When brainstorming direct sales team training ideas, start with this question:
What are my organization’s sales goals?
As you will learn from our article on creating a direct sales strategy plan, everything in your sales training– everything — must be guided by your specific sales goals.
If you need help defining sales goals, check out our article on using the ‘sales funnel‘ to assist you in creating more than one sales goal.
Direct Sales Team Training Idea #1:
Introduce a Direct Sales Strategy Plan
Are you in charge of sales team training for beginners? Most sales beginners fall into one of two camps: Talkers and Thinkers. For talkers, the idea of having sales conversations might seem easy. Afterall, isn’t it just a conversation with some sales information sprinkled in? Thinkers have the opposite problem. They might see sales conversations as hard and complicated. Thinkers can imagine all kinds of ways they might lose control of a sales conversation, or that a sales conversation might go wrong.
Both Talkers and Thinkers are likely to waste your money at direct sales events. To avoid this, you need to show your direct sales team that sales conversations can be easy, fun and repeatable!
Show your team that typical sales conversations have a structure: a beginning, middle and end:
- Quick Intro
- Lead Interview
- Next Steps
Direct Sales Team Training Idea #2:
Create or Review Sound Bytes
In reviewing the basics of a direct sales strategy plan, you’ll see there are many instances when it helps to create sound bytes in advance.
For instance, Icebreakers should be open-ended questions to maximize your sales team’s chance to stop traffic and start conversations that could lead to sales! Provide your sales team with great Icebreakers or create the Icebreakers as a part of your direct sales team training.
Here are more sound bytes you’ll want to create with your team:
- Quick Intros – Craft a handful of short intros to introduce your product or company
- Lead Interview Questions – Based on the A-C-T-I-O-N criteria, create questions your sales team can use to qualify leads.Tip: Reference these questions on your Lead Card or App to assist your sales team in recalling the best lead qualification questions.
As we explain in our article on lead qualification, the Lead Interview is about asking strategic questions but also actively listening to the answers your potential customer gives. Based on these answers, your team needs to respond with short, relevant information about your solution or company.
Create short (2-3 sentence) soundbytes about your product solution, features or company to be used during the Lead Interview.
During your direct sales team training, brainstorm the following:
- What objections or doubts are customers likely to have to purchasing your product?
- What problems are your customers likely to have that your product can solve?
Then, brainstorm soundbytes to address these possible objections/ problems.
Create a list of ‘Question/ Answer’ soundbytes that your sales team can memorize and reference during their sales conversations.
Why sound bytes and not ‘pitches’?
Despite sales ‘pitches’ being a common industry term, we have found it provides the wrong approach for a sales team. Pitches tend to be too long to facilitate a conversation. Nervous sales beginners are likely to spout off a pitch covering all the product features instead of using the Lead Interview to discover what problems or needs the customer actually has.
By preparing sound bytes instead, your sales team is better prepared to practice active listening and to provide product information in ways that persuade the potential customer.
Direct Sales Team Training Idea #3:
Finally, direct sales team training ideas should never exclude the most critical part of the learning process: putting the training into practice. The best way to do this? Role playing.
Divide your sales team into pairs.
One person is the sales rep and the other a potential customer. Give the potential customer a character to play, based on a real-life example. The sales rep goal? To use the 5 easy steps to stop the customer, start a conversation and determine as quickly as possible if that potential customer is a ‘good lead.’ Then? Propose an appropriate Next Step and Disengage!
For direct sales team training ideas related to role-playing, check out our direct sales strategy examples!