performance and subsequently achieve organizational goals and OKRs that are set together. Sales training can come in many shapes and sizes, but often includes activities like product knowledge, sales techniques, learning how to manage and nurture customer relationships, and perhaps most importantly, the constant development of effective communication skills. The aim of the training is to arm your sales rep with every tool they might need to close deals, drive sales, and reach those aforementioned team or company goals.

Why is Sales Training Important?

Why bother? Well, sales training represents something to give your attention to for several reasons. Effectively done, it will ensure that all of your sales team members are aligned and on the same page when it comes to the company's sales methodology, strategies, and goals. You need this consistency as it will help in maintaining a structured approach to sales across the whole team, with the cohesion that comes with this allowing the entire team to work towards common objectives.

Also, sales training programs are designed and put together to enhance the skills of salespeople, which in itself will mean you have a team ready to handle and deal with various sales scenarios, from cold calling to consultative selling. By improving their sales techniques, not only do you generally have a more versatile and adaptable team, but your sales reps can close deals more efficiently and effectively. Versatility and practice brings confidence too, so sales training will boost this within your team of sales professionals, which we need for maintaining high performance and motivation levels. 

If you aren't already convinced of the importance of constantly improving sales training, the following stat from a study by the Sales Management Association should get you over the line. This study showed that companies that invest in continuous sales training see 50% higher net sales per employee.

Now, let's jump into our 6 secrets for effective sales training.

6 Sales Training Secrets for Building a Powerful Sales Team

1. Commit to Online Sales Training

Everything seems to happen online these days, so this might not seem groundbreaking. However, online sales training has become an indispensable tool for building a powerful sales team, and is often not focused on. Online sales training largely outweighs in-person training, as it begins to offers numerous benefits that you can't get face-to-face, including flexibility, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness. Platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams should be used to carry out virtual training sessions and build sales skills, with their ability to allow sales teams to tune in from anywhere, among other aspects that we will come to next.

The most significant advantage of online sales training is the ability to utilize tools like Bubbles, an AI-powered note-taking assistant that you can connect to your calendar, allowing Bubbles to automatically join the sales meetings you would like it to. Bubbles can record training sessions in full, transcribe conversations, and highlight key points in accurate summaries and action items. The action items and next steps are personalized and distributed to every meeting participant, and in this case, will make sure that sales reps retain and understand every piece of critical information from their training session. Whether it is a meeting discussing product knowledge, sales techniques or simply brainstorming, using a note-taker like Bubbles enhances information retention and allows sales professionals to revisit training materials at their convenience, reinforcing their learning to the extent that they desire.

The way that online training outweighs in-person training can be seen through certain studies. A report by the Research Institute of America found that e-learning increases retention rates by 25-60%, compared to 8-10% with traditional training methods. From personal experience, I can assure you that with online sales training, you will be able to accommodate various learning styles and let sales reps focus fully on the meeting and information. This particularly happens when using and AI notetaker like Bubbles to keep track and take meeting notes for you.

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2. Utilize Role-Playing Scenarios

They say that practice makes perfect, and role-playing during training represents exactly this. This sales training technique is powerful in that it allows sales reps to practice their skills in a controlled, comfortable environment. You should be simulating real-life sales scenarios, because by doing so, salespeople and trainees can develop their problem-solving abilities, refine their sales pitch, and build confidence. The specific skills that you are likely to nail down with your trainees through role-playing are things like consultative selling and solution selling. The reason is because it helps sales reps learn to ask the right questions at the right times and uncover customer needs. It is all a matter of repetition in this sense.

Role-playing also allows for immediate feedback from sales coaches or peers, which enables sales professionals to identify areas for improvement rapidly, before then making quick iterations and giving it another go. This hands-on approach to training is highly effective in improving sales skills and preparing sales teams for being challenged on the spot, which often happens in sales calls.

On the topic of feedback, consider using Bubbles here as the ability to eliminate follow-up meetings for feedback by sharing this feedback with screen recordings and contextual responses to your meeting notes.

