5 Ideas to Help your Sales Staff Maximize their Training
I know that when you hire sales staff, who often have a short shelf life, you want to get them out into the field as soon as possible. But here’s why that’s a bad idea: sales people who are poorly trained will not only NOT make you instant sales, they may also damage your company permanently. If a salesperson isn’t properly trained in both your product and your marketing strategy, they will be unprepared to answer questions or present your product smoothly.
So if they’re salespeople, why should they know what the marketing department is doing? Here’s why.
Sales and marketing are intertwined. It’s often hard to see where one ends and another begins. Sales staff carry marketing material and give marketing presentations. Marketing material is designed to sell products or services.
Sales staff represent your company. Sometimes a salesperson is all a potential client sees of your company. Therefore it’s essential that not only they put forward a professional face (in dress, manner, and actions), but also that they understand the product in every way possible.
Having strengths in marketing makes salespeople stronger. It’s always good for an employee to have a decent understanding of other areas of a business. Salespeople definitely need to understand your company’s marketing strategy. It will make them stronger at selling in the long run.
It seems unnecessary to say that your sales staff should be trained on your product, but I’ve found that I should never assume that everyone is as smart as I am. Dedicate at least a week or two letting your sales staff get to know your product. Throw at them all the paperwork and descriptions you have on the product (don’t expect that they’ll absorb half of it) but also let them spend time with the people that make the product as well as with the product itself. Let them use the product, and talk to them about your typical customer.
Here are some other ideas to help your sales staff maximize their training:
Have them compile a list of questions about the product, then help them answer them.
Tell them the most common issues raised on your product and how to handle it.
Tell them why your product is superior to the competition. Then show them.
Have them spend several minutes taking notes while examining the product. Ask them to write down their thoughts about what they see.
Ask for suggestions on how to improve the product.
If a sales person goes out into the field and is unequipped to answer questions about your product, you can bet the potential client has raised red flags. You’ll never get the order if you don’t understand the importance of proper sales staff training.