5 Sales Training Techniques to Help Get the Ball Rolling

September 11, 2014 Doug O'Grady

5 sales training techniques to help get the ball rollingWhen you have a new group of sales reps, or when your current group needs a jump start, sales training techniques can help you to get the ball rolling. Sales training techniques can help you to assess your current selling skills, discover areas for improvement, and help you to practice new skills. 

There are lots of sales training techniques out there, and it's helpful to know and use multiple sales training techniques with your sales team. What works well for one sales rep may not be as useful to another. By introducing your team to several different sales training techniques, you're sure to find a few that work for everyone. 

Identify the Red Flags

One of the biggest problems for sales reps is spending too much time on leads that will never go anywhere. If your sales reps can learn to identify red flags during their initial qualifying calls or visits, they'll improve their sales records simply by being more efficient with their time.

You can help your sales reps to identify red flags and follow up with helpful responses. For example, if someone says they usually buy from one of your competitors but would like to see some information about your products or services, say, "Why would you switch vendors?" Such a question can help your sales reps to determine whether or not a prospect is worth their time.

Avoid Getting Brushed Off

It's very common for sales people to get brushed off during an initial contact. People are busy and often don't know how to say they're not really interested. 

Train your sales reps what to do when they sense they're getting brushed off. For example, when a prospect says something like, "Go ahead and send me a quote so I can take a look," a well-trained sales rep will reply with a response like the following:

"Before I send you that quote, I want to make sure you would be ready to move forward. Let me ask you..." and then the sales rep would beginning asking qualifying questions about budget, the company's budget making process, and other helpful information. Instead of walking away with an assignment to create a useless quote, your sales rep has moved forward through the sales process.

Stop Pitching When Enough is Enough

Teach sales reps to stop talking past the close. It's all too easy to deliver a great presentation and then just keep on pitching your products long past the time to stop. Teach your sales reps the following sales training techniques that will help them to stop pitching when enough is enough:

  • Record them so they can catch themselves doing it.
  • Advise them to use a script until they've learned to stop at the right time.
  • Ask for the deal five times.
  • Welcome the no's; they get you closer to the yeses.
  • Be quiet and listen.

Use Umbrella Questions

It's helpful to have sales training techniques at your disposal for times when you have a few extra minutes and would like to do something productive. This technique is perfect for such times.

Umbrella questions are general questions that get a prospect talking, and they can be used in every sales call. Challenge your sales reps to use at least five umbrella questions at each call. Here are a couple:

  • Why? Tell me more.
  • Can you share with me another example?

Brainstorming umbrella questions can be one of the most valuable of the sales training techniques.

Create a Prospecting Timeline

Most sales reps have little idea how long it takes to turn a prospect into a profitable customer. Help your sales reps to create a prospecting timeline so they have a benchmark. This will help them to streamline future timelines and plan their time better.

These sales training techniques can be used in meetings, conferences, and coaching sessions. With new sales training techniques at their disposal, they'll enjoy increased sales success.

Sales Management Worksheet

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