3. Focus on Continuous Learning and Development

I mentioned the need for constant iteration in the last point, and to continue that, I want to stress that sales training should not be a one-time event but an ongoing process. When we continuously learn and develop, we can have confidence that we are staying up-to-date and informed.

From the perspective of sales reps, it is critical to know the latest sales techniques, industry trends, and product knowledge. Staying on top of these things, and implementing regular training sessions, workshops, and sales courses can help sales teams to continuously improve their performance and generally mould your group of reps into a successful team.

With this in mind, our tip to a sales manager is to encourage a culture of learning within teams. How you achieve this is up to you, but we recommend providing access to certain training resources, such as webinars (using an AI notetaker like Bubbles for better information retention), e-books and online sales training courses. For the latter, try to partner with training companies that offer specialized sales training programs, like Miller Heiman or Sandler Training, as their experience should provide valuable insights and strategies for enhancing sales performance that may have slipped your mind.

4. Use Data-Driven Sales Coaching

Data-driven sales coaching revolves around performance metrics and analytics, using this data to guide coaching sessions and sales training programs. The data we speak of is attained through analysis of sales calls, sales pipeline reports, and other performance indicators that you and your company may set-up together, such as OKRs. The role of the sales manager here is to identify strengths and weaknesses within their teams and reps. By focussing on the data, managers can be more targeted in their coaching approach, with an aim of addressing more specific areas within the sales process that might need some work.

An easy example could be that if the data comes back showing a sales rep struggling with closing sales, their manager could then provide pinpoint coaching on closing techniques and strategies. Again, it shows the importance of iteration, but by using iteration alongside data, you can make coaching efforts more focused and effective.

5. Encourage Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

It's no secret that we at Bubbles are firm advocates of collaboration, but in a sales sense, we see some particular benefits. Knowledge sharing among sales team members should improve sales training from start to finish, as trainees will be more knowledgeable off the bat. Sales professionals can learn a lot from each other’s experiences, successes, and challenges, and seeing as we often work in sales teams, we should be making the most of this. Creating a collaborative environment where sales reps can share best practices, sales techniques, and success stories will go a long way towards building an organizational culture of continuous improvement.

Sales managers can facilitate this by organizing regular team meetings and encouraging team members to share asynchronous updates. In team meetings, make sure to use Bubbles AI Notetaker, so that you can retain the information shared for future instances where another employee may need guidance. Encourage salespeople to share their insights and experiences on their own time, by recording a bubble for free, and begin building a feedback culture that will increase innovative solutions and strategies.

6. Invest in Comprehensive Sales Methodology Training

You will struggle to achieve a structured approach to the sales process without a well-defined sales methodology, so make sure to pay this attention in order to ensure consistency and effectiveness across the sales team. The aim is to equip sales reps with a systematic approach to sales. Through training on sales methodologies, sales reps will be helped in understanding the entire sales cycle, from prospecting to closing deals. It also gives them a much-needed framework for building relationships, understanding what the customer needs and presenting solutions effectively. As a sales team, you can rinse and repeat a proven sales methodology, infinitely improving efficiency and boosting sales performance.

Conclusion

Building a powerful sales team requires a strategic approach to sales training, and it requires commitment. By giving online sales training the right amount of attention, and using some of these tips, we believe that any sales manager can arm their teams with the skills and knowledge needed to smash it in sales. Make sure you are constantly improving and iterating so that you can develop a top sales team capable of closing deals and achieving success in any market. A quick tip for constant iteration and improvement - using Bubbles for information retention, 360 degree feedback, and next step communication in sales.

Collaborate better with your team

Get your point across using screen, video, and audio messages. Bubbles is free, and offers unlimited recordings with a click of a button.

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More from Bubbles

Collaborate better with your team

Get your point across using screen, video, and audio messages. Bubbles is free, and offers unlimited recordings with a click of a button.

Get started free

Make your
meetings matter

Use AI to record, transcribe, and summarize meetings into actions. Bubbles is your home for after-meeting collaboration.

Try it free in < 2 min

